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1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed | [Eric H. Cline]

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Eric H. Cline. Published by Princeton University Press. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    fibait Denver, United States Minor Outlying Islands 07-15-14
    fibait Denver, United States Minor Outlying Islands 07-15-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How to ruin ancient history"

    It's hard to tick off a history buff, but this one brought back recurring nightmares from that Ancient History course. Egyptians, Minoans and Hittites were the easy ones…

    This should never have been an audio book--especially with the terrible narrator and his golly-gee intonations. I plowed on courageously through half the book, then just chucked it.

    A waste of time and money for me.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sir Vases Miami, FL 05-19-14
    Sir Vases Miami, FL 05-19-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Great Insights"
    What would have made 1177 B.C. better?

    This book has no insights into the history and talks little of the collapse of civilization.


    What was most disappointing about Eric H. Cline’s story?

    It has little to do with the title. It sounds like a continual recitation of silly ancient names, like reading all the begats in the Bible. It recounts some facts but does little to give a historical perspective.


    What does Andy Caploe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Andy Caploe is a very professional narrator with a well modulated speaking voice, but he is not a good choice for this book. He would be better suited selling reverse mortgages to seniors or counting down the pop top 40. His tone is overacted interestedness, which does not come across as genuine and sounds like he is reading the book to 3rd graders.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This book makes you realize that a good historian does more than tell what happened. This could have been a good book in the hands of a better historian.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like a refund, please.

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 04-10-14
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 04-10-14 Member Since 2015

    Love to Bungee!!

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    "Too Much Detail for an Audiobook"

    When I first saw the printed volume, I was happy to see that it was also available as an audiobook. The historical subject is one I have not heard of before and so I quickly downloaded it and started listening. I was disappointed fairly quickly.

    If you are not intimately familar with the subject, the names for the ancient kingdoms and entities are completely new to you. The author does go to some troubles to help you over this hurdle. However, without a scorecard immediately at hand, it is hard to remember the names of the players.

    The narrator is fairly good but sometimes I felt it was a lecture for high school students.

    I will not download any of the follow on books in the series - this one was a bit too painful

    19 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrysanthemum Wayland, MA United States 01-11-15
    Chrysanthemum Wayland, MA United States 01-11-15 Member Since 2014

    Chrysanthemum

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    "Not a good candidate for an audiobook"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Biblical scholars


    What was most disappointing about Eric H. Cline’s story?

    There are so many names for so many tribes in so many languages with so few real known facts about the time frame that for a listener it becomes simply just a recitation of items leading to no conclusion; and making it difficult to follow.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from 1177 B.C.?

    I didn't make it past the first couple of chapters, and I would have cut them both!


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bpjammin 05-05-14
    bpjammin 05-05-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Very Detailed Summation of Extant Information"
    Any additional comments?

    If you know nothing about the end of the Bronze Age, this book sums it up in excruciating detail. Nonetheless, the author never fully develops one or more possible causes that lead to the collapse of bronze into iron.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-24-15
    James Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-24-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History lover, giving up..."
    What disappointed you about 1177 B.C.?

    Let's begin with the story organization. The first hour of the book is the author discussing his writing of the book. Booooooring!

    Reads way too much like a college thesis paper.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rohan 05-21-15
    Rohan 05-21-15
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    "Well researched but feels just a bit chaotic"

    I really appreciate how much time and energy the author has put into researching and quoting the sources, and the narrator does a fine job. My only complaint is that the book sometimes feels like it loses focus of its point, jumping from grand sweeping theories to seemingly unimportant minor details. Overall though I found it informative and enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ALeyrer 05-20-15
    ALeyrer 05-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent history, cringeworthy performance"
    What did you like best about 1177 B.C.? What did you like least?

    I'll have to purchase the text to finish. The performance is overemphasized and over-acted in the manner one reads to a small child.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-19-15
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    12
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    "Not well suited for audio"

    perhaps a little too scholarly for audio, very slow narration - recommend using 2x speed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joao Brasilia, Brazil 05-15-15
    Joao Brasilia, Brazil 05-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Read like a fiction book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book is great, excellent review of all the archaeological evidence and theories available about the "collapse" of the bronze age civilizations.


    What didn’t you like about Andy Caploe’s performance?

    The narrator performance was not appropriate for a non-fiction book. Letters and texts from the late bronze age were read with fake accents that sound really fake and are annoying to the listener.


    Did 1177 B.C. inspire you to do anything?

    Read more about the late bronze age (i've been browsing wikipedia about many of the people cited in the book)


    Any additional comments?

    please, never read a non-fiction book as if it was fiction. And no fake accents for languages extinct for more than 3000 years. The readers know those are translations, this is not a childrens book...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Jim
    London
    4/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining and Thought Provoking"

    1177 B.C. strikes a fine balance between telling a story and acknowledging the extent to which gaps in the evidence make it difficult to speak write with certainty about the ancient world. A personal problem with histories covering this period is that they can either be a bit too dry to appeal to the general reader; focusing on tussles between academics at the cost of maintaining the reader's interest; or they gloss over the fact that historians are working with partial documents in dead languages and fragmentary archaeological evidence which evokes a suspicion that they're offering a superficial summary. Eric Cline hits a real sweet spot in acknowledging the uncertainties while maintaining a gripping narrative drive as he describes Bronze Age civilization; charts its destabilization and draws lessons about how our own world parallels many of the factors that lead to the 1177 BC collapse. After one listen it's gone straight back to the beginning for a second time. Highly recommended for history fans

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Michel
    Swanley, United Kingdom
    4/24/14
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    "Brilliant book: shame about the narrator."
    Where does 1177 B.C. rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Notwithstanding the poor narration, this audiobook takes pride of place in my Ancient History collection.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 1177 B.C.?

    Prof. Cline has satisfactorily resolved the issue of the Sea People.


    What aspect of Andy Caploe’s performance might you have changed?

    He reads this work as if it were a 'Gangster' novelette. He unnecessarily over-emphasizes words, and I found that I was listening to the delivery rather than the content.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, because I would carry out further research, after each section. This however was my choice.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a great pity that Prof. Cline was not allowed to read this work, himself. He is a great lecturer, (see the Great Courses on Audible) and would immediately engage and hold the listener. I shall buy the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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