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 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 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 S4 – Children of the Moon

Synopsis:  The Sabaeans and Himyarites leveraged their control over south Arabian aromatics into a lucrative trade that spanned the ancient world.  The region’s remoteness, wealth and active diplomacy afforded some protection from the powerful empires who frequently dominated the north.  Map of the Arabian Peninsula:http://s407341505.onlinehome.us/Yemen.jpg

Episode T18 – Tigranes

Synopsis:  The death of King Philip I marks the official end of the Seleucid line.  Invited by the Antiochenes to rule them, King Tigranes II of Armenia proceeds to conquer all of Syria – including Cleopatra Selene’s stronghold of Ptolemais-Akko.  But Tigranes’ refusal to abandon […]

Episode T17 – The Sons of Grypus

Synopsis: With Rome encroaching from the north and south, the sons of Grypus battle Parthians, usurpers and local powers to keep their hold on Syria. “As he lingered on the banks of the Euphrates, (Sulla) received a visit from Orobazus, a Parthian, who came as […]

Episode T16 – The Sons of Thea

Synopsis: While the Ptolemies intrigue in Coele Syria, Antiochus VIII Grypus and his half-brother Antiochus IX Cyzicenus struggle for seventeen years to win control of the north.  After the rivals die in quick succession, the kingdom comes under control of Seleucus VI and Demetrius III, […]

Episode T15 – Grypus

Synopsis: Cleopatra Thea convinces her son Antiochus VIII Grypus to return to Syria and share the throne.  But once Zabinas is defeated and the kingdom secure, Grypus decides to avenge his brother’s murder. “Ptolemy (Physcon)…proceeded to devote his entire strength to the destruction of Alexander […]

Episode T14 – Zabinas

Synopsis: Demetrius II returns to Syria, but his unpopularity – and support for the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra II – results in a usurper named Alexander Zabinas taking most of his kingdom.  Fleeing a military defeat, Demetrius is denied entry to Ptolemais-Akko by Cleopatra Thea, an […]