Analysis: “The Discovery of Brazil,” by Pero Vas de Caminha

The following is an analysis of a letter written to the king of Portugal by Pero Vas de Caminha, relating the ‘discovery’ of Brazil.  The majority of the full text of the letter this is based on can be found here, though the book isn’t in the public domain, so two pages of it areContinue reading “Analysis: “The Discovery of Brazil,” by Pero Vas de Caminha”

Faith and Unity: The ‘Ummah’ as the New Kinship Group

The Quran and prayer beads. In approximately 610 CE, a man named Muhammad ibn Abdallah went to a cave in the hills above Mecca to meditate, as he was accustomed to do. There, he had a powerful religious experience and began reciting verses of what would become known as the Quran, the holy book ofContinue reading “Faith and Unity: The ‘Ummah’ as the New Kinship Group”

The Human Condition, Ch. 5 “Action”, Analysis

If you’ve never heard of Hannah Arendt, well, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.  I’d never heard of her and her writing is very, very dense.  Quite a few weeks ago I was given a writing assignment, to write an analysis of a piece of writing.  We had a set of options, and I thoughtContinue reading “The Human Condition, Ch. 5 “Action”, Analysis”

The Mortality of Man, As Expressed in the Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh

(Orpheus in the Greek underworld.  On the left, Hades and Persephone are seated on their thrones.  Orpheus is attempting to win his wife’s freedom from the underworld through his beautiful music.) The final paper that I wrote for ‘World Civilizations: Pre-History to 1500’ dealt with the concept of man’s mortality in the Odyssey and TheContinue reading “The Mortality of Man, As Expressed in the Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh”

The Power of Religious Texts in History

This is something I wrote for a World Civilizations: Pre-History to 1500 (101) class.  The task was to pick a piece of literature, from religious texts to epic poems to economic records found at archaeological sites, and then describe how that work affected history.  I suppose you could say I took the easy way outContinue reading “The Power of Religious Texts in History”