Arzawa: The History and Legacy of a Forgotten Ancient Kingdom in Anatolia, Charles River Editors
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Arzawa: The History and Legacy of a Forgotten Ancient Kingdom in Anatolia

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Colin Fluxman

Unabridged: 1 hr 23 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 03/11/2023

Genre: History - Ancient

Synopsis

The Late Bronze Age Near East (c. 1550-1200 BCE) was a time and place of unprecedented wealth and stability. The major kingdoms of Egypt, Babylonia, Hatti, Mitanni, Assyria, and other regional powers established trade networks and diplomatic ties with each other, creating one of the world’s first global geopolitical systems in the process. There was war and conflict during this era, but most of the wars were border skirmishes that involved proxies, rarely changing the borders very much in the process. Modern scholars have divided the countries in this system into two groups: the major powers, which included those listed above along with a few others, and those who were usually ruled over or colonized by the major powers. But things were not always so black and white.

The mysterious land of Arzawa is another Late Bronze Age kingdom whose Great Power status has been questioned by some archaeologists and historians. Arzawa was a state or a collection of states in western Anatolia that challenged the Hittites for supremacy in the region. Although Arzawa never extended its borders beyond Anatolia, even at the apex of its military, diplomatic, and economic power, it did draw the attention of the Egyptians and is mentioned in in two of the famous Amarna Letters. For that reason, many scholars have labeled Arzawa a Late Bronze Age Great Power, but the designation has done little to flesh out the details of their enigmatic culture. Historians, archaeologists, and philologists still argue over many elements of Arzawa and its people, including who they were, how powerful the kingdom was, and even where it was located. It is likely that not all of these questions will ever be answered, but an examination of Arzawa's culture and history, especially its relation with the Hittites, does help bring this Bronze Age culture into better focus.  

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