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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

“A Procession of Artisans at Istanbul”  

Evliya Çelebi

Born on the Golden Horn and raised in the Sultan’s palace in Istanbul, Çelebi traveled throughout Ottoman domains between 1640 and 1680. He published an account of his travels and ... More

Advice from a Royal Scribe to his Apprentice Middle Kingdom Egypt, Twelfth Dynasty  


The Papyrus Lansing is a letter of instruction from the royal scribe (and “chief overseer of the cattle of Amun-Re, King of Gods”) Nebmare-nakht to his apprentice Wenemdiamun. It seems to ... More

The Alchemy Of Happiness  

Abd al-Hamid, al-Ghazali

Born in 1058 to a family of spinners and sellers of wool in a small village in eastern Iran, Ghazali became one of the most prominent expounders of Islamic theology of his day. Traveling ... More

ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in August 1915  

C.E.W. Bean

In the aftermath of the Great War, the Allied nations compiled both regimental and general histories of the conflict. In these narratives, the experiences of the soldiers and their ... More

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

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 Battle of Thermopylae  


Herodotus (c. 484-c.425 B.C.E.) is generally recognized as the “Father of History.” Following the tradition of the Homeric epics, Herodotus sets out to chronicle the great and heroic deeds ... 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 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

“Criticisn of Imperialism,” Imperialism  

John A. Hobson

John Atkinson Hobson (1858–1940) grew up during an economic depression in England that ultimately shifted his intellectual interests from literature to economics. One of his major ... 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

The Epic of Gilgamesh  


The Epic of Gilgamesh is the greatest literary work from ancient Mesopotamia. Its roots extend back to the earliest literary traditions at the end of the third millennium BCE (writing in ... More