• 1177 B.C. (Revised and Updated)

  • The Year Civilization Collapsed
  • By: Eric H. Cline
  • Narrated by: Eric H. Cline
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (258 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook narrated by acclaimed archaeologist and best-selling author Eric Cline offers a breathtaking account of how the collapse of an ancient civilized world ushered in the first Dark Ages.

In 1177 BC, marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy defeated them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, famine, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life a vibrant multicultural world, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires of the age and shows that it may have been their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse. Now revised and updated, 1177 B.C. sheds light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and eventually destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age - and set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece and, ultimately, our world today.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Eric H. Cline (P)2021 Princeton University Press
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"The memorable thing about Cline's book is the strangely recognizable picture he paints of this very faraway time.... It was as globalized and cosmopolitan a time as any on record, albeit within a much smaller cosmos. The degree of interpenetration and of cultural sharing is astonishing." (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker)

"Engaging.... [An] absorbing tour of the Late Bronze Age." (Josephine Quinn, London Review of Books)

"A fascinating look at the Late Bronze Age, proving that whether for culture, war, economic fluctuations or grappling with technological advancement, the conundrums we face are never new, but merely renewed for a modern age." (Larry Getlen, New York Post)

What listeners say about 1177 B.C. (Revised and Updated)

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The narration is awful

Just because you are a good writer doesn’t mean you can read. I couldn’t stand more than 5 minutes of his droning. Going try to get a refund. Awfully

9 people found this helpful

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Hardcover recommended

This content is outstanding, but the performance is very dry. Good hardcover resource for sure but not a great genre for audio.

7 people found this helpful

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Ugh, Just get to the point already!

I had to read this book for a history class assignment, and I found that the book had great information; however, it was so convoluted that it was hard to establish what Cline's point was until the last few chapters. Had it not been for my essay guide and me going back and rereading and repeatedly listening to certain sections, I'd still be here scratching my head going, "What!?" Honestly, you'd be better off finding his lecture about this book on youtube and watching it, he is awesome at lectures, and his jokes are funny, but the book is just too much. If he had a clearer direction and better organization for the book, it could have been better than what it is. Overall it's an interesting read/ listen, especially if you don't have anything else to do but pack for a move or clean your house. Who knows, you might unearth some long-lost artifacts of your own, haha.

6 people found this helpful

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History that rhymes

Packed with evidence from archeological digs, and citing works of others in the field Cline makes an excellent case for what caused the collapse of the ancient Bronze Age.

Anyone can find this work illuminating. I listened while folding laundry, commuting, and working out. Preppers, Environmental activists, farmers, students, long haul drivers will find something both educational and illuminating about this work.

5 people found this helpful

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Fascinating deep dive

The author makes his way through the interconnected Bronze Age civilizations, drawing parallels and referencing current research in very interesting and relevant ways. It is a heady topic, but Eric does well to make it interesting. I appreciate how he is scientifically careful in citing research, as some is well proven, some is hypothesis or limited studies, and some are just interesting ideas.

5 people found this helpful

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Look past the one-star reviews: this is an enlightening and engaging read.

If you struggle with the performance, as some reviewers seem to have done and trashed the book’s rating because of their own personal impatience, I encourage folks to try listening at a faster playback speed than 1:1.

I find many audiobooks are recorded at much slower than normal reading and speaking speeds. Perhaps this is in an attempt to make the subject matter as accessible as possible for as wide as possible of an audience. I suspect many people hard of hearing or for whom English is a second language or, in this case, people unfamiliar with the long names of peoples, places and cultures of the Bronze Age may find a slower reading to be beneficial for them to get as much as possible out of the selected book.

For me personally, a 1.4x or 1.5x setting brought back the normal rising and falling of one’s voice, provided a more expected cadence of conversation. It made the book an enjoyable, an engaging, and a most interesting read.

Cline presents an application of complexity theory to the collapse of that portion of western society wrapped around the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and the area referred to today as the Mideast.

Half of the six chapters are dedicated to setting the stage, helping the reader understand the relationships and interactions of the major kingdoms of the 3-4 hundred years preceding the collapse of the Bronze Age in this region. Conflicts, trade, royal relationships, archeological discoveries, historical interpretations and natural events are covered in the whirlwind tour.

There is some repetition of some facts in this half of the book as they are presented each time in context of the different involved parties or opposing theories of meaning. Some reviewers found that unnecessary; I found it quite useful in listening to the book because I didn’t know very much about some of the cultures covered and had no idea there was so much exchange, trade and communication between kingdoms. By not reading the book, I also couldn’t easily flip back to refresh myself about a particular item of correspondence, so the repetition was welcomed.

The second half of the book is focused on the complexity of the collective society, it’s collapse, the contributing factors or drivers, and the limits to our ability to explain any of it fully because of the 3,000+ years that have elapsed, because of the incompleteness of the materials available from that period, and our limited capacity so far to grasp the richness and relatedness inherent to complexity.

We like our histories and our narratives of events or reality to be linear. Simple. Easy to judge cause and effect, even if wrong. Cline presents the case for why that doesn’t work well, using the collapse of a corner of the Bronze Age (of which he demonstrates an impressive depth of knowledge) as primary evidence.

Moving to a mindset that embraces complexity is hard but utterly necessary to develop as we struggle to comprehend and act on modern life, be they global events or personal challenges. In his closing chapter, Cline attempts an explanation for the limits of our ability to apply complexity theory to ancient times with such an incomplete record while also the vital necessity to attempt it because, among other reasons, there will be things we can learn and use in dealing with our current lives.

2 people found this helpful

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loved it

Very well narrated. Mr. Cline drew excellent and disturbing parallels. very informative of the bronze era.

1 person found this helpful

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Authors Should Not Read Their Own Works

I am a great fan of Dr. Kline. I have this book in print format. I have watched his YouTube lecture, and I know he is a dynamic, engaging speaker. As a professor myself, however, I can attest to the wide gulf that separates speaking ability and reading aloud ability. I listened to about 10 minutes of this audiobook, and I had to quit due to Dr. Kline's painfully slow, monotone performance. This is unfortunate because the book is excellent. If ever there was a need for a guest reader, this is it.

1 person found this helpful

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A journey in to antiquarianism.

History is about important events that shaped the world and great lessons that can be derived from them. This is a bit too much in the tall papyrus.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating insights

Well written and concise. Very useful for those not very familiar with the Bronze Age and it’s complexity.

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  • Russell
  • 04-23-21

Very factual but read in a painfully unexciting way

I am fascinated by this era but being read a series of ‘facts’ is not pleasant. I could read Wikipedia for that. This book would be better for hypnosis.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeremy L.
  • 08-19-21

Ruined entirely by Narrator

It's like listening to a child learning to read. Phrasing and inflection is so wildly and unacceptably random and each word spoken lacks all context .

The book is fine, not that it helps

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  • Clifford Clawback
  • 05-21-21

World changing book.

This book is an excellent summary of the academic work around the end of the Bronze Age told with authority and some style. While Eric’s delivery can sometimes seem a little stilted, that merely underlines the careful consideration that has gone into his words. Excellent.