Internet Ancient History Sourcebook


The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook has expanded greatly since its creation, and now contains hundred of local files as well as links to source texts throughout the net.

  • See Introduction for an explanation of the Sourcebook’s goals.
  • See the Help! page for all the help on research I can offer.
    Although I am more than happy to receive notes if you have comments on this web site, I cannot answer specific research enquiries [and – for students – I cannot, or rather will not, do your homework.]

The Ancient History Sourcebook works as follows:

  • This Main Index page [this page] shows all sections and sub sections. These have also been regularized in a consistent hierarchy. This should allow rapid review of where texts are.
  • To access the sub-section pages, simply browse the sections below and select the highlighted (white text with blue background) section title on the left.
  • In addition there are two navigation bars on the left of each page for every sub-section
    • The top – and smaller – navigation bar directs you to the other main parts of the Sourcebook – this overall Index page [clicking IAHS logo will also take you there if you ever get lost]; the Full Texts page; the Legal Texts page: the Search page; and a new HELP! page, which you should consult if you get lost, or need research assistance.
    • The lower – and larger – navigation bar will take you directly to any of the sub-sections from any of the other sub-sections, each indicated by a short title.
    • For materials  added since July 1998 see the New Additions page.

Additional Study/Research Aids

In addition to the above structure, there are a series of pages to help teacher and students.

Subjects covered by the source texts in each Section.


Studying Ancient History

  • Introduction: Using Primary Sources
  • Nature of Historiography
  • Other Sources of Information on Ancient History
    • General Guides to Net Texts [link to texts at other sites.]
    • General E-text Projects [sites with texts online.]
    • Egypt/ANE
    • Greece
    • Rome
    • Religion
    • Philosophy
  • Adding More Texts
  • Other Ancient World Resource Projects
  • Human Origins
  • Archeology
  • Hunter-Gathering Societies
  • The Beginnings of Agricultural Societies
    • Modern Perspectives on the Agricultural Revolution
    • Origins of Patriarchy?

The Ancient Near East

Mesopotamia

  • Ancient Near East
  • Sumeria (c. 3100-c. 2000 BCE)
    • The Epic of Gilgamesh
    • Sumerian Language
    • Art
    • Connections with India
  • Akkadia (c.2350-2200 BCE)
  • Babylonia (c.2000-1600 BCE)
    • Code of Hammarabi
    • Cities
    • Creation Myths
    • Religion
  • Kassites and Hittites (c.1600-717 BCE)
    • Kassites
    • Hittites
    • Hittite Texts
    • Material Culture
  • Assyria (c.1350- 612 BCE)
  • Chaldea/Neo-Babylonia (612-539 BCE)
  • Syrian Cities: Ebla, Ugarit, Emar
  • Phoenicia 950 BCE on
  • Carthage: The Punic Empire
  • ANE Arts and Architecture
  • ANE Mathematics and Astronomy
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Modern Perspectives on Mesopotamia
  • Common Issues: Mesopotamian/Egyptian/Hebrew/Greek History
    • Centuries of Darkness?

Egypt

  • General
    • Maps
    • Chronologies
    • Modern Egyptology
  • The Old Kingdom (2705-2213 BCE) [Dynasties 3-8]
  • The Middle Kingdom (1991-1668 BCE) [Dynasties 12-13]
  • The New Kingdom (1570-1070 BCE) [Dynasties 18-20]
  • Akhnaten [Amenhotep IV](r. 1363-1347 BCE)
  • Post Imperial Egypt (1070-332 BCE) [Dynasties 21-31]
  • Religion
    • Origin Myths
    • The Memphite Theology
    • Gods and Goddesses
    • Isis and Osiris
    • Death and Resurrection
  • Art and Architecture
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Everyday Life
  • Mathematics
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Nubia
  • Libya and Western North Africa
  • Modern Perspectives on Egypt
    • Black Athena Debate

Persia

  • General
  • The Persian State: Acheamenids (560-330 BCE)
  • The Persian State: Parthia and Arcsacids (247 BCE-226 CE)
  • The Persian State: Sassanids (224-636 CE)
  • Persian Religions
  • Art and Architecture
  • Modern Perspectives on Ancient Iran

Israel

  • People of Israel
  • Pre-Israelite Canaan/Palestine/Syria
  • The Bible as a Source
    • The Documentary Hypothesis
  • Ethnogenesis
    • Later Stories
  • Moses and Monotheism
  • Conquest of the Land (1250-1000 BCE?)
    • The Judges (c.1200-1050 BCE)
  • The National Monarchy (c.1020-586 BCE)
    • David (1000-961 BCE)
    • Saul (c.1020-1000 BCE), 1 Samuel 8
    • Solomon (961-922 BCE)
    • Israel and Judah (922-586 BCE)
  • The Exile (587-538 BCE)
  • The Prophets (750-550 BCE)
  • Mythological Foundations
    • Creation
    • The Origin of Language
    • The Problem of Evil
    • The Problem of Life
    • Sex
  • Hellenistic Judaisms: Diasporas
    • The Macabbees and After
    • Jews in the Diaspora
    • Conflict with Rome
  • Hellenistic Judaism: Religious Development
    • The Emergence of Judaism
      • The Invention of the Synagogue
      • Samaritans
    • Editing of the Bible
    • The Septuagint (?made under Ptolemy II r. 283-246 BCE)
    • Philo Judaeus (c.30 BCE-45 CE):
    • Pharisees
    • Sadducees
    • Zealots
    • Essenes
    • The Qumran Sect
      • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Proselytism
  • Rabbinic Judaism
    • The Talmud
  • Gender and Judaism
  • Modern Perspectives on Ancient Israel

Greek Civilizations

Greece

  • General
  • Greece: Major Historians: Complete Texts
    • Herodotus (c.490-c.425 BCE)
    • Thucydides (c.460/455-c.399 BCE)
    • Xenophon (c.428-c.354 BCE)
    • Aristotle (384-323 BCE)
    • Plutarch (c.46-c.120 CE)
    • Pausanias (fl.c.160 CE)
  • Crete
  • Mycenae
  • Archaic Greece
    • Homer (c.8th Cent. BCE)
    • Hesiod (c.700 BCE)
    • Later Historians
    • Greek Colonization
  • The Persian Wars (449-479 BCE)
  • The Rise of the Polis
  • The Age of Tyranny
  • Athenian Democracy
  • Sparta
  • The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) and After
  • The Fourth Century: Competing Hegemonies
  • Philip II of Macedon (r. 339-336 BCE)
  • Religion and Myth
    • The Olympian Religion
    • Chthonic and Mystery Cults
    • Greek Conceptions of Death and Immortality
  • Philosophy
    • Pre-Socratics
      • Materialists
      • Pythagoreans
      • Eleatic School
      • Sophists
      • Atomists
    • Socrates (469-399 BCE)
    • Plato (427-347 BCE)
    • Aristotle (384-323 BCE)
  • Literature
  • Literature: Theatre
    • Theatre Practice
    • Drama Theory
    • Aeschylus (525-456 BCE)
    • Sophocles (496-405/6 BCE)
    • Euripides (c.485-406 BCE)
    • Aristophanes (c.445-c.385 BCE)
    • Menander (342/1-293/89 BCE)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Education
  • Economic Life
  • Slavery
  • Greek Law
  • Everyday Life
  • Gender and Sexuality
    • Women:
    • Homosexuality:
  • Modern Perspectives on Ancient Greece
    • Homer and War
    • Greece and Anthropology
    • Slavery

The Hellenistic World

  • General
  • Alexander (356-323 BCE)
  • The Hellenistic States
    • Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BCE)
    • Seleucid Empire (323-63 BCE)
    • Advent of Rome
  • Art and Architecture
  • Literature
    • Idyll
    • Novels
    • Biography
  • Philosophy
    • Cynics
    • Epicureans
    • Stoics
    • Skeptics
  • Religion
  • Science and Medicine
    • Critical Thought
    • Theoretical Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medicine
    • Engineering
    • Travel: Geography
  • Modern Perspectives on Hellenistic Greece

Rome

  • General
  • Rome: Major Historians: Complete Texts
  • Etruscans
  • Roman Foundations
  • The Growth of Republican Institutions
  • The War with Carthage
  • Imperial Expansion under the Republic
  • Civil Wars and Revolution
    • Cicero (105-43 BCE)
  • The Principate to 192 CE
    • Augustus
    • The Julio-Claudian Dynasty 14-68 CE
    • 69 CE: Year of Three Emperors
    • The Flavian Emperors 69-96 CE
    • The Adoptive Emperors 96-192 CE
  • Roman Law
  • The Army
  • The Empire and Provinces
    • Rome: As Imperial Capital
    • The Empire as a Unity
    • Africa
    • Egypt
    • Syria/Judea
    • Asia
    • Asia Minor
    • Europe
    • Britain
  • Later Empire (after 192 CE)
    • Elagabulus (r.218-222 CE)
  • Literature
  • Art and Architecture
  • Education
  • Economic Life
    • Life of the Upper Classes
    • Trade
    • Counting
  • Slavery
  • Everyday Life
    • Food
    • Sport and Games
    • Names
    • Language
    • Technology
    • Pompeii
  • Religion
  • Gender and Sexuality
    • Women
    • Homosexuality
  • Modern Perspectives on Ancient Rome
  • Late Antiquity
  • Military Revolution and Government
  • The End of the Roman Empire in the West
  • Late Ancient Philosophy
    • Roman Stoicism
    • Neoplatonism
  • Roman Mystery Religions
    • Demeter and Eleusis
    • Cybele
    • Isis
    • Mithras
  • End of Paganism
  • Modern Perspectives on the End of Antiquity
    • Catastrophe?
    • Continuity?
  • Christian Origins
  • Source Problems
    • The New Testament
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • Gnostic Texts
    • The Nag Hammadi Library
  • Jesus of Nazareth (c.4 BCE-c.30 CE)
    • Context
    • Teaching
    • Death
    • Historical Evidence
  • Early Church: First Century
    • The Earliest Christians
    • Paul of Tarsus (d.c.65 CE) and the Pauline Churches
      • Missionary Activity
      • Theology
  • Early Church: 2nd-3rd Centuries
    • Persecution and Survival
    • Challenge to Social and Political Norms of Antiquity
    • Church Organization
  • The Emergence of Theologies
    • Early Varieties
    • Gnosticism
    • “Orthodoxy”
  • Early Christian Art
  • The “Triumph” of the Church
  • Modern Perspectives on Early Christianity

Introduction

The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is a companion to the Internet Medieval Sourcebook and the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Medieval Sourcebook is both a classroom resource and the largest collection of online medieval texts. The Ancient and Modern Sourcebooks have a different role: since there are already ample online repositories of texts for these periods, the goal here is to provide and organize texts for use in classroom situations. Links to the larger online collections are provided for those who want to explore further. The distinctive feature of the Sourcebooks’ layout remains here – the avoidance of images and multiple “clicking” to find texts. Unlike the Medieval and Modern History Sourcebooks, this section of the project did not involve much scanning of new material to begin with. At this stage, however, an increasing number of new etexts are available at this site. The Ancient History Sourcebook also includes links to visual and aural material, since art and archeology are far more important for the periods in question than for later history. The emphasis remains on access to primary source texts for educational purposes.

This site focuses on online texts, which, for the most part, means public domain texts translated more than 75 years ago. In many cases it is these older translations which are used in commercially available sourcebooks. But note that, for classroom use,  in some cases the more modern translations are superior from a pedagogic viewpoint: this is less the case with historiography than with literature. In other words, use online resources well, but don’t get carried away!

Note: Although I am more than happy to receive notes if you have comments on this web site, I cannot answer specific research enquiries [and – for students – I cannot, or rather will not, do your homework!] If you have have relevant e-texts or translations to contribute, please do contact me.