Behind the great palatial walls of their fortresses, the Mycenaeans jealously guard their vast stores of artefacts. Militaristic and austere, their champions fight for the gods and glory.
The Mycenaeans founded the first civilization of what would be become known as Greek culture. Settled in the Aegean Sea area, the Mycenaeans were reputed craftsmen, exceptional seafarers, and fierce warriors. In the Classical Greek period they inspired many myths and are the heroic people immortalized in theIliad.To learn more:
The Mycenaeans were a Greek-speaking people who lived in Epirus, Thessaly, and the Peloponnese in the 2nd millennium BCE. The name was coined in the 19th century after important archaeological traces were found during excavation work at the palace of Mycenae. From the 16th century BCE, the Mycenaeans were active throughout the Aegean Sea and had a fruitful relationship with Minoan civilizations, whose alphabet they borrowed. Structured as independent city-states, the Mycenaeans were politically divided but capable of forming powerful military coalitions in times of war. Their most prosperous cities (Mycenae, Pylos, Tiryns, Gla, etc.) were fortified and structured around a palace, which was the residence of the king and his court. While no temples have been found, written descriptions have revealed their worship of the Greek gods that were revered during the Classical period. An industrious and seafaring people, the Mycenaeans spread along the entire eastern Mediterranean coast where they exported their crafts. Their power was at its peak between the 14th and 13th centuries BCE, a period in which they invaded Crete and overthrew the Minoan civilization. They were able to employ their superior military skills throughout the region at a time when the Egyptians and Hittites were often forced to hire mercenaries to fight their battles.Did you know?
The Mycenaeans are the people described in the Iliad under the name, the Achaeans. Although much of the information in the story should not be read literally, there is archaeological proof that a battle took place around the city of Troy in the 13th century BCE. The city was largely destroyed and lost a large number of its inhabitants, as suggested in Homer’s epic saga.