Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II

Van De Mieroop, Marc
Date published: 
October 2007

The age of King Ramesses II of Egypt, the centuries of 1500 to 1200 BC, is considered the first international age in world history. Powerful states on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea - stretching from western Iran to Greece and from Turkey to Sudan - jointly shaped the history, society, and culture of this region through both peaceful and military means. These militarized states were frequently in conflict with each other, yet exchanged diplomatic messages, gifts, trade goods, and items of culture and religion. For three centuries they formed a unique system of interdependence and coexistence, well documented in ancient textual and archaeological sources. With a straightforward narrative, current research, and rich illustrations, The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II offers a transnational perspective on this ancient era. Using data left by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Hittites, Mycenaeans, Canaanites, and others, it investigates everything from people's eating habits to the royal negotiations over diplomatic marriages to form a comprehensive picture of this important period in early history.