The Minoan Eruption weakened Crete and its Minoan civilization sufficiently to create a power vacuum in the Aegean. The emerging Mycenaeans filled it in mainland Greece. They went on to conquer Crete and destroy the Minoans, and became the dominant power of the Aegean. However, unlike the Minoans, the Mycenaeans’ energies were focused not on trade with Egypt and the Levant, but on colonizing the Aegean, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, and the western Mediterranean.
That change of orientation significantly reduced Egyptian and eastern influences upon the Greeks, and the trajectory of their civilization when it flourished centuries later, long after the Mycenaeans had themselves disappeared. The Greeks ended up with civilization and culture distinct from Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean, rather than becoming an extension and outpost of those civilizations. That had knock-on effects on western civilization, which is founded upon that of the ancient Greeks. An argument could be made that today’s western civilization and its impact on the modern world would not exist but for the Minoan Eruption of the second millennium BC.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading