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The Muse of History

primary sources, texts, diaries, journals, memoirs, belles-lettres,
journalism, editorials, commentaries, biographies and
autobiographies :

The Matibo Affair
by Sally Forth

Primary Source Extracts
(very short morsels of primary source accounts arranged by century)

A Battle
by Charles Sumner

An Italian Portrait Gallery
by Paolo Giovio
translated by F. A. Gragg

Froissart's Chronicles, Volume I
translated by Thomas Johnes

Selections from Villani's Chronicle of Italy
translated by Rose Selfe

History Of Chivalry and The Crusades
By G. P. R. James, Esq.

Peter the Cruel
by Edward Storer

Illustrations of Chaucer's England
edited by Dorothy Hughes, M.A.

The Rise of Universities
Charles Homer Haskins:

I.  The Earliest Universities
 II.  The Mediaeval Professor
III.  The Mediaeval Student

The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, Volume I
translated by Henry T. Riley

Henry of Huntingdon's Letter to Walter
in 1135 A. D.,
translated by Thomas Forester

Some Lies and Errors of History
Rev. Reuben Parsons, D. D.:
(Read with caution !!! )

Title and Preface
Pope Alexander VI.
The Alleged Ante-Mortem Funeral of Charles V.
Bruno and Campanella (and Appendix)
St. Cyril and the Murder of Hypatia
The Divorce of Napoleon and Josephine
Fénelon and Voltaire
The Grey Cardinal
"I am the State!" — Did Louis XVI. Ever Say So?
The Truth About the Inquisition
Louis XI.; The Travestied and the Real
Richelieu as an Ecclesiastic
Louis XIII. as He Was
The Nature of Tasso's Imprisonment
Wicked Venice
The Last Word on the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day
The Middle Age Not a Starless NIght
The Man With The Iron Mask
The Holy Wars: Their Object and Results
The "Orthodox" Russian, and the Schismatic Greek Churches
Columbus and His Alleged Crimes
Appendix (to Bruno and Campanella)

From An Introduction to the History of History
James T. Shotwell

Chapter I: Definition and Scope of History
Chapter II: Prehistory; Myth and Legend
Chapter III: Books and Writing
Chapter IV:The Measuring of Time
Chapter V: Egyptian Annals
Chapter VI: Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian Records
Chapter VII: The Old Testament as History
Chapter VIII: The Pentateuch
Chapter IX: The Remaining Historical Books of the Old Testament
Chapter X: The Formation of the Canon
Chapter XI: Non-Biblical Literature; Josephus
Chapter XII: From Homer to Herodotus
Chapter XIII: Herodotus
Chapter XIV: Thucydides

Legends of the Bastille

By Frantz Franck-Brentano
Authorised Translation by George Maidment

Chapter IV.  The Man with the Iron Mask

From A Source Book of Mediæval History
edited by Frederic Austin Ogg:

Chapter I --The Early Germans
A Sketch by Cæsar
A Description by Tacitus

Chapter II -- The Visigothic Invasion
The Visigoths Cross the Danube by Ammianus Marcellinus
The Battle of Adrianople by Ammianus Marcellinus

Chapter XXVI. -- The Beginnings of the Italian Renaissance
Dante's  Defense of Italian as a Literary Language
from Il Convito [The Banquet]
Dante's Conception of the Imperial Power
from De Monarchia [On Monarchy]
Petrarch's Love of the Classics
Petrarch's Letter to Posterity

The Works of Aretino,

translated into English from the original Italian, with a critical and
biographical essay by Samuel Putnam,  Illustrations by the
Marquis de Bayros:


Biographical and Critical Essay
Dialogue 1, The Novice's Feast.
Dialogue 2, The Life of Married Woman.
Dialogue 3, The Life of Courtezans.
Dialogue 4, The Art of the Courtezan.
Dialogue 5, The Betrayals of Men.
Dialogue 6, The Art of the Procuress.
La Cortegiana  [The Courtezan]

Volume II

Biography:  de Sanctis
Translator's Note
The Letters
The Sonnets

(with kind permission from Dr. Hilary Putnam)

Poggio Bracciolini:

The Life of Poggio Bracciolini,
William Shepherd

The Facetiae of Poggio and Other Medieval Story-tellers
translated by
Edward Storer

Facetia Erotica by Poggio Fiorentino
An Anonymous Translator

A Letter by Poggio to Leonard Aretino describing the death of
Jerome of Prague, for heresy

The New Life [La Vita Nuova]
by Dante Alighieri
translated by Charles Eliot Norton

(general commentary, et al. by Elfinspell Editors)

#1  On Reading Literature in Translation and Excerpts

#2  The Feet of Clay Department: Longfellow

The Life of the Black Prince
by The Herald of John Chandos,
translated by
Mildred K. Pope and Eleanor C. Lodge

From Barbara Smythe's, "The Trobador Poets":

Guilhelm VII, Count of Poitou
(aka Guilhem IX. Duke of Aquitaine)

Bertran de Born

Two Anonyous Albas


Canzones and Sonnets (Latin and English)
translated by Lorna de' Lucchi

Sonnet left by Petrarch in Laura's Tomb
translated by Lord Woodhouselee

Extracts from Letters, including Petrarch's Letter to Posterity
selected by Frederic Austin Ogg

Extract of Letter 25, from the Epistolae Variae
translated by Merrick Whitcomb

From Green's,
"The Making of England":
A Description of Early England

The Report of the Truth Concerning the Last Sea-Fight of the Revenge
Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight

With a new modernization of the text and a few notes by  S. Rhoads
The Original Elizabethan text
Another account of the same by
Jan Huyghen de Linschoten

Paul Henztner's Travels in England,
translated by
Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford

Sir Robert Carey:

Biographical Note
On A Scottish Raider
On The Death of Queen Elizabeth
& The Spanish Armada

A History of Football in England  
Montagu Shearman

Persian Forms and Fables  
Sir John Malcolm

A Persian Governor  
Arthur Arnold

Distinguishing Characteristics of  
European Civilization
F. Guizot

Celebrated English Letter Writers

(Pope, Lamb, Cowper, Gray, Byron, Shelley, Walpole)

The History of Whist
from 'Cavendish on Whist'
Henry 'Cavendish' Jones


From Notes and Queries:
A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc.
January 7, 1871

Allegory in the Faerie Queen
Thomas Keightley

Letters by Nell Gwynne and Kitty Clive

Mons Vultur
Craufurd Tait Ramage


The Fugitive King at Boscobel;
Adventures of the Merry Monarch


The Escape of Queen Mary from Lochleven Castle
Agnes Strickland

Plutarch's Letter to His Wife
on the Death of His Daughter
(first half)

Sallust: Orations and Letters
from the Histories
translated by J. C. Rolfe

Manners and Customs of the Egyptians
Charles Rollin (18th cent.)

Thomas Davidson

A Biographical Essay on Abelard,
A Letter from Heloise to Abelard,
Abelard's Reply to Heloise,
A Vesper Hymn by Abelard

additional traces of biographical material
(but rest is duplicate of above)

Albertus Magnus
Duns Scotus and Occam
Henry Osborn Taylor, from
"The Mediaeval Mind"

A Quote by John Milton on Books

John Fiske - Unpublished Orations:

Introduction & Prefatory Note

The Discovery of the Columbia River and the Whitman Controversy,
Oration Delivered in the Opera House at Astoria,
May 11, 1892 --
Afterwards Revised and Emended.

The Crispus Attucks Memorial
Columbus Memorial

Letters by Abigail Smith Adams
(Wife of President John Adams)
Diary Entry of John Adams

Henry Adams, U.S. Historian on:

The Battle of the "Constitution" and the "Guerriere", 1812
From "History of the United States"

Old Church Lore
William Andrews:

The Right of Sanctuary
The Romance of Trial
A Fight between the Mayor of Hull and Archbishop of York
Chapels on Bridges
Charter Horns
The Old English Sunday
The Easter Sepulchres
St. Paul's Cross
Cheapside Cross
The Biddenden Maids Charity
Plagues and Pestilences
A King Curing an Abbot of Indigestion
The Services and Customs of Royal Oak Day
Marrying in a White Sheet
Marrying under the Gallows
Kissing the Bride
Hot Ale at Weddings
Marrying Children
The Passing Bell
Concerning Coffins
The Curfew Bell
Curious Symbols of the Saints
Acrobats on Steeples

Antiquities and Curiosities of the Church
edited by
William Andrews:

Church History and Historians.  By Cuming Walters.
Supernatural Interference in Church Building.  By W. E. A. Axon, F.R.S.L.
Ecclesiastical Symbolism in Architecture.  By Rev. J. Hudson Barker, B. A.
Acoustic Jars.  By George C. Yates, F.S.A.
Crypts.  By John T. Page.
Heathen Customs at Christian Feasts.  By Rev. A. N. Cooper, M.A.
Fish and Fasting.  By Rev. J. Hudson Barker, B.A.
Shrove-Tide and Lenten Customs.  By Rev. J. Hudson Barker, B.A.
Wearing Hats in Church.  By William Andrews, F.R.H.S.
The Stool of Repentance.  By Cuming Walters.
Cursing by Bell, Book, and Candle.  By Rev. Canon Benham, B.D., F.S.A.
Pulpits.  By Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.
Church Windows.  By Rev. Geo. S. Tyack, B.A.
Alms-Boxes and Alms Dishes.  By Thomas Frost.
Old Collecting Boxes.  By H. Syer Cuming, F.S.A., Scot.
Gargoyles.  By T. Tindall Wildridge.
Curious Vanes.  By William Andrews, F.R. H.S.
People and Steeple Rhymes.  By William Andrews, F.R.H.S.
Sun-Dials.  By Thomas Frost.
Jack of the Clock-House.  By William Andrews, F.R.H.S.
Games in Churchyards.  By England Howlett.
Circular Churchyards.  By Rev. Elias Owen, M. A., F.S.A.
Church and Churchyard Charms and Cures.  By Rev. R. Wilkins Rees.
Yew Trees in Churchyards.  By T. N. Brushfield, M.D.


Appreciations and Analyses

To My Valet
Pierre de Ronsard

The Power of Song
Pierre de Ronsard

Homer and His Translators
Matthew Arnold

A MS Letter of Alexander Pope to the Earl of Halifax
Begging Him Not to ' Lose Homer '

On Translations of Homer
Lord Alfred Tennyson

On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer
John Keats

Translations of Homer
Butcher and Lang

Acadia: or a Month with the Blue Noses,
by Frederic S. Cozzens

The English Correspondence of Saint Boniface,
Translated and Edited by William Kylie

Cornelius Tacitus:

Treatise on The Situation, Manners, and Inhabitants of Germany
The Life of Cnæus Julius Agricola

The "Historia Brittonum," Commonly Attributed to

from a MS. edited By Mark the Hermit;
with an English version by The Rev. W. Gunn

Extracts, Describing the Ancient Manner of Placing the Kingdom in
Military Array;

The Various Modes of Defence Adopted for its Safety in
Periods of Danger; and The Evidence of Foreigners as to the
National Characterand Personal Bravery of the English.

Taken from Original State Papers of the Sixteenth Century
Collected on the Continent, and hitherto Inedited.

Translated and Edited, with Notes by William Gunn, B. D.

Venerable Bede:

The Life of Bede
by J. A. Giles

The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation
by Venerable Bede
Translated by J. A. Giles

The Minor Historical Works and Biographical Writings of Bede
translated by J. Giles:

The Seven Wonders of the World
by Venerable Bede
translated by J. A. Giles

The Book of the Holy Places
by Venerable Bede
Translated by J. A. Giles

The Chronicle of the Six Ages of the World
by Venerable Bede
Translated by J. A. Giles

The Book of the Life and Miracles of St. Cuthbert
by Venerable Bede
Translated by J. A. Giles

The Life of St. Vedast
by Venerable Bede
Translated by J. A. Giles

The Lives of the Holy Abbots of Weremouth and Jarrow:
by Venerable Bede
Translated by J. A. Giles.

The Life of the Holy Confessor St. Felix,
taken from Paulinus
by Venerable Bede
Traslated by J. A. Giles

Epistle from Bede to Abbot Albinus
Translated by J. A. Giles

Epistle from Bede to Bishop Egbert
Translated by J. A. Giles

Medieval Thought and Learning
by Reginald Lane Poole:

John The Scot
Appendix on John the Scot

The Silvae of Statius
translated by D. A. Slater

Source-Books of the Renaissance in Italy and Germany,
by Merrick Whitcomb
Combining 2 earlier texts:

A Literary Source-Book of the Italian Renaissance:

1.   DANTE ALIGHIERI :  Extract from De Monarchia;
Letter to the Princes and Peoples of Italy
2.   FRANCESCO PETRARCHA :  From Epistolæ variæ, No. 25
3.   GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO :  Introduction to the Decameron; Novels II and III
5.   POGGIO BRACCIOLINI :  Extracts from the Facetiæ; Description of the
Death of Jerome of Prague
6.   LEON BATTISTA ALBERTI :  Extract from Il Governo della Famiglia
7.   AENEAS SYLVIUS :  Extract from De Liberorum Educatione
8.   PLATINA :  Extracts from the Lives of the Popes
9.   VESPASIANO DA BASTICCI :  Extracts from the Vite
10.   LORENZO DE’ MEDICI :  Letter to his son Giovanni
11.   NICOLÒ MACHIAVELLI :  Extracts from the Prince
12.   BALDASSARE CASTIGLIONE :  Extracts from the Courtier
14.   BENVENUTO CELLINI :  Extracts from the Autobiography

A Literary Source-Book of the  German Renaissance:

1.   The Renaissance in Germany [by Whitcomb]
2.   RUDOLF AGRICOLA :  Letter to Barbirianus
3.   JACOB WIMPHELING :  Extracts from Isidoneus, Adolescentia and Agatharchia
4.   JOHANN REUCHLIN :  Letter to Ammerbach
5.   SEBASTIAN BRANT :  Extracts from the Narrenschiff
6.   MAXIMILIAN I :  Extracts from the Weisskunig
7.   DESIDERIUS ERASMUS :  Two Colloquies
8.   ULRICH VON HUTTEN :  Extract from Inspicientes
9.   LETTERS OF OBSCURE MEN :  (Seven Letters)
10.   JOHANNES BUTZBACH :  Extracts from Hodoporicon
11.   THOMAS PLATTER :  Extract from the Autobiography

The Autobiography of Johannes Butzbach,
A Wandering Scholar of the Fifteenth Century
Translated from the German by Robert Frances Seybolt and Paul Monroe

A Forgotten Wit
by William Mathews

History of Flagellation Among Different Nations
Anonymous 19th century work:

with primary source accounts taken largely from the rare text
John De Lolme (Abbe Jacobus Boileau)

Classical Geography
[Primer Series]
by H. F. Tozer

Greek and Roman Mythology & Heroic Legend
Hermann Steuding

Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield:

Brief Biographical Note
Collected Jests

From "Manners Make the Man"

Absence of Mind, An Absent Man
Indispensable Accomplishments

From The American Biography of 1833, anonymous:

Charles Lee, Major-General in the American Army
Thomas Conway, Major-General in the American Army
Henry Lee, Colonel in the American Army

The Pioneer Printer of New Orleans
by Douglas C. McMurtrie

On the Ictis of Diodorus Siculus
by the Rev. R. Wallace,
Read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, 1844

Eusebius Pamphilus: His Ten Books of Ecclesiastical History,
Faithfully Translated and Abridg'd from the Original,
by Samuel Parker, Gent.

A Dialogue in Hades.
A Parallel of Military Errors of which the French
and English were guilty, during
the Campaign of 1759,
in Canada,
attributed to Chevalier Johnstone.

Published under the Auspices of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec,
with several notes by J. M. LeMoine.

Wit and Humor of Abraham Lincoln
by Carleton B. Case

The Teaching of Epictetus:

Being the ‘Encheiridion of Epictetus,’ with
Selections from the ‘Dissertations’ and ‘Fragments.’,
translated from the Greek, with Introduction and Notes,
T. W. Rolleston
(Americanized version )

Cornfield Philosophy
by Charles D. Strode,
Illustrated by Percy E. Anderson

De Die Natali, [Natale] by Censorinus
translated by William Maude


Life of the Emperor Hadrian
translated by William Maude

Readings in Ancient History, Illustrative Extracts from the Sources,
by William Stearnes Davis:

Volume II: Rome and the West:

Chapter I.  The First Roman Age

The Greek Orators
by John F. Dobson

At The Grassroots
by Elmer House (Jay Elmer House)

Convivial Caledonia
by Robert Kempt

Virgil's Works

The Aeneid, Eclogues, and Georgics

translated by J. P. Mackail

A Teacher of Dante and Other Studies In Italian Literature
by Nathan Haskell Dole

Chapter I.  A Teacher of Dante
(Brunetto Latini)

Chapter II.  Dante and the Picturesque

Chapter III.  Lyric Poetry and Petrarca

Chapter IV. Boccaccio and the Novella

Chapter V. The Rise of the Italian Drama

Ludwig Friedländer,
translated by  
William E. Waters

1.  Appearance and Condtion of the Towns

2.  Municipal Government

3.  Social Classes of the Rural Cities

4.  The Fiscal Management of Rural Cities

5.  Popular Amusements.  Religious Obervances.  Relations with Rome.

Charles the Great
Thomas Hodgkin

Helpful Links:

Bill Thayer's Web Site for American History,
Ancient Rome and Modern Italy

by Roger Pearse
on Tertullian and other early Church Fathers

by Chris Phillips on the Middle Ages

by Gerard Jones
with the truth about modern publishing, and
with his superb novel Ginny Good  free
(voted Best Autobiography in 2004 - Independent Publisher Award)

by Tim Field

by Andrew Smith on Ancient Greece

Ben Simpson's Home Page on the Tudor Navy

A Bibliography of Symbolism
by Robin Raybould

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