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Resources for the Study of Western Civilization

lascaux.jpg (25763 bytes)The best approach to the study of western civilization is to obtain a textbook on the subject. There are dozens of excellent textbooks available in any college bookstore. In general, these texts all tell the same story -- the narrative -- in chronological fashion and so, they are all pretty much equal in terms of the material covered. There are subtle differences, however. Some texts focus on social history, others on intellectual history and yes, publishers are still printing texts which more or less follow the "Kings and Queens" version of history which, more often than not, leave out such things as ideas, social history and even people! This much said, no matter what text you consult, the coverage will never be as complete as you might prefer. Instead, textbook authors and editors try to present a general survey of western civilization. In this way you are presented with an overview of the subject rather than in-depth coverage. This, I fear, is in the nature of history and historical writing in itself. After all, for every paragraph in a typical textbook there may be a dozen (perhaps three dozen) scholarly works on the same subject. And no one can be said to "know it all." That is why historians are forced to specialize into ever smaller fields of expertise. This has its advantages as well as its disadvantages.

The Internet resources which follow are by no means exhaustive. Instead, they are intended to point you in specific directions that will aid your exploration into western civilization.

Extensive and well-conceived guide to Internet resources for the study of the ancient Near East. (Oriental Institute Research Archives, Chicago)
Ancient World Web Meta-List
Annotated meta list of resources dedicated to the ancient world. Excellent. (Julia Hayden)
Diotima: Women & Gender in the Ancient World
Outstanding interdisciplinary resource for anyone interested in patterns of gender around the ancient Mediterranean and as a forum for collaboration among instructors. (Ross Scaife and Suzanne Bonefas)
Exploring Ancient World Cultures
An online course supplement for students and teachers of the ancient and medieval world. Outstanding.
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
The third in a series of absolutely wonderful history resources dedicated to history students engaged in the study of western civilization, pre-history through late antiquity. (Paul Halsall)
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
A truly outstanding collection of primary sources in medieval history as well as links to Internet resources. (Paul Halsall)
Internet Modern History Sourcebook
Excellent collection of sources intended to serve the needs of teachers and students in college European or western civilization history course. (Paul Halsall)
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies
Comprehensive guide to electronic resources in medieval studies. (Georgetown)
Lectures in Medieval History
Lynn Harry Nelson's excellent series of more than fifty lectures
Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies
ORB is a cooperative effort of scholars to establish an online textbook source for medieval studies.
Voice of the Shuttle - History
Alan Liu's outstanding meta-list of links to history resources.
Worlds of Late Antiquity
A collection of materials relating to the culture of the Mediterranean world in late antiquity, c.200-700 C.E. (James J. O'Donnell)

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copyright 2000 Steven Kreis
Last Revised -- August 03, 2009
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