• Ugarit

  • The History and Legacy of the Kingdom of Ugarit in the Ancient Near East
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Gregory T Luzitano
  • Length: 1 hr and 31 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

My father, behold, the enemy's ships came (here); my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka?...Thus, the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: The seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us.” (King Ammurapi)

Not far from the Latakia, Syria, near the Mediterranean Sea coast, is the politically insignificant town of Burj al-Qasab. Throughout most of its history, Burj al-Qasab was overshadowed by Latakia, but this was not always the case. More than 3,000 years ago, on a hill known as Ras Sharma located just outside Burj al-Qasab, a sprawling metropolis much more important and powerful than Latakia, or most other modern cities in the region for that matter once existed. Ras Sharma was the location of Ugarit, an extremely wealthy and powerful Bronze Age city-state that received and sent merchants far and wide through its gates. It also developed complex geopolitical relationships with some of the most powerful empires of the period, including the Hittites, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Mitanni. Ugarit was a truly cosmopolitan city, where dozens of languages were spoken, people from all over the Near East lived, and exotic goods were as common as the sands on its beaches. When Ugarit was at the pinnacle of its power and wealth, it was destroyed by foreign invaders and quickly forgotten.

Thanks to modern archaeologists, philologists, and historians, the secrets of Ugarit were uncovered in the early 20th century when it was revealed that Ras Sharma was part of an ancient city. As scholars excavated the ancient site and documented the plethora of art and written texts found there, they realized that it was the important city of Ugarit that had been mentioned in texts and inscriptions by major Bronze Age Near Eastern kingdoms. Modern scholars learned that although Ugarit was not one of the major kingdoms or so-called Great Powers of the Late Bronze Age Near East, it was powerful and important in its own right. Ugarit was extremely important economically, as its merchants played the role of middlemen between the empires, bringing goods from major empires of the period to be traded in Ugarit’s markets. The culture of Ugarit was also important - it was similar to other Canaanite peoples of the Levant region and also influenced later peoples of the region, especially in terms of religion.

Ugarit also bore witness to the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age during the late 13th and early 12th centuries BCE, which arguably changed the structure and course of world history more fundamentally than any period before or since. During this period, numerous wealthy and enduring kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean Sea region collapsed, and new ones rose in their places.

At the center of this period of turmoil was a group of people known today as the Sea Peoples, the English translation of the name given to them by the Egyptians. Despite their prominent role in history, however, the Sea Peoples remain as mysterious as they were influential; while the Egyptians documented their presence and the wars against them, it has never been clear exactly where the Sea Peoples originated from, or what compelled them to invade various parts of the region with massive numbers. Whatever the reason, the Sea Peoples posed an existential threat to the people already living in the region, and ultimately the people of Ugarit would be among their many victims.

©2020 Charles River Editors (P)2020 Charles River Editors
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Short

The information in the book was interesting, but the presentation was short. If there were thousands of tablets discovered, I think that would be more source material to include.

Thank you though for what was presented.

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Profile Image for Tony Dunn
  • Tony Dunn
  • 09-07-20

Ugarit!!

What does BCE MEAN? I understand the abbreviations BC ! But what does the E stand for??
Tony - Sydney 1 star y