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Other titles in the Turning Points in Ancient History series:
1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)by Eric H. Cline
Synopses & Reviews
"This enthralling book describes one of the most dramatic and mysterious processes in the history of mankind--the collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations. Cline walks us through events that transpired three millennia ago, but as we follow him on this intriguing sojourn, lurking in the back of our minds are tantalizing, perpetual questions: How can prosperous cultures disappear? Can this happen again; to us?"--Israel Finkelstein, coauthor of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
"Impressively marshaling the most recent archaeological and historical evidence, Eric Cline sets the record straight: there was a 'perfect storm' of migrations, rebellions, and climate change that resulted in the collapse of states that were already unstable in the Late Bronze Age. There followed an 'age of opportunity' for new kinds of political systems and ideologies that remade the world of the eastern Mediterranean in the first millennium B.C. Onward and upward with collapse!"--Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan
"Cline has written a wonderfully researched and well-crafted overview of one of the most fascinating, complex, and debated periods in the history of the ancient world. Tying together an impressively broad range of disparate data, he weaves together a very convincing re-creation of the background, mechanisms, and results of the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the eastern Mediterranean and beyond."--Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University
"1177 B.C. tells the story of one of history's greatest mysteries. Unknown invaders shattered the splendid civilizations of the Bronze Age Mediterranean in a tidal wave of fire and slaughter, before Egypt's pharaoh turned them back in a fierce battle on the banks of the Nile. We do not know who these attackers were, and perhaps we never will; but no archaeologist is better equipped to guide us through this dramatic story than Eric Cline. 1177 B.C. is the finest account to date of one of the turning points in history."--Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules--for Now
"This book is a very valuable and very timely addition to the scholarship on the end of the Late Bronze Age. Cline provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and up-to-date treatment of one of the most dramatic and enigmatic periods in the history of the ancient world."--Trevor Bryce, author of The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History
"This is an excellent, thought-provoking book that brings to life an era that is not well known to most readers."--Amanda H. Podany, author of Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East
"Archaeologist Cline (From Eden to Exile) looks at the downfall of the many interconnected civilizations of the Late Bronze Age. This complex, highly organized interplay was sustained for three centuries, and came to an end over a period of approximately 100 years. Cline explores a vast array of variables that could have led to the disruption of the society of this era, including earthquakes, famines, droughts, warfare, and, most notably, invasions by the 'Sea Peoples.' In some cases, the end was abrupt, but mostly it was highly evolved kingdoms ending not with a bang but a whimper. Cline handles the archeological evidence well, though the narrative drive is lacking. For example, early in the book he refers to the 2011 Arab Spring, making a comparison between those events and similar incidents in ancient times. Unfortunately, he doesn't carry the analogy far enough and the book's storyline suffers. Cline is at his best when he discusses the archives of letters found at Ugarit and Amarna. Much time is spent invoking the Sea Peoples, but the conclusion is that their role was small. Overall, Cline's work appears aimed at those who have more than a passing interest in archeology, as that record bears the heaviest influence on the whole of this story." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?
In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.
A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.
About the Author
Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University. An active archaeologist, he has excavated and surveyed in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. His many books include From Eden to Exile: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Bible and The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xi
Series Editor's Foreword xiii
The Collapse of Civilizations: 1177 BC 1
Act I. Of Arms and the Man: The Fifteenth Century BC 14
Act II. An (Aegean) Affair to Remember: The Fourteenth Century BC 43
Act III. Fighting for Gods and Country: The Thirteenth Century BC 73
Act IV. The End of an Era: The Twelfth Century BC 102
A "Perfect Storm" of Calamities? 139
The Aftermath 171
Dramatis Personae 177
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