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Western Civilization Resource Center

Primary Sources

The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Great Flood
Date: 2700-2500 B.C.E.
Author: Anonymous
Description: Epic
Type: Text
Law in Early Roman Society: The Regulation of Women and Family
Date: c. 600 B.C.E.; 451-450 B.C.E.
Author: Numa Pompilius; Anonymous
Description: Legal Code
Type: Text
Runaway Slaves in Alexandria: Reward Offered!
Date: c. 100 B.C.E.
Author: Anonymous
Description: Announcement
Type: Text
Voices of the People: Graffiti from the Walls of Pompeii
Date: A.D. 79
Author: Anonymous
Description: Graffiti
Type: Text
The Olympic Games:
A Historical Record Book of Champions

Date: c. 160
Author: Pausanius
Description: Historical Record
Type: Text
St. Augustine's Search for Truth: Divination and Manichaeism
Date: 373-387
Author: St. Augustine
Description: Religious Teaching
Type: Text
The Qur'an: Call for Jihad
Date: c. 650
Author: The Prophet Mohammad
Description: Religious Teaching
Type: Text
The Lay of Igor's Host: Warfare on the Russian Steppes
Date: c. 900
Author: Anonymous
Description: Poem
Type: Text
William the Conqueror and Domesday Book: A Contemporary Description
Date: 1066
Author: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicler
Description: Biography/Historical Account
Type: Text
Louis the Fat Dispenses Justice
Date: 1144
Author: Abbot Suger of St. Denis
Description: Biography
Type: Text
The Rules of Love?
Date: 1175
Author: Andreas Capellanus
Description: Philosophical/Satirical Treatise
Type: Text
The Talmud Condemned
Date: 1244
Author: Pope Innocent IV
Description: Religious Proclamation
Type: Text
Crooked Booksellers: The University Cracks Down
Date: 1275
Author: The University of Masters and Scholars at Paris
Description: University Regulations
Type: Text
The Plague Hits Florence
Date: c. 1350
Author: Giovanni Boccaccio
Description: Fiction
Type: Text
Diabolical Seduction: A Witch on Trial
Date: 1427
Author: The Magistrates of Florence
Description: Court Proceedings
Type: Text
Made to Order: An Avignon Altarpiece
Date: c. 1453
Author: Notary for Jean de Montagnac and Enguerrand Quarton
Description: Contract
Type: Text
Fifteenth-Century Slave Trade: The Portuguese in West Africa
Date: 1455-1456
Author: Alvise da Cadamosto
Description: Account
Type: Text
Leonardo's Notes on the Cosmos
Date: c. 1515
Author: Leonardo da Vinci
Description: Scientific Study
Type: Text
Ninety-five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences
Date: 1517
Author: Martin Luther
Description: Religious Proclamation
Type: Text
Pascal's Famous Wager on God's Existence
Date: 1670
Author: Blaise Pascal
Description: Philosophy
Type: Text
The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen
Date: 1789
Author: National Assembly of France
Description: Political Proclamation
Type: Text
Manchester Becomes a Thriving Industrial City
Date: 1795
Author: John Aikin
Description: Observations
Type: Text
The Cult of Domesticity: A System of Middle-Class Values and Social Duties
Date: 1838
Author: Sara Stickney Ellis
Description: Sociological Observations
Type: Text
The Misery That Was Ireland: The Potato Famine
Date: 1847
Author: W. Stewart Trench
Description: Sociological Observations
Type: Text
Survival of the Fittest Applied to Human Kind
Date: 1851
Author: Herbert Spencer
Description: Socio-economic Theory
Type: Text
The Marxist Analysis of The Civil War in France: The Paris Commune
Date: 1871
Author: Karl Marx
Description: Socio-economic Theory
Type: Text
Imperial Conquest: The Nation's Savior
Date: 1883
Author: Le Petit Journal
Description: Foreign Policy Editorial
Type: Text
The Interpretation of Dreams: Psychoanalysis Is Born
Date: 1900
Author: Sigmund Freud
Description: Psychology
Type: Text
The Suffrage Movement Radicalized
Date: c. 1906-07
Author: Emmeline Pankhurst
Description: Memoir Excerpt
Type: Text
A French Response to the Demographic Crisis: Bonuses for Babies
Date: 1913
Author: French National Assembly
Description: Law
Type: Text
Mobilization: A French Soldier Remembers
Date: 1914
Author: Henri Desagneui
Description: Diary Entry
Type: Text
The April Theses: A Blueprint for Revolution
Date: 1917
Author: Vladimir I. Lenin
Description: Proclamation/Manifesto
Type: Text
Sterilization for 'The Unfit': The Hitlerian Nightmare Begins
Date: 1933
Author: Nazi German Government
Description: Law
Type: Text
The 'Fundamental Ideas' of Fascism
Date: 1935
Author: Benito Mussolini
Description: Political Theory
Type: Text
An Iron Curtain Has Descended Across the Continent
Date: 1946
Author: Winston Churchill
Description: Speech
Type: Text
The Second Sex: Existential Feminism
Date: 1949
Author: Simone De Beauvoir
Description: Social Criticism
Type: Text
The 'Fundamental Codes of a Culture' Deconstruct the Order of Things
Date: 1961
Author: Michel Foucault
Description: Cultural Theory/Philosophy
Type: Text
The 'Twenty-One Demands': A Call for Workers' Rights and Freedom in a Socialist State
Date: 1980
Author: Solidarity Union
Description: Social/Politcal Demands
Type: Text
The Last Heir of Lenin Explains His Reform Plans: Perestroika and Glasnost
Date: 1986
Author: Mikhail Gorbachev
Description: Socio-political Agenda
Type: Text