Published Date

September 25, 2013

This resource was developed as part of Creation Stories and Epics by William Jones.

Human societies have generated innumerable creation stories and epics, and increasing numbers of them are available in books or on the internet. The emphasis here on just a few stories reflects more the availability of internet and relatively cheap print sources for stories that have been claimed by European cultures and their colonized regions than from any desire or plan to exclude or marginalize stories from other traditions or parts of the world. The availability and cheapness of cultural goods themselves reveal in part the legacy of the modern historical domination of European traditions as well as the workings of an industrial capitalist system of production and consumption brought to imperial fruition over the past three centuries and still clearly discernable in today’s “global market.” The contested curricular transition from “Western Civilization” to “World History” itself merits further investigation in the light of these economic and ideological considerations.

Other stories from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas deserve investigation and study in their own right, or they may also be analyzed in a comparative framework. Through the efforts of scholars, students, and others, these stories are becoming more accessible in print and online, and this site should be expanded to include more of them as that becomes possible. Modern scientific accounts of the origins of the universe will also interest many students and teachers. Listed below are some pathways into these sources.


Links to Other Websites

Paul Halsall’s Internet Ancient History Sourcebook offers an extraordinary range of online materials on ancient cultures in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe:

The Perseus Project website maintained by Tufts University presents a wealth of information related to the ancient Mediterranean civilizations in Greece and Rome:

The website of the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures of the University of Chicago assembles a range of useful visual and textual materials:

A related site, also maintained by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, is ABZU, a “guide to resources for the study of the Ancient Near East”:

A site dedicated to NASA’s Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) offers an “Introduction to Cosmology” page with links to discussions of the Big Bang theory and other topics related to modern explanations of the origins of the universe: