Primary Source Analysis


Briefly summarize and analyze two primary sources, identifying their intended audience, purpose, context in which they were produced (what was happening at the time), and their overall historical significance (why it is important). Once you have analyzed the documents, discuss how they relate to each other. For example, do they reveal different perspectives or change over time?

The purpose of this is to go deep into a piece of material and engage with the historians’ craft of how to interpret pieces of the past. This is not a right/wrong type of paper. This is your interpretation based on what you know. The paper needs to have a strong thesis statement supported by quotes from the primary source with a conclusion that sums it up.  

The paper should be 2 – 3 pages, double spaced, size 12 font (Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman).

You compare/contrast two primary sources

Hunter-Gatherer and Agricultural Societies

Hunting and Warfare - Cave Paintings 

Çatal Hüyük City Plan 

Code of Hammurabi 


Herodotus: On the Kings of Sparta 

Accounts of the Hellenic Games

Plato: The Republic 



The Roman Way of Declaring War 

The 12 Tables 

Strabo: The Grandeur of Rome 


Late Antiquity and the Emergence of Islam

Sidonius Apollinaris: A Civilized Barbarian and Barbarian Roman 

The Prophet Muhammad's Last Sermon

The Qu'ran 1, 47 



Pope Gregory the Great: Succession to Tenant Holdings on Church Land

Æthelwulf, King of Wessex: Grant of a Tenth of Public Land 

Canute the Great: The Granting of Fiefs 


The Crusades

Gregory VII: Call for a Crusade [First Crusade]

Eugene III: Summons for a Crusade [Second Crusade] 

The Decline of Christian Power in the Holy Land

Richard the Lion-Hearted Conquers Cypress 


The Middle Ages

Gregory of Tours: The Harsh Treatment of Serfs and Slaves 

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale


The Renaissance and Discovery

Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince [excerpts] 

The Book of the Courtier [Excerpt]

The Life of Leonardo da Vinci 

Christopher Columbus: Extracts from Journal

Sir Francis Drake's Famous Voyage Around the World 

The Reformation

Martin Luther: 95 Theses 

John Calvin: Letter to the King [On the Clergy]

Letter of Thomas Cranmer on Henry VIII's Divorce 

The Wars of Religion & the Early Modern World

The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day 

Social Conditions in 17th Century France


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