How was writing used by states and rulers to display their power and authority?


The final assignment for this module is a 3,000-word commentary portfolio. Choose one of the topics listed below and select three ancient written sources of evidence which relate to your chosen topic. Your task for the commentary portfolio is to discuss and comment upon how each of your sources helps us to understand your chosen topic better.

A commentary portfolio:

A commentary is a thorough examination of a source of evidence. You must discuss its date, location, author (if known), contents and historical significance. If it is an inscription you must also discuss its material (stone, wood, metal), dimensions, condition and context.

For each of your three sources, provide the text of the source both in the original language and in a good English translation. If you choose a source with a long text, select a short passage from it (5 to 10 lines) which most closely relates to your topic. Your translation need not be your own, but be sure to acknowledge the translator and/or editor with a reference. Deduct these three extracts and translations from your word count (but do count any other quotations you make in your commentary, whether from these or other texts.)

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