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Mycenae Inspirational Locale


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History and archeology buffs will see A LOT of Greek Bronze Age in Glorantha.

What many don't know is that the Greek Bronze Age is divided into two periods and separated by a long Dark Age. The Heroic Age of Greece is the one of Agamemnon and the Battle of Troy [both of which are historical], while Alexander and the phalanxes are Late Bronze /Early Iron Age. In between these is a series of natural disasters that effected the entire Eastern Mediterranean and an invasion by the Sea Peoples, a polyglot group of tribes that united and either conquered or burned down almost everything East of Italia. Think of them as the Huns of the Ancient World.

One city that strode magnificently through the Heroic Age was the Cretan /Minoan city of Mycenae. She was the hub of a trade network that spanned the Med and was in serious running with Egypt's Thebes as the most cosmopolitan city in the world.

Here is a great video that details the city and culture of Mycenae. You'll see a lot of Glorantha here... clothing styles, architecture, etc. and so on.

Enjoy.

 

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For my taste, the reliance on the Mycenean and Kretan (Minoan) edifices in the uplands of Dragon Pass is problematic, and the "reconstruction" of the roofs is just plain fantasy as none of those roof terrace structures survived in the archaeological record. This isn't just upland Cyprus, and while the Bronze Age lasted there, the temperatures were higher on average, if not peaking as extremely as they do now under anthropogenic global warming.

IMO calling Greek history after the Dark Age or the "publication" of Homer Bronze Age is a mis-application of the term. By the time international trade took up again, iron was available as the metal for tools and weapons throughout the region. Further north, in the Carpathian basin and beyond, the "global" shortage of tin trade did not apply as the local providers never really broke down or were replaced, which is why e.g. Central Europe retained a Bronze Age material culture into the beginning of the Hallstatt culture and the Nordic Bronze Age lasted all the way to 500 BCE before iron technology entered as a wide-spread source of tools and weaponry, with most of the advances the 1000 years of development on Cyprus and elsewhere in the Fertile Crescent had achieved.

One culture in particular, the Etruskans, brought their iron technology from the northern Aegaean islands such as Lesbos to northwestern Italy, their departure obscured in the shrouds of the Dark Age following the Sea People migrations.

Alexander is post-Iron Age, really, if you apply Iron Age to the Chiefdoms of barbarians and a multitude of city states. Alexander marks the turning points between the Greek City States and bigger empires created by upstart newcomers. The Roman period in Scandinavia is known as Roman Iron Age, for instance, rather than the classical period, which in Greece started about 500 years after the Sea Peoples arrival.

The Sea Peoples are comparable to the Vikings and Saracen pirates plaguing the Germanic successor states in western Roman territory. Comparing sea-based migrations with those on horse-back or otherwise overland always creates problems, as does transfer of coastal trading into inlands without convenient rivers. While the Venetian sea-based trade network was an extension of the Silk Road, the rules of that trade were different from those in central Asia, and the bulk trade carried by Hanseatic era traders on waterways (including the main rivers into central Europe) was rarely realized in overland transport, not even on Roman highways.

Edited by Joerg

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Well the Hunnic comparison was on purpose.

Anthropologists believe that, like the Huns, the Sea Peoples were a large grouping of various different peoples without common origins. What's more, there's evidence that the Sea Peoples were not a military invasion for conquest, but a mass migration of entire tribes, rather like the Germanic Invasions and Goths faced by Rome.

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1 hour ago, svensson said:

Well the Hunnic comparison was on purpose.

Anthropologists believe that, like the Huns, the Sea Peoples were a large grouping of various different peoples without common origins. What's more, there's evidence that the Sea Peoples were not a military invasion for conquest, but a mass migration of entire tribes, rather like the Germanic Invasions and Goths faced by Rome.

And i have recently read an article indicating, on the basis of archaeological evidence, that at least some of them ended up as the Philistines.  Whose physical culture indicates a blending of several Mediterranean peoples with the previous inhabitants o the land.   However the article also speculates that they may have originally been more pirates than migrating tribes.

 

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9 hours ago, svensson said:

Well the Hunnic comparison was on purpose.

Anthropologists believe that, like the Huns, the Sea Peoples were a large grouping of various different peoples without common origins. What's more, there's evidence that the Sea Peoples were not a military invasion for conquest, but a mass migration of entire tribes, rather like the Germanic Invasions and Goths faced by Rome.

Ramses delivered us their names as understood and writable by the Egyptians, which is probably about as authentic as Munich (München), Cologne (Köln, or in local dialect Kölle), Copenhagen (København, or earlier even Kjøbenhavn), Bombay (Mumbai), or Peking (Beijing). The depictions of his foes shows different tribal costumes, so why would anybody assume that they were homogenous?

Any mass of "barbarian" immigrants cannot help but be a conglomerate of plenty different tribes. Probably goes for the Medes and Persians interacting with the Mesopotamian city states just as much as for the Mongols, and any mass of city states can be as tribal in nature. The Greek city-states were united only in "cultural superiority" versus their Macedonian and later Roman conquerors.

For our purposes, we will probably accept that a vow of the suitors for the daughter of Zeus led to 10,000 ships launched for a single face, but how unified would the Mycenaean warlords in their quite separate citadels ever have been? All had similar claims to divine ancestry and the divinity of their office.

Compare that to the lords of the Heuneburg and similar Fürstensitze, and the Celtic horde that overran the Etruskans after two or more generations of migration, under a single (possibly wartime only) king Brennus against the Romans.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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8 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

And i have recently read an article indicating, on the basis of archaeological evidence, that at least some of them ended up as the Philistines.  Whose physical culture indicates a blending of several Mediterranean peoples with the previous inhabitants o the land.   However the article also speculates that they may have originally been more pirates than migrating tribes.

 

The difference is as hard to tell with the Sea People as it was with the Saxons or their cousins few centuries apart, the Vikings. Or (if you are honest) with the Etruskans, Greeks and Phoenicians colonizing the western Mediterranean. The one major difference that makes historians take their accounts for truth is that these peoples were literate.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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