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Huejotzingo Codex of 1531

Teaching

Students in most history classes expect to see images in their textbooks, at least as illustrations to liven up pages of text. They do not always look at those images, much less analyze them, historically. Our students think of themselves as visual experts because of the many film, television, and digital images they see each day. In my classroom, I use images to build bridges between their... Read More »

Regulation of Marriage and the Anti-Footbinding Society

Teaching

The tensions that evolve between traditional ideas and values and newly emerging ones are key to understanding a number of issues in world history, and never more so than when examining responses of Eastern states like Russia, Japan, and China to Western industrialization and incursions. Each of these societies faced serious dilemmas provoked by encounters with the West, and each structured... Read More »

Teaching The Crusade of Richard I

Teaching

I used the Crusade of Richard I to help my students understand how Christians and Muslims felt about each other and themselves as they competed for dominance in the Holy Land. My students learned that people who lived in the premodern world reacted to each other with many of the same emotions and attitudes we do today. The primary sources referenced in this module can be viewed in the Primary... Read More »

Thumbnail image of Codex Mendoza

Analyzing Images

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video historian Dana Leibsohn analyzes two paintings from 16th-century Spanish America: a map from the Codex Mendoza (circa 1543) that represents the founding of Tenochtitlan, the large imperial capital of the Aztecs, and a painting entitled “The... Read More »

Bevel-rimmed Bowl

Teaching

The main point in discussing bevel-rimmed bowls in college-level courses is that artifacts are as useful as texts in researching ancient societies. For the text-based historian, history begins with writing, and preliterate societies are by definition “pre-historical.” The first written texts recorded payments to individuals, payments that were probably given in BRBs, and the bowls tell us as... Read More »

Building Cortes's  fleet of brigantines by Duran Codex, 1521 image showing Indigenous people building boats for Hernan Cortes

Colonial Latin America

Review
This site provides a number of opportunities for students to analyze visual and written texts, and to think about the way historians interpret documents to write history.
Contract Signed with Japanese Mercenaries

Contract Signed with Japanese Mercenaries

Source

Specx sought to control the Company’s new recruits by binding Japanese mercenaries to draconian contracts that would ensure this subservience. He explained that all the new recruits had been placed “under an appropriate oath and articles that I put together and translated in the Japanese language and writing.” The contract itself is included here. It begins much as a standard VOC contract that... Read More »

Cortés Greets Xicotencatl in Mexican Manuscript

Source

A detail from a larger manuscript page in the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, this scene was created by an indigenous painter in central Mexico. Scenes from the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, now just fragments from a larger set of images, draw upon preconquest painting techniques and conventions. Like Malintzin herself, the Lienzo straddles a world of indigenous, preconquest practice and... Read More »

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