Knossos, Mycenae, Troy: The Enchanting Bronze Age and its Tumultuous Climax [Paperback]

Natale Barca (Author)

ISBN: 9781789259476 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 272p, H240 x W170 (mm) B/w

Knossos, Mycenae, Troy


This book charts the rise of and interplay between the first Mediterranean civilisations – with particular reference to the Minoan, Cycladic, Mycenaean and Trojan – and on the causes of their decline, which are identified in a jumble of natural and human causes, and in a slow, but irreversible crisis. It takes into account that the Mediterranean Dimension of the Bronze Age is a garden in which many legends flourished, clearly distinguishing between myth and history. Using written sources and archaeological evidence, it charts these civilisations' fortunes and crises, and the wars and natural disasters that led to their decline.

Chapters explore political geography, military and economic development, religion, monumental architecture and the rise and fall of the palatial dynasties and successive centralised governments, social life and material culture, with emphasis on the importance of commerce. A characterising element of Knossos, Mycenae, Troy is the wide use of the ‘historical present’ to represent events and construct the text. In doing so, it immerses the reader in the narrated events, facilitating our understanding. The result is a fascinating picture of the cultures that laid the foundations of Western civilisation.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The geographical context
1. The origins of the Minoan civilization
2. The geography of Protopalatial Crete
3. War weapons and defensive architecture
4. Maritime trade
5. Religion and worship
6. The transition to the Neopalatial Period
7. Neopalatial Crete
8. Mutual influences
9. The volcanic catastrophe of Santorini
10. The Proto-Greeks
11. The emergence of the Mycenaeans
12. The search for raw materials
13. Calamity and resilience
14. The Mycenaean conquest of Crete
15. The Mycenaeans seize mercantile trade from the Minoans
16. The pre-colonization of the West
17. Kingdoms and city-palaces
18. Crete in the age of Minos I
19. Minos II
20. The catastrophe of Pylos. The Sea Peoples: Part I
21. The Trojan War
22. Which Troy?
23. The decline of the palace-cities
24. The Sea Peoples: Part II
25. The recovery without the palaces and the final crisis

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