Bronze Age Diplomacy (7 players)
Diplomacy in the Amarna era of the Late Bronze Age.
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Variant Parameters (Version: 3.1 / Code: 3.1):

Special rules/information:

Background:

    The Amarna era of the 14th century BC is known in history as one of the first golden ages of international diplomacy. The era's namesake, Amarna, Egypt, was built by the pharaoh Akhenaten to serve as Egypt's capital, and was then known as Akhetaten, as part of his unorthodox devotion to the sun disk god, the Aten. At this site, archaeologists discovered a trove of diplomatic correspondences written on clay tablets. From these artifacts, historians have pieced together the fascinating international system that existed at the time. There was a club of great powers led by great kings who addressed each other as "brother." It was essential for a great king to be recognized as a brother by the leaders of the great powers in order to achieve prestige and international influence. The club generally consisted of Egypt, Hatti (the Hittite Empire), Babylonia, and Mitanni. However, Mitanni was superseded by and turned into a vassal of an upstart Assyria. Interestingly, while Assyria demanded recognition as a great power due to military might, the other great kings were offended by perceived Assyrian haughtiness and at first refused to address the Assyrian king as a brother.

    Other powers were at times looked at as being on an equal diplomatic footing with great powers, too. During a period of Hittite weakness in the 15th century BC, the federation of Arzawa was seen as the dominant power in Anatolia until it fractured and was humbled by later Hittite kings like Suppiluliuma. The kingdom of Alashiya, believed to be on Cyprus held significant influence due to its control of copper production. Mycenaean Greece was also believed to be a great power. Hittite sources make reference to a great king of "Ahhiyawa" who waged a cold war against the Hittites in western Anatolia. It is believed this Ahhiyawa, likely a cognate for Achaea, could have been a confederation of Greek cities with the king of Mycenae as its leader. Scholars have interpreted the Iliad, in which Homer commonly refers to the Greeks as "Achaeans," as remembering a conflict between Achaea and the Hittite vassal Wilusa (Troy). For Elam, this period is one of obscurity. However, the country will emerge a century later as a major power to challenge Assyria. Elam was conquered by a Kassite king of Babylonia, Kurigalzu, who may have installed the Igehalkid dynasty as vassal kings on the Elamite throne. The numerous marriages between Elamite kings and Kassite princesses in the following decades certainly implies the two countries maintained, in the least case, a very cordial relationship.

    While the great powers often made war on one another, the main purpose of the brotherhood of great kings was to foster international trade on a scale never seen before. Great powers carved out areas of influence, to which each minor power belonged to one and addressed their overlord as "father." The metaphorical family structure ushered in an era of globalization once thought impossible by early scholars. Unfortunately, a century after the Amarna era, the system would take the reverse course in the unparalleled destruction of the Late Bronze Age Collapse. This apocalypse was so severe that some cultures even lost the ability to write.

Rules and Features:

  1. Standard rules apply, along with build anywhere.
  2. Fleet/army transformation option is available.
  3. A single land bridge connects Europe to Arawanna.
  4. Darker blue areas of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Caspian Sea are impassible water and only serve an aesthetic purpose.