sea peoples

Polycarp66 at Polycarp66 at
Sun Mar 18 01:26:15 EST 2001

In a message dated 3/14/2001 5:39:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
mc2499 at writes:

> The nearest thing to an amphictyony I have seen in all of this affair is the
> aggregation of populations to form that loose movement of invading forces 
> which
> first manifested itself in single movements which began to be felt by the 
> Egyptians
> with the Lukka (Lycians), Sherden (Sardinians) and the Meshwesh (perhaps 
> Mopsos)
> crossing the Mediterrannean during the reign of Ramses II. Next came the the
> troubles which the Hittites had with peoples on their western front, a 
> movement led
> by the Ahhiyawaya (in Hittite, Achaeans in Greek, "Eqwesh" in Egyptian and 
> perhaps
> Hivite in Hebrew) in about 1240. Within about fifty years the Hittites 
> disappeared
> from the scene, fallen at a time when Ugarit was registering the arrival of 
> people
> in boats attacking its coast. Ugarit then fell into silence along with a 
> number of
> other cities in the trajectory of the sea peoples, cities in Cyprus, cities 
> in
> Syria.

Perhaps this needs to be put a bit more in perspective.  We tend to talk of 
the "Sea Peoples" as a group despite obvious divisions into various ethnic 
groups.  Perhaps it is similar to the use of the term "Vikings".  These came 
from a geograpical area, but were not of ONE group.  In fact, the word 
"viking" has been used as a verb -- to go viking.  To use a more current 
analogy, perhaps the term "hispanic" would serve.  These may be people from 
various countries in South America, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, 
Cuba, and EVEN Spain (believe it or not) [ :-) ].    I would call to the 
attention of those interested in the "Sea Peoples" a book by Robert Drews, 
_The End of the Bronze Age_, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.  
ISBN 0-691-02591-6), in which his thesis is that it was the development of a 
new type sword and a swarming tactic which brought about the end of the 
advantage of chariotry in warfare.  Thereafter the chariot seems to have been 
relegated to the function of a "battle taxi" as it appears in Homer (Makes 
one wonder why Solomon was supposed to have kept a sizeable force of 
chariotry).  It would seem that his opinion is that this was a phenomenon not 
limited to one or even several political entities but was generally found 
throughout the Mediterranian area.  He appears to view them somewhat as 
opportunists seeking booty.

[BTW:  The book is only about 225pp. -- easy reading.]


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