From the Mailbag: Eric Cline is doing a Reddit AMA!

Not sure how many rogueclassicism readers frequent the Reddit site (the front page of the internet), but one of its more interesting features come in the form of  a couple of  subreddits called AMA (which is actually an abbreviation for “Ask me anything”)  and IAMA (which has subjects that start with “I am a” but also have the “ask me anything” aspect).  While most of the people who take part in the AMA side are regular folks with an interesting story (e.g. as of this writing there’s one by someone who has a meth-addicted mother, another who has survived a tornado, etc.), celebrities and others frequently schedule IAMAs for promotional and/or other purposes. I can’t recall ever seeing an ancient history type do one, so when I received an email from Princeton University Press’s Jessica Pellien about Eric Cline, I couldn’t get to the keyboard fast enough! Here’s the salient bit of her email:

As you may, or may not know, the book 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric Cline has been a sleeper best-selling book (kindle, print, and audio) for Princeton University Press this spring. We had a fantastic early review from Adam Gopnik on The New Yorker web site and ever since have been reprinting to keep pace with demand.

Eric has scheduled a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on May 22nd at 8 PM and I thought you might enjoy following along or wish to alert friends, colleagues, and readers to the event. This is a chance for Eric to answer questions related to the book and the collapse of the Bronze Age, life as an archaeologist, his dig at Meggido, or anything else that comes up. I hope you will help us spread the word about the AMA session and will consider joining the fun with your own question or two.

If you want to participate with questions, you’ll have to set up a reddit login and password, but if you just want to follow along, you should be able to do that. Here’s where you should be on May 22 at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern):

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Pondering the Historicity of the Trojan War

Over at the OUP Blog, Eric Cline has keyboarded an interesting post … here’s a bit in medias res:

[…]According to the Greek literary evidence, there were at least two Trojan Wars (Heracles’ and Agamemnon’s), not simply one; in fact, there were three wars, if one counts Agamemnon’s earlier abortive attack on Teuthrania. Similarly, according to the Hittite literary evidence, there were at least four Trojan Wars, ranging from the Assuwa Rebellion in the late 15th century BCE to the overthrow of Walmu, king of Wilusa in the late 13th century BCE. And, according to the archaeological evidence, Troy/Hisarlik was destroyed twice, if not three times, between 1300 and 1000 BCE. Some of this has long been known; the rest has come to light more recently. Thus, although we cannot definitively point to a specific “Trojan War,” at least not as Homer has described it in the Iliad and the Odyssey, we have instead found several such Trojan wars and several cities at Troy, enough that we can conclude there is a historical kernel of truth — of some sort — underlying all the stories.[…]