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“A Jewish Palestine”  

Henry Sacher

In this excerpt from an article in The Atlantic Monthly (July 1919), the British Zionist Harry Sacher (1882–1971) explains to an American audience why the issue of a Jewish homeland is such ... More

The Arab Refugee Problem  

Abba Ebhan

Abba Eban (1915–2002) was an Israeli diplomat who served as Minister of Education and Culture (1960–1963), Deputy Prime Minister (1963–1966), and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1966–1974). ... More

Babylonian Poem of the Righteous Sufferer  


Composed in Akkadian and consisting of 480 lines distributed over four tablets, this poem is a protest against one man’s undeserved suffering. The author is tormented but cannot determine ... More

Bamiyan Buddhas, Afghanistan  


A few months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in the spring of 2001, Taliban officials oversaw a series of explosions in the Bamiyan Valley, which deliberately detonated priceless ... More

The Chachnamah  


Composed in Arabic and translated into Persian in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Chachnama details the Arab conquest of the Sind (a province corresponding to northwest India and ... More

The Clash of Civilizations  

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington (1927–2008) was an influential political scientist who taught for most of his career at Harvard University. He was the author of numerous books and articles on politics ... More

The Complete History  

Ibn al-Athir

Ibn al-Athir was a Muslim scholar whose most important work was al-Kamil fi at-tarikh (“The Complete History”), a history of the world. Born in Jazirat in 1160, he lived most of his life in ... More


Abd al-Hamid al-Ghazali

Originally from Persia (Iran), Abd al-Hamid al- Ghazali (1058-1111 CE) was an educated scholar living and working in Baghdad, the cosmopolitan center of the Muslim world at that time. ... More

Cosmas Indicopleustes (Cosmas The India-Voyager), Christian Topography  


This remarkable account of a merchant’s travels throughout Eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India resulted from the singular obsession of a monk in retirement. Determined to prove ... More

The Cyrus Cylinder  

Cyrus the Great

Founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, Cyrus (Kurosh) the Great rose to the throne of a small kingdom in 559 BCE; by the time of his death in 529, he had brought virtually the entire ... More

Documents Related To The Iconoclasm Controversy  


The Byzantine Empire was racked by a series of religious disputes that pulled in emperors as well as priests. One of the most significant of these was an ongoing difference of opinion ... More

Excerpts From The Qur’An, Sura 2, The Cow  


The name of the most holy book of Islam, the Qur’an, means “the recital.” It contains, according to Islamic theology, the direct words of God (Allah), as told to his prophet Muhammad ... More


Osama bin Laden

In 1992, al-Qaeda (“the base”) under the leadership of Osama bin Laden (1957–2011) had emerged as a significant terrorist organization operating on an international scale. Bin Laden, the ... More

The Great Hymn to the Aten  

King Akhenaten

This hymn to the Egyptian sun god Aten has been attributed to King Akhenaten (“the devoted adherent of Aten”), the Pharaoh formerly known as Amenhotep IV. While Akhenaten’s experiment in ... More

Imperial Edict of the Rose Garden  

Ottoman government

With a change of Ottoman sultans in 1839, the government issued the Rose Garden Edict, the first of three reform edicts which are collectively known as the Tanzimat (reorganizations). With ... More

The Jewish Wars  


Not all the subjects of the Roman Empire were happy with its rule, despite the peace and prosperity of the Pax Romana. The Jews, whose exclusive monotheism prevented them from participating ... More

1 Maccabees  


Just before his death in Babylon in June 323 BCE, Alexander the Great was the unrivalled conqueror of an enormous portion of the known world, counting modern Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, ... More

The Martyrdom of Perpetua, a Christian Woman in Roman North Africa  


A fascinating instance of a woman’s empowerment in the Classical World is that of Vibia Perpetua, who was executed for her beliefs in 202 or 203 CE in Carthage in Roman North Africa. Very ... More


Halidé Edib Adivar

Halidé Edib Adivar (1884–1964) was a Turkish feminist and writer, best known for novels focusing on the status of Turkish women. Born in Constantinople (Istanbul), she was connected by ... More

Memoirs Of Usama Ibn Mundiqh  

Usama Ibn Mundiqh

A scholar, a gentleman, and a warrior, Usama (1095–1187) had ample opportunity to meet Crusader forces in person on the battlefield and in civilian life. After a distinguished military ... More