Libsyn Player

Thursday, April 28, 2016

007 - Late Bronze Age Collapse

In this episode, we briefly discuss the Trojan War myth; the historical evidence for Mycenaean conflict in the eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia (by looking at the Egyptian and Hittite records); the archaeological evidence for layer VI and VII on the citadel of Hisarlik, i.e. ancient Troy (Wilion/Ilion); the Bronze Age collapse in both Greece and the Near East and its possible causes/explanations; the mysterious group of people known as the "Sea Peoples"; and the so-called "Dorian Invasion" southwards into Greece

ca. 1450 BCEgyptian records mention a land belonging to the Danaya (Danaians?), during the reign of pharoah Thutmose III
ca. 1430 BC - An anti-Hittite uprising in Assuwa (northwestern Anatolia), supported by the Ahhiyawans (Achaeans?), was put down by the Hittite king, Tudhaliya; mentioned as taking part were Wilusa and Taruisa (the city of Troy and its surrounding lands)
ca. 1400 BC - An Ahhiyawan warlord, named Attarsiya (Atreus?), attacked Hittite vassals in western Anatolia, including Madduwata (the prince of Arzawa), and the island of Alashiya (Cyprus), before being defeated by the Hittite king, Tudhaliya or Arnuwanda
ca. 1375 BC - The land belonging to the Danaya was geographically defined in an inscription on the Colossi of Memnon from the reign of Amenhotep III, in which a number of cities were mentioned and identified with certainty (including Mycenae and Thebes)
ca. 1360-1345 BC - reign of Hittite king, Tudhaliya II (son of Arnuwanda)
ca. 1345-1325 BC - reign of Hittite king, Suppiluliuma (youngest son of Tudhaliya II); led an overthrow and death of his younger brother, Tudhaliya III, upon their father's death
ca. 1325-1320 BC - reign of Hittite king, Arnuwanda II (eldest son of Suppiluliuma)
ca. 1320-1295 BC - reign of Hittite king, Mursili II (youngest son of Suppiluliuma)
ca. 1315 BC - Another anti-Hittite uprising, led by Arzawa and with the support of the Ahhiyawans, forced the Hittites to take military action in western Anatolia; at the same time,  the Ahhiyawans seized lands in the eastern Aegean Sea
ca. 1300 BC - Troy VI is destroyed by an earthquake
ca. 1295 BC - Wilusa (Troy) in the region of Taruisa (the Troad) is attacked by a Hittite vassal king, named Piyama-Radu (Priam?), and so either the Hittite king, Mursili II or Muwatalli II, marched an army to northwestern Anatolia to put down the rebellion
ca. 1295-1272 BC - reign of Hittite king, Muwatalli II (eldest son of Mursili II)
1292-1290 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Rameses (founder of 19th Dynasty)
1290-1279 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Seti (son of Rameses)
1282 BC - traditional date of the foundation of Homeric Troy's walls
ca. 1280 BC - Alaksandsus (Alexandros/Paris?), the king of Wilusa (Troy) signs a treaty with the Hittite king, Muwatalli II, pledging military support in any future campaigns
1279-1213 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Rameses II (son of Seti)
1274 BC - The Wilusans (Trojans) fought alongside Muwatalli II and the Hittites against Rameses II and the Egyptians in the Battle of Kadesh
1272-1267 BC - reign of Hittite king, Mursili III (son of Muwatalli II)
1267-1237 BC - reign of Hittite king, Hattusili III (youngest son of Mursili II)
ca. 1250 BC - Another anti-Hittite movement broke out (again by Piyama-Radu) but this time was supported by the king of Ahhiyawa, resulting in Wilusa being ravaged (Trojan War?); as a result, the Hittite king, Hattusili III, initiated correspondence with the unnamed king of Ahhiyawa in the so-called Tawagalawa (Etewoklewes/Eteocles?) Letter
ca. 1250-1210 BC - The Milawata Letter was sent from the Hittite king, either Hattusili III or Tudhaliya IV, to an unknown vassal king in western Anatolia at Milawata (Millawanda/Miletus) demanding that he turn over a fugitive from Wilusa, named Walmu, to a Hittite envoy so that the Hittites can reinstall him as king at Wilusa, seeming to imply that Ahhiyawan raids may have led to Walmu being overthrown (Trojan War?)
ca. 1250-1190 BC - Troy VIIa was destroyed by fire
ca. 1250 BC - various Greek cities repelled invaders from the north, but heavy damage was done, leading to an increase in defensive fortifications
1237-1209 BC - reign of Hittite king, Tudhaliya IV (son of Hattusili III)
1237 BC - the power of the Hittites began to wane under Tudhaliya IV, after they were defeated by the Assyrian king, Tikulti-Ninurta, in the Battle of Nihriya
1213-1203 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Merneptah (son of Ramesses II)
ca. 1210 BC - Suppiluliuma II, the son of the Hittite king, Tudhaliya IV, had to fight off an invasion fleet coming from the direction of Cyprus using Levantine ships, including a naval battle against Alashiya off the coast of Cyprus
1209-1207 BC - reign of Hittite king, Arnuwanda III (son of Tudhaliya IV)
1207-1178 BC - reign of last Hittite king, Suppiluliuma II (younger son of Tudhaliya IV)
1207 BC - the Egyptian pharaoh, Merneptah, pushes out from the Nile Delta a mysterious group from the north, the so-called "Sea Peoples", as recorded on the "Merneptah Stele"
1205 BC - the Hittite capital of Hattusa was sacked and destroyed, probably by the proto-Phrygians (an Indo-European tribe from Thrace)
1203-1197 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Seti II (son of Merneptah)
ca. 1200 BC - Pylos was destroyed by fire (many Linear B tablets were thus baked and preserved); site was abandoned and never resettled
1197-1191 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Siptah (son of either Merneptah or Seti II)
1191-1189 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Twosret (a daughter of Merneptah); her reign ended in civil war and the dissolution of the 19th Dynasty
ca. 1190-1180 BC - The fortresses of Mycenae and Tiryns were felled by an earthquake, both were able to recover but were severely weakened
ca. 1190 BC - Various cities in the Levant were sacked by the Sea Peoples, notably Ugarit; Byblos and Sidon survive and would form the backbone of the Iron Age Phoenicians
1189-1186 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Setnakhte (founder of 20th Dynasty)
1186-1155 BC - reign of Egyptian pharaoh, Rameses III (son of Setnakhte); is considered to be the last monarch of the New Kingdom to wield any substantial authority over Egypt, and his long reign saw the decline of Egyptian political and economic power, linked to a series of invasions and internal economic problems
1184 BC - traditional date for the Homeric sack of Troy
1181 BC - the Egyptian pharaoh, Rameses III, defeats the Sea Peoples on land in the Battle of Djahy in the southern Levant; almost all that we know about the battle comes from inscriptions on the mortuary temple of Ramesses III in Medinet Habu
1177 BC - Rameses III defeats the Sea Peoples for a second time this one at sea in the Battle of the Nile Delta, but in the process Egyptian power was severely weakened
ca. 1150 BC - Mycenae was attacked for a second time from the north (the return of the Herakleidai?), but this time it did not recover and people migrated to the countryside
ca. 1150-1100 BC - Most sites in Greece declined into a group of small villages surrounding the citadel; famine and emigration set the backdrop for a massive population drop; the so-called Sea Peoples eventually settled down following a century of upheaval in the eastern Mediterranean, and their names and tentative identifications include the Peleset with the biblical Philistines who gave their name to Palestine, the Ekwesh with the Greek Achaioi, the Denyen with the Greek Danoi, the Lukka with those who gave their name to the southwest Anatolian region of Lycia, the Sherden with the Sardinians, the Shekelesh with the Sicilians, the Teresh with the Tyrrhenians (or the Etruscans), the Tjeker with the Greek Teucrians from Anatolia, and the Meshwesh with the Libyans

Video/The Trojan War | Explained as Short as Possible

Video/The Bronze Age Collapse - Before the Storm
Video/The Bronze Age Collapse - The Wheel and the Rod
Video/The Bronze Age Collapse - Fire and Sword
Video/The Bronze Age Collapse - Systems Collapse

Fall of Civilizations Ep 02 - The Bronze Age Collapse - Mediterranean Apocalypse

Recommended Sources for Further Reading:
Article/Did Climate Change Bring Down Late Bronze Age Civilizations?

Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:
Wonders of the World Episode 14 The Temple of Rameses II at Abu Simbel
The Almost Forgotten Episode 3.1 Suppiluliuma
The History of English Podcast Ep 12 Early Greek, Hittite and the Trojan War
Trojan War The Podcast (20 episodes)
Our Fake History Episode 15 Was There a Real Trojan War? (Part I)
Our Fake History Episode 16 Was There a Real Trojan War? (Part II)
Our Fake History Episode 17 Was There a Real Trojan War? (Part III)
History of Pirates Podcast Episode 02 Ancient Pirates & The Quest For Stuff
The Maritime History Podcast Episode 17 Black Ships on Trojan Shores
The Maritime History Podcast Episode 18 The Beginning of the End
The Maritime History Podcast Episode 19 Ugarit in Flames
The Maritime History Podcast Episode 20 The Sea Peoples Sail South: Vol. II
Ancient Greece Declassified Ep 02 Bronze Age Apocalypse

* Drews, Robert. 1993. The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C. Princeton UP.
* Strauss, Barry. 2007. The Trojan War: A New History. Simon & Schuster.
* Cline, Eric. 2015. 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed. Princeton UP.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

006 - Mycenaean Greece

In this episode, we discuss the archaeological evidence of the Mycenaean Greeks of the late Bronze Age (ca. 1650-1250 BC); particularly from the major palace centers in the Argolid at Mycenae and Tiryns, Athens in Attica, the island of Salamis, Thebes and Orchomenos in Boeotia, Iolcos in Thessaly, Amyclae (which is Sparta) in Laconia, and Pylos in Messenia; what the Linear B tablets can tell us about their society, economy, and religion; and their extensive trade network that spanned the entire Mediterranean

ca. 1650-1500 BC - goods found in Grave Circles A and B at Mycenae show that the Minoans on Crete began to exercise a dominant influence on Mycenaean culture
ca. 1600 BC - two-wheeled chariots made their way to Greek mainland, probably through contact with the Hittite Empire of Anatolia (Asia Minor)
ca. 1500 BC - Tholos (beehive-shaped) tombs began to appear in Greek mainland
ca. 1450-1250 BC - the apex of Mycenaean civilization after they surpassed the Minoans as the dominant commercial power in the Aegean region
ca. 1450 BC - Linear B developed (an early form of Greek)
ca. 1325 BC - Uluburun shipwreck shows extent of Mycenaean trade network
ca. 1300 BC - "Pictorial Style" in vase-painting developed
ca. 1300 BC - "Warrior Vase" shows evolution of weaponry
ca. 1250 BC - "Lion Gate" at Mycenae was constructed

Greek wordstholos (beehive-shaped tomb), dromos (long stone-lined walkway leading to tools), megaron (rectangular-shaped audience hall), wanax (lord or master), lawagetas (second in command/leader of the people), temenos (landed estate), telestai (high ranking group, probably priests), hequetas (high ranking officers, later hetairoi), kerosija (advisors to king, later gerousia), korete (governor of district), prokerete (deputy of district), damokoro (person in charge of each district's people), damos (people, later demos), pasireu (in charge of affairs at local village level, later basileus), doero (slave, later doulos), potnia (lady or mistress), wanerkatero (belonging to the lord or master, i.e. palace slaves), rhyton (animal shaped drinking cup), metuwo newo (feast of wine), wonoqoso (wine-colored, later oinops)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

005 - Minoan Crete

In this episode, we discuss the myths and archaeological evidence for the Minoans on Crete, who were an early source of cultural inspiration for the Mycenaean Greeks; the palace complexes at Knossos (north), Phaistos (south), Mallia (northeast), and Zakros (east); the volcanic eruption that blew apart the island of Thera in the mid-17th century BC and was a catalyst for the decline of the Minoan civilization (the inspiration for Plato's infamous description of Atlantis?); the ultimate subordination of the Minoans by the Mycenaean Greeks in the 15th and 14th centuries BC; and the decipherment of Linear B (an early form of Greek) by Michael Ventris in the mid-20th century AD

ca. 3500 BC - earliest traces of "civilization" appear on Crete
ca. 2700-2600 - "the Minoans" of Crete enter the Bronze Age, as they begin to communicate and trade with the Near East
ca. 2000-1700 BC - Proto-Palatial or "Old Palace" Period
ca. 1900 BC - Cretan Hieroglyphics developed (undeciphered, ex. Phaistos Disc)
ca. 1800 BC - Linear A developed (undeciphered)
ca. 1700 BC - earthquake destroyed the palaces at Knossos, Phaistos, Mallia, and Zakros
ca. 1700-1600 BC - Neo-Palatial or "New Palace" Period 
ca. 1650 BC - volcanic eruption on Thera (modern Santorini)
ca. 1450 BC - the royal palaces of Phaistos, Mallia, and Zakros, as well as numerous country villas and small towns, were sacked and burned by the Mycenaean Greeks
ca. 1450 BC - Linear B developed (deciphered as early Greek)
ca. 1350 BC - Knossos was sacked and burned by the Mycenaean Greeks, marking the end of Minoan Crete and ascendancy of Mycenaean Crete

Greek termsthalassa (sea), kratos (rule or power), thalassokratia (thalassocracy or sea power), pithoi (tall storage jars), labrys (double-headed axe)

Mythical Characters: Zeus, Europa, Minos, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon, Asterion, Pasiphae, Aegeus, Theseus, Ariadne, Minotaur, Daedalus, Icarus, Cocalus

Monday, April 11, 2016

004 - Early Bronze Age

In this episode, we discuss the archaeological evidence for the early Bronze Age on mainland Greece and the Cycladic Islands; the arrival of the Indo-Europeans in Greece (known as the proto-Greeks); and the rediscovery and excavation of three legendary Bronze Age cities (Troy, Knossos, and Mycenae) in the latter part of the 19th century AD by the infamous Heinrich Schliemann and Sir Arthur Evans that brought to light the Bronze Age peoples who would become known as the "Minoans" and "Mycenaeans"

ca. 3000-2100 BC - early Bronze Age in Greece
ca. 2100 BC - Proto-greeks (Indo-Europeans) arrive in Greece
ca. 2100-1600 BC - middle Bronze Age in Greece; proto-Greeks mingle with the natives (the so-called Pelasgians) to develop a distinctly Helladic culture

Greek wordspaleo (old), chalkos (copper), nea (new), lithos (stone), kuklos (circle)

Friday, April 8, 2016

003 - The Stone Age

In this episode, we leave the realm of myth and trace the development of early primate/human activity in Greece in the Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age), culminating in the domestication of plants and animals, the rise of the earliest villages, and the development of metallurgy in the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age)

ca. 200,000 BC - the oldest hominid (or primate) skull in Greece can be found at the Petralona Cave in the Chalkidiki Peninsula
ca. 50,000 BC - the Neanderthals migrate southwards into the Balkans (evidence specifically in Greece can be seen at the Kalamakia Cave in the Peloponnese)
ca. 40,000 BC - the first Homo Sapiens (known as the Cro-Magnons) enter onto the scene in Europe and begin to wipe out the Neanderthals mysteriously
ca. 20,000 BC - the earliest evidence for Homo Sapiens activity in Greece can be found at the Franchthi Cave overlooking the Argolic Gulf
ca. 10,000 BC - the end of Paleolithic Period / last Ice Age
ca. 7,000 BC - the "agricultural revolution" reaches Greece from the Near East
ca. 6,000 BC - Neolithic burial sites begin to take place in Alepotrypa Cave in Peloponnese
ca. 5,000 BC - Neolithic villages and permanent houses develop in Macedonia at Nea Nikomedeia and further south in Thessaly at Sesklo and Dimini
ca. 4,000 BC - metallurgy (copper and bronze) reaches Greece from the Near East

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

002 - The Greek Genesis

In this episode, we take a look at Creation, according to the Greeks; the Titanomachy, the Gigantomachy, and the ascendancy of the Olympian Gods; the creation of the first humans; the story of Prometheus and the first woman, Pandora; Deucalion and the great flood; and the progenitors of the various Greek tribes

Mythic Characters, Places, and EventsChaos, Gaia, Erebos, Nyx, Tartaros, Aether, Hemera, Ouranos, Pontos, the three Cyclopes, the Hecatoncheires (the hundred-handed ones), the twelve Titans (Koios, Kronos, Krios, Hyperion, Iapetus, Oceanus, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Theia, Themis, Tethys), Aphrodite, the Erinyes (the Furies), Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, Amalthea, the Kouretes, Metis, the Titanomachy, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysos, the Gigantes, the Gigantomachy, Typhon, Prometheus, Io, Argus, Pandora, Epimetheus, Deucalion, Pyrrha, Hellene, Aeolus, Dorus, Xuthus, Achaeus, Ion

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

001 - Let There Be Greece!

The first part of this episode is a brief introduction to the podcast; who I am, what my motivation is for doing this, and what I hope to achieve, and in the second part, we describe the geography of Greece (Hellas) and its natural resources

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Hello, I’m Ryan Stitt and welcome to the History of Ancient Greece.

I am not a professional historian, just an enthusiastic amateur. I studied Classical languages and ancient history at the University of Alabama, as well as some postgraduate work at UCLA. But for personal reasons, I stepped away from academia and ultimately decided to commission into the United States' Air Force.

But being away from academia doesn’t mean I love ancient history any less. In fact, it’s the opposite. I actually really miss it—except for the exams, of course! Ever since I studied abroad in Greece as a bright-eyed undergraduate, I have been in love with Greek culture and the ancient world in general. You can most definitely call me a Philhellene, a modern-day Hadrian if you will—minus the imperial powers, sadly.

I am also a huge fan of history podcasts; Mike Duncan’s History of Rome, Scott Chesworth’s The Ancient World, Jamie Redfern’s History Of series, Dominic Perry’s Egyptian History, Rob Monoco’s Podcast History of Our World—I could go on and on. As I listened to more and more podcasts, it didn’t seem like there was much out there covering Greek history. Sure, there are podcasts that deal with Greece but only from a general aspect as one cog in the machine that is western civilization or world history, or they deal with a particular subject or time period of Greek civilization—like mythology or the aforementioned Alexander the Great—but they left me wanting to know more, to dig deeper into the details. I also found absolutely nothing concerning Greek history after the death of Alexander the Great. In fact, most college courses and textbooks either end with his death or skip over the Hellenistic Period, only mentioning Greek existence in their relation to the Roman world. But those three centuries in between are a fascinating time of transformation, culturally and politically, as Greek culture was diffused throughout the entire eastern Mediterranean. So I figured that I would throw my hat in the proverbial ring and the give the people what they’re looking for, or at least what I was looking for.

The podcast begins in Greece’s mythological past, explaining what the Greeks themselves believed the origin of their universe was. Then we delve into the early archaeological evidence for humans in Greece and the way this society developed before the advent of writing. Over the course of our story we will cover almost 2000 years, from the Bronze Age period to the Roman conquest. I want to tell the long history of a fundamental civilization, bringing to life the fascinating stories of the ancient sources. But this isn’t a podcast just about stories, and it won’t just be political history, either. There too will be a big emphasis on social history, that is how the people actually lived their day-to-day lives, as well as their culture—art, architecture, philosophy, literature, religion, science, and all those other awesome aspects of the Greek achievement. This will be a comprehensive, in-depth political, social, and cultural history of Greece. So get excited, I know I am!

I should note, though, this is my first attempt at podcasting, so I welcome any and all suggestions. The podcast, hopefully, will be released every week, probably closer to the weekend. If there will be delays, I’ll let you know. The information and materials used to generate this podcast will come from a wide variety of sources, both primary and secondary, and I’ll also post pictures, maps, and other information to supplement the podcast.