Textual Analysis: What the text says at hand

Use the primary source excerpt provided by the professor and use it to write a history paper about the society it was a part of. Write a coherent essay of 4-6 pages (1200-1800 words), double-spaced, typed or word-processed, and stapled. Take care to use appropriate grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage. The paper should thoroughly answer all of the questions below (especially the last two), though not necessarily in the order given. This information should be incorporated into a logically constructed argument which is evident throughout the paper. The paper should begin with an introduction which states the theme of the essay and your main point (i. e. thesis), and end with a conclusion which draws together the various aspects of your argument. The body of the essay should include smooth transitions from one subtopic to another, and specific documentary evidence and analysis to illustrate the various points made in supporting your main argument.

Although your background knowledge from the course textbook, lectures, class discussions, and other sources may affect the way you answer these questions, your real task is to analyze carefully the excerpt you have selected for what it reveals about the time and place from which it came.

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1. Identify the larger source from which the excerpt has been taken. Indicate as applicable its title, author, time and place of composition, broader historical period, and type of source (i. e. genre).

2. Summarize in your own words the main point(s) of the passage and the part it plays in the larger text from which it has been excerpted.

3. Analyze the excerpt closely. Consider the author’s aim(s), method(s), and intended audience(s). As you discuss the ideas the author wishes to express, explain as necessary any significant words or phrases and their significance to the text. If you need to refer to other parts of the larger source in order to explain something which appears in the given passage, remember to keep your focus on analyzing the excerpt assigned.

4. Relate the passage to its historical period. What in particular does it tell you about the time and place in which it was written, and the people who made up the society? What is the historical significance of the text? Be specific, base your analysis on evidence drawn from the excerpt, and provide specific examples from the passage in support of your assertions.
Your essay should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the text and its context, expressed in organized prose easy for the reader to follow. Provide parenthetical references as needed in the body of your paper.

Here is the Excerpt:

A. At this time and place they divided the money accruing from the captives sold, and a tithe selected for Apollo and Artemis of the Ephesians was divided between the generals, each of whom took a portion to guard for the gods, Neon the Asinaean taking on behalf of Cheirisophus.

Out of the portion which fell to Xenophon he caused a dedicatory offering to Apollo to be made and dedicated among the treasures of the Athenians at Delphi. It was inscribed with his own name and that of Proxenus, his friend, who was killed …

In the days of his banishment, when Xenophon was now established by the Lacedaemonians as a colonist in Scillus, a place which lies on the main road to Olympia, Megabyzus arrived on his way to Olympia as a spectator to attend the games, and restored to him the deposit. Xenophon took the money and bought for the goddess a plot of ground at a point indicated to him by the oracle. The plot, it so happened, had its own Selinus river flowing through it, just as at Ephesus the river Selinus flows past the temple of Artemis, and in both streams fish and mussels are to be found. On the estate at Scillus there is hunting and shooting of all the beasts of the chase that are.

Here with the sacred money he built an altar and a temple, and ever after, year by year, tithed the fruits of the land in their season and did sacrifice to the goddess, while all the citizens and neighbours, men and women, shared in the festival. The goddess herself provided for the banqueters meat and loaves and wine and sweetmeats, with portions of the victims sacrificed from the sacred pasture, as also of those which were slain in the chase …

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