The Iliad Historical Context

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The Bronze Age

The Trojan War and its aftermath took place in the late Bronze Age, which began around 1550 BC. This is the date assigned to the wealthy burial sites found by Heinrich Schliemann in Grave Circle A at Mycenae in 1873. For this reason, the period is sometimes also called the Mycenaean era. This was a time of relative stability though not, of course, without its conflicts, wars, and raids. The dominant powers in the eastern Mediterranean were the Hittites in the central part of what is now Turkey, the Egyptians in what we now call the Middle East, and, apparently, the Mycenaean kings in Greece and the surrounding islands.

These three "great kings" all ruled over literate (at least to the extent of being able to keep records and official documents, even if they left us no "literature" to speak of), apparently complex, societies (complete with bureaucrats...

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This section contains 1,270 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Iliad Study Guide
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The Iliad from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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