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Sources for Western Society provides a variety of primary sources to accompany A History of Western Society, Thirteenth Edition. With over thirty new selections – including several compelling visual sources – and enhanced pedagogy throughout, students are given the tools to engage critically with canonical and lesser known sources. Each chapter includes a "Sources in Conversation" feature that asks students to analyze aspects of differing views on key topics.

Sources for Western Society is FREE when packaged with A History of Western Society and is included for FREE with the LaunchPad for A History of Western Society. In LaunchPad for A History of Western Society, 13e, which combines ebooks for A History of Western Society and Sources for Western Society in a central course space, innovative auto-graded exercises accompanying the reader’s documents and visuals supply a distinctive and sophisticated pedagogy that not only helps students understand the sources but think critically about them. Sources for Western Society is also available to customize through Bedford Select.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781319229764
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date: 09/09/2019
Edition description: Thirteenth Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.36(d)

Table of Contents

Please Note: Volume 1 includes Chapters 1-16, Volume 2 includes Chapters 14-30, and Since 1300 includes Chapters 11-30.


CHAPTER 1 Origins, to 1200 B.C.E.

1-1 A Mesopotamian Creation Myth

The Battle Between Marduk and Tiamat (ca. 2000-1000 B.C.E.)

1-2 The Quest for Eternal Life

The Epic of Gilgamesh (ca. 2750 B.C.E.)

1-3 Society and Law in Ancient Babylonia

The Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1780 B.C.E.)

1-4 A Declaration of Innocence

The Egyptian Book of the Dead (ca. 2100-1800)

1-5 Life Lessons from an Ancient Egyptian

The Precepts of Ptahotep (ca. 2650 B.C.E.)

Sources in Conversation

The Great and Terrible Power of the Gods

1-6 AKHENATON, The Hymn to Aton (ca. 1350 B.C.E.)

1-7 Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur (ca. 2000-1700 B.C.E.)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 2 Small Kingdoms and Mighty Empires in the Near East, 1200-510 B.C.E.

2-1 The Hebrews Explain Creation

Book of Genesis (ca. 950-450 B.C.E.)

2-2 The Hebrew Law and Covenant

Exodus and Deuteronomy (ca. 950-450 B.C.E.)

Sources in Conversation

Assyrian, Persian, and Hebrew Perceptions of Monarchy

2-3 Assyrian Kings Proclaim Their Greatness (ca. 1220-1070 B.C.E.)

2-4 CYRUS OF PERSIA, Ruling an Empire (ca. 550 B.C.E.)

2-5 Book of Samuel 8:1–10:27 (ca. 630-540 B.C.E.)

2-6 A Choice Between Good and Evil

ZOROASTER, Gatha 30: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds (ca. 600 B.C.E.)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

Chapter 3 The Development of Greek Society and Culture, ca. 3000-338 B.C.E.

3-1 A Long Journey Home

HOMER, The Odyssey: Odysseus and the Sirens (ca. 800 B.C.E.)

3-2 Moral Instruction and Good Advice

HESIOD, Works and Days (ca. 800 B.C.E.)

3-3 A Clash of Loyalties

SOPHOCLES, Antigone (441 B.C.E.)

Sources in Conversation

Political Philosophy

3-4 THUCYDIDES, The History of the Peloponnesian War: Pericles’s Funeral Oration (ca. 400 B.C.E.)

3-5 PLATO, The Republic: The Allegory of the Cave (ca. 360 B.C.E.)

3-6 Choosing the Best State

ARISTOTLE, Politics: Democracy (ca. 340 B.C.E.)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 4 Life in the Hellenistic World, 338-30 B.C.E.

4-1 Remembering a Legend

EPHIPPUS OF OLYNTHUS, On the Burial of Alexander and Hephaestion: Ephippus of Olynthus Remembers Alexander the Great (ca. 323 B.C.E.)

4-2 A Jewish Response to Hellenistic Rule

First and Second Books of the Maccabees (ca. 124-100 B.C.E.)

Sources in Conversation

Living the Good Life

4-3 DIOGENES LAERTIUS, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers: Diogenes of Sinope, the Cynic (ca. 300-200 B.C.E.)

4-4 EPICURUS, The Principal Doctrines of Epicureanism (ca. 306 B.C.E.)

4-5 EPICTETUS, Encheiridion, or The Manual (ca. 100 C.E.)

4-6 A Greek View of Byzantium

POLYBIUS, A Greek Historian Describes Byzantium’s Contribution to Regional Trade (ca. 170-118 B.C.E.)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 5 The Rise of Rome, ca. 1000-27 B.C.E.

5-1 The Moral Roots of the Republic

LIVY, The Rape of Lucretia (ca. 27-25 B.C.E.)

5-2 Roman Family Values

POLYBIUS, The Histories (ca. 160-140 B.C.E.)

5-3 An Effort to Resolve Social Conflict

The Laws of the Twelve Tables (449 B.C.E.)

5-4 Life in a Roman City

SENECA, The Sounds of a Roman Bath (ca. 50 C.E.)

Sources in Conversation

Political Unrest in Rome

5-5- APPIAN OF ALEXANDRIA, The Civil Wars (ca. 100 C.E.)

5-6 PLUTARCH, On Julius Caesar, a Man of Unlimited Ambition (ca. 44 B.C.E.)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 6 The Roman Empire, 27 B.C.E. – 284 C.E.

6-1 Romans and Barbarians

TACITUS, Germania (ca. 100 C.E.)

6-2 A Roman Seeks the Aid of an Egyptian Goddess

APULEIUS, The Golden Ass: The Veneration of Isis (ca. 170 C.E.)

Sources in Conversation

Jews, Christians, and the Hebrew Law

6-3 The Gospel According to Matthew: The Sermon on the Mount (28 C.E.)

6-4 PAUL OF TARSUS, Epistle to the Romans (ca. 57 C.E.)

6-5 Anti-Christian Sentiment

The Alexamenos Graffito (ca. 100 C.E.)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 7 Late Antiquity, 250-600

7-1 Church and State in Late Antiquity

SAINT AMBROSE OF MILAN, Emperor Theodosius Brought to Heel (390)

7-2 Rules for Monastic Living

SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, The Rule of Saint Benedict (529)

7-3 Contrasting the Works of God with Those of Men

SAINT AUGUSTINE, City of God: The Two Cities (413-426)

7-4 Converting the Germanic Tribes to Catholicism

GREGORY OF TOURS, History of the Franks (593-594)

Sources in Conversation

The Rebirth of the Roman Empire in the East

7-5 EMPEROR JUSTINIAN, The Institutes of Justinian (529-533)

7-6 PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA, The Secret History (ca. 550)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 8 Europe in the Early Middle Ages, 600-1000

8-1 A Muslim Describes the Conquest of Spain

IBN ABD-EL-HAKEM, The Conquest of Spain (ca. 870)

8-2 An Arab Account of the Frankish Defense of Gaul

ANONYMOUS ARAB SOURCE, The Battle of Poitiers (ca. 732)

Sources in Conversation

Conquest and Conversion

8-3 WILLIBALD, Saint Boniface Destroys the Oak of Thor (ca. 750)

8-4 CHARLEMAGNE, Capitulary for Saxony (ca. 775-790)

8-5 Instructions for Royal Envoys

CHARLEMAGNE, General Capitulary for the Missi (802)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 9 State and Church in the High Middle Ages, 1000-1300

9-1 William the Conqueror Surveys His Kingdom

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: William the Conqueror and the Domesday Book (1086)

9-2 Placing Limits on Royal Power

KING JOHN OF ENGLAND, Magna Carta: The Great Charter of Liberties (1215)

9-3 A Pope and an Emperor Compete for Power

POPE GREGORY VII AND EMPEROR HENRY IV, Mutual Recriminations: The Investiture Controversy Begins (1076)

9-4 A Call for Crusade

ROBERT THE MONK OF RHEIMS, Urban II at the Council of Clermont (ca. 1120)

Sources in Conversation

The Response to Urban II’s Call for Holy War

9-5 GUIBERT OF NOGENT/ANNA COMNENA, Peter the Hermit and the "People’s Crusade" (ca. 1108-1148)

9-6 ANONYMOUS OF MAINZ, The Slaughter of the Jews (ca. 1096)

9-7 A Muslim Historian Recounts the Crusades

ALI IBN AL-ATHIR, The Complete History (1231)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 10 Life in Villages and Cities of the High Middle Ages, 1000-1300

10-1 Life on a Medieval Manor

Manorial Records of Bernehorne (1307)

10-2 Medieval Workers

On Laborers: A Dialogue Between Teacher and Student (ca. 1000)

10-3 Life as a Medieval Guild Member

The Ordinances of London’s Leatherworkers (1346)

10-4 Medieval Clothing Laws

THE COMMUNE OF FLORENCE, A Sumptuary Law: Restrictions on Dress (1373)

Sources in Conversation

Synthesizing Reason and Faith

10-5 IBN RUSHD (AVERROES), Religion and Philosophy (ca. 1190)

10-6 SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica: Proof of the Existence of God (1268)

10-7 An Author Relates a Popular Religious Story

JACQUES DE VITRY, The Virgin Mary Saves a Monk and His Lover (ca. 1200)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 11 The Later Middle Ages, 1300-1450

11-1 The Psychological and Emotional Impact of the Plague

GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO, The Decameron: The Plague Hits Florence (ca. 1350)

11-2 A Town Chronicler Describes the Black Death

AGNOLO DI TURA, Sienese Chronicle (1348-1351)

11-3 Social and Economic Unrest in England

The Anonimalle Chronicle: The English Peasants’ Revolt (1381)

11-4 Popular Religious Responses to the Plague

Flagellants in the Netherlands Town of Tournai (1349)

Sources in Conversation

Women and Power

11-5 CATHERINE OF SIENA, Letter to Gregory XI (1372)

11-6 The Debate over Joan of Arc’s Clothes (1429)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 12 European Society in the Age of the Renaissance, 1350-1550

12-1 An Italian Admirer of the Classical Past

PETRARCH, Letter to Livy (1350)

12-2 Power Politics During the Italian Renaissance


12-3 A Description of the Ideal Courtier

BALDASSARE CASTIGLIONE, The Book of the Courtier (1528)

12-4 A Humanist Prescription for the Education of Princes

DESIDERIUS ERASMUS, The Education of a Christian Prince (1516)

12-5 A Female Author Argues for the Education of Women

CHRISTINE DE PIZAN, The Book of the City of Ladies: Against Those Men Who Claim It Is Not Good for Women to Be Educated (1404)

Sources in Conversation

A Female Painter Tells Stories About Women

12-6 ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI, Susannah and the Elders (1610)

12-7 ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI, Judith and Holofernes (1612)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 13 Reformations and Religious Wars, 1500-1600

13-1 Martin Luther Takes a Stand

MARTIN LUTHER, Ninety-five Theses on the Power of Indulgences (1517)

13-2 Reformation Propaganda

HANS HOLBEING THE YOUNGER, Luther as the German Hercules (ca. 1519)

Sources in Conversation

The War on Witches

13-3 HEINRICH KRAMER, Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches) (1487)

13-4 JEAN BODIN, On the Demon-Mania of Witches (1580)

13-5 Calvin Defines His Protestant Vision

JOHN CALVIN, The Institutes of Christian Religion (1559)

13-6 Training the Soldiers of Christ

IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, Rules for Right Thinking (1548)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 14 European Exploration and Conquest, 1450-1650

14-1 Columbus Sets the Context for His Voyage


14-2 Cortés Describes the Conquest of the Aztecs

Hernán Cortés, Two Letters to Charles V: On the Conquest of the Aztecs (1521)

Sources in Conversation

The Slave Trade in Africa

14-3 ALVISE DA CA’DA MOSTO, Description of Capo Bianco and the Islands Nearest to It: Fifteenth- Century Slave Trade in West Africa (1455-1456)

14-4 KING NZINGA MBEMBA AFFONSO OF CONGO, Letters on the Slave Trade (1526)

14-5 Circumnavigating the Globe

Navigation and Voyage Which Ferdinand Magellan Made from Seville to Maluco in the Year 1519 (1519-1522)

14-6 A Critique of European "Superiority"

MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE, Of Cannibals (1580)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 15 Absolutism and Constitutionalism, ca. 1589-1725

15-1 A French King Establishes Limited Religious Toleration

HENRY IV, Edict of Nantes (1598)

15-2 An Argument for the Divine Right of Kings

JEAN DOMAT, Of the Government and General Policy of a State (1689)

15-3 The English Place Limits on Monarchical Power

The Bill of Rights (1689)

15-4 A Tsar Imposes Western Styles on the Russians

PETER THE GREAT, Edicts and Decrees (1699-1723)

Sources in Conversation

The Commonwealth and the State of Nature

15-5 THOMAS HOBBES, Leviathan (1651)

15-6 JOHN LOCKE, Second Treatise of Civil Government: Vindication for the Glorious Revolution (1690)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

CHAPTER 16 Toward a New Worldview, 1540-1789

16-1 A New Model of the Solar System

NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1542)

16-2 A Defense of Science

FRANCIS BACON, On Superstition and the Virtue of Science (1620)

16-3 A Defense of a Sun-Centered Universe

GALILEO GALILEI, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany (1615)

Sources in Conversation

Monarchical Power and Responsibility

16-4 CHARLES DE SECONDAT, BARON DE MONTESQUIEU, The Spirit of Laws: On the Separation of Governmental Powers (1748)

16-5 JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, The Social Contract: On Popular Sovereignty and the General Will (1762)

16-6 A Philosophe Argues for Religious Toleration

VOLTAIRE, A Treatise on Toleration (1763)

Comparative and Discussion Questions

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