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Bamiyan Buddhas, Afghanistan  

Anonymous

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 Code of Manu  

Anonymous

The Code of Manu deals with many different features of Hindu life, such as the proper behavior of different castes and methods for ritual purification. The “Manu” referred to in the title ... More

Constantine the Great  

Eusebius

Constantine the Great (272–337 BCE) became Roman emperor in 306; by 312 he had defeated his most powerful rival for power. Secure in his political power, Constantine quickly turned to ... More

Copper Head of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Vietnam  

Anonymous

This head, crafted from copper alloy, is all that remains of an impressive image found in central Vietnam. It depicts the Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of Buddhist compassion, and the ... More

The Disposition of Error  

Mou Tzu

When Buddhism reached China it encountered an already established civilization with deeply rooted literary and intellectual traditions. In addition, the scholarly elite of China was ... More

Documents Related To The Iconoclasm Controversy  

Anonymous

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  

Anonymous

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

Haedong kosŭng chŏn, on Buddhism in Korea  

Anonymous

The Lives of Eminent Korean Monks is a compilation of biographies of Buddhist monks from the Three Kingdoms period of Korean history (first century BCE through the tenth century CE). It ... More

The Jewish Wars  

Josephus

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

The Lady of the Jewel Necklace  

Harsha Vardhana

Harsha Vardhana, one of the better known monarchs of India, controlled a wide swath of territory in the northern subcontinent between 606 and 647 CE. Harsha was visited during his reign by ... More

Limestone Panel From A Mayan Temple, Palenque  

Anonymous

This panel from a temple in the Mayan city of Palenque contains glyphs (forming a caption) and two figures. A captive kneels before a standing warrior who holds a flint spear and wears a ... More

The Lotus Sutra  

Anonymous

Buddhism had begun to spread widely within India after the conversion of Asoka in the third century BCE, and his promotion of the religion as part of a syncretic (a combination of elements ... More

1 Maccabees  

Anonymous

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  

Anonymous

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

Memorial on the Burning of Books, From The Shiji  

Li Si

Virtually no records have survived from the period between the unification of China in 221 BCE and the collapse of the Qin Empire 15 years later. Accordingly, historians are forced to rely ... More

The Murder of the Philosopher Hypatia, Alexandria, Egypt  

Socrates

Born around 360 CE and instructed by her father, Theon, a mathematician and the last librarian of the famous Library of Alexandria, Hypatia directed the Platonic school in the city, ... More

The New Testament  

Anonymous

The eastern Mediterranean around the beginning of the first century CE was a world of religious ferment. In addition to the civic and emerging imperial cults of the ruling Roman Empire, ... More

On Icons  

John of Damascus

John of Damascus, d. 754, wrote in defense of images during the first stage of the iconoclast controversy (726-787) in the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines were torn apart by the dispute ... More

The Pact of Umar  

Anonymous

Islam began, on the model of Judaism (from which it in part derived), as a faith for a particular people, the Arabs, despite its conception of Allah as the sole god of the universe. It ... More

The Platform Scripture of The Sixth Patriarch  

Hui-neng

This source represents an alternative path that Chinese Buddhists took in trying to establish the compatibility of their faith with the existing body of Chinese literature and culture. ... More

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