What religious, cultural, or political views are represented?

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Nov 8, 2022


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Primary evidence is the basic building block of historical interpretation, written as a first-hand account by a participant or witness at the time of the recorded event. ‘History’ as we know it, can be understood as a construct built up by historians and other commentators. The shape and character of the construct will depend on the evidence from which it was derived, just as the nature of a building is a function of the materials used in its construction. It almost goes without saying, then, that historians must be expert interpreters of primary evidence.
The objective of this assignment is to select and evaluate a primary source drawn from the list of Primary Document(s) provided for each module of the course, copies of which are available in the Ways of the World textbook. (Note: Documents also available in Strayer’s Second Edition are noted with the document number in 2e).
For this assignment, you must select your primary document from the following list from the Fifth Edition of Strayer’s text:
-3.2 A Greek Goldsmith Depicts the Scythians
– 3.4 A Roman Depiction of the Sarmatians
– 7.4 A Moroccan Diplomat, Leo Africanus
– 7.5 A Korean World Map
– 8.1 Becoming a Scholar-Official
– 8.2 Scholar-Officials and the Emperor (doc 8.1 in 2e) – 8.3 Life in the Fields
– 8.4 City Life in Art
– 8.5 Family and Society, Yan Zhitui
– 9.1 Conquest by Muslim forces
– 9.2 Islam in the Urban Landscape, Prayer Hall Cordoba
– 9.3 Arabic Culture and the Christian Community, Paul Alvarus
– 9.4 Regulating Interfaith Interactions, Ibn Abdun
– 9.5 Depicting Social Interactions, Muslims and Christians
-9.6 Expulsion of Muslims from Christian Spain, Queen Isabella
– 10.1 Gregory of Tours, Conversion of Clovis (doc 10.1 in 2e)
– 10.2 Pope Gregory, Advice on Dealing with Pagans (doc 10.2 in 2e)
– 10.3 Pagan Art and Christian Texts, Lindisfarne Gospel
– 10.4 Germanic Law, Burgundian Code
– 10.5 Charlemagne’s Palace Chapel
– 11.2 Picturing Khubilai Khan (p. 528 2e)
– 11.3 Juvaini, Conquest of Bukhara
– 11.4 William of Rubruck, European View of Mongol Life
– 12.1 Portrait of Mehmed II (doc 12.1 in 2e)
– 12.3 Venetian Trade in the Middle East, Venetian Ambassador (doc 12.2 in 2e)
– 12.4 Greek and Renaissance Philosophers in Renaissance Art (doc 12.3 in 2e)
– 13.1 Memoirs of Emperor Jahangir (doc 13.2 in 2e)
– 13.2 Palace of an Ottoman Emperor – Selim III
– 13.5 The Temple of Heaven, Beijing
14.1 Cabrera, Multiracial Marriages (doc 14.4 in 2e)
– 14.2 Regulating Dress in Venice and Japan
– 14.3 Tea and Porcelain in Europe (doc 14.1 in 2e)
– 14.4 A View of Coffeehouses in the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Ali
– 14.5 Turkish Men at an Ottoman Coffee House (doc 14.3 in 2e)
– 15.1 Andean Christianity, La Virgen del Cerro (doc 15.3 in 2e)
– 15.2 Mayan Christianity, The Chilam Balam
– 15.3 Chinese Christianity, The Annunciation (doc 15.4 in 2e)
– 15.4 Chinese Rites Controversy, Pope Clement XI & Emperor Kangxi
– 15.5 Christian Art in the Mughal Empire, The Holy Family (doc 15.5 in 2e)
The objective of this assignment is to select and evaluate a primary source drawn from the Documents provided towards the end of each chapter in Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources. Important: Only the primary sources provided in the “Documents” section at the end of each chapter are appropriate for this assignment. For example, in the chapter on “Commerce and Culture, 500-1500” the source entitled “A Moroccan Diplomat in West Africa” would be suitable, but the main narrative section on “Silk Roads,” the “Second Thoughts” section, and/or the “Zooming In” section on the Arabian camel are not to be used for this particular assignment. Also, the document must be selected from the sections of the book that we are covering in this course, as included in the list provided above.
Beyond selecting an appropriate primary source, there is no simple formula for the task of analyzing this document because evidence comes in many forms. However, students should consider the following questions when writing their Document Analysis:
How ‘primary’ is the primary source? In other words, how close in time to the actual event was the source created?
· Who created the source? Why was the source created? Is it official or personal? Was it classified or public?
· Can the creator be taken at face value? In other words, should we believe what it says? · What is the meaning or significance of the evidence?
· What questions can we use this source to help answer? Or, to put it another way, what does the source tell us?
· What other primary or secondary sources are required to help interpret this one? Important: You will want to draw upon relevant secondary sources to help inform your analysis of the primary source, starting with the course textbook and relevant journal articles.)
As you craft your analysis, remember that evidence does not necessarily speak with a single voice. Rather, the impact of the evidence is often a function of the historian who handles it. One source can be interpreted in many different ways depending upon which questions the historian asks. This explains, in part, why no historical narrative is set in stone. It is always possible that another historian may come along and reinterpret the evidence entirely differently than his or her predecessors. Remember: do not use up valuable spacewith extended summary of the source’s content – focus instead on analysis and interpretation.
While the written primary sources provided for this assignment may vary in length from one page to about four or five pages, do not assume that shorter sources are ‘easier’ to interpret. Sometimes the less a document says, the more difficult it can be to interpret. As much care is need with the shorter sources as with the longer ones. Many of the primary documents on the list provided from the Fifth Edition of Stayer’s text are visual, such as a painting, poster, or cartoon. Analyze it a similar way to the written documents, considering such questions as: who created it, when, where, and why. What religious, cultural, or political views are represented? Does the artist have a distinct interpretation of the event portrayed? Be sure to read Strayer’s introduction to the document and use referenced material from Strayer’s text to provide historical context.
Once you have selected your document, write a 4-page essay that addresses the questions listed above. Whenever possible, try to relate your selected document to other materials you have read or viewed as part of your course readings. Again for this assignment, this course requires the use of Chicago Style citations. Enclose any passages you cite in quotation marks (if quoted word-for- word) and indicate the source of the reference (author’s name, title, and the exact page number of the material you are quoting) in a footnote. For convenience, use the References-Insert Footnote tab for Microsoft Word. Please do not use brackets or endnotes. You will find more information in the Chicago Style Citation Guide link on the course site.
Present your essay in typed, 12-point font, double-spaced format. Avoid exceeding the specified length.
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