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World History Subject Guide (archived): Ancient world

Sources of film

Films on Demand
Streaming educational digital video. (Subscription resource.  Log-in required for off-campus access.)

You can browse a list of over 400 World History videos available and over 140 Ancient Civilizations videosClick on Humanities & Social Sciences under "View by Subject" to see the history subheadings. Or you can search by keyword or subject, etc.

Free sources of educational films

PBS Online-->History-->Ancient and Classical

History Channel-->video online-->Ancient History

How Stuff Works Videos-->History-->Ancient Civilizations (from the Discovery Channel)

Web resources, including primary sources

Featured resources

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
Links to online texts covering a wide range of ancient civilizations including Ancient Greece, the Near East, the Roman Empire. Organized geographically.  Searchable..

World Digital Library
Makes available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.  You can browse by time or place or search


Diotima: Women and Gender in the Ancient World

Women in World History: Primary SourcesBrowse or search more than 200 primary sources by region.  From the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Ancient Egypt

Digital Egypt for Universities from University College London

Egypt links from PBS

Eternal Egypt
Multimedia project from the Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CultNat) and IBM

Ancient Egypt from the British Museum

Ancient Egypt, including Life of Ancient Egyptians from the Egypt State Information Service


Ancient Mesopotamia: This History, Our History

Avalon Project at the Yale Law School:  Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy

Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, by the Foundation of the Hellenic World. Three volumes:  Asia Minor, Black Sea, and Constantinople

ETANA: Electronic Texts and Ancient Near East Archives
A guide to web resources relevant to the Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean world.

Eurodocs: Prehistoric and Ancient Europe
"Online Sources for European History"

Hanover Historical Texts Project"The Project's principal aim is to make primary texts readily available to students and faculty for use in history and humanities courses.

Islamic Heritage Project, from Harvard University, has digitized more than 600 primary-source "Islamic manuscripts, maps, and published texts."

Internet Sources for Classical Philology, Ancient History, Pre- and Early History, Byzantine Studies, Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology

Milestone Documents in World History
REF 909 M5985 and online

Propylaeym, Virtual Library Classical Studies
Links to digital collections on Egyptology, Ancient History, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Byzantine Studies, Classical Archaeology, Classical Philology, Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology and Pre- and Early History.

Timelines: Sources from History, from the British Library

Encyclopedias on the library

Companion to Women in the Ancient World
REF 4093 C738

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Civilizations
REF 930.03 C829e

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History
REF 903 B455 and online
(Organized by topic.  Use index for specific civilizations)

Great Lives from History. The Ancient World, Prehistory-476 C.E.
920.03 G798 and online

Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476 C.E.
930 G798 and online

World Encyclopedia of Archaeology
REF 930.103 W893 (5 volumes)

Oxford Companion to Archaeology
REF 930.103 Ox2

Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World
REF 938.003 Sa147e

Encyclopedia of Asian History
REF 950 En19

Cambridge Encyclopedia of China
REF 951.003 C144

Encyclopedia of India
REF 954.003 En195

Encyclopedia of African History
REF 960.03 En193



To find "Hollywood" versions

Film databases

Internet Movie Database

BFI Film & TV Database


To find fictional works about the subjects above, do an Advanced Search in the online catalog and add "fiction" as a keyword.  Put one of the headings above as a subject.  An example: keyword = fiction and subject = mayas.


Subscription resources.  Log-in required for off-campus access.

Browse ebooks on ancient history
in Castleton's ebook collection through EBSCO

or search the ebook collection or include keyword "Netlibrary" in your search in the VSC online catalog to limit to ebooks.

Finding books

Use the
Vermont State Colleges Online Catalog
to browse or search for books and more
in the holdings of the VSC libraries.

 Examples of subject headings

These links will take you into the VSC catalog. You can click to see items listed under these subject headings, or see the subheadings below.

Civilization, Ancient
Ancient, history
Europe Antiquities
Greece Antiquities
Peru Antiquities

Subscription resources.  Log-in required for off-campus access.

Browse ebooks on ancient history
in Castleton's ebook collection through EBSCO


Sample search strategy in the VSC catalog


GoogleBooks permits searching the full content of some books. Books in the public domain (not copyright protected) are available online.

Google Book Search

Featured resources

Featured resources

Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Ancient World
REF 930.03 En19 (4 volumes) (Organized by topic. Use the index for specific civilizations)

Civilizations of the Ancient Near East
REF 939.4 C499 (4 volumes)
Very comprehensive. Organized in Parts.  Look for your civilization in these Parts:

  • Environment
  • Social Institutions
  • Economy and Trade
  • Religion and Science

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (ebook)
An integrated view of the history of our global community with a focus on environmental and social issues.

Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec & Maya
"The Definitive Chronicle of the Ancient Peoples of Central America & Mexico - including the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, Mixtec, Toltec & Zapotec"
REF 972.00497 P541c

Cambridge Ancient History

Cambridge Ancient History--Plates
(Images for Cambridge Ancient History)
REF 913 B959c (5 volumes)

Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd edition
REF 913 C143 (12 volumes)

Click on the volume or part's title to view its table of contents and an overview of each chapter--CSC doesn't subscribe to the full-text online.  Come in to the library to read the full-text.

1. Egypt and Babylonia to 1580 B.C. (Click for full-text of the first edition of this volume)

Part 1: Prolegomena and Prehistory
Part 2: Early History of the Middle East

2. The Egyptian and Hittite empires to c. 1000 B.C.

Part 1: History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1800–1380 B.C.
Part 2: History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C.

3. The Assyrian empire

Part 1: The Prehistory of the Balkans; and the Middle East and the Aegean world, tenth to eighth centuries B.C.
Part 2:
The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries B.C.
Part 3: The Expansion of the Greek World, Eighth to Sixth Centuries B.C.

4. Persia, Greece and the Western Mediterranean C. 525 to 479 B.C.

5. Fifth Century B.C.

6. Fourth Century B.C.

7. The Hellenistic monarchies and the rise of Rome

Part 1: The Hellenistic World
Part 2: The Rise of Rome to 220 B.C.

8. Rome and the Mediterranean, 218-133 B.C.

9. The Last Age of the Roman Republic, 146–43 B.C.

10. The Augustan Empire, 44 B.C.-70 A.D.

11. The High Empire, A.D. 70–192

12. Crisis of Empire, 193-337 A.D.

Religion and mythology sources

Featured resource

Creation Myths of the World

Online reference book. To read online, click on "eBook Full-Text."  Browse the contents or index, then put a page number in the box at the bottom. To search within the book, click on the search icon on the right. 
(Subscription resource.  Log-in required for off-campus access.)

For browsing

For browsing purposes, see these areas in Reference or in the stacks:

930 History of the ancient world (to ca. 499)
931 History of ancient world China
932 History of ancient world Egypt
933 History of ancient world Palestine
934 History of ancient world India
935 History of ancient world Mesopotamia & Iranian Plateau
936 History of ancient world Europe north & west of Italy
937 History of ancient world Italy & adjacent territories
938 History of ancient world Greece

Reference books online

Also see the Reference sources tab on this guide for access to many more sources.

Subscription resources.  Log-in required for off-campus access.

Specialized encyclopedias



Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World
Oversize 930.02 Sm69
(Oversized books are upstairs just past the end of the railing, on your left toward the windows)

The Timetables of History
REF 902.02 G923t

New York Public Library Book of Chronologies
REF 902.02 W535n

Cassell's Chronology of World History
REF 902.02 W672c

TimeMap of World History

Subscription resources--log-in required for off-campus access:

Hutchinson Chronology
of World History

People's Chronology