Theme 3: Europe

Chapter 11: Prehistoric Europe: Mediterranean and Nordic Bronze Ages

Kelly Wrenhaven

This week you will be introduced to prehistoric Late Bronze Age Europe (c. 1650 BCE – c. 1200 BCE). You will also learn about the legend of the Trojan War as told by the Greek poet Homer. The first part of the week will focus on the great Mediterranean civilizations that today we call the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. The Minoans were centered mainly upon the island of Crete. These were a non-Greek, and probably a non-European, people who likely originated from somewhere in the Levant (the area of modern-day Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon). The Mycenaeans were a Greek (European) people who lived primarily on the mainland of Greece, although they did eventually overtake Minoan strongholds on the island of Crete. The legend of the Trojan War perhaps preserves some memory of the warlike Mycenaean civilization, whose time the Greeks conceived of as the age of heroes.

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