Peoples of the Sea

This book is part of the Ages in Chaos series dealing with the reconstruction of ancient history, can be read independently of the other volumes in that series. The entire period of reconstruction covers a span of twelve centuries, from the end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, which I claim was synchronous with the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, down to the advent of Alexander the Great of Macedon, and even beyond, namely, to the earlier Ptolemies, Hellenistic rulers of Egypt. The present volume deals with the more than two hundred years at the end of that span.

Ages in Chaos, Volume I, From the Exodus to King Akhnaton, published in 1952, carried the reconstruction through the six centuries ending with the kings Jehoshaphat of Jerusalem and Ahab of Samaria and with the el-Amarna period in Egypt, near the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, which I place in the ninth century. The promise to supply the reader with the rest of the reconstruction in a short space of time was made in good faith — the second and final volume of Ages in Chaos was already in page proofs. But the subsequent decision, to extend the second volume into three or even four volumes, by itself delayed the execution of the plan. (The concluding events of the Eighteenth Dynasty became the subject of my Oedipus and Akhnaton, published in 1960.)

Peoples of the Sea, as just said, covers the nearly two centuries of Persian domination of Egypt and continues, through the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, down to the time of the earlier Ptolemies. Within this time span I locate both the Twentieth Dynasty (the dynasty of Ramses III) and the Twenty-first Dynasty, which are conventionally placed up to eight centuries earlier; in no other part of the
reconstruction has there been such a great rift with the accepted structure for the chronology of events.

With the Eighteenth Dynasty moved down the scale of time by more than five centuries, the first volume of Ages in Chaos took away one abutment from orthodox history and erected instead an abutment for the reconstruction. With the removal of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Dynasties to the age of Persian domination over Egypt, anchoring them centuries away from their usual places, the present volume erects a second such abutment. On these two abutments now rests the span of ancient history. Conventional ancient history, shown to be misplaced and distorted at both ends, cannot plead for the salvaging of the mid-part intact.

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