Figure above from the temple of Pharaoh Ramesses III: Pharaoh and bowmen (upper right) pick off the invading Mediterranean "Sea Peoples" in their boats in the mouth of the Nile (upper left); those who weren't killed were taken captive, presumably to be executed or used as slaves (lower panel). The Odyssey may recall this historical catastrophe when the beggar tells Eumaios of his raid into Egypt, defeat in battle and captivity.

Figure below from the same temple: When the invasion of the Sea Peoples was quashed, an apparently related group of Phoenicians and their allies attacked by land, and they were turned back. The invading army was accompanied by carts of families and their domestic possessions, so that this invasion seems to have been an attempted migration of people from the north. They may have been from places like Troy and Greek Thebes that had been attacked and overrun by Zeus-men (cir. 1200 BC). We know that Greece emptied out at this time; all of the Hellenic cities of the Bronze Age were abandoned. Return to Lesson 10.

Return to Lesson 10.