Ep. 014 – The Amarna Letters and Some Lukkan Pirates

This time around we take a look at a few select cuneiform tablets from a collection known as the Amarna Letters. Discovered in Amarna, Egypt, these letters are a rare insight into the communication between the pharaoh and the rulers of many cities around the Bronze Age world. First, the king of Alasiya is forced to defend himself against accusations of piracy. This letter mentions the Lukkan pirates, perhaps the oldest reference to a pirate group in history. Our second letters come from Rib-Addi, the ruler of Byblos, a man under siege from both land and sea. Ultimately, the Amarna Letters help us better understand the Bronze Age Mediterranean around 1350 BCE.

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  • Letter from Rib-Adda to the king (of Egypt); 63 lines, The British Museum. [link]
  • Letter from Rib-Hadda to an unknown source; 26 lines, The British Museum. [link]
  • Lettre de Rib Addi, roi de Byblos, au pharaon d'Egypte, Louvre. [link]

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