Part 2). After choosing your battle site, identify the primary classical or medieval historian (choose only one historian) associated with the event and discuss the reliability of his or her narrative and analysis. Include a short biography of this historian and their personal relationship to the event (was the author a witness to the events or relying on other material in his or her reconstruction). This will require consultation with a minimum of two modern academic secondary sources (monographs or scholarly articles, online tertiary sources are forbidden). In this exercise, please consult the primary source writing itself with an eye on identifying three critical passages tied to the battle site (battlefield or siege). Please explain why those passages, in your mind, best represents the primary source historian’s understanding of the event. Do your modern authorities generally agree or disagree with this historian’s perception of the event (here, include troop numbers, strategies, tactics, or motivations for battle or siege)? Finally, from your understanding of the author and the events he or she chronicled, what biases should a researcher be aware of when using this primary source to reconstruct military history?
Please use the following organization for the paper (use as section subheadings):
Here, introduce the battle or siege and its significance and the primary source historian to your reader. Include a short biography of the ancient, classical, or medieval historian (primary source) and their relationship to the event. Finish your one-paragraph introduction with a bolded thesis statement on the reliability of the source to the event.
Three Critical Passages:
Next, identify three critical passages from your primary source historian’s writings that best reconstruct the event. Use of block quotes is encouraged, followed by any modern analysis from required secondary sources (interpretations from modern historians). Finally, are there any issues with the primary source’s analysis and those of the modern historians? Do your modern authorities generally agree or disagree with this historian’s perception of the event (here, include troop numbers, strategies, tactics, or motivations for battle or siege)?
Reconstructing the Past: Primary Source Bias
Finally, conclude your short paper with a general discussion on the role of primary source analysis on reconstructing the past and some of the inherent pitfalls. Here, discuss the value of primary sources in reconstructing military history, as well as other tools historians can use use to validate (or invalidate) the analysis of the ancient, classical or medieval historian.
Paper Length and Citation and Multimedia Requirements:
Your Primary Source Assignment should be completed using a minimum of one primary source and two quality academic secondary sources in between 1,200 and 1,500 narrative words (minus citation and bibliography). Chicago-Turabian footnote or endnote citation is required (use of parenthetical citation will result in a one-letter grade deduction). This assignment will also include a minimum of one multimedia contributions (pictures of the battle site, associative memorials or commemorations). Please include a short caption tying in this multimedia asset to the paper.
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