The Epic of Gilgamesh

PRIMARY SOURCE The Epic of Gilgamesh QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS • What lines of the passage reveal how Gilgamesh feels about the death of Enkidu? Why does he feel that way? • What does this passage tell us about human relationships and human nature during this period? What does it tell us about rulers and their relationship with their gods? PRIMARY SOURCE Vedic Hymns to the Chariot Race of the Gods QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS .What parts of the hymn give clues about how the charioteers’ horses looked and were cared for? .How do they images relating rain-filled clouds to cows reflect the pastoral roots of the Vedic nomads? . What kinds of gods were the Maruts,and what was they heavenly job when racing on horses chariots? PRIMARY SOURCE Sima Qian on the Ruler’s Mandate from Heaven to Rule QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS • What role did morality play in Sima Qian’s description of the transfer of the Xia ruler’s mandate from heaven to the Shang dynasty? • How do the references to feuding illustrate the type of society that China had at this time? PRIMARY SOURCE The Oracle Bone QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS • What political or military decision do you think King Wu Ding might have made in response to the “alarming news”? • Why did Shang kings rely on oracle bones? PRIMARY SOURCE HIDE Linear A and B—Writing in the Early Mediterranean Worlds QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS • Notice that all the people identified in this passage are going to plant wheat. How does this underscore the blending of agriculture with war making in the aggressive Mycenaean society? • What does this document suggest is the function of writing in these societies?

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