Gods, Heroes and Tyrants: Greek Chronology in Chaos

Gods, Heroes and Tyrants: Greek Chronology in Chaos

Gods, Heroes and Tyrants: Greek Chronology in Chaos

Gods, Heroes and Tyrants: Greek Chronology in Chaos

Excerpt

In the book that follows I shall be arguing that early Greek history as found in the textbooks is seriously misdated. I am not the first to make such a proposal. That honor goes to Immanuel Velikovsky, whose series Ages in Chaos (1952) held that the whole of ancient Near Eastern history before the classical age was a fabrication. Velikovsky identified Egyptian chronology as the source of the problem; and indeed the chronology of early Greek history, during the so-called “Mycenaean” period, was constructed along the lines demanded by Egyptian history. Thus when it became clear, towards the end of the nineteenth century, that the great flowering of “Mycenaean” culture coincided with the Egyptian New Kingdom, especially the Eighteenth Dynasty, it was decreed that the Mycenaean Age belonged in the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries BC, where Egyptologists had already placed the Eighteenth Dynasty. There were many dissenting voices at the time, most notably from the ranks of the classicists, and that great curmudgeon Cecil Torr fought a prolonged and very public battle with Flinders Petrie over the issue. In a thousand ways, claimed Torr, the Mycenaean Age showed itself to belong in the eighth or even seventh century BC. With what justification then did Petrie and the Egyptologists force their timescales into the world of the Aegean? Still, such doubts were ultimately laid to rest. The Egyptologists, who by this time were claiming a scientific foundation for their chronology, stressed the numerous connections disclosed by archaeology between the Mycenaean Age and the Eighteenth Dynasty and thereby compelled a second millennium date for the former.

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