The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, historian Brian Platt analyzes two ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the Tokugawa or Edo period in Japan (1600 to 1867) created by the artist Utamaro in 1802. These prints, titled, "The Drunkard" and "Vulgarly called the Wanton"... Read More »
This small (5.5 inches high) terracotta sculpture was made in Greek southern Italy in the late fourth century BCE. It depicts two adolescent girls playing the game of "knucklebones" (astragaloi in Greek). The game was usually played like the modern game of "jacks": one threw the knucklebones in the air and attempted to catch as many as possible. They were also used like modern "dice." Each of... Read More »
This unusual bronze figurine of a female runner was possibly made in or near Sparta, Greece, between 520-500 BCE. Ancient Sparta was the only Greek city-state that provided girls with public schooling including physical education. Girls were praised for their swiftness and likened to prized racehorses in choral songs (called partheneia) sung by girls' choruses in Sparta and elsewhere. Spartan... Read More »
This is a print taken from Captain Charles Johnson's 1724 book, A General History of the Robberies and Murders Of the most notorious Pyrates, depicting a mock trial held by the pirate crew of Captain Thomas Anstis. Anstis was a pirate captain active in the Caribbean and the east coast of the American colonies in the early eighteenth century during the "Golden Age of Piracy." He served... Read More »
Calixto Mamaní was an Argentine artist from the city of Salta, in the north of the country. His work emphasized the influence of the Incas, the indigenous peoples who ruled over much of the Andes Mountain region before the Spaniards arrived. These masks likely provide an example of this theme in his work. Analyzing the significance of these pieces illustrates the endurance of the cultural... Read More »
With the Bastille being destroyed in the background, a member of the Third Estate breaks his shackles. Here, the clergy and nobility recoil in fear, thereby emphasizing the conflict between the estates during the French Revolution.
The greatest work produced during the Heian era was The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, lady-in-waiting to Empress Akiko. Considered the world’s first novel, Genji is written as an absorbing portrait of Heian court life, the splendor of its rituals, and aesthetic culture. The Tale of Genji has been, through the centuries, the subject of visual illustration and... Read More »