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World Civilization I - HIST101 - Primary Sources

Primary sources available in the library or on the Internet relevant to World Civilizations up to about 1500

Resources in Library Catalog

eBooks on this list are only available to RVCC students, faculty, and staff and require a login with your G# and password.

The broken spears; the Aztec account of the conquest of Mexico

The conquest of Mexico told by the Aztecs and their descendants. These texts bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of an oral tradition that preserves the viewpoints of the vanquished instead of the victors.

The Jews in Christian Europe : a source book, 315-1791

Through a vast range of documents written by Jews and Christians, including historical narratives, legal opinions, martyrologies, memoirs, polemics, epitaphs, advertisements, folktales, ethical and pedagogical writings, book prefaces and colophons, commentaries, and communal statutes, The Jews in Christian Europe allows the actors and witnesses of events to speak for themselves (eBook).

Letters from Mexico

Hernán Cortés’s Cartas de Relacíon, written over a seven-year period to Charles V of Spain, provide an extraordinary narrative account of the conquest of Mexico from the founding of the coastal town of Veracruz until Cortés’s journey to Honduras in 1525.

Machiavelli: Chief works, and others

A selection of Niccolò Machiavelli's writings on topics like governance, war, law and history, plus letters, songs, sonnets, and comedies.

Maya conquistador

Maya Conquistador tells the tale of Mexico's conquest through a collection of unique first-hand accounts - most of them previously untranslated from the original Maya texts - written from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. In it are surprising twists: The conquistadors were not only Spaniards, but also Mayas, reconstituting their own sophisticated governance and society.

Mexican history : a primary source reader

A comprehensive and innovative primary source reader in Mexican history from the pre-Columbian past to the neoliberal present. Its selection of documents thoughtfully conveys enduring themes of Mexican history, land and labor, indigenous people, religion, and state formation.

The Middle Ages (476-1500)

Provides in-depth analysis of primary documents surrounding the most important historical events and key figures from the Middle Ages (eBook). Is also available as a reference book (Reference books must be used in the library).

The murals of Bonampak

The wall paintings at Bonampak are the finest Maya murals known today. This book includes illustrations and translations of hieroglyphic text as well as first hand descriptions of the location.

Other Middle Ages : Witnesses at the Margins of Medieval Society

This book contains a unique collection of texts from the mid-eleventh through the fourteenth century. Translated from their original Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic, these texts, many of them first person narratives or testimonies, give insight into those figures who made Medieval society uneasy. More than just a fascinating cast of characters, the visionaries and sexual dissidents, the suicidal and psychologically unbalanced, the lepers and converts of Medieval times reveal the fears of a people for whom life was made both meaningful and terrifying by the sacred (eBook).

Popol vuh : the Mayan book of the dawn of life

The Popol Vuh, the Quiche Mayan book of creation, is one of the extraordinary documents of the human imagination and the most important text in the native languages of the Americas. It begins with the deeds of Mayan gods in the darkness of a primeval sea and ends with the radiant splendor of the Mayan lords who founded the Quiche kingdom in the Guatemalan highlands. Originally written in Mayan hieroglyphs, it was transcribed in the Spanish alphabet in the sixteenth century.

Popol vuh : the sacred book of the ancient Quiché Maya

Translation of an ancient Mayan cultural narrative that recounts the mythology and history of the K'iche' people who inhabit the Guatemalan Highlands northwest of present-day Guatemala City.

Sainted women of the Dark Ages

Sainted Women of the Dark Ages makes available the lives of eighteen Frankish women of the sixth and seventh centuries, all of whom became saints. Written in Latin by contemporaries or near contemporaries, and most translated here for the first time, these biographies cover the period from the fall of the Roman Empire and the conversion of the invading Franks to the rise of Charlemagne's family.

The Spanish colonie

In 1551 Casas printed a series of tracts in Seville which assailed the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. Reprint of the edition originally published in 1583.

The spectacle of the late Maya court : reflections on the murals of Bonampak

This major new study of the paintings of Bonampak incorporates insights from decades of art historical, epigraphic, and technical investigation of the murals, framing questions about artistic conception, facture, narrative, performance, and politics. Lavishly illustrated, this book assembles thorough documentation of the Bonampak mural program, from historical photographs of the paintings to new full-color reconstructions.

Resources in Library Databases

Off campus, these resources are available only to RVCC students, staff, and faculty and require a login with your G# and password.

Ancient & Medieval History Online

Perform a keyword search, then select Primary Sources from the tabbed results.

Primary sources

To browse, select Primary Sources and then The Americas: 2000 BCE-1500 CE or Medieval Europe: 500 CE-1500 CE.

Primary Sources       America and Europe

ArtStor

The Artstor Digital Library provides access to 2.5+ million images of the world’s cultural heritage, all rights-cleared for use in education. Perform an advanced search to narrow by time period or geographical location.

Resources on the Internet

Avalon ProjectMedieval Documents (400-1399) and 15th Century Documents (1400-1499) - This collection out of Yale Law School contains documents in law, history, and diplomacy. Browse by date or search from the home page.

The Codex Quetzalecatzin - 16th century Aztec map digitized by the Library of Congress.

Cyark: World Heritage Sites - Explore 3-D images of 200 sites on all seven continents. Cyark was founded in 2003 to digitally record, archive and share the world's most significant cultural heritage and ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder and curiosity for decades to come. Narrow by country or theme using the dropdown menus, or use the date range sliders to choose a beginning and/or ending date.

Digitized Illuminated Manuscripts (British Library) - Use this website to view digitised copies of manuscripts and archives in the British Library’s collections, with descriptions of their contents.

Epistolae: Medieval Women's Letters - A project of Columbia University, this is a collection of letters to and from women dating from the 4th to the 13th century AD. These letters from the Middle Ages, written in Latin, are presented with English translations and are organized by the women participating.

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History - Hosted by Brigham Young University, this site brings together links to primary source documents grouped by country or time period.

Europeana Collections: 1200-1299, 1300-1399, 1400-1499 - Browse by time period or search from the homepage in this portal that provides access to over 50 million digitized items – books, music, artworks and more from thousands of European archives, libraries and museums.

Hanover Historical Texts Collection: Medieval Europe or Early Modern Europe - Search from the homepage or browse by time period in this collection created by Hanover College.

Icelandic Saga Database - An online resource dedicated to publishing this large body of medieval Icelandic literature. Not all texts have English translations; look for the British flag.

The Paris Codex - Digital version of an ancient Maya hieroglyphic book.

Perseus Digital Library: Germanic Materials - From Tufts University, this collection contains translations in English as well as Old Norse and Old English.

Perseus Digital Library: Renaissance - From Tufts University, this collection contains texts and translations in English. Also contains some secondary sources.

World Digital Library: Europe: 8000 BCE-499 CE, Europe: 500-1499, North America: 8000 BCE-499 CE, North America: 500-1499  - View texts and artifacts along with a brief description of the item. Some sources are from later in history but are about something from this time period. Browse by time period or search from the home page.