Posted in book review

The Sea Peoples and The Collapse of Civilization

The Sea Peoples: The Mysterious Nomads Who Ushered in the Iron AgeThe Sea Peoples: The Mysterious Nomads Who Ushered in the Iron Age by Charles River Editors

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the passage of history, there have always been great transitions marking epochs of civilizations that have changed the structure and course of world history fundamentally, such as the fall of the Roman Empire and the Industrial Revolution. However, before these epoch-making events, before the birth of city states, such as Thebes, Athens, or Sparta, and even before the time of Alexander the Great, there was a collapse of a great ancient civilization during the late 13th and early 12th centuries of the Bronze Age that shook down the diplomatic and political systems of kingdoms of the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Near East regions, dawning the age of the Iron Age. At the center of this momentous drama of human civilization, there were mysterious Sea Peoples. The Sea Peoples: The Mysterious Nomads Who Ushered in the Iron Age by Charles River Editors describes unsolved mystery of these invaders who wreaked havoc across the Near East during the late Bronze Period.

In 1200 BC, before the arrival of the Sea Peoples, a political and social stability was existent between the major powers of the region, which were Egypt, Hatti, the Aegean, and the eastern Mediterranean kingdoms under the modus operandi carefully crafted through a combination of diplomacy and military conquest. During this period, Egyptians, Hittites, Mesopotamians, Semites, and Mycenaeans on the Greek Mainland formed a kind of multiple interconnected societies and maintained an international hierarchy by means of trading goods and exchanging cultural artifacts. However, all of sudden, the Sea Peoples from the Mediterranean and the Near East raided the region at the end of this period by dismantling the stability of the region, as the catalyst for the collapse of the Bronze Age and thus changed the face of the ancient world forever. Then who are these Sea Peoples? What prompted them to raid the region?

It’s the Egyptian hieroglyphic texts (writing with pictures) that first and foremost depicted these mysterious people because the Egyptians fought them off three times successfully; however, it was Pyrrhic Victory eventually bringing out a butterfly effect to the region by greatly affecting the international trades one by one among the interconnected states. According to the Egyptian historiography – also known as “The Papyrus Harris” – of the nine Sea Peoples, the following are the most known of all:

• The Lydian: a tribe from a modern day Libya
• The Sherden/Shardana: a tribe from today’s Sardinia
• The Peleset: a major participant of the raid , believed to be originated from today’s Palestine
• The Tjeker: a tribe that claimed to be descendants of Troy from Sicily
• The Teresh: a tribe originated in Asia Minor then moved to Italy to become the Etruscan
• The Ekwesh: Achaean/Mycenaean Greeks

Between 1200 and 1050 BC, these Sea People with new innovative military tactics of mercenary services and weapons, such as swords, shields, and helmets made out of metals from the Balkan, began to move into the inland of the Near East with the influx of peoples from Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and the Greek Mainland possibly due to catastrophic drought and other environmental factors, including disastrous earthquakes on the Greek Mainland as recorded by Herodotus’s writing a thousand years later. Also, there was a precipitous increase in the population of southeastern Europe, which might have propelled the invasion of the Sea Peoples. In fact, it is known that some invasions of Sea Peoples accompanied civilians and even cattle, which betokened a possible migration intention following from such events. Besides, this was also the period when the epic city of Troy was besieged and finally destroyed by the Achaean/Mycenaean/Ekwesh raiders as recorded by Homer.

Subsequently, the repeated raids of the Sea Peoples in the course of time resulted in a dispersion of the new cultural, political, and social customs throughout the Ancient Near East, weakening the stable system of a coalition of states that was mostly provided by  Hittites and Egyptians who relied on extremely archaic political and military system, such as relying on chariots at warfare, and a feudal system. Moreover, a succession of ineffective rulers, declining trading volumes, and crop failure in the regions might have contributed to the demise of the Bronze Age, which was only precipitated by the pesky invasions of the Sea Peoples.

There are many other theories of how exactly the Bronze Age came to an end as to the relation of these mysterious Sea Peoples and their impacts on the collapse of the great ancient civilization. Nonetheless, what is viewed herein is considered as a widely accepted theory of the end of the Bronze Age as comprehensively chronicled in The Sea Peoples: The Mysterious Nomads Who Ushered in the Iron Age. By understanding the cause and the result of this unknown, mysterious epoch, we can also relate it to the diplomatic and political situations of our time that do not seem remotely distant but disarmingly similar and thus learn something about human nature that does not seem to be changed after all these years.


Posted in Novellas

The Enterprising Spirits

After years of working as seamstress and nanny with a trust fund her paternal grandmother Mrs. Molly Miller bequeathed to her in a magically discovered will, Sally’s mother Mrs. Mary Lamb bought a three-story house building in Charlottestown. It is indeed a revelation of lucky stars winking at the Lamb who have believed that heaven help those who help themselves as asserted by Benjamin Franklin. Not that the meaning of life aims at a pursuit of happiness, such as manifested in the realization of having a property now the Lamb possess, but that it is rather a by-product of their making efforts to live meaningful life simply by fulfilling demands placed upon their daily dealings with the world because to the Lamb materialistic bliss is not the ends of their life thanks to the influence of Logotheraphy, established by a great Austrian psychoanalyst Viktor E. Frankl whose book entitled, Man’s Search for Meaning Sally Wrote about in Serendipity, a kind of Reader’s Digest-like literary magazine of Charlottestown.

Mary Lamb, Sally’s mom

It is a big leap from the cozy and pastoral Avonlea where the mother and the daughter were comfortably accustomed to the modes of life for long. But that was exactly why Mary had decided to move to Charlottestown, a coastal city 5 miles off the Pacific Ocean where seas are bluer and deeper and wider, and the skies higher and clearer, with people bustling with many different lives and daily episodes. She wanted to become a pioneer woman and wanted her only daughter Sally to mark herself in such world, triumphing over her obscurity and self-doubt as awriter of her own.



Sally Lamb, before getting off for the intervie

Sally seems to like her new surroundings, adjusting herself thereto with her face radiated with a new sense of purpose and cheerful moods that were seldom surfaced to bloom back in Avonlea. But is she really content with their newly acquired state of material affluence with a house and a bakery, and even a car? Why not? It would be hypocrisy to deny what it is given, whether or not it’s favorable, especially if it is conducive to the invigoration of new energy that stimulates your mind growth to discover a wide panoramic view of life, a vista for what life asks you to do.


Bonnie Baker, Bakery’s new attendant/cashier

With a hereditary sense of business acumen aided by philanthropist streaks in her family line, Mary made the first floor a bakery where delicious cakes and freshly brewing coffee are made on premise (that is, in her kitchen on the second floor), all of which are served with genial courtesy and amiable smile of Bonnie Baker, a new attendant at the shop whom Mary hired last week. Bonnie is a sister of her two baby siblings, Nena and Neno, all left orphaned by the death of their parents from a tragic car accident in Kingsbridge two years ago. The Baker used to live with their maternal aunt Brenda, but Bonnie did not get along with her because of her curmudgeonly temperament and depressive emotional tendency. Hence, when she saw an advertisement on The Traveler’s Times, seeking for a reliable, affable bakery shop attendant/cashier, without hesitation and with guts of confidence and adventuresomeness, Bonnie applied for the position, met with Mary, who liked her instantly, and got the job.

To her amazement, Mary even volunteered to take care of the babies when Bonnie is at work. However, when Mary is also working on her mobile Candy Shop, her niece Sophie babysits them.

Sally’s ready to drive her very first car to her job interview.

Sally is on her way to her job interview at Buena Vista, a literary magazine that covers a wide scope of literature from book and film reviews to poetry, to essays, and to letters from readers, all except matters concerning Politics. Surely, this is an outright betrayal of Aristotle’s dictum that anyone who’s not interested in politics must be either a beast or a divine being. But talking and writing about politics in public only disintegrates a stability of societal codes of conduct and builds up walls between one another and makes a clan of itself… So for this reason, Sally is elated to be selected for an interview by her favorite magazine. She feels her time has finally arrived, the time when her ability as a writer gets a recognition at last…. She feels that the auspicious interview notice is a foregone result – that is, she has a precognition that this position is to be had only for the asking. So off our Sally goes to the magazine company, which is located at 101 Fifth Avenue, 10th floor in Manhasset, 20 miles off Charlottestwon linked by the Thomas Jefferson Bridge.

Sally, being easily moved into tears at the sight of people in need, also gives a ride home to Laura Collie, who with a heavy basket full of groceries is grateful for her act of kindness. Best Wishes for Sally’s job interview, or maybe we should congratulate her on the new job? Why not? What You Think and Believe Becomes Reality.