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.
First published in 2014.Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University.
More about this book
- Winner of the 2014 Award for the Best Popular Book, American Schools of Oriental Research
- Honorable Mention for the 2015 PROSE Award in Archeology & Anthropology, Association of American Publishers
- One of The New York Post’s Best Books of 2014
- One of The Federalist’s Notable Books of 2015
- One of The Australian’s Best Books of the Year in 2014, chosen by filmmaker Bruce Beresford
- Selected as the 'Book of the Semester' Fall 2016, David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University
Table of Contents
Series Editor’s Foreword xiii
Prologue The Collapse of Civilizations: 1177 BC 1
Chapter One Act I. Of Arms and the Man: The Fifteenth Century BC 14
Chapter Two Act II. An (Aegean) Affair to Remember: The Fourteenth Century BC 43
Chapter Three Act III. Fighting for Gods and Country: The Thirteenth Century BC 73
Chapter Four Act IV. The End of an Era: The Twelfth Century BC 102
Chapter Five A "Perfect Storm" of Calamities? 139
Epilogue The Aftermath 171
Afterword to the Paperback Edition 177
Dramatis Personae 181
Other Books Written by this Author(s)
- Eric H. Cline
- Eric H. Cline
Shopping Cart Options
For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia
For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan
Princeton University Press
41 William Street
Princeton, New Jersey 08540 USA
- PUP Blog