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  • 1177 B.C.

  • The Year Civilization Collapsed
  • By: Eric H. Cline
  • Narrated by: Andy Caploe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (298 ratings)

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1177 B.C. cover art

1177 B.C.

By: Eric H. Cline
Narrated by: Andy Caploe
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Summary

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages", Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age - and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

©2014 Eric H. Cline. Published by Princeton University Press. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about 1177 B.C.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book: shame about the narrator.

Where does 1177 B.C. rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Notwithstanding the poor narration, this audiobook takes pride of place in my Ancient History collection.

What was one of the most memorable moments of 1177 B.C.?

Prof. Cline has satisfactorily resolved the issue of the Sea People.

What aspect of Andy Caploe’s performance might you have changed?

He reads this work as if it were a 'Gangster' novelette. He unnecessarily over-emphasizes words, and I found that I was listening to the delivery rather than the content.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, because I would carry out further research, after each section. This however was my choice.

Any additional comments?

It is a great pity that Prof. Cline was not allowed to read this work, himself. He is a great lecturer, (see the Great Courses on Audible) and would immediately engage and hold the listener. I shall buy the book.

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A good ‘story’ rendered disappointing

May I just say to start with, that I listen to creepypasta on youtube, so I am used to American mispronunciations of, and wrong emphasis on names, places, and words in general. But in this case, I have found it to be quite wearying, and caused me to shout at the narrator until I started to flag.

I am also finding the writing style a bit “oooooh, look they TRADED!”, and “Why would they melt down the gold!”. Again, causing me to shout at an innocent inanimate object “Of course they would have traded, we do that, we always have!” and “oh, I don’t know, maybe they wanted to make a token/coin/a statue of their OWN God, duh”. All a bit “Gosh, chaps what else could these ancient folk do”.

And then there is the transposing of Britain and England, even in the same breath. Talking of the British Empire, and then stating “but even beyond the shores of England”, is a bit Little Englander, and should been left back in the 19th Century. What worries me more, is if an historian is so careless as to blithely make this glaring error, what other facts is he mistaken or careless over.

Also, is it me, or am I hearing the same stuff being repeated? I assume it is different letters being read, but it’s not coming over as easy to listen to, what with mispronunciations, and a style which feels a bit all over the place.

This is a great shame, as being a bit of a fan of Professor Mary Beard, and Barbara Tuchman, among many other historians, I am no stranger to either reading, or listening to books on ancient history.

This time though, it really isn’t doing it for me. Maybe I’m getting too old to have to wade through ‘stuff’ anymore to get to the decent information that is actually in this book.

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19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining and Thought Provoking

1177 B.C. strikes a fine balance between telling a story and acknowledging the extent to which gaps in the evidence make it difficult to speak write with certainty about the ancient world. A personal problem with histories covering this period is that they can either be a bit too dry to appeal to the general reader; focusing on tussles between academics at the cost of maintaining the reader's interest; or they gloss over the fact that historians are working with partial documents in dead languages and fragmentary archaeological evidence which evokes a suspicion that they're offering a superficial summary. Eric Cline hits a real sweet spot in acknowledging the uncertainties while maintaining a gripping narrative drive as he describes Bronze Age civilization; charts its destabilization and draws lessons about how our own world parallels many of the factors that lead to the 1177 BC collapse. After one listen it's gone straight back to the beginning for a second time. Highly recommended for history fans

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Spoiled by the narrator & the overuse of "However"

I feel that reading the book in the good old fashioned way would have been far more rewarding. For me, the narrator became irritating; the overuse of the word "However", emphasised by his accent & style, particularly so.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Moderately engaging history, ruined by narrator

The story itself is thought provoking and interesting, though quite repetitive. Probably more suited to print than audiobook. The narrator would be more suited to period detective fiction - he relates every sentence with bizarre emphasis and inflection (let alone pronunciation) as though each is an amazing revelation. When everything said is presented as an exclamation, nothing stands out.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Gave up

I gave the story 3 stars, because I really don't know yet. I've now listened to about an hour, and realised that I haven't really heard anything. The narrator is a strange mix of sleep-inducing and irritating. And he's just wrong for the book.
Luck would have it I saw earlier today that the book is on sale on bookdepository, so I think I'll read the printed book instead.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wealth of information at an enjoyable pace.

I have listened to this 2 or 3 times. It is so surprising how sophisticated the trade links were between these ancient civilisations . The book is full of letters from ancient Kings and Pharaohs painting a living and engaging picture of a thriving international community of interdependent peoples. A great listen!

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fascinating part of history

A fascinating history of the world made perhaps just s little less interesting by the lack of coherent narrative and constant number of lists presented. presumably this is due to the lack of finite detail of the period, but certainly could have been presented in the same format as Eric Cline's excellent YouTube presentation. Good, but not great.

Also, like so many audiobooks... the ending lacks any gravitas and takes you by surprise.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional overview

The book is very well structured and leads into the topics logically, it lets you get to know the civilisations first and how well connected they were, which adds more weight to the mystery behind why they collaspe. It feels more like a story which helps keep the attention, with one event leading to the other. However, it is a bit hard to keep going sometimes, I listened to it on double speed because 8 hours was a bit much.

I learnt a lot of new things from this and was very surprised with the information it held, especially in regards to Cyprus and the Ugarit Kingdom in the Levant opposite them.

Most people say the conclusion doesn't carry much weight but I felt like it did a good job by identifying the possible causes and letting you make your own mind up.

I enjoyed it

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 28-01-19

A marvellous listen

Entertaining, intelligent, coherent, and, more importantly, persuasive.

Far from being a dry old tome, this text has quite a strong narrative, and when you’re dealing with timeframes most people find a bit confusing, including at times, me, this helps you keep track of the important facts.

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2 people found this helpful