Primary sources are the basic way that historians understand and interpret
what happened long ago, because these sources belong to their own time in
ways that secondary sources do not. Secondary sources are usually accounts
by historians later on, who try to make sense of the past using primary
Attached is primary sources from the Part II: Classical Civilizations in Global
Write a short analytical essay that uses at least three of the concepts
historians use to understand primary sources. We will discuss these concepts
in weeks one and two. You’re welcome to write single comparative essay of
at least four pages, or to write two small separate essays of at least two pages
each. Here are your four main tasks in the essay:
1. Locate each document by describing the context it belongs to historically.
2. Who was the author and why did he or she write this?
3. In your own words, what do the key themes of this document tell us about
values of the society that produced it?
4. Which historical concepts do you think would be most useful in
understanding this document, and why?
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