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.
Someone with purely academic interests who wants all the supporting information listed.
Put the supporting information in end notes. Don't put the end notes in the audiobook.
Inflections often did not match the meaning of the sentence.
The book does not create a sense of a single defining moment, quite the opposite. Which is fine, but that's not what it seems like from the title and description. The book is dry with lots of lists, and is repetitive because it's not organized well.
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.
I was disappointed by the lack of supporting information. Where is the evidence to support assertions regarding climate? Where is the data on dusts and pollens in lakebed muds and regional glaciers? Where is the supporting evidence in preserved woods from the regions?
Were there any economists involved or consulted in the research for this book, because economics were discussed. Extra-regional migrations or population shifts were hinted at, yet that was not discussed at length. If that is significant, it needs further research.
The author focuses on individual leaders/kings/envoys who are supposed to drive whole cultures and economies, and does not satisfactorily delve into the contributions of lesser individuals/groups/cultures/religions of an area which have a more significant impact on the flow of goods and services.
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.
This book has no insights into the history and talks little of the collapse of civilization.
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.
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.
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.
I would like a refund, please.
Say something about yourself!
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
Who at Amazon writes these questions - a trashy novel aficionado? "Love" is an inappropriate verb for an analysis of Late Bronze Age cultures, their economic interdependence upon each other, and a consideration of the possible factors leading to the collapse of these cultures and the rise of new societies.
A premise of the author is that the interdependence of the economies of Late Bronze Age kingdoms - the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, and Mycenaeans among others - may have contributed to their collapse in the 12thc BC. Thus, a modern treatise questioning the stability of the modern global economy, might have some comparable factors. Gibbons's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in which that author attempted to identify the historic factors leading to the end of Rome, might also be apposite.
Mr Caploe changed his intonation when reading letters written by one ancient ruler to another, so one could hear the threats, importunings, and fulsome praises the letters might have contained.
From the fringes of the Late Bronze Age world they came, they saw, and they destroyed - or did they? And who were they, anyway?
This is not a book that can be digested in one audible "sitting". The author provides historic background of the many societies and kingdoms of the Late Bronze Age. Many rulers have similar names. Many place names no longer exist. Listeners might find it handy to have a map of the ancient Middle East (many Bibles contain such). Mr Cline's last chapters provide a summary which may allay confusion in a listener's mind and help the listener piece together a partial, at least, understanding of the many ancient societies which were swept away by a likely combination of events- a "perfect storm" - to use an overused metaphor.
Any listener not familiar with the British elections leading to the Brexit decision, and the repercussions in the European Union and Wall Street, should take an hour to read about these recent events - then listen again to the last chapter, and read Shelley's Ozymandias.
You have to really be into archaeology to like this book. It reads like a seven hour research paper. If you have a PhD in archaeology are ancient history you'll probably love it but for the layman, it's dry stuff.
This is a detailed analysis of the collapse of interdependent Bronze Age civilizations in the Middle East near the 12th century BCE. At times the author bogged the reader down in endless details about rulers, archaeological digs, and descriptions which seemed to go nowhere. I found it difficult to hang in there but at the end the author tied all the elements together and explained how civilizations can collapse due to multiple factors.
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