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Sources in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations

Documents, Maps, and Images

Ralph W. Mathisen

Publication Date - September 2016

ISBN: 9780190280918

608 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $59.95

A sourcebook that gives voice to the civilizations and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean


From the author of the best-selling Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations: From Prehistory to 640 CE, Second Edition (2015), Sources in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations: Documents, Maps, and Images is both a stand-alone sourcebook and a companion reader.


133 lengthy primary sources in translation, 14 maps, and 133 illustrations give equal coverage to the Near East, Greece, Roman Republic and Empire, and Late Antiquity

Rather than simply presenting undigested snippets of text, Sources in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations provides fully annotated, longer text excerpts, edited for readability, sense, consistency, and flow

Every chapter opens with a full-page map that sets the sources in geographical context, and each document is accompanied by a related image and commentary that establish its authorship, historical context, and significance

Includes two chapters on topics not covered in any other sourcebook: "Accounts of the Creation of the Universe, Humans, and the Flood" and "Civilization beyond the Near East, Greece, and Rome"

About the Author(s)

Ralph W. Mathisen is Professor of History, Classics, and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has authored, edited, or coedited thirteen books, including Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Second Edition (OUP, 2014), and has published more than 100 scholarly articles. Dr. Mathisen also is the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Civilization before Civilization (2,000,000-3000 BCE)
    Accounts of the Creation of the Universe, Humans, and the Flood
    1. The Creation Story: The "Enûma Eli" ("When on High"), Tablets 1-5
    2. The Creation of Humans by Enki and Ninma?
    3. The Flood Story: "Epic of Gilgamesh," Tablet XI
    4. The Creation Story: "A Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra"
    5. The Creation of the Universe and the Titans: The "Theogony" of Hesiod
    6. The Battles between the Gods and the Titans and Giants: Pseudo-Apollorodus, "The Library"
    7. The Creation of Humans: Pseudo-Apollorodus, "The Library," and Hesiod, "Theogony"
    8. The Flood Story: Pseudo-Apollorodus, "The Library"
    9. The Creation Story: Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1-7
    10. The Flood Story: Hebrew Bible, Genesis 8.
    11. The Creation of Humans: The Qu'ran, Surah 2/30-38, 7/11-19, 38/71-83
    12. The Flood Story: The Qu'ran, Surah 11/15-49
    Chapter 2. Mesopotamia and the Bronze Age (6000-1200 BCE)
    13. Inanna Steals the Knowledge of Civilization from Enki
    14. "The Epic of Gilgamesh" (ca. 2500 BCE), Tablets 1-8
    15. The Sumerian King List (ca. 2500-1700 BCE)
    16. The Legend of Sargon (ca. 2250 BCE)
    17. The Earliest Known Author: Enheduanna, "The Exaltation of Inanna" (ca. 2190 BCE)
    18. "The Cursing of Agade" (ca. 2050 BCE)
    19. The Law Code of Ur-Nammu (ca. 2040 BCE)
    20. The Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1700 BCE)
    Chapter 3. Egypt and the Bronze Age (5000-1200 BCE)
    21. The Autobiography of Weni (ca. 2275 BCE)
    22. "The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant" (ca. 2100 BCE)
    23. "The Hymn to the Nile" (ca. 2000 BCE)
    24. "The Admonitions of Ipuwer" (ca. 1700 BCE)
    25. "The Book of the Dead" (ca. 1500 BCE)
    26. Hatshepsut's Expedition to Punt (ca. 1470 BCE)
    27. "Hymn to Aton" (ca. 1350 BCE)
    28. Egyptian Love Letters (ca. 1300 BCE)
    29.The Peace Treaty between Ramses II and Hattusilis III (1258 BCE):
    (a) Egyptian Version
    (b) Hittite Version
    Chapter 4. Coastal Civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean (2500-800 BCE)
    30. Documents from Ebla (ca. 2400 BCE)
    31. Mycenaean Linear B Tablets (ca. 1200 BCE)
    32. The Invasion of the Sea Peoples (ca. 1180 BCE): Ugaritic Correspondence; The Medinet Habu Inscription of Ramses III (1182-1151 BCE)
    33. The "Report of Wen-Amon" (ca. 1050 BCE)
    34. The Hebrews in Egypt and the Legend of Moses (ca. 1300 BCE): Hebrew Bible, Exodus 1:7-2:7
    35. Laws of the Hebrew Bible (ca. 1230 BCE): Hebrew Bible, Exodus 20
    36. The "Victory Hymn" of Merneptah (1208 BCE): The "Israel Stele"
    37. Deborah the Judge Defeats the Canaanites (ca. 1050 BCE): Hebrew Bible, Judges 4:1-5:31
    38. King Solomon Consolidates his Authority (ca. 950 BCE): Hebrew Bible, 1 Kings 5-10
    Chapter 5. Iron Age Empires: Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia (850-500 BCE)
    39. The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (825 BCE)
    40. The Prism of Sennacherib (ca. 689 BCE)
    41. The Assyrian Siege of Jerusalem (701 BCE): Hebrew Bible, 2 Kings 18:13-19:38
    42. Judith and Holofernes (ca. 587 BCE): Hebrew Bible, Judith
    43. The Cyrus Legend (ca. 550 BCE)
    44. The Behistun Inscription (ca. 520 BCE)
    Chapter 6. Greece in the Dark and Archaic Ages (1100-500 BCE)
    45. The Trojan War (ca. 1185 BCE): Homer, Iliad, Book 6, Lines 315-494
    46. The "Dorian Invasion" and the Origin of the Greek Peoples (ca. 1100 BCE): Herodotus, Histories, Book 1, Chapters 55-58
    47. Human Society in the Early Archaic Age (ca. 700 BCE): Hesiod, Works and Days, Lines 1-736
    48. Battus and the Founding of Cyrene (ca. 630 BCE): Herodotus, Histories, Book 4, Sections 145-159
    49. Personal Poetry (ca. 600 BCE): Sappho of Lesbos
    50. The Pre-Socratic Philosophers (ca. 530 BCE): Porphyry, The Life of Pythagoras
    51. Greek Arete (ca. 476 BCE): Pindar, "Olympian Ode" 1.
    52. The Sword of Damocles (ca. 360 BCE):
    (a) Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 5.61
    (b) Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters 2.13
    Chapter 7. Sparta, Athens, and the Classical Age (500-387 BCE)
    53. Spartan Education (ca. 750 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus
    54. The Constitutions of Athens (800-507 BCE): Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution
    55. The Battle of Salamis (480 BCE): Herodotus, Histories, Book 8
    56. Pericles' Funeral Oration and the Plague in Athens (431-430 BCE): Thucydides, Histories, Book 2, Chapters 34-54
    57. An Assessment of Athenian Democracy (ca. 425 BCE): The "Old Oligarch"
    58. Athenian Anti-War Sentiment and Perceptions of Women (415 BCE): Euripides, Trojan Women
    59. Athenian Anti-War Sentiment and Perceptions of Women (411 BCE): Aristophanes, Lysistrata
    60. The Death of Socrates (399 BCE): Plato, Phaedo 15.115a-118a
    Chapter 8. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age (387-31 BCE)
    61. The "Sacred Band" of Thebes (375-338 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Pelopidas
    62. The Young Alexander the Great (ca. 350-334 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Alexander
    63. Alexander's Expedition into India (326-324 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Alexander
    64. The Wars of the Successors (323-301 BCE): Justin, Philippic Histories
    65. The Justification for Slavery (ca. 325 BCE): Aristotle, Politics, Book 1
    66. Stoicism (300 BCE): Epictetus, The Enchiridion
    67. Revolt of the Maccabees (167 BCE): Hebrew Bible, The Book of Maccabees
    Chapter 9. Civilization beyond the Near East, Greece, and Rome (2300-31 BCE)
    68. The Scythians (513 BCE): Herodotus, The Histories, Book 4
    69. The Parthians (ca. 250-100 BCE): Justin, Philippic Histories, Book 41
    70. The Empire of Kush (731 BCE): "The Victory Stela of Piye"
    71. The Constitution of Carthage (ca. 340 BCE): Aristotle, Politics, Book 2
    72. The Expansion of the Celts into Greece and Anatolia (279-277 BCE): Justin, Philippic Histories, Books 24-28
    Chapter 10. The Rise of Rome and the Roman Republic (753-120 BCE)
    73. The Legend of the Founding of Rome (753 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Romulus
    74. Rome of the Kings (ca. 550 BCE): The Lapis niger
    75. The Violation of Lucretia and the Founding of the Roman Republic (509 BCE): Livy, From the Founding of the City, Book 1, Chapters 57-60
    76. The Origins of Roman Law (451-450 BCE): The "Twelve Tables"
    77. The Sack of Rome by the Gauls (390 BCE): Livy, From the Founding of the City, Book 5, Chapters 32-42
    78. The Battle of Cannae (216 BCE): Livy, From the Founding of the City, Book 22, Chapters 34-57
    79. The Bacchanalian Scandal and a Criminal Investigation of the Impact of Foreign Cultures on Rome (186 BCE)
    (a) Livy, From the Founding of the City, Book 39
    (b) The "Recommendation of the Senate on the Bacchanalians"
    80. A Roman 'New Man' Confronts Greek Culture (234-149 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Cato the Elder
    Chapter 11. Crisis, Recovery, and the Creation of the Principate (150-21 BCE)
    81. The Land Law of Tiberius Gracchus (133 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Tiberius Gracchus
    82. The Slave Revolt of Spartacus (73-71 BCE): Plutarch, Life of Crassus
    83. Cicero, First Speech against Catiline (63 BCE)
    84. Catullus, Poems (ca. 60 BCE)
    85. The Siege of Alesia (52 BCE): Caesar, Gallic Wars, Book 7, Chapters 68-89.
    86. Cleopatra, Pharaoh and Queen of Egypt (48-31 BCE): Plutarch, Lives of Caesar and Antony
    87. An Exemplary Roman Woman: The "Praise of Turia" (ca. 20 BCE)
    Chapter 12. The Roman Peace (27 BCE-192 CE)
    88. Anchises Prophesizes the Future of Rome (19 BCE): Vergil, Aeneid, Book 6
    89. Horace, "The Secular Hymn" (17 BCE)
    90. The Deeds of the Divine Augustus (14 CE)
    91. The Trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate (ca.28/37 CE): Christian New Testament, Matthew 27:11-16, Mark 5:1-30), and Luke 23:1-25, John 18:28-40-19:1-24
    92. The Emperor Caligula (37-41 CE): Suetonius, Life of Caligula
    93. Expanding the Membership of the Senate (48 CE)
    (a) The "Claudian Recommendation of the Senate Regarding the Right of Honors for the Gauls" (Dessau, ILS 212)
    (b) Tacitus, Annals, Book 11, Chapters 23-25
    94. The Rebellion of Boudicca (60-61 CE): Tacitus, Annals Book 14, Chapters 31-37
    95. The Fall of Masada (74 CE): Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 7, Chapter 9
    96. Hadrian Inspects the Troops (128 CE): The Lambaesis Inscription
    97. Roman Misogyny (ca. 100 CE): Juvenal, Satire 6
    98. Praise of the Roman Empire: Publius Aelius Aristides Theodorus, To Rome (ca.155 CE)
    99. The Jews Confront Rome (133-180 CE): Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 39a, Sabbath 33b, Me'ilah 17b
    100. Dealing with Christians (ca. 112 CE): Pliny, Letters 10.96-97
    Chapter 13. Crisis, Recovery, and the Creation of the Late Roman Empire (192-337)
    101. The Antonine Constitution (212 CE):
    (a) Papyrus Gissensis 40
    (b) Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 78, Chapter 9
    102. Pervigilium Veneris ("The Vigil of Venus") (ca. 200/300 CE)
    103. The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas (7 March 203 CE)
    104. The New Persian Empire: The Shapur I Inscription (ca. 270 CE)
    105. Zenobia and the Empire of Palmyra (266-274 CE): The Augustan History, "Odenathus" and "Zenobia"
    106. Diocletian's "Edict on Maximum Prices" (301 CE)
    107. The Reforms of Diocletian and the "Great Persecution" (303-311 CE): Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors 1-35
    108. The Edict of Milan (312/313 CE): Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors 45-48
    109. The Council of Nicaea (325 CE): Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 2.61-71, 3.6-14
    Chapter 14. The Christian Empire and the Late Roman World (337-476)
    110. The Imperial Oppression of Pagans, Jews, and Heretics
    (a) Theodosian Code (437 CE)
    (b) Code of Justinian (534 CE)
    111. The Murder of Hypatia of Alexandria (415 CE):
    (a) Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History Book 7, Chapter 15,
    (b) John of Nikiû, Chronicle, Chapter 84
    112. The Monastic Life on the Eastern Frontier (ca. 360/390 CE): Jerome, The Life of Malchus the Captive Monk
    113. The Late Roman Criminal Legal Process (ca. 370 CE): Jerome, Letter 1
    114. The Battle of Adrianople (378 CE): Ammianus Marcellinus, Histories, Book 31, Chapters 12-14
    115. The Sack of Rome by the Visigoths (410 CE): Orosius, History against the Pagans, Book 7, Chaps. 38-40
    116. The Sack of Rome by the Visigoths in God's Plan (410 CE): Augustine, City of God, Book 1
    117. The Sack of Rome by the Vandals (455 CE): Procopius, History of the Wars, Book 3, Section 5
    118. The Last Emperor in Rome (476 CE): Miscellaneous Sources
    Chapter 15. The End of Antiquity (476-640)
    119. A Visigothic King and His Court (ca. 455/465 CE): Sidonius Apollinaris, Letter 2
    120. The End of the Vandal Kingdom (533 CE): Procopius, History of the Wars, Book 3, Chapters 10-20
    121. The Conversion of Clovis (496 CE): Gregory of Tours, Histories, Book 2, Chapters 28-31
    122. The Acclamations of the Senate of Rome (438 CE): Theodosian Code, "Acts of the Senate"
    123. The Character of Justinian and Theodora (527-548): Procopius, Secret History, Prologue, 1-12
    124. The Rise of Islam (627-629 CE): al-Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings 1619
    125. The Muslim Conquest of Egypt (640 CE): John of Nikiu, Chronicle, Chapters 111-120
    126. The Persistence of the Classical Tradition in Barbarian Europe (ca. 575 CE): The Poem of Eucheria