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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 BC - Egyptian 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 - the reign of the Hittite king, Tudhaliya II (son of Arnuwanda)
ca. 1345-1325 BC - the reign of the 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 - the reign of the Hittite king, Arnuwanda II (eldest son of Suppiluliuma)
ca. 1320-1295 BC - the reign of the 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 - the reign of the Hittite king, Muwatalli II (eldest son of Mursili II)
1292-1290 BC - the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh, Rameses (founder of 19th Dynasty)
1290-1279 BC - the reign of the 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 - the reign of the 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 - the reign of the Hittite king, Mursili III (son of Muwatalli II)
1267-1237 BC - the reign of the 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 Letter of Tawagalawa (Etewoklewes/Eteocles?)
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 - the reign of the 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 - the reign of the Hittite king, Arnuwanda III (son of Tudhaliya IV)
1207-1178 BC - the reign of the 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 - the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh, Seti II (son of Merneptah)
ca. 1200 BC - Pylos was destroyed by fire (many Linear B tablets were thus baked and preserved); the site was abandoned and never resettled
1197-1191 BC - the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh, Siptah (son of either Merneptah or Seti II)
1191-1189 BC - the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh, Twosret (a daughter of Merneptah); her reign ended in a 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 - the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh, Setnakhte (founder of 20th Dynasty)
1186-1155 BC - the reign of the 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

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 the 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 the extent of a Mycenaean trade network
ca. 1300 BC - "Pictorial Style" in vase-painting developed
ca. 1300 BC - "Warrior Vase" shows the evolution of weaponry
ca. 1250 BC - "Lion Gate" at Mycenae was constructed

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

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

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

Thursday, April 7, 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

Primary Sources:
Text/Hesiod's Theogony
Text/Hesiod's Works and Days

Wednesday, April 6, 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

Sunday, April 3, 2016


The History of Ancient Greece Podcast is a deep-dive into one of the most influential and fundamental civilization in world history. Hosted by philhellene Ryan Stitt, THOAG spans over two millennia. From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Period,  from Classical Greece to the Hellenistic kingdoms, and finally to the Roman conquest, this podcast will tell the history of a fundamental civilization by bringing to life the fascinating stories of all the ancient sources and scholarly interpretations of the archaeological evidence. And we won't just detail their military and political history, but their society, how the Greeks lived day-to-day, as well as their culture—their art, architecture, philosophy, literature, religion, science, and all the other incredible aspects of the Greek achievement , while situating the Greeks within a multicultural Mediterranean whose peoples influenced and were influenced by one another.