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The Humanities, Volume I 7e

ISBN-13: 9780618417766 / ISBN-10: 0618417761

Mary Ann Frese Witt, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Charlotte Vestal Brown, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Roberta Ann Dunbar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Frank Tirro, Yale University
Ronald G. Witt, Duke University
Published by Cengage Learning, ©2005
Available Now

This introductory text presents an overview of the liberal arts--literature, art, music, philosophy, and history--with a particular emphasis on literature. The unique selection of works from each culture provides students with a global understanding of the humanities. Several pedagogical features of the Seventh Edition, such as chapter objectives, key terms, art images, and summary questions, help students understand the major concepts of the text. Each volume begins with a "Chronicle of Events" that provides a timetable of key events in world history. "Continuities" sections focus on the lasting contributions of each society.


  • Non-Western coverage includes a section on Japan in Volume I; Western material has been scaled back to provide balanced coverage.
  • A special introduction to River-Valley Civilizations helps students see the connections between global societies.

Defining the Humanities and Cultural Roots for the Twenty-First Century
I. Earliest Civilizations
1. Mesopotamia
The City-State Culture
Sumerian Architecture and Art
Sumerian Mythology, Religion, and Worship
Sumerian Music
Daily Lives: A Day in School
Literacy and Literature in Mesopotamia
The Mesopotamian Empire
Reading Selections: From The Epic of Gilgamesh. From The Hammurabi Code.
2. Egypt and the Kingdom of Kush
The First and Second Dynasties (3100-2686 B.C.)
The Old Kingdom (2686-2180 B.C.)
The Middle Kingdom (2140-1786 B.C.)
The New Kingdom (1570-1085 B.C.)
Daily Lives: Schools and Scribes
The Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period (1085-332 B.C.)
The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 B.C.)
Egyptian Music
Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush
Reading Selections: The Instruction of Ptah-hotep. From the Book of the Dead. Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton), The Great Hymn to the Aten. Egyptian Love Poetry.
II. The Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian Roots
3. Early Greece
Hellenism: The Rise of Greek Culture
Greek Religion and Mythology
Homer and the Epic
The Lyric
The Archaic Period: Architecture and Sculpture
Reading Selections: Homer, from the Iliad; From the Odyssey. Sappho, Selected Lyric Poems and Fragments.
4. Classical Greece: Politics, Art, Drama
Politics and Life in Ancient Athens
The Classical Period: Architecture and Sculpture
From Classical to Hellenistic Sculpture
Classical Greek Drama
Daily Lives: Going to the Theater in Ancient Athens
Greek Comedy
Reading Selections: Thucydides, Pericles'' Funeral Oration. Sophocles, Oedipus Rex. Euripides, The Women of Troy.
5. Classical Greece: Philosophy and Ethical Thought
The Pre-Socratics
Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)
Plato (427? -347 B.C.)
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
Reading Selections: Heraclitus of Ephesus, Fragments. Plato, The Allegory of the Cave; The Death of Socrates. Aristotle, from the Politics; The High-Minded Man; From the Poetics.
6. The Culture of Rome
Hellenistic and Roman History and Thought
Daily Lives: The Shrewd Landowner
Roman Art and Architecture
Roman Literature
Reading Selections: Cicero, from On the Laws. Ovid, from the Metamorphoses. Virgil, from the Aeneid. Horace, My Slave is Free to Speak Up for Himself. Juvenal, Satire III: On Leaving Rome. Lucretius, from the Triumph Song of Death. Marcus Aurelius, from the Meditations.
7. Judaism and Early Christianity
The Ancient Hebrews and the Bible
The Prophets and the Fall of Israel
Early Christianity
The End of Antiquity
The Barbarian Influence in the Western Roman Empire
Early Christian Music: Gregorian Chant
Daily Lives: Life in an Early Medieval Monastery
Reading Selections: Genesis: The Creation; The Fall. Exodus: The Ten Commandments. Judges: The Song of Deborah. Psalms: Psalm 8. The Prophets: Amos. From the Song of Solomon. The Gospel According to Luke: The Magnificat. The Gospel According to Matthew: The Sermon on the Mount. The Apostle Paul: From the Letter to the Ephesians; From the First Letter to the Corinthians. Augustine, from the Confessions.
III. Medieval Cultures
8. The Byzantine and the Islamic Empires
The Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium
The Threat of Islam and Separation from the West
Collapse of the Byzantine Empire (1261-1453)
Byzantium as a Transmitter of Ancient Greek Culture to the West
The Islamic Empire
Daily Lives: The Quran on Women
Reading Selections: From the Quran. Sufi Poetry. Ibn Zaydun, Poem to Walladah; Four Poems Addressed to Ibn Zaydun. From The Thousand and One Nights.
9. Medieval Europe: Culture and the Cathedral
Medieval Revivals
Daily Lives: Hildegard of Bingen: An Exceptional Medieval Woman
Medieval Art and the Church: The Gothic Cathedral
Music and Drama in the Cathedral
Reading Selections: William of Rubruck, Letter from Mongolia. Marco Polo, from the Travels of Marco Polo. The Play of Daniel.
10. Divine and Human Love in Medieval Europe
The Adoration of the Virgin Mary
Representations of the Virgin Mary
The Literature and Music of Courtly Love
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Chaucer (c. 1342-1400) and the Comedy of Love
Polyphonic Music
Reading Selections: From The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. Bernart de Ventadorn, Be m''an perdut. Quis Dabit Capiti. The Countess of Die, Selected Lyrics. Dante Alighieri, from the Divine Comedy. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Miller''s Tale.
IV. The Western African Cultural Root
11. African Backgrounds
Images of Africa in the West
Africa and America
Stages in African History
Reading Selections: The Culture of Benin: From A Short History of Benin; From Benin Oral Literature. European Accounts of Benin: Ruy de Pina, from the Chronicle of John II. Willem Bosman, from New and Accurate Description of the Coast of Guinea.
12. West African Languages and Literature: The Oral Tradition and Its Legacy
Written Literature in Africa
Oral Literature
African Myths and Religions: Some Generalizations
Tales (Hausa)
Daily Lives: Language, Learning, and Performance
Reading Selections: The Epic: From Sundiata. Myths: Two Yoruba Myths of Creation; Myths on the Separation of Man from God; Myths on the Origin of Death. Tales and Proverbs: A Labarai Tale; Tatsuniyoyi Tales; Yoruba Proverbs. Poetry: Oriki--Yoruba Praise Poems; Iwi--The Poetry of Yoruba Masqueraders. Fulani Poetry. Ga Poetry.
13. Visual and Musical Arts of West Africa
Visual Arts
African Music
African Arts in Festival: The Efe/Gelede of the Western Yoruba
V. The Asian Cultural Root
14. An Introduction to the Civilization of India
India''s Early History
Daily Lives: Manu the Lawgiver
Buddhism and Islam
The Village
Indian Literature
Art and Architecture
Music and Dance
Reading Selections: From the Bhagavad Gita. From the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana. The Buddha''s Sermon in the Deer Park. From The Bodhisattva.
15. An Introduction to the Civilizations of China and Japan
Daily Lives: Rites of Ancestor Worship
China from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 221
Religion and Philosophical Thought
China from 221 B.C. to A.D. 221
Buddhism and the Age of Dispersal (220-586)
China from 581 to 1300
Science and Technology
Foreign Trade
Why Not China? Why Europe?
Chinese Poetry
Art and Architecture
Japan: Early Civilization
Late Bronze Age
The Yamato Court (Fourth Through Seventh Centuries A.D.)
The High Culture of the Nara Period (710-794)
The Heian Court (794-1192)
The Rise of Medieval Society
Japan and the West
Reading Selections: Confucius, From the Analecta (Commentaries and Sayings). Lao Zi, Dao De Jing (Tao-te Ching). Gou Xiang, Commentary on the Chuang Tzu. Zong Bing, Introduction to Landscape Painting. A Commentary on Buddhism by Mou Tzu. Ban Jieyu (Pan Chieh-Yü), Poem in Rhyme--Prose Form; Song of Regret. Poets of the Tang Dynasty: Wang Wei and Li Bo, Poems from the Manyôshû. Ono no Komachi, Poems. The Tale of the Heike. Lady Sarashina, As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams. Kan''ami, Sotoba Komachi.
Mary Ann Frese Witt

Charlotte Vestal Brown

Roberta Ann Dunbar

Frank Tirro

Ronald G. Witt