Pick a state/culture/civilisation to survive the Late Bronze Age Collapse

If you could pick a state/culture/civilisation etc to survive the Late Bronze Age collapse which didn't in OTL, which one would you choose and why?

Hittites?

Mycenaean Greece?

I would spare the city of Ugarit in Syria from being destroyed. I have a soft spot for city-states and it would be really interesting to see how a surviving Ugarit would interact with the Phoenician/Canaanite cities to the south like Tyre.
 
If you could pick a state/culture/civilisation etc to survive the Late Bronze Age collapse which didn't in OTL, which one would you choose and why?

Hittites?

Mycenaean Greece?

I would spare the city of Ugarit in Syria from being destroyed. I have a soft spot for city-states and it would be really interesting to see how a surviving Ugarit would interact with the Phoenician/Canaanite cities to the south like Tyre.
Does it stand much chance of remaining independent?

Imagine how radically different western history is if myceanean Greece survives as some kind of semi centralised empire. Most of what we associate with ancient and classical Greece would be gone. No Athenian democracy, no flowering of philosophy, drama as we know it wouldn't exist. All those things would probably exist somewhere, but not in a form we would instinctively recognise.
 
The Sea Peoples, so we could find out who the hell they were.
I rather subscribe to the idea there is no single sea peoples. Rather they are displaced people fleeing the cocktail of bad luck that caused the bronze age collapse and in turn exacerbated it, spreading its impact.

Fwiw I think the likeliest explanation for the collapse is natural disasters causing a disruption of the trade networks, creating societal instability, and in turn causing population movements that knocked over the tottering states. They relied on a network of trade to make high quality bronze, and the collapse followed a period of tectonic instability, I seem to recall.
 
Plus if myceanean Greece survives, the Iliad likley doesn't exist (only composed in that form in the Greek dark age) or if a version exists, it's not as potent because it's no longer a story of a lost ancient golden age.
 
Does it stand much chance of remaining independent?

Imagine how radically different western history is if myceanean Greece survives as some kind of semi centralised empire. Most of what we associate with ancient and classical Greece would be gone. No Athenian democracy, no flowering of philosophy, drama as we know it wouldn't exist. All those things would probably exist somewhere, but not in a form we would instinctively recognise.
In terms of Ugarit I totally agree it would likely fall under the influence of whoever was the dominant power in the region at any given point. Even so, I’d love to see what a surviving Ugarit could contribute in things like written texts, culture etc.

You’re right, the potential effects a surviving Mycenaean Greece might have on the development of the Western world are fascinating.
 
In terms of Ugarit I totally agree it would likely fall under the influence of whoever was the dominant power in the region at any given point. Even so, I’d love to see what a surviving Ugarit could contribute in things like written texts, culture etc.

You’re right, the potential effects a surviving Mycenaean Greece might have on the development of the Western world are fascinating.
Thanks. It's interesting because usually we would consider what we would gain by saving a culture, but it's so hard to imagine classical antiquity and everything flowing from it without post myceanean Greece that we end up considering what we would lose by saving it.

The Hittites surviving and remaining a power is interesting too. If they're strong enough, they could hem in Egyptian power, or vassalise Greece, or both.
 
Does the Harappan Civilisation/Indus Valley Civilization count? If so I am going with them.
A bit too late, the Harappan as I understand, are mostly gone for around 750 years or so prior to the Bronze Age Collapse. They fell during the transition from Early Bronze to Middle Bronze Age. Possibly lingering for some time after, but certainly extinct by 1200 BCE. At least until new evidence is discovered.

Plus if myceanean Greece survives, the Iliad likley doesn't exist (only composed in that form in the Greek dark age) or if a version exists, it's not as potent because it's no longer a story of a lost ancient golden age.
Well, the Iliad may not be composed, but something approximate to heroic literature would likely emerge. It however would possibly be more akin to how one reckons the Vedas and texts such as this. Rather than a lost age, but a recount and chain link to an ancient past.

I rather subscribe to the idea there is no single sea peoples. Rather they are displaced people fleeing the cocktail of bad luck that caused the bronze age collapse and in turn exacerbated it, spreading its impact.

Fwiw I think the likeliest explanation for the collapse is natural disasters causing a disruption of the trade networks, creating societal instability, and in turn causing population movements that knocked over the tottering states. They relied on a network of trade to make high quality bronze, and the collapse followed a period of tectonic instability, I seem to recall.
Whatever it was, in my view must have occurred in Europe. Matters seem perfectly fine in the Mid East until quite late, well after the fall of the Hittite Kingdom. Mid East as in, the Assyrian and Karduniash kingdoms, seem completely unperturbed. Whatever happened was a wave from the northwest into the south until the years succeeding Tiglath-Pileser I (1116-1076 BCE) and the famine and plague that emerged in the southern Levant, which caused mass migration of the Aramaens northward, destroying the Assyrian kingdom's hegemony and breaking the Karduniash kingdom (then a vassal of Assyria). Thus completing the Bronze Age Collapse.
Thanks. It's interesting because usually we would consider what we would gain by saving a culture, but it's so hard to imagine classical antiquity and everything flowing from it without post myceanean Greece that we end up considering what we would lose by saving it.

The Hittites surviving and remaining a power is interesting too. If they're strong enough, they could hem in Egyptian power, or vassalise Greece, or both.
According to how the Hatti kings referred to Ahhiyawa (Mycenaen kingdom), they seem to have been 'equals' and allies. So, the Hatti likely will not have quarrels with them, indeed the Hatti even permitted the Ahhiyawa to wage war against the Arzawa and Wilusa, without anything except, 'inquiring as to their unpleasantness with the Wilusa' and so forth. It is also important, the Hatti kings referred to the Ahhiyawan king as 'Great King' the same title used by the Hatti, a title they refused to give to Assyria.
 
Well, the Iliad may not be composed, but something approximate to heroic literature would likely emerge. It however would possibly be more akin to how one reckons the Vedas and texts such as this. Rather than a lost age, but a recount and chain link to an ancient past.

According to how the Hatti kings referred to Ahhiyawa (Mycenaen kingdom), they seem to have been 'equals' and allies. So, the Hatti likely will not have quarrels with them, indeed the Hatti even permitted the Ahhiyawa to wage war against the Arzawa and Wilusa, without anything except, 'inquiring as to their unpleasantness with the Wilusa' and so forth. It is also important, the Hatti kings referred to the Ahhiyawan king as 'Great King' the same title used by the Hatti, a title they refused to give to Assyria.
I could definitely imagine a later Mycenaean overlord patronising a storyteller to compose an epic poem linking him back to ancient, semi-mythical heroic ancestors in order to boost his legitimacy.

If the Mycenaeans collapsed but the Hatti didn’t, perhaps Hatti would just maintain trading relationships with whatever city states emerged from the chaos. No need to rock the boat and get involved in conflicts across the sea when Northern Syria might be ripe for the taking after the collapse in that region. Maybe Dark Age Greek warrior elites might serve in Hatti armies.
 
I could definitely imagine a later Mycenaean overlord patronising a storyteller to compose an epic poem linking him back to ancient, semi-mythical heroic ancestors in order to boost his legitimacy.

If the Mycenaeans collapsed but the Hatti didn’t, perhaps Hatti would just maintain trading relationships with whatever city states emerged from the chaos. No need to rock the boat and get involved in conflicts across the sea when Northern Syria might be ripe for the taking after the collapse in that region. Maybe Dark Age Greek warrior elites might serve in Hatti armies.
Certainly. And the society in which the Mycenaeans hold, will be one made up of castes, entrenched aristocracy, powerful priests, the ruler possessing a 'King among Kings' mentality and so forth. We may see the Mycenaens develop quite an important civilization, beyond what the Classical Greeks built. In the classical era, I see the Greeks as having a certain malaise and fear of the future and a feeling of loss. The lost aspect being the loss of the heroism, aristocratic instinct, the better religious connections and the caste systems of old. Without the loss of these, the Greeks may remain much more grounded, a more land based entity, perhaps expanding north into Europe or Anatolia in a manner not different from the Zhou Dynasty. Though, the mountainous terrain of the region may inhibit some of this advancement. Nevertheless, the Greeks in this atl, will be more like the Celts, Germans and so forth in terms of the importance of aristocracy.

It depends on the Hatti survive. It is a difficult situation for them. Assuming the Mycenae collapse, the collapse that occurred for them would spread to Hatti in the form of the migrating tribes from Europe. The Hatti were unable to combat these invasions due to suffering major setbacks after consecutive losses in wars against the Assyrian state after having been dependent upon them. The Assyro-Hatti relations were quite mixed in fact and this permitted and sheds light upon the Hatti's defeat.

In prior years, the Hatti and Assyrians were allied for a period of time, during the reign of Assyrian kings Adad-Nirari I (1295-1264 BCE) and early Shalmaneser I (1264-1234 BCE) and perhaps under Arik-den-ilie (1307-1295 BCE). The Hatti Great Kings maintained some sort of relationship with Assyria wherein the Assyrians invaded the hill country on behalf of the Hatti and attacked Hattian enemies in the east, presumably the Kaska, Mushki and so forth, the peoples who would destroy the Hattusa in the collapse period some decades later. It would seem that the Hatti were relying on the Assyrians for eastern defense and may have relied on Assyria for a large amount of military matters. Assyria used this to their benefit and eventually in the late reign of Adad-Nirari I began to refer to Hatti as its vassal state, which led to a series of diplomatic disputes between the two, likely with calls for war. Assyria made the first move, in the reign of Shalmaneser I, after having launched many expeditions against Hattian enemies in the north, Shalmaneser I invaded and conquered the Hatti vassal in Washukanni, the remnant Mitanni state.

This led to war between the two, which Assyria won and this led to the fall of Hatti as the Hatti's weakness was revealed and Assyria no longer defending the east, made Hatti move its priorities north and it was defeated badly and destroyed.

How to save it, I am not entirely sure. Hatti had a fall that is essentially fully understood, it is not even a real mystery at this point. That makes its collapse more difficult to remedy, as we are not sure exactly which part to fix and where to start. The easiest is to start a distance back and not permit the Hatti to trust Assyria and not delegate roles to them in protecting their borders in the east. On the otherhand, it is also possible to simply have Tudhaliya IV defeat Tukulti-Ninurta I in the field. Yet, that option of defeating Assyria in the field, may only prolong matters. In order to keep Assyria down, Hatti needs to formalize an alliance with another state and crush Assyria and rescind Assyrian gains made 1240-1209 BCE. The obvious ally is Elam, however I am not sure to what degree Elam would cooperate.

However, if the Hatti do succeed, their realm is definitely interest to see survive. Their complex legal framework would be interesting to see, it had a level of complexity rivaling the European Middle Ages, something nigh unprecedented in history. So, permitting its existence for a longer period of time, may see a much more legally defined border zone for states in the Mid East of the Iron Age and the solidification of a analogous to feudalism in the Iron Age middle east.
 
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Certainly. And the society in which the Mycenaeans hold, will be one made up of castes, entrenched aristocracy, powerful priests, the ruler possessing a 'King among Kings' mentality and so forth. We may see the Mycenaens develop quite an important civilization, beyond what the Classical Greeks built. In the classical era, I see the Greeks as having a certain malaise and fear of the future and a feeling of loss. The lost aspect being the loss of the heroism, aristocratic instinct, the better religious connections and the caste systems of old. Without the loss of these, the Greeks may remain much more grounded, a more land based entity, perhaps expanding north into Europe or Anatolia in a manner not different from the Zhou Dynasty. Though, the mountainous terrain of the region may inhibit some of this advancement. Nevertheless, the Greeks in this atl, will be more like the Celts, Germans and so forth in terms of the importance of aristocracy.
I would say aristocracies were still a lot important in archaic Greece, afterall the entire conflict between aristocratic oligarchies and tyrannies was one where a new order of less well off freemen tried to get strong charismatic men to rally against what was basically an entrenched aristocratic order.
I'm also not sure if future Mycenean expansion is necessarily going to be towards the north, after all Myceneans also expanded towards the south in Crete and Anatolia and they still participated more in mediterranean trade with Italy, if anything I'd believe that between Mycenean Greece and Archaic Greece the main difference is how polities were structured and how government was organized, but aristocracies and a maritime focus were important in both societies until tyrants and democracies started popping up.
 
I would say aristocracies were still a lot important in archaic Greece, afterall the entire conflict between aristocratic oligarchies and tyrannies was one where a new order of less well off freemen tried to get strong charismatic men to rally against what was basically an entrenched aristocratic order.
I'm also not sure if future Mycenean expansion is necessarily going to be towards the north, after all Myceneans also expanded towards the south in Crete and Anatolia and they still participated more in mediterranean trade with Italy, if anything I'd believe that between Mycenean Greece and Archaic Greece the main difference is how polities were structured and how government was organized, but aristocracies and a maritime focus were important in both societies until tyrants and democracies started popping up.
As I understand, the aristocracy was different from the caste system spoken of in Homeric legend. I do not mean that aristocrats in the sense of land owning elites did not exist, but these were almost seen as an atrophied image of that older Homeric model and the model held by the Mycenae kingdom. Wherein a singular 'Great King' ruled over a coalition of noble lords who equally claimed high statuses. It was reminiscent of other European systems of caste and that of the Scythians. This is why whence the Greeks encountered more thoroughly peoples such as the Celts, they remarked on how similar they were to their epic Homeric ancestors.
 
As I understand, the aristocracy was different from the caste system spoken of in Homeric legend. I do not mean that aristocrats in the sense of land owning elites did not exist, but these were almost seen as an atrophied image of that older Homeric model and the model held by the Mycenae kingdom. Wherein a singular 'Great King' ruled over a coalition of noble lords who equally claimed high statuses. It was reminiscent of other European systems of caste and that of the Scythians. This is why whence the Greeks encountered more thoroughly peoples such as the Celts, they remarked on how similar they were to their epic Homeric ancestors.
I would say the main difference is that there were no kings as such rather than an atrophied nobility, I'd describe a different kind of aristocracy but still vibrant in the 8th and 7th century.
Would you say the Macedonian kingdom and other northern neighbours like Thracians were a model for how ancient Mycenea worked?
 
Keeping the Canaanites around would be an interesting one in terms of its consequences for 55.5% of the current world population.
 
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