How did the civilizations of Minoan Crete and Mycenean Greece differ from one another?
The Minoan Crete civilization and the Mycenean Greece civilization differed from one another in the following ways. Firstly, the Mycenaean civilization occurred during the period between 1600 BC and 1100 BC. During this period, the Helladic culture of Greece mainland was being transformed under the rule of Minoan Crete. During the civilization, the Minoans’ societies benefited from trade while the Mycenaean’s only advanced by conquering. The Mycenae-ans defeated both the Minoans and Troy, the city that brought them into power. On the other hand, the Minoans civilized in a more modern way compared to the Mycenaen. The Minoans engaged in overseas trade and, their culture represented a higher degree of organization. The Mycenaean mode of civilization was through fight and force that made them more disorganized. They never involved in any trade but used their weapons of war to achieve whatever they needed through their powerful warriors (Sansone 5-8).
Thirdly, the Minoan Crete civilization was built by people who came from the neighboring regions, Syria and Egypt. Its main features were great palaces and impressive constructions. On the other hand, the Mycenaean Greece had no customs of their own and copied some from the Minoans. They brought the first military to Greece, introduced urban centers and royal dynasties. Whereas the authority in the Minoan civilization relayed on religion, those from Mycenae’s relied on the military power. In addition, the Mycenaean warriors bronze weapons and wagons made of bronze. Moreover, Mycenaean kings constructed many huge thrones in most parts of continental Greece. Finally, the Minoans civilization was characterized by various events such as athletics, dances and sacrificing to their gods. The Mycenae’s civilization had no such activities but, they used to offer sacrifices whenever faced by a challenge (Sansone 9-11).
In what ways were the reigns of Hatshepsut and Akhenaten so unusual?
Queen Hatshepsut occupied an unusual position in history since she was the only woman mounted the throne of Pharaoh. She was a great female dictator and her ruling was more extensive compared to that of Queen Elizabeth I of England. She also enjoyed more power than Catherine of Russia. Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt like Pharaoh did and her decisions were not questionable. In addition, she was a monarch of the 18th dynasty (1850 B.C-1320 B.C). This was the most renowned dynasty among all dynasties of the ancient Egypt. The fact that it was under the leadership of a woman makes her unusual. On the other hand, the reign of Hatshepsut was unusual because she disappeared after ruling Egypt for 15 years. Nobody knows how she died to date (Roberts 35-40).
Akhenaten was one of the most controversial Egypt Pharaohs. During the reign of Akhenaten’s father, Egypt was the strongest and wealthiest nation in the world. When Akhenaten became the king of Egypt, everything turned upside down and inside out. During his second year in the reign, he began making changes in the religious and political sectors of the country. Akhenaten changed Egypt from the worship of many gods to single god worship. He changes the way of worship of Egyptians by replacing the usual falcon-headed man as the sun of god with the sun-disk (Aten). In addition, Akhenaten’s unusual reign occurred when he refused to change his name to Amenhotep, meaning the god of Amun is satisfied, since he never wanted to be associated with Amun. Instead he named himself “Akhanaten”, which means “servant of Aten”. By getting lid of all gods of Egypt, Akhenaten closed all temples making all priests jobless. This never pleased most people making them smash all his statutes after his death in order not to remember his reign again (Roberts 70-90).
The Phoenicians, the Philistines and the Hebrews exemplify three different approaches to state building at the beginning of the first millennium B.C.?
The Phoenicians occupied the coast of Levant whose major cities were Sidon, Tyre, Byblos and Arwad. Their modes of state building were different from that of Philistines and Hebrews at the beginning of first millennium BC. Their cities first emerged as urban entities characterized by high economic prosperity in the trading centers. The Phoenician city was organized into individual city-states each under its own form of government. Each city-state had its own ruler and its own god (Gates 178).
The Philistines also had a different approach to state building from Hebrews and Phoenicians. They used to build their states using rocks and thatches. Philistines were termed as sea people who lived in the southern coast of Canaan. They ruled five city-states from Wadi Gaza to Yarqon River. Their culture was integrated with that of Canaan. In their cities they produced and consumed alcoholic beverages. In addition, they had numerous artifacts including beer mugs and wine craters (Gates 179).
The Hebrews also had a different approach when it came to building their own cities. Hebrew was the holiest race in the first millennium and they made structures by joining rocks. Hebrews lived in colonies where each with each colony forming its own city-state, composed of a city and a farming area. These city-states were all independent, but used to come together during wars. In addition, the cities were built on hill tops in order to see enemies approaching from far. They were surrounded by a perimeter wall, approximately 10 meters constructed with blocks (Gates 181-182).
Gates, Charles. Ancient cities: the archaeology of urban life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece and Rome. London: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Roberts, Russell. Rulers of Ancient Egypt. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 1999. Print
Sansone, David. Ancient Greek Civilization. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Internet resource.