Who is the author of the source?

Greg, let me know which number you choose for primary source so i can provide the class material for you.

Select ONE primary source from the following options: 1) The crusaders at Mainz, Hallo, pp. 124-127/Blackboard 2) Forced disputation at Barcelona, Hallo, pp. 136-139/Blackboard 3) Uriel da Costa’s autobiographical account, Hallo, pp. 199-202/Blackboard 4) Menasseh ben Israel on Jews and trade, on Blackboard

The paper should include these two components: 1) A summary (1 page) of the source’s main points. In this section you will need to highlight what you think the most important elements of the text are (i.e., its content).

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2) Answers to the eight questions listed below. Answer to the best of your ability, based both on a close reading of the document and the material covered in class. I encourage you to rely on class notes and/or power points to supplement your argument. Please also note: if you believe that any of these questions do not have an obvious answer, do not skip the question. Rather, try to explain why you think it is not possible to answer.

Please note: Your paper should be 3 pages long . Some questions require very short answers, but others are more elaborate. The paper should be typed in TNR 12 and double-spaced. Please remember to put your name on the first page and to insert page numbers. Please write in full, complete sentences and treat this as a regular paper.

Questions: 1) Who is the author of the source? 2) When and where was the source written? 3) What do you think the historical context of the source is? [In other words, what was generally happening in the surrounding society at the time the source was written?] 4) Who is the intended audience? 5) How does the author compare to the people he is writing about? [For instance, is the author’s social status, religion, gender, etc different from those of the people he is writing about, or similar?] What does this element tell us about the nature of the source? 6) What is the purpose of the source in your opinion? Why was it written? [Try to justify your answer by drawing on what you have learned about the historical context of the source. NB: There could be more than one purpose to a text.] 7) What assumptions or hidden biases can you find in the text? For instance, reflect on the point of view of the author and or the social/cultural assumptions that are evident in the source: what does this tell us about the nature of the source? [i.e., Does the text reflect social norms of the time, or not? Is the author personally invested in the text; is he trying to make a specific point, to defend an opinion, or attack somebody else’s views?] 8) How do they affect your own reading of the source? Make sure you answer this question only after question seven. Here you should reflect on your understanding of the text.

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