History of the World-The Sea People

Smell Like Fish

 NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-posts to-come are merely what I can remember from Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class at Stratford High School while growing up older in Connecticut.  I will research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.

    You may have noticed that it’s been quite a while since I posted here.  I’ve been busy going here, there, and everywhere, so I must apologize to the two of you who have no life who look forward to the madness which is Al Penwasser.  Or whatever my name is.

    One of my trips was to a wedding in Connecticut (not mine).  It was a lot of fun that involved prodigious amounts of merry-making, much dancing, and loads of dirty limericks.

    But, it was the trip that I made two weeks prior (for my nephew’s bachelor party), that provided the inspiration for this post.

    On my way home, I decided to listen to a history podcast (yes, I am that big a nerd).  Once finished with “Fall of the Assyrian Empire,” I chose “The Bronze Age Collapse.”  Is it any wonder chicks dig me?

"And, if you play your cards right, I'll show you my collection of used togas."

    Apparently, most of the Mediterranean world collapsed (hence the term “collapse”) between 1200 and 1100 BC.  Give or take 100 years.  At any rate, a long time ago.  What was most amazing was that Republicans had nothing to do with it.

    From ancient Greece to Anatolia to the Dorians and, to a lesser extent, Assyria and Egypt, a lot of the known world came crashing to a halt.

    Historians are somewhat puzzled as to the cause of this event.  Sure, they’ve dug up evidence of a cataclysm within the cities.  But, this could have been due to poor housecleaning practices and a casual disregard for hygiene.  The upshot is that they really do not have a definitive answer.

    One possible explanation is laid at the feet of those known as the Sea Peoples.  Not much, if anything, is known about these folks who came crushing in from…the sea.  Try and keep up.

Artist depiction of a Sea Person. 
Who didn't scare anyone.

Updated version of Sea People.
Okay, they were wicked scary.
Plus, one of them crapped on Greek beds.
Which really grossed them out.

    Sure, they may have just been cranky but there is some evidence that they were migrants looking for a place to live.  Historians have speculated that the regions from which they came (they were called “northmen” in some stone tablets) suffered some sort of catastrophe, possibly a climate crisis.  Which had nothing to do with fossil fuels.  Huh.  Weird, I know.

Wrong migrants

                NOTE:  this cataclysm may trace its roots to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano, Hekla.  I won’t get into the specifics here, though.  Goodness knows, this post will be long enough.

    So, in an ancient form of real estate crunch (apparently, the eastern Mediterranean was a seller’s market), they swept in.  Many societies fell, as bronze was no match for weapons made of iron. 

"Thank God Raytheon switched out our Velveeta swords for bronze."
"Hey, what's God?"
"Yeah, and velveeta."

    A couple societies survived relatively intact from the incursions of the Sea People.  The Assyrian Empire did pretty good.  Mostly because they were pretty bad-ass, but also because the Sea Peoples weren’t too keen on dragging their boats across the desert.

    The Egyptians did all right and even turned back the invaders during the Battle of the Delta around 1175 BC.  The Egyptian pharaoh, Ramesses III, insanely jealous that Ramesses II got to marry Anne Baxter and invent prophylactics, nonetheless made a name for himself when he saved what remained of his world.

Upon further reflection, switching out the "Dragon" for the "Care Bear" figurehead
probably didn't send the message they were going after.

    He set a trap for the Sea People by drawing them into the quagmire of the Nile Delta (I’m guessing that’s why it’s called “Battle of the Delta”).  The invaders’ overconfidence betrayed them as they allowed themselves to be drawn farther south up the Nile River (the Nile flows south to north).

    Eventually coming into perfect position, Ramesses ordered the attack.   When the initial onslaught of crocodile dung pies failed, he then ordered legions of archers gathered on the banks to unleash hell.  The Sea People were annihilated, and their predations ceased.  The pharaoh, quite full of himself,  ordered a depiction of the battle inscribed on his mortuary wall, replete with dead bodies, prisoners, and, in hieroglyphics, “Up yours, Ramesses II!  I defeated the Sea People, while you couldn’t hang on to Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, and thousands of Hebrew slaves.”

"Yeah, but still...Anne Baxter.  So double up yours!"

    The aftermath of the battle saw the Sea People pretty much disappearing from history.  And the Bronze Age still collapsed.  So maybe it was something else altogether.  Like the Russians.

    Still, it was a pretty cool story.

    Even if they did smell like fish.

"Meh.  You get used to it."

Happy Independence Day!

     Or "Fourth of July" to the rest of the world.     Yes, yes, sigh, I know.  Many other countries, other than the United State...