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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

one more historical mystery

The other day we picked up an appealing graphic novel version of the Odyssey — put out by Sterling, the All Action series. My boys have seen various versions of parts of this story over the years — from Usborne, the classic collection by the DèAlaires, as woven in to the Percy Jackson books (and thus the handy guide to statues related to the Lightning Thief that the Metropolitan Museum in New York cleverly puts out). But the Sterling is one step more detailed than anything they had seen before. I read the Odyssey in school in 6th grade, and I can now picture Sasha doing that in a couple of school years.

All of this relates to history because I found A Concise History of Ancient Greece and thought it would be interesting to show the boys what we know and have found about the real history of the Trojan War. As i read through the book it reminded me of a historical mystery that is this great gap in our record of the past — Who Were the Sea PeopleÉ

We all know about Troy — in Homer and then in archaeology. But more significant than one 10 year seige is the invasions by groups of people that overturned civilizations from what is now Turkey to Egypt. We have Egyptian records of battles, but to the best of my knowledge this crucial step in our history — the invasions and battles that left in place the civilizations that we can trace down to Rome — is still a mystery. we are not clear on the actors, the motivations, or even what took place.

i would love to have a school in their western civ survey spend some time of this mystery — was there an ecological disaster; famine; was this an early example of the movements of peoples that crashed into Rome.

Who were the Sea Peoples who changed history, and yet are missing from history. that is a question worth investigating


  1. Dr Aronson,
    First of all, thank you for the new discovery; “BlueHenge”. After watching your interview video with Fox News, I could not help but to think about when I was at the Stonehenge site in 2002, I can recall the beautiful greenery and sheep pastures.
    Secondly, wow! This is amazing and I look forward to returning sometime within the next 2 years to check it out.
    My site, although available, it is under construction from time-to-time.

    You are an awesome professor! Thanks for the update on Stonehenge.

  2. Whenever I think of the term “Sea Peoples,” I think of the Phoenicians but their empire was much later than the eras you’re talking about. Fascinating…

  3. Marc Aronson says:

    there is a theory that the Phoenicians were one of the groups involved in the Sea Peoples invasions — that is one of the mysteries; and since they gave us our alphabet, figuring out who they were is pretty important

  4. Marc Aronson says:

    thanks — though all credit to Mike Parker Pearson, the Riverside team, and to Ramilisonina — i just told their story.