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After 1177 B.C.: The Survival of Civilizations

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1D0051
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Materials for this program

(Princeton University Press)

At the end of 1177 B.C., many of the Late Bronze Age civilizations of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean lay in ruins, undone by invasion, revolt, natural disasters, famine, and the demise of international trade. An interconnected world that had boasted major empires and societies, relative peace, robust commerce, and monumental architecture was lost and the so-called First Dark Age had begun. But what happened over the next four centuries across the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean world?

Eric Cline, author of After 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed and a professor of classics, history, and anthropology at George Washington University, surveys this dramatic period and expresses how the collapse of powerful Late Bronze Age civilizations created new circumstances to which people and societies had to adapt. Those that failed to adjust disappeared from the world stage, while others transformed, resulting in a new world order that included Phoenicians, Philistines, Israelites, Neo-Hittites, Neo-Assyrians, and Neo-Babylonians.

Taking the story up to the resurgence of Greece marked by the first Olympic Games in 776 B.C., Cline explains how world-changing innovations such as the use of iron and the alphabet emerged amid the chaos, why some societies survive massive shocks while others do not, and why this period, far from being the First Dark Age, was a new age with new inventions and new opportunities.

After 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Princeton University Press) is available for purchase.

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