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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.
Taking readers back 4,000 years, to the fertile land around the Nile River, The Ancient Egyptian World tells the stories of the kings, queens, pharaohs, gods, tomb builders, and ordinary citizens who lived there. Using papyri, scarabs, tomb inscriptions, mummies, and a rich variety of other primary sources, Eric H. Cline and Jill Rubalcaba uncover the fascinating history of ancient Egypt. Scarabs, which scholars call "imperial news bulletins," record important moments in a pharaoh's reign. The Edwin Smith Papyrus details the injuries sustained by the builders of the great pyramids, and the remedies used to treat them. For a worker who has had a stone fall on his head, it suggests: & ldbind it with fresh meat . . . and treat afterward with grease, honey and lint. " A complex recipe for a top-of-the-line mummy describes a process that could take 70 days and involved drawing the brain out through the nose with a crooked piece of iron. These primary sources also tell the stories of the people of ancient Egypt: Pepi II, the six-year-old boy king who commanded armies; Ramesses II, whose mortuary temple boasts of his expertise in battle against the Hittites; Queen Hatshepsut, the only woman to rule Egypt as pharaoh; and Cleopatra, who courted Roman statesman Mark Antony as part of her quest to extend the Egyptian empire. The Ancient Egyptian World honors the history of a civilization whose monuments and tombs still capture the imagination of the world thousands of years later. Book jacket.
Eric H. Cline uses the tools of his trade to examine some of the most puzzling mysteries from the Hebrew Bible and, in the process, to narrate the history of ancient Israel. Combining the academic rigor that has won the respect of his peers with an accessible style that has made him a favorite with readers and students alike, he lays out each mystery, evaluates all available evidence-from established fact to arguable assumption to far-fetched leap of faith-and proposes an explanation that reconciles Scripture, science, and history.Numerous amateur archaeologists have sought some trace of NoahÕs Ark to meet only with failure. But, though no serious scholar would undertake such a literal search, many agree that the Flood was no myth but the cultural memory of a real, catastrophic inundation, retold and reshaped over countless generations. Likewise, some experts suggest that JoshuaÕs storied victory at Jericho is the distant echo of an earthquake instead of IsraelÕs sacred trumpets-a fascinating, geologically plausible theory that remains unproven despite the best efforts of scientific research.Cline places these and other Biblical stories in solid archaeological and historical context, debunks more than a few lunatic-fringe fantasies, and reserves judgment on ideas that cannot yet be confirmed or denied. Along the way, our most informed understanding of ancient Israel comes alive with dramatic but accurate detail in this groundbreaking, engrossing, entertaining book by one of the rising stars in the field.
"Jerusalem Besieged is a fascinating account of how and why a baffling array of peoples, ideologies, and religions have fought for some four thousand years over a city without either great wealth, size, or strategic importance. Cline guides us through the baffling, but always bloody, array of Jewish, Roman, Moslem, Crusader, Ottoman, Western, Arab, and Israeli fights for possession of such a symbolic prize in a manner that is both scholarly and engaging. " -Victor Davis Hanson, Stanford University; author ofThe Other GreeksandCarnage and Culture "A beautifully lucid presentation of four thousand years of history in a single volume. Cline writes primarily as an archaeologist-avoiding polemic and offering evidence for any religious claims-yet he has also incorporated much journalistic material into this study. Jerusalem Besieged will enlighten anyone interested in the history of military conflict in and around Jerusalem. " -Col. Rose Mary Sheldon, Virginia Military Institute "This groundbreaking study offers a fascinating synthesis of Jerusalem's military history from its first occupation into the modern era. Cline amply deploys primary source material to investigate assaults on Jerusalem of every sort, starting at the dawn of recorded history. Jerusalem Besieged is invaluable for framing the contemporary situation in the Middle East in the context of a very long and pertinent history. " -Baruch Halpern, Pennsylvania State University A sweeping history of four thousand years of struggle for control of one city "[An] absorbing account of archaeological history, from the ancient Israelites' first conquest to today's second intifada. Cline clearly lays out the fascinating history behind the conflicts. " -USA Today "A pleasure to read, this work makes this important but complicated subject fascinating. " -Jewish Book World "Jerusalem Besieged is a fascinating account of how and why a baffling array of peoples, ideologies, and religions have fought for some four thousand years over a city without either great wealth, size, or strategic importance. Cline guides us through the baffling, but always bloody, array of Jewish, Roman, Moslem, Crusader, Ottoman, Western, Arab, and Israeli fights for possession of such a symbolic prize in a manner that is both scholarly and engaging. " -Victor Davis Hanson, Stanford University; author of The Other Greeks and Carnage and Culture
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