Readings – Western Civilization

Early Civilizations / The Ancient Origins of the West

Babylonian Accounts of Creation
Babylonian Penitential Psalms
Chaldean Account of the Deluge (Flood)
The Code of Hammurabi
The Book of Genesis – Chapters 1-3: Creation (KJV)
Herodotus: An Account of the Egyptians
Hymn to the Nile
The Instruction of Ptah-Hotep
Ishtar’s Descent Into Hades
The Royal Standard of Ur – War and Peace
Sumerian Accounting Tablet

Peoples, Gods, And Empires: 1700-500 B.C.E. / Gods and Kings

Akhenaton’s Hymn to the Aton
Assyrian Inscription of Tiglath Pileser I
The Career of Queen Hatshepsut
The Great Inscription of Darius at Behistun
An Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar
Reflections of Zarathustra
A Sermon Attributed to Zoroaster
Zarathustra and the Doctrine of Dualism
Minoan Bull Leaping

The Rise of Greece 1000-400 B.C.E. / The Hellenic World

Euripides: A Meeting of the Ecclesia
Herodotus: The Battle of Marathon
Herodotus: The Battle of Salamis
Herodotus: The Battle of Plataea
Herodotus: Cleisthenes and Athenian Democracy
Hesiod: Works and Days
Pausianias: A Description of Olympia
Pindar: Second Olympian Ode
Plutarch: Aristides and His Opposition to Themistocles
Plutarch: Pericles Beautifies Athens
Plutarch: The Spartan Discipline for Youths
Xenophon: The Ideal Household

The Greek World Expands, 400-150 B.C.E. / The World of Alexander

Arrian: Alexander and the Assimilation of the East
Arrian: Alexander at the Battle of Gaugamela
Athenæus: The Great Ship of Hieron, King of Syracuse
Cleanthes’s Hymn to Zeus
Diogenes Laërtius: The Sceptics: Life of Pyrrho
The Great Spectacle and Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus
Justin: How Philip of Macedon Began His Reign
Plutarch: How Demosthenes Became an Orator
Plutarch: The Youth of Alexander the Great
Strabo: A Description of Alexandria

Civilization Of Ancient Rome / Political Institutions of the Roman Republic

Appian: On the Graachi
The Canuleian Law
Cicero: On the Best Form of Government
Cicero: On the Laws
Juvenal: Diatribe Against the Women of Rome
Livy: How Cincinnatus Saved a Roman Army
Ammianus Marcellinus: The Luxury and Arrogance of the Rich in Rome
Petronius: The Banquet of Trimalchio
Plutarch: Spartacus and the Slave Revolt
Polubius: An Analysis of Roman Government
Quintillian: The Ideal Education
Sallust: The Conspiracy of Catiline
The Laws of the Twelve Tables

The Transformation Of Rome / The Christianization of the Roman World

Ammianus Marcellinus: The Movement of the Huns and Goths into the Roman Empire
Cyprian: The Early Conception of a Catholic Church
Eusebius: How Constantine Overthrew Maxentius and Favored Christianity
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
Origen: Principles of Faith
Accounts of Roman Persecution of the Christians
Pope Leo’s Sermon on the Petrine Sucession
Priscus on the Court of Attila King of the Huns
Conversation of Priscus with a Greek living among the Barbarians
Salvian: A Comparison Between the Lot of Those Within the Empire and Those Who Lived Among the Barbarians
Theodoret: How St. Ambrose Humiliated Theodosius the Great

From Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages

Bede: The Conversion of England
Bede: Description of Purgatory, Hell, and Heaven
The Carolingian Revival of Learning
The Deeds of Clovis as Related by Gregory of Tours
Einhard: How Charlemagne Became Emperor
General Capitulary for the Missi
Liutprand of Cremona: Report of his Mission to Constantinople
Selections from the Qur’an

Rome’s Three Heirs, 500-950: The Byzantine Empire, Islam, and Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire


The Expansion Of Europe, 950-1100 / Religion, Wars, And Real Estate / The Holy Crusades


The Consolidation Of Europe, 1100-1300 / The Rise of the Medieval University and Heresy


Crisis, Unrest, and Opportunity, 1300-1500 / The Calamitous Fourteenth Century