Episode C12 – The Two Temples

Synopsis: The growing power of the Israelites and Arameans is reflected in the construction of new temples to Yahweh in Jerusalem and Hadad-Rammon in Damascus. A resurgent Egypt – under increasing influence of the Libyan Meshwesh – begins to eye its former Levantine holdings. “And […]

Episode C11 – The House of David

Synopsis: In the latter half of the 11th century BC, southern Syria witnessed the increasing prominence of semi-nomadic Semitic peoples – including the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites and Israelites. “Kings came, they fought, the kings of Canaan fought. At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo, they […]

Episode C10 – These Are Not Foolish Travels

Synopsis: The fracturing and diminishment of Egyptian power in the early Iron Age is captured in “The Report of Wenamun.” I found (King Zakar-baal of Byblos) seated in his upper chamber with his back against a window, and the waves of the great sea of […]

Episode C9 – Horse to Horse, Army to Army

Synopsis: In the mid-11th century BC, the Hittite kingdoms of northern Syria are joined by others– in the Philistine pentapolis, the Amuq plain and the region of Classical Cilicia – with ties to the former Mycenaean Greeks.  The Phoenician cities of the Levantine coast begin […]

Episode C7 – The Heirs of Babylon

Synopsis: Even as Anatolia, Syria and Egypt confronted the Bronze Age Collapse, the eastern kingdoms of Assyria, Babylonia and Elam continued their ancient cycle of dynastic conflict. “Why I – who am a king, son of a king, seed of a king, scion of a […]

Episode C5 – The Sea Peoples

Synopsis: The Sea Peoples cut a swath of devastation across the Levant before their final confrontation with the pharaoh Ramesses III of Egypt. The Hittite Great King Suppiluliuma II abandons the capital of Hattusas before its final destruction. “Regarding what you wrote me before: ‘Enemy […]

Episode C4 – The Great Kings

Synopsis: The Great King Tudhaliya’s sons, Arnuwanda and Suppiluliuma, take power in a time of growing famine.  The collapse of Mycenaean Greece intensifies the predations of Aegean and Mediterranean pirates, who threaten Hittite grain shipments and ally with the Libyans to launch an invasion of […]

Episode C3 – The Eternal Treaty

Synopsis:  Hattusili III’s diplomacy with the pharaoh Ramesses II culminates in the world’s first peace treaty.  After his death, his son Tudhaliya IV drives out the Ahhiyawans, then defends northern Syria against Assyrian aggression. “The Kings who are my equals in rank are the King […]

Episode C2 – Tarhuntassa

Synopsis:  King Muwatalli II relocates the Hittite capital to the new royal city of Tarhuntassa near the Mediterranean coast, then faces off against the young pharaoh Ramesses II in the Battle of Qadesh.  After Muwatalli’s death, his son and brother – Urhi-Teshub and Hattusili – […]

Episode 11 – The Rise of Assyria

“I slew 14,000 of their warriors with the sword. Like Adad, I rained destruction on them. I scattered their corpses far and wide, and covered the face of the desolate plain with their wide-spreading armies. With my weapons I made their blood to flow down […]