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De : Charles River Editors
Lu par : Colin Fluxman
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    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 major power of Mitanni was eliminated from the club and replaced by Assyria, while other kingdoms seemingly defy categorization in the system, or at least their placement is problematic and a source of historical debate. For example, Elam was certainly a major power and had diplomatic and trade ties with Babylonia, but because it had limited to no direct contact with the other major powers, most historians do not consider it one of the “Great Powers.” Likewise, the status of the mysterious country Alashiya is also the topic of many inquiries. Alashiya is mentioned in some of the Amarna Letters as a Great Power, and most modern scholars have agreed with that categorization, but where the country was and how long it held such a powerful status is hotly debated.

    The equally 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 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 relations with the Hittites, does help bring this Bronze Age culture into better focus.

    ©2023 Charles River Editors (P)2023 Charles River Editors
    • Version intégrale Livre audio
    • Catégories : Histoire

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