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If you are interested in this kind of history, you might be interested in this book:

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Which looks at the cosmopolitan trading civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean during the 1400-1177 bc era, and how it collapsed.


There are, of course, alternative theories about "The Catastrophe" as historians call the event, when almost all the cities facing the Mediterranean were sacked in a few short years, preceding a 400-year "dark age".

One well-supported theory suggests a military innovation that enabled a cheaply-outfitted, quickly recruited army of 10,000 to defeat a standing force of 1000 charioteers. Such an army might be easily filled out from among the overtaxed farmers surrounding each walled city. In this alternative, the "dark age" might rather indicate freedom from centralized oppression, with "civilization" arising again only after its faults were forgotten; and the Catastrophe an early sort of "Mediterranean Spring".

There was never more than conjecture supporting the "Sea Peoples" idea. For the popular-uprising approach, we may imagine a core of a few hundred organizers proceeding from one city to the next, with local recruiting promises (and testimonials from the last) of rich spoils from each new target.

Seconded, amazing book, wish it was longer!

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