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  • The Salvation Religions, 200 BCE to 900 CE x
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An Arab Merchant Visits TAng China  

Ibn Wahab

Ibn Wahab was an Arab merchant from Basra (Iraq) who sailed to China via the Indian Ocean around 872 CE. His travel account includes a description of his interview with the Chinese emperor. ... 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 Behistan Inscription  

Darius I

Darius I, the Great (522 – 486 B.C.E.) personified the Achaemenid title of “shahinshah,” or “king of kings.” To defend his status as shahinshah, Darius had a list of his accomplishments ... More

The Cloud Messenger  


Sometimes described as the Shakespeare of India, Kālidāsa mastered various literary genres in his lifetime and continued to thrive, even in Western translations, into modern times. He ... More

The Code of Manu  


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  


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  


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  


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

The Farmer’s Law  


The Farmer’s Law cannot be dated with certainty, nor is its exact authorship known. But internal evidence points to a date in the seventh or eighth century, probably right around 700. This ... More

From the Hanshu: Han Chinese Descriptions Of The Xiongnu  


The Chinese had to deal with nomadic neighbors on their northwestern frontier from an early date, and many of the patterns of that relationship were established, or at least explored, under ... More

The Gold Mines of Nubia  

Agatharcides of Cnidus

The societies and trade networks that flourished along the Red Sea (or “Erythraean Sea” as the Greeks called it) in antiquity were well documented by writers of many different cultures. ... More

Graffiti From The Walls of Pompeii  


This is a small sample of the array of painted, scratched, and scribbled graffiti archaeologists have discovered on the walls of the city of Pompeii, which was sealed in ash after the ... More

Haedong kosŭng chŏn, on Buddhism in Korea  


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

Han Shu (History Of The Former Han Dynasty)  

Ban Biao and Ban Gu

This dynastic history was a continuation of the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), originally compiled by Sima Qian (ca. 145–86 BCE), and it repeats many of the phrases and situations ... More

History of Rome  

Titus Livy

Titus Livy was born in the last century BCE (either 59 or 64 BCE) in northern Italy. Livy was a Roman patriot, and his history reflected his pride in Rome’s accomplishments. Unfortunately, ... More

Image of Draupadi and the Pandava, from the Dashavatara Temple, Deogarh, India  


This is an inscribed rendering of some of the major male and female characters of the Mahabharata. According to this legend, a king surrenders power to his blind brother and has five sons ... 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

Julius Caesar  


Plutarch (c. 46 – 120 CE) was the most important Greek writer of his age. He is best known for his Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans. In the Lives, he attempted to present moral lessons by ... More