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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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
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Disorganized and rambling

I found this book to be a disorganized and rambling account of the pre-Iron Age world. While interesting, this book was presented as a tale of the Sea People invasions but proved to be a mashup and regurgitation of ancient and modern sources..basically repeating what is already known. While the narrator was excellent, I feel as if I could have obtained the same information in this book on Wikipedia or other general history sites. Quite unfortunate.

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Not Gripping

A whole lot of boring speculation about what might have happened, at the end of the bronze age.

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1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Provides a good synopsis of events during the Late Bronze Age, but fails to provide a satisfactory answer to the question of why a collapse happened, other than that it was inevitable. I would describe this book as a "pop history". If you want a more in-depth treatment of the topic, go to the source material that Cline cites.

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A bunch of stuff happened, or maybe it didn't.

I really wanted to like this and the reader made a heroic effort to make it interesting. This book covers so much ground and yet so little. There are so many factors which could have brought about a cascade failure and some are of interest to modern readers based on current challenges and threats. However, the book just comes of like a bloated term paper. I can understand not wanting to commit to a theory and get blasted by peers for being a crackpot but, to say so much and not say "here's what I think happened" is bothersome and a waste of a reader's time. If I just wanted to know about the "could have beens" of the late bonze age, I could have spent half on day on wikipedia and been just as informed. There is no firm stance taken by the author. The facts are assembled but they never march anywhere. It's also very repetitive. That begins to feel like a student trying to pad a subject to make a page count quota and, on the whole, makes this highly academic in the worst ways. I never thought I'd leave the subject thinking "Yeah, so what".

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Dissapointing

Underlying history is amazing. Valuable succint discriptions of civilizations in the Aegean and Eastern Med. Yet, the diverse parts never really came together, beyond loose assertions.

Random inflections and emphasis by the reader ard a distraction.

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Okay

I think the PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Cline was better. It dragged on in some cases

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Almost nothing to do with collapse of civilization or the Sea Proples

I really hated this book. What a disappointment! I was hoping to read about how the civilizations of the Late Bronze Age ended, what life looked like before and after, and (most of all) about the mysterious Sea Peoples.

The author spent about 3/4 of the book talking about the civilizations of the Late Bronze Age, and (the best feature of the book) about the interconnections between those civilizations. The author brushes over the various possible factors that detrimentally affected the various civilizations: earthquakes, drought/famine, internal rebellions--maybe--and/or external invasions by . . . meh, maybe Sea People maybe not.

The author cites the work of others, adding basically zero original thought or argument, basically sounding like a pretty bad book report. The author is far more boring, and far less useful, than any Dan Carlin Hardcore History podcast you'll ever hear.

Here's the nutshell: lots of stuff caused the collapse of the civilizations of the Late Bronze Age over the course of about a century, and the year 1177 B.C. Is of little actual importance.

What did life look like in the aftermath of the collapse? Eh, people quit using cuneiform and started using other writing? I guess. The author covers this in a paragraph. Other than that: I guess there was less contact between the various civilizations?

As to the Sea People: skip this. You'll learn nothing.

In fact, skip the book.

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Total crap

About 7 hours of completely unrelated places and dates, and more dates and places. These disjointed facts are not tied together in the end. And , the last chapter could be summarized as the author/we don't know what happened.

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Interesting but tedious

It's a fascinating story and theory for anyone interested in the Bronze Age civilizations and their demise. However, I'd have been happy to read a long article on the subject, rather than get bogged down in the micro-specifics of who traded what with whom and under what ruler. In short, a little TMI, most of which I've already forgotten.

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tells you more about hypothesises than reality

interesting, but I would rather have a summarized version not a verbose one like this.