The ancient world was inhabited by numerous societies which affected the formation of later civilizations. A lot of them have disappeared, but they left their mark on history and made us remember them to this day.
In his “Iliad”, Homer calls „Achaeans“ everyone on the Peloponnese Peninsula. Some say that they first inhabited the coats of the Danube, and others claim that they migrated over from the north coast of the Black Sea.
Once they settled the island of Crete, the Achaeans founded the Mycenaean civilization. Mycenaean castles, discovered by archeologists, were quite different from the ones that existed earlier on the island. Judging by all the evidence, the Achaeans were very war oriented people, they not only invaded neighboring city-states, but fought amongst each other, too.
During the 15th-13th centuries, the Achaean states reached full bloom. Having created a powerful fleet, they started colonizing Asia Minor (Anatolia) and South Italy. Achaean sailors created a large trading network throughout the whole Mediterranean, which in no way stopped them from dealing with piracy.
The tall and tanned people, “Phoiníkē” (purple), as they were called by the Greeks, lived in the territory of modern-day Lebanon, and according to Herodotus, they migrated from Northwestern Arabia. Modern genetics point out the kinship between the Phoenicians and the Caucasus civilizations.
Greeks described the wealthy and full of life Phoenician cities quite. One could buy anything that existed in the ancient world – from exotic fruits to marvelous vases, from jewelry to pieces of art.
According to historical documents, the Phoenicians were the first to surround the African continent. They were in possession of a powerful fleet, which was superior to fleets of neighboring city-states by and so they established a trading hegemony in the Mediterranean region.
Phoenicia quickly became a powerful colonial country, but unlike European countries, the Phoenicians did not start wars of conquest, but rather settled down exclusively on coastlines so trading would be easier. Phoenicians are also famous for refusing the Akkadian cuneiform writing and creating their own linear alphabet.
The Philistines are one of the most mysterious people in the biblical city of Canaan. Some scientists identify the Philistines with the Pelasgians, who, according to one hypothesis, have Indo-European roots. Actually, the Crete-Mycenaean origin of the Philistines is confirmed by archeological discoveries. Philistine ceramics and weapons are a lot more similar to Crete-Mycenaean artifacts. Around 1080 BC, Philistines began to expand their territories – they took over numerous ancient Greek cities. But 75 years later, the Philistine hegemony was terminated by King David.
Ancient Etruscans appeared unexpectedly in mankind’s history, and just as unexpectedly disappeared. According to archeologists, the Etruscans settled the northwest part of the Italian Peninsula and created an advanced civilization.
Etruscans influenced the culture of ancient Rome in a big way – arches, gladiator fights, chariot races, and funeral ceremonies – and this is not the full list of heritage that Romans received from their predecessors.
Aside from that, historians claim that Roman numbers should technically be called Etruscan. And it’s actually the Etruscans who founded the first cities in Italy.
There are several different versions about the fate of Etruscans. According to one of them, they migrated east and became fathers of the Slavic ethnicity. Some scientists claim that the Etruscan structure of the language is very similar to the Slavic one.