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A featured text is one which is recognized as among the most complete and highest quality works on Wikisource. These are prominently displayed on the main page, inviting users to read at their leisure.


Featured texts edit
Date Text
2014
January The Corsair
February The Clipper Ship Era
March Association Football and How to Play It
April Daisy Miller
May Romanes Lecture
June Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
July Doctor Syn
August Tyrannosaurus and Other Cretaceous Carnivorous Dinosaurs
September
October Wikipedia is pushing the boundaries of scholarly practice but the gender gap must be addressed
November
December A Christmas Carol
Notes
  1. The Black Cat was originally featured, but this is now a disambiguation page, and featured status has been transferred to Tales (Poe)/The Black Cat.

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"The Laws of Hammurabi, King of Babylonia" (1903) by H. Otto Sommer, translating the ancient Akkadian work of Hammurabi, sixth king of Babylonia.

This is the first translation of the Hammurabi's code made into English, and only the third to be made following its discovery by modern archaeologists. Prior to Sommer's translation it only existed in French and German among modern languages. The Laws of Hammurabi were written circa 1772 BC, in the Middle Bronze Age. They are one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world and the longest from the Old Babylonian period. The entire legal code is made up of 282 enumerated laws, here rendered into legal terminology by attorney William Earl Ambrose, almost half of which concerns contract law and a third concerns family law. It contains very early examples of familiar legal concepts, such as the presumption of innocence and both parties presenting evidence. This translation is accompanied by detailed photographs of the entire original Akkadian text of the laws for those who can read cuneiform.

Laws of Hammurabi-Frontispiece.jpg

The ruins of Susa now being excavated by the distinguished explorer M. de Morgan have already yielded important results. He was led to undertake the excavation of ancient Susa from inscriptions found in the ruins of Babylon, from which he learned that many of the most important monuments of the Babylonian kings had been carried, as trophies of war by the Elamite kings, to their capital, Susa. When he left Egypt in 1888 it was for the purpose of recovering from the ruins of Susa these monuments. He had not been long at work in Susa before he found the stele of Narâm-Sin c. 3,800 B.C., which showed a high state of art in the Tigro-Euphrates valley nearly 6,000 years ago. This discovery was rapidly followed by others. The most important of which is the stele of Hammurabi, upon which was engraved his code of laws, c. 2,250 B.C.

This code is the oldest collection of public laws that has yet been discovered. It is a reflection of the social conditions existing in Babylonia 4,000 years ago. The jurist of to-day will recognize in it most of the fundamental principles on which our social legislation is based.

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"The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1902) a Sherlock Holmes novel by Arthur Conan Doyle.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of four novels by Doyle featuring Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it was the first Holmes piece Doyle had written in eight years, after killing the character in "The Final Problem"; he would revive the series two years later. The novel is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of the "monstrously evil" Richard Cabell and a fearsome, diabolical hound.

Houn-05 - Hound of Baskervilles, page 24.jpg

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a “Penang lawyer.” Just under the head was a broad silver band, nearly an inch across. “To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.,” was engraved upon it, with the date “1884.” It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry—dignified, solid, and reassuring.

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One of four featured texts in October 2012

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