Martell's PRIME SITES: World History
This annotated list contains selected History websites organized around a set of four themes: countries, events, individuals, and periods. No attempt has been made to be exhaustive. Typically very few sites are listed in comparison to the number of sites actually available. The quality of the site and the availability of images and substantive text are primary considerations.

Stunning (visual impact) spirit-stick.gif
Essential candleS.gif
Excellent blueanstar.gif
Highly exceptional faering.gif


Persian Wars
Age of Exploration
Age of Enlightenment
Industrial Revolution
New Imperialism

Persian Wars (c. 490 B.C. – c. 450 B.C.)

Persia Infantry

Ancient Mesopotamia Achaemenid Persia
  This is a well-designed site with an emphasis on the Persian Army. Campaigns, battles, arms and equipment, the army (organization, cavalry, chariots, and war wagons) and historical sources are highlighted.

Ancient Greece: The Persian Wars
  A two page essay from a World Cultures course.

Battle of Thermopylae Battle of Thermopylae
  This attractive site includes an Introduction, Greek Preparations, Armies, and Battle, as well as brief biographies of Xerxes I and Leonidas I.

Battle of Thermopylae Foregotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia
  This is a stunning British Museum creation with downloadable audio and video lectures. "An Introduction to Persepolis" by John Curtis is a twenty-one minute audio lecture. Major themes are the Empire, Palaces of Kings, Luxury in Life & Death, Control of Empire, and Destruction & Legacy.

History of the Greco-Persian Wars
  A seven page history of the Greco-Persian Wars.

  A sixteen page nicely illustrated history of Mesoptamia.

Persian Empire Persia: Articles on Ancient History
  The first page at this site is rather uneventful although it includes a Topography section with seventy locations/sites; a Royal persons section with 50 names; an Other Persons section with sixty names, and an Other section with thirty six entries, including the Parthian Empire and Persepolis fortifications. From the first page the site opens wonderfully to include some valuable content. Two of the more interesting aspects are a thirty-seven page description of Persia by Ctesias, a Greek physician at the Persian Court, and a seven page biography of Ctesias. There are other essays by Jona Lendering, the site's host.

Persian Empire Persian Empire
  An eleven page Wikipedia history of the Persian Empire.

The Persian Wars
  Full-text of Herodotus’ classic The Persian Wars, translated by George Rawlinson (1942).

Age of Exploration (1400-1520)


The Age of Exploration: On-Line Curriculum Guide
  This Mariner's Museum site covers exploration over the centuries with a primary focus on the period 1400-1520. The exploits, ships, and maps of the Portuguese explorers are highlighted, as are early navigation methods, the life of Christopher Columbus, and several other interesting subjects. The use of images is very good. There are over fifty brief biographies.

American Journeys American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement
  This Wisconsin Historical Society site has 18,000 pages of original material, including the full-text of one hundred and fifty rare books, e.g., Bradford's History of Plimoth Plantation (1620). There are also letters from Christoper Columbus.

American Journeys Columbus and the Age of Discovery
  There are eleven hundred articles and papers on Columbus and the Age of Discovery. A search engine is available to search through the full-text material. The site is maintained by T.J. Tirado.

American Journeys The Columbus Navigation Homepage
  The navigation page leads to descriptions of Columbus's early years, ships, crew, and logs. The history page covers each of his four voyages. A complete one hundred and forty-two page log of his first voyage can be accessed through the links page.

blueanstar.gif Discoverers Web
  This is an excellent site for information about voyages of discovery from ancient to modern times. There is a lengthy alphabetical list of explorers, primary sources, and links to other resources. Each link is described briefly. Information in the Age of Discovery section of the outline is excellent, especially the materials on Christopher Columbus (see the Columbus Navigation Homepage at Under primary sources there is a wide range of materials including the 42-page Letters from Cortez to his Emperor.

faering.gif The European Voyages of Exploration: The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
  Breathtaking design, use of imagery, and clarity of purpose. Prepared as a tutorial for students at the University of Calgary, it has general categories on Spain, Portugal, and Knowledge & Power as well as biographies of pioneers such as Henry the Navigator and Vasco de Gama. Subsections under Knowledge & Power include Geography/Cartography, Trade: Sugar & Slaves, and Religion & Exploration.

Exploration and Empire
  Extensive list of full-text and excerpted documents - authors and texts, 17 articles, essays, and books, and links to other resources. This site was last updated in July 1998.

1492 1492: An Ongoing Voyage
  This Library of Congress exhibit examines "the rich mixture of societies coexisting in five areas of this hemisphere [North America] before European arrival. It then surveys the polyglot Mediterranean world at a dynamic turning point in its development." There is a translation of Columbus's log of the first voyage, and his letter to the court announcing the discovery.

Renaissance (1350-1600)


Academic Info Renaissance History
  This Annotated Directory of Internet Resources on the History of the Renaissance in Europe includes sections for Online Texts & Archives, Renaissance Art & Architecture, Renaissance Science, Women and the Renaissance, and Additional Sites of Interest.

Alex Catalogue Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts: Renaissance
  The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a collection of about 14,000 “classic” public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy. The entry "Renaissance" resulted in 989 found of which ninety nine were listed. One of these was Arthur Schopenhauer's three hundred plus page book, "The Later Renaissance: from Gutenberg to the Reformation."

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
  The complete text of The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by the renowned historian Jackob Burckhardt.

Dictionary of the History of Ideas Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Idea of Renaissance
  There are five lengthy essays from thirteen to thirty eight pages long under "R" -- Idea of Renaissance, Renaissance Humanism, Renaissance Idea of the Dignity of Man, Renaissance Literature and Historiograhy -- and "I" -- Ideal in Philosophy from the Renaissance to 1780.

Early Italian Renaissance Early Italian Renaissance
  This attractive site has essays by Richard Hooker on ten general themes including The Idea of the Renaissance and Leonardo da Vinci. Other pages contain A Timeline of the Italian Renaissance, A Gallery of the Italian Renaissance, an atlas section, and readings. There are also links to other people and events.

Galileo Project The Galileo Project
  "The Galileo Project is a source of information on the life and work of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)." The site is nicely designed although not extensive. Besides a biography, eleven portraits, and Galileo's discoveries in astronomy, there is a section on his inventions, including a pump, telescope, and thermometer.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  Includes the biographies of many philosophers such as Descartes (15 pages) and Spinoza (6 pages) as well as entries by subject. The Philosophy Text Collection contains 21 full-text resources by Plato, Descartes, Bentham, Kant, James, and others.

Internet Modern History Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Renaissance
  Extensive full-text resources on a variety of subjects about the Renaissance including political analysis, philosophy, economics, and attitudes.

blueanstar.gif Luminarium
  An attractive site with 3 parts - Medieval, Renaissance and 17th Century. Although very strong in the area of literature there are significant resources in history as well. Each part includes an anthology of the literature of the period, articles and essays, and additional background sources. For each major figure, e.g., Henry VIII or Sir Thomas More, there is a biography, works of, and essays about. The background sources include sites on history and politics, royalty, images, and women in the Renaissance.

faering.gif Le Poulet Gauche (in English)
  A very enjoyable well-illustrated site with a wide range of textual resources on the history, culture, and daily life of 16th century France. Sections include tavern life, aspects of everyday life, and history and politics with a subsection on the art of warfare. Ten battles and sieges are described. The bibliography is excellent with cross-links to subjects such as costuming, fencing, and food and dining. In the bibliography see especially the entries under Protestant Revolution and Catholic Revolution that link to wonderful textual resources at the Hanover College site.

Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg
  By using the advanced search by title one finds twenty six books on the Renaissance. P L. Jacob's "Manners, Customs, and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance is one of these. There are eighteen books under Reformation.

Project Gutenberg Renaissance
  The first page is "devoted to journals and text repositories related to Shakespeare, Elizabethan, and Renaissance studies." The site was last update March 2008.

Age of Enlightenment 18th Century

Louis XIV

Age of Enlightenment
  A New World Encyclopedia fifteen page article on the Age of Enlightenment. This site appears to have a connection with Wikipedia.

The Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment
  This site has many lengthy and valuable web and primary source links, e.g., full-text works by Locke, Hume, Kant and others. It is marred by the significant number of oudated links.

The Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment
  A twelve page essay on the Age of Enlightenment with additional biographies of Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot, as well as another essay on The Enlightenment throughout Europe..

Dictionary of the History of Ideas Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Enlightenment
  A substantive thirty eight page essay under "E" on the Enlightenment. There is also a forty page essay on the Counter-Enlightenment.

Eighteenth Century Resources Eighteenth Century Resources
  A very large impressive site created by Jack Lynch with major sections on History, Philosophy, Religion & Theology, and Science & Mathematics as well as other subjects. The History section is devoted mainly to England, Europe, and America with extensive links to valuable textual resources.

Eighteenth-Century Studies
  This large site archives works of the 18th century from the perspectives of literary and cultural studies. Includes novels, plays, memoirs, treatises, and poems of the period.

French Women French Women and the Age of Enlightenment
  A Questia four hundred thirty page book by Samia Spencer entitled French Women and the Age of Enlightenment.

Louis XIV Louis XIV - the Sun King
  This visually attractive site has a three page biography of Louis XIV, King of France. There are also pages on the themes of politics, religion, war, court, and family. The sources for these topics are varied.

Romantic Chronology Romantic Chronology
  The chronology ranges from selected 17th century events to 1851. Select a year or set of years from the menu and browse. Each year is briefly annotated and there are cross-links to full-text resources. This site is connected to the well-respected Voices of the Shuttle: English Literature pages also at the University of California, Santa Barbara. An interesting site with a unique approach to accessing a large array of valuable full-text materials.

Scottish Philosophy Scottish Philosophy in the 18th Century
  A thirty three page essay on the great philosophers of Scotland, including Francis Hutchinson, David Hume, and Adam Smth.

Industrial Revolution
(from 1764 with invention of steam engine)


Britain as Workshop of the World
  This is an approximately ten page essay by Christine MacLeod on the importance of Britain to the Industrial Revolution.

Charles Babbage Charles Babbage
  Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was a computer pioneer, code-breaker, mechanical engineer, and major figure of the time. These pages give an introduction to his life and work, e.g., calculating engines and political economy.

Britain as Workshop of the World Industrial Revolution
  This Thematic Pathfinder for All Ages contains five pages of links to various, often full-text, subjects on the Industrial Revolution. One can also go to Biographies of the Industrial Revolution to find more than a hundred biographies, primarily of inventors.

Britain as Workshop of the World Industrial Revolution
  A thirty-five page article on the Industrial Revolution from Wikipedia. See also Wikipedia's fourteen page History of Capitalism.

Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution
  This Open Door Web Site has pages on topics such as the agricultural revolution, the textile industry, roads and railways, and working conditions. Under the Second Industrial Revolution there is material about inventors and inventions as recently as the early 20th century.

Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution: An Overview
  This Victorian Web site on the Industrial Revolution has a six page timeline/chronology, biographies of seven great inventors and six great contractors, and descriptions of various phases of the revolution, e.g., Phase 1 -- textiles and Phase 2 -- railroads and steel. See also in the Victorian Web "The Life of the Industrial Worker in Nineteenth-Century England.

Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution in England
  These sixty nine pages of Lectures of the Industrial Revolution in England (1884) by Arnold Toynbee are considered classics. See also in Google The Industrial Revolution in World History.

Internet Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Industrial Revolution
  A strong subset of Halsall’s first-rate history site with many full-text resources in sections such as Revolution in the Manufacture of Textiles, Revolution in Power, Process of Industrialization, Lives of Workers and Urban Life.

Scientific Scientific, Political, and Industrial Revolution
  The Internet Modern History Source Book: Scientific, Political, and Industrial Revolutions contains a long list of sites many with full-text material.

New Imperialism -- 1870 - 1914


History of Imperialism British Empire
  A twenty-four page Wikipedia article on the imperialism and history of the British Empire.

History of the Unived Kingdom: Primary Documents History of the United Kingdom: Primary Documents
  The section 1816-1918 has links to a wide variety of primary documents including commerical and political. There are also links to photgraphs in the British Library and portraits in the National Portrait Gallery.

Imperialism Imperialism
  The Internet Modern History Source Book: Imperialism contains links to many full-text resources.

The New Imperialism Imperialism
  This site contains links to over one hundred primary source documents on the subject. There are also links to about thirty sites that cover New Imperialism generally. Unfortunately, many of the links are no longer active.

Imperialism The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire
  This thirty-two page article depicts the extent of the British Empire using maps, statistics. biographies, and extensive lists of the various nations within the Empire.