2004
Volume 53, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Summary

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it argues that the Mycenaean Greek world served as a nexus for international trade between the Near East and Europe during the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600 to 1100 BCE). Rather than a barbarian periphery, Europe – and in particular regions such as the Carpathian basin and the southern Baltic (Denmark and Scania) – was an integral part of the much better known ‘civilised’ world of the ancient Near East. Second, it argues that ‘mercenaries’ (a term that I will use rather loosely, and which includes both private entrepreneurs and military captives) served as a hitherto overlooked conduit for knowledge exchange between Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Near East. It will do so by highlighting a number of remarkable archaeological finds, and by discussing these against the backdrop of contemporary (Late Bronze Age and Iron Age) texts as well as later legends.

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2020-01-01
2022-01-19
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