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HITTITES HITTITES Presentation Transcript

  • Hittites BNAHS
  • The Hittites were an ancient Anatolian people who spoke a language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family and established a kingdom centered at Hattusa (Hittite URU Ḫattuša ) in north-central Anatolia (on the Central Anatolian plateau) ca. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height ca. the 14th century BC, encompassing a large part of Anatolia, north-western Syria about as far south as the mouth of the Litani River (a territory known as Amqu), and eastward into upper Mesopotamia. After ca. 1180 BC, the empire disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some surviving until as late as the 8th century BC.
  • The term "Hittites" was taken from the KJV (King James Version) translation of the Hebrew Bible, translating חתי HTY , or בני - חת BNY-HT "Children of Heth". (Heth is a son of Canaan.) The archaeologists who discovered the Anatolian Hittites in the 19th century initially identified them with these Biblical Hittites. Today the identification of the Biblical peoples with either the Hattusa-based empire or the Neo-Hittite kingdoms is a matter of dispute. The fullest designation of the Hittite kingdom is "The Land of the City of Hattusa". This description could be applied to either the entire empire, or more narrowly just to the core territory, depending on context. The word "Hatti" is actually an Akkadogram, rather than Hittite; it is never declined according to Hittite grammatical rules. Despite the use of "Hatti", the Hittites should be distinguished from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the same region until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, and spoke a non-Indo-European language called Hattic. The Hittites themselves referred to their language as Nesili (or in one case, Kanesili ), an adverbial form meaning "in the manner of (Ka)nesa", presumably reflecting a high concentration of Hittite speakers in the ancient city of Kanesh (modern Kültepe, Turkey). Many modern city names in Turkey are first recorded under their Hittite names, such as Sinop and Adana, reflecting the contiguity of modern Anatolia with its ancient past. Although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 14th century BC, when letters to foreign rulers reveal the demand for their iron goods. Recent excavations, however, have discovered evidence of iron tool production dating back at least as far as the 20th century BC. Hittite weapons were made from bronze though; iron was so rare and precious that it was employed only as prestige goods. But the Hittites were famous for their skill in building and using chariots. These chariots gave them a military superiority as illustrated on a plate from Carchemish.
  • Ancient people of Asia Minor and Syria who flourished from 1600 to 1200 B.C. The Hittites, a people of Indo-European connection, were supposed to have entered Cappadocia around 1800 B.C. The Hittite empire, with its capital at Bogazköy (also called as Hattusas), was the chief power and cultural force in Western Asia from 1400 to 1200 B.C. It was a loose confederation that broke up under the invasions (c.1200 B.C.) of the Thracians, Phrygians, and Assyrians. The Neo-Hittite kingdom (c.1050-c.700 B.C.) that followed was conquered by the Assyrians. The Hittites were one of the first peoples to smelt iron successfully. They spoke an Indo-European language. Because the Hittites were newcomers to Anatolia they were basically forced to settle where they did because they couldn't find a better place. The Hittite population would largely have consisted of peasants. There was a recognized class of craftsmen especially potters, cobblers, carpenters and smiths, and though metal principally worked was bronze, the smelting of iron was already understood and a high value was set on this metal. The medium of exchange was silver, of which the Taurus Mountains contained an abundant supply; however, it is not known how this potential source of wealth was controlled by the Hittite kings. Traces of metallurgy are found in Hattusas. Textual and material ranging from goldsmiths to shoemakers and to pottery. The Hittite economy was based on agriculture. The main crops were emmer wheat and barley. It took at least 22,000 hectares of arable land to meet the annual needs of Hattusas. Honey was a significant item in the diet. Domestic livestock consisted of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and perhaps water-buffalo. Donkeys were used as pack animals. They used also dogs as their best friends. Hittites used cuneiform script on their inscriptions. Also they used the hieroglyph form on some inscription, intended for ordinary people to understand the contents easily.
  • The king was supreme ruler, military commander, judicial authority and high priest. Surrounding him was a large class of nobles and dignitaries who, especially in the earlier centuries, possessed considerable power and were largely related to the king by blood. Throughout, the government of the most important cities and provinces was assigned by the king to members of his own family, each bounded to him by ties of homage and fealty. In later centuries, the same principle was extended to native vassal who became members of the royal family by marriage. The oath of fealty was a personal matter and so it was necessary, on the death of a kind, for all vassal treaties to be renewed by his successor. This feudal principle was in fact the basis of Hittite society as a whole. The nobles possessed large manors, each with its own peasants and artisans, who held their tenements on condition of payment of rent in kind or performance of appropriate services. A peasant could leave his holdings to his son; a craftsman could sell it, with the obligation passing to the buyer; but the lord had the right to choose or approve the new feudatory and invest him with the obligation. A notable characteristic of the Hittite state is the prominent part played by women, especially the queen. Pudupepa, wife of Hattusilis III, is regularly associated with her husband in treaties an documents of the state and she even carried on correspondence with foreign kings and queens in her own right. Both she and the last queen of Suppiluliumas I remained in office until their husbands' death; thus it is inferred that the Hilife. There is some reason to believe that a matrilineal system once prevailed in Anatolia and the independent position of the Hittite queen could be a result of this. The Hittite family was of the normal patriarchal type: the father gave his daughter aqua in marriage; the bridegroom paid him the bride-price and thereafter took the bride and possessed her; if she was taken in adultery he had the right to decide her fate.
  • The collection of roughly 200 Hittite laws, complied in a single work in two tablets, contain laws of different periods showing a constant development towards milder and more humane punishment. The most primitive clause prescribes drawing and quartering for an agricultural offense. Other capital crimes are rape, or in case of a slave, disobedience and sorcery. Slavery was severe. The master had the power of life and death. In most cases, it is stated that a animal was to be substituted for the man and a compensation of some sorts was paid. The spirit of Hittite law was more humane then that of the Babylonian or Assyrian legal codes. The Hittite weakness was that they never had a reliable native population. It was solved by the settlements of deportees, who retained royal control even when put beside native communities. They were influenced by Hatti civilization to a great extend in religion, mythology, art and culture. Although Hittites were the rulers of the country, their kings adopted Hatti names. Although the Hittite Empire vanished thousands of years ago, it has by no means been forgotten, and its capital Hattusha has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Moreover, an enlarged copy of a cuneiform tablet found here hangs in the United Nations building in New York. This tablet is a peace treaty concluded after the Battle of Kadesh between the Hittite king Hattusili III and the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II about 3260 years ago, demonstrating to modern statesmen that international treaties are a tradition going back to the earliest civilizations.
  • The land that the Hittites originally inhabited was known as Hatti, and their main city became Hattusha. Although the origin of the Hittites is not known, it is clear that they did speak an Indo-European language, often called Nesian. Ancient people living in Anatolia in modern Turkey, and in northern Syria. The Hittites established two Empires in recorded history, the Old Hittite Kingdom, which lasted from around about 1680 until about 1500 BCE, and the second, called the New Hittite Kingdom, which lasted from about 1400 until about 1200 BCE. Hittites is the conventional English-language term for an ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language and established a kingdom centered in Hattusa (Hittite Hattushash) where today is the village of Bo­azk­y in north-central Turkey, through most of the second millennium BC. The Hittite kingdom, which at its height controlled central Anatolia, north-western Syria down to Ugarit, and Mesopotamia down to Babylon, lasted from roughly 1680 BC to about 1180 BC. After 1180 BC, the Hittite polity disintegrated into several independent city-states, some of which survived as late as around 700 BC.
  • The Hittite kingdom, or at least its core region, was apparently called Hatti in the reconstructed Hittite language. However, the Hittites should be distinguished from the "Hattians", an earlier people who inhabited the same region until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, and spoke a non-Indo-European language conventionally called Hattic. Hittites or more recently, Hethites is also the common English name of a Biblical people who are called Children of Heth. These people are mentioned several times in the Old Testament, from the time of the Patriarchs up to Ezra's return from Babylonian captivity; see Hittites in the Bible. The archaeologists who discovered the Anatolian Hittites in the 19th century initially believed the two peoples to be the same, but this identification remains disputed.The Hittites were also famous for their skill in building and using chariots. Some consider the Hittites to be the first civilization to have discovered how to work iron, and thus the first to enter the Iron Age.
  • The Hittite kingdom is conventionally divided into three periods, the Old Hittite Kingdom (ca. 1750–1500 BC), the Middle Hittite Kingdom (ca. 1500–1430 BC) and the New Hittite Kingdom (the Hittite Empire proper, ca. 1430–1180 BC). The earliest known member of a Hittite speaking dynasty, Pithana, was based at the city of Kussara. In the 18th century BC Anitta, his son and successor, made the Hittite speaking city of Neša into one of his capitals and adopted the Hittite language for his inscriptions there. However, Kussara remained the dynastic capital for about a century until Labarna II adopted Hattusa as the dynastic seat, possibly taking the throne name of Hattusili, "man of Hattusa", at that time. The Old Kingdom, centered at Hattusa, peaked during the 16th century BC, and even managed to sack Babylon at one point, but made no attempt to govern there, enabling the Kassite to rise to prominence there and rule it for over 400 years. During the 15th century BC, Hittite power fell into obscurity, re-emerging with the reign of Tudhaliya I from ca. 1400 BC. Under Suppiluliuma I and Mursili II, the Empire was extended to most of Anatolia and parts of Syria and Canaan, so that by 1300 BC the Hittites were bordering on the Egyptian sphere of influence, leading to the inconclusive Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC.
  • Civil war and rivalling claims to the throne, combined with the external threat of the Sea Peoples weakened the Hittites and by 1160 BC, the Empire had collapsed. "Neo-Hittite" post-Empire states, petty kingdoms under Assyrian rule, may have lingered on until ca. 700 BC, and the Bronze Age Hittite and Luwian dialects evolved into the sparsely attested Lydian, Lycian and Carian languages. Remnants of these languages lingered into Persian times and were finally extinct by the spread of Hellenism. The history of the Hittite civilization is known mostly from cuneiform texts found in the area of their empire, and from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various archives in Egypt and the Middle East. Around 2000 BC, the region centered in Hattusa, that would later become the core of the Hittite kingdom, was inhabited by people with a distinct culture who spoke a non-Indo-European language. The name "Hattic" is used by Anatolianists to distinguish this language from the Indo-European Hittite language, that appeared on the scene at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC and became the administrative language of the Hittite kingdom over the next six or seven centuries. As noted above, "Hittite" is a modern convention for referring to this language. The native term was Nesili, i.e. "In the language of Nesa".
  • The early Hittites, whose prior whereabouts are unknown, borrowed heavily from the pre-existing Hattian culture, and also from that of the Assyrian traders - in particular, the cuneiform writing and the use of cylindrical seals. Since Hattic continued to be used in the Hittite kingdom for religious purposes, and there is substantial continuity between the two cultures, it is not known whether the Hattic speakers - the Hattians - were displaced by the speakers of Hittite, were absorbed by them, or just adopted their language. The early history of the Hittite kingdom is known through tablets that may first have been written in the 17th century BC but survived only as copies made in the 14th and 13th centuries BC. These tablets, known collectively as the Anitta tex, begin by telling how Pithana the king of Kussara or Kussar (a small city-state yet to be identified by archaeologists) conquered the neighbouring city of Nesa (Kanesh). However, the real subject of these tablets is Pithana's son Anitta, who continued where his father left off and conquered several neighboring cities, including Hattusa and Zalpuwa (Zalpa).
  • Around 1900 BCE: The first appearance of the Hittites in history. Most probably coming from western Europe, they invaded the region of the Hatti, and established the town Nesa. Around 1800: The Hittites conquers the town Hattusha. 1680-1650: The Hittite king, Labarna, establishes what came to be known as the Old Hittite Kingdom, and made Hattusha its capital. Under his rule most of Anatolia is captured. 1620-1590: Under King Mursili 1, Aleppo is conquered. 1595: Babylon is sacked by Mursili 1; with this the Amorite era seems to come to an end. 1500: The death of Telipinu. He is the last ruler of the Old Kingdom whose acts are known. First half 15th century: The Hittite kingdom declines due to internal strife and external warfare.
  • Around 1400: Revival of the Hittite kingdom. 1380: Prince Suppiluliuma takes over the throne during a period of weakness and foreign invasions. Suppiluliuma defeats the enemies of the country, principally Mitanni, and extends the territories to areas that had been under Egyptian control. About 1276: Battle at Kadesh, one of the most famous battles of the ancient world, in which Ramses 2 of Egypt claims a victory, but the Hittites, nevertheless, remain in Syria. Probably the battle was inconclusive. About 1262: The Hittite King, Hattusilis 3, agrees upon a peace treaty with Ramses 2, and gives his daughter in marriage. About 1193: Invasion of the Sea Peoples, who bring the Hittite kingdom to its demise. 12th- 8th centuries: Many migrations take place in the area, the Phrygians being the most important group. It is believed that a Hittite identity survives among 2 peoples, the Cilicians and the Syrians. Throughout this period people lived in city-states. Until 710: Most of the city-states have been conquered by the Assyrians. 1906 CE: The royal archives are discovered at Bogasköy in today's Turkey.
  • Pharaoh Ramses II often referred to the Hittites as humty which translated from ancient Egyptian meant "women-soldiers", as it was the practice of male Hittite warriors to wear their hair long. Scholars have also regarded the Hittites to be of a "Mediterranean ethnic group“. Archeologist Henry Heras's analysis of Egyptian portrayals of the Hittites, coincided with this view as they appeared to possess physical characteristics typical of Mediterranean people. Some scholars believed that this may point to a north-east African origin as such physical traits have been thought to originate in this area. Similar physical characteristics were possessed by the ancient Greeks leading some to suspect that both ancient Greeks and Hittites descended from similar prehistoric populations in the Near East and Aegean. Physical anthropological analysis of populations alone, however, is an insufficient basis for grouping peoples into races, substantiating theories of folk migrations and accounting for the origins of ancient people due to many complicated factors. The exact origins of the Hittites have been enshrouded in mystery for quite some time. While it has been argued that Hittite culture and language developed locally in Anatolia, it has been far more common to view the Hittites and their ways as intrusive. Possible geographic origins from the west (Balkans), east (via or along the Caspian Sea or from the Armenian highlands), and north (across the Black sea) are just some of the proposed migration routes. Physical Appearance, Origins And Genetics
  • The process has been viewed as one of conquering elites but alternatively as peaceful coupled with gradual assimilation. In archaeological terms, relationships of the Hittites to the Ezero culture of the Balkans and Maikop culture of the Caucasus have been considered within the migration framework. A genetic study based on modern male Anatolian y-chromosome DNA has revealed gene flow from multiple geographic origins which may correspond to various migrations over time. The predominant male lineages of Anatolian males are shared with European and neighboring Near Eastern populations (94.1%). Lineages related to Central Asia, India, and Africa were far less prevalent among the males sampled. No specific lineage was determined or identified as "Hittite", however the y-chromosome haplogroup G-M201 was implied to have a possible association with the Hattians. Physical Appearance, Origins And Genetics
  • The first archaeological evidence for the Hittites appeared in tablets found at the Assyrian colony of Kultepe (ancient Karum Kanesh), containing records of trade between Assyrian merchants and a certain "land of Hatti". Some names in the tablets were neither Hattic nor Assyrian, but clearly Indo-European. The script on a monument at Bogazkoy by a "People of Hattusas" discovered by William Wright in 1884 was found to match peculiar hieroglyphic scripts from Aleppo and Hamath in Northern Syria. In 1887, excavations at Tell El-Amarna in Egypt uncovered the diplomatic correspondence of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his son Akhenaton. Two of the letters from a "kingdom of Kheta" - apparently located in the same general region as the Mesopotamian references to "land of Hatti" - were written in standard Akkadian cuneiform script, but in an unknown language; although scholars could read it, no one could understand it. Shortly after this, Archibald Sayce proposed that Hatti or Khatti in Anatolia was identical with the "kingdom of Kheta" mentioned in these Egyptian texts, as well as with the biblical Hittites. Sayce's identification came to be widely accepted over the course of the early 20th century; and so, rightly or wrongly, the name "Hittite" has become attached to the civilization uncovered at Bogazkoy.
  • Hittite (natively nešili "[in the language] of Neša") is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who created an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia. The language is attested in cuneiform, in records from the 16th (Anitta text) down to the 13th century BC, with isolated Hittite loanwords or names appearing in an Old Assyrian context from as early as the 20th century BC. Dialects derived from Hittite may have been spoken after the Bronze Age collapse in various parts of Anatolia and northern Syria, in the so-called Neo-Hittite states of the Early Iron Age. Hittite is the earliest attested Indo-European language, rediscovered only more than a century after the Proto-Indo-European hypothesis had been formulated. Because of marked differences in its structure and phonology, some linguists, most notably Edgar H. Sturtevant and Warren Cowgill, argued that it should be classified as a sister language to the Indo-European languages, rather than a daughter language, formulating the Indo-Hittite hypothesis. Other linguists, however, continue to accept the traditional 19th century view of the primacy of Proto-Indo-European and interpret the unusual features of Hittite as mainly due to later innovations. Still others claim Hittite, as well as its Anatolian cousins, split off from Proto-Indo-European at an early stage, thereby preserving archaisms that were later lost in the other Indo-European languages.
  • Hittites seemed to have spoken a language from the Indo-European language family, which includes English, German, Greek, Latin, Persian, and the languages of India. Hittite tablets were excavated from the ruins of the ancient Hittite capital Hattusa located near the modern Turkish town of Boghazkoy about 210 kilometers east of Ankara. Scientific excavation of these ruins by a German expedition began in 1906. About 10,000 clay tablets script were recovered. Although some were written in the Akkadian language and could be read immediately, most were in an unknown language, correctly assumed to be Hittite. Within ten years the language had been deciphered, and a sketch of its grammar published. Gradually, the international community of scholars, led by the Germans, expanded the knowledge of the language. The number of common Hittite words that one could translate with reasonable certainty increased steadily. Glossaries published in 1936 by Edgar Sturtevant (in English) and in 1952 by Johannes Friedrich (in German) admirably served the needs of their contemporaries. Yet today, seventy-five years after the decipherment, there still exists no complete dictionary of the Hittite language.
  • The first substantive claim as to the affiliation of the Hittite language was made by Jørgen Alexander Knudtzon (1902) in a book devoted to two letters between the king of Egypt and a Hittite ruler, found at El-Amarna in Egypt. Knudtzon argued that Hittite was Indo-European, largely on the basis of the morphology. Although he had no bilingual texts, he was able to give a partial interpretation to the two letters because of the formulaic nature of the diplomatic correspondence of the period. His argument was not generally accepted, partly because the morphological similarities he observed between Hittite and Indo-European can be found outside of Indo-European, and partly because the interpretation of the letters was justifiably regarded as uncertain. Knudtzon was shown definitively to have been correct when a large quantity of tablets written in the familiar Akkadian cuneiform script but in an unknown language was discovered by Hugo Winckler at the modern village of Boğazköy, the former site of Hattusas, the capital of the Hittite Empire. Based on a study of this extensive material, Bedřich Hrozný succeeded in analyzing the language. He presented his argument that the language is Indo-European in a paper published in 1915 (Hrozný 1915), which was soon followed by a grammar of the language (Hrozný 1917). Hrozný's argument for the Indo-European affiliation of Hittite was thoroughly modern, though poorly substantiated. He focused on the striking similarities in idiosyncratic aspects of the morphology, unlikely to occur independently by chance and unlikely to be borrowed. These included the r/n alternation in some noun stems and vocalic ablaut, both seen in the alternation in the word for water between nominative singular, wadar and genitive singular, wedenas . He also presented a set of regular sound correspondences. After a brief initial delay due to the disruption caused by the First World War, Hrozný's decipherment, tentative grammatical analysis, and demonstration of the Indo-European affiliation of Hittite were rapidly accepted and more broadly substantiated by contemporary scholars such as Edgar H. Sturtevant who authored the first scientifically acceptable Hittite grammar with a chrestomathy and a glossary. The 1951 revised edition of the Sturtevant grammar is still authoritative today.
  • Hittite is one of the Anatolian languages. Hittite proper is known from cuneiform tablets and inscriptions erected by the Hittite kings. The script known as "Hieroglyphic Hittite" has now been shown to have been used for writing the closely related Luwian language, rather than Hittite proper. The later languages Lycian and Lydian are also attested in Hittite territory. Palaic, also spoken in Hittite territory, is attested only in ritual texts quoted in Hittite documents. The Anatolian branch also includes Carian, Pisidian, and Sidetic. In the Hittite and Luwian languages there are many loan words, particularly religious vocabulary, from the non-Indo-European Hurrian and Hattic languages. Hattic was the language of the Hattians, the local inhabitants of the land of Hatti before being absorbed or displaced by the Hittites. Sacred and magical Hittite texts were often written in Hattic, Hurrian, and Akkadian, even after Hittite became the norm for other writings. The Hittite language has traditionally been stratified into Old Hittite (OH), Middle Hittite (MH) and New or Neo-Hittite (NH; not to be confused with the "Neo-Hittite" period which is actually post-Hittite), corresponding to the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms of the Hittite Empire (ca. 1750–1500 BC, 1500–1430 BC and 1430–1180 BC, respectively). These stages are differentiated partly on linguistic and partly on paleographic grounds. Just as the notion of a Middle Kingdom has been largely discredited, Melchert (Middle Hittite revisited) argues that MH as a linguistic term is not clearly delineated and should be understood as referring to a period of transition between OH and NH.
  • Hittite was written in an adapted form of Old Assyrian cuneiform orthography. Owing to the predominantly syllabic nature of the script, it is difficult to ascertain the precise phonetic qualities of a portion of the Hittite sound inventory. The syllabary distinguishes the following consonants (notably dropping the Akkadian s series), b, p, d, t, g, k, ḫ, r, l, m, n, š, z , combined with the vowels a, e, i, u . Additional ya (=I.A 𒄿𒀀), wa (=PI 𒉿) and wi (= wi 5 =GEŠTIN 𒃾) signs are introduced. The Assyrian voiced/unvoiced series (k/g, p/b, t/d) are not used to express the voiced/unvoiced contrast in Hittite though double spellings in intervocalic positions represent voiceless consonants in Indo-European (Sturtevant's law).
    • The limitations of the syllabic script have been more or less overcome by means of comparative etymology and an examination of Hittite spelling conventions, and accordingly, scholars have surmised that Hittite possessed the following phonemes.
    • Vowels
    • Long vowels appear as alternates to their corresponding short vowels when they are so conditioned by the accent.
    • Phonemically distinct long vowels occur infrequently.
    • All vowels may occur word-initially and word-finally, except /e/.
    • Consonants
    • All voiceless obstruent and all sonorant except /r/ appear word-initially. This is true of all Anatolian languages.
    • Word-finally, the following tendencies emerge:
      • Among the stops, only voiced appear word-finally. /-d/, /-g/ are common, /-b/ rare.
      • /-s/ occurs frequently; /-h₂/, /-h₃/, /-r/, /-l/, /-n/ less often; and /-m/ never.
      • The glides /w/, /j/ appear in diphthongs with /a/, /aː/.
    • The voiced/unvoiced series are inferred from the fact that doubling consonants in intervocalic positions represents voiceless consonants in Indo-European (Sturtevant's law, cf. Sturtevant 1932, Puhvel 1974): i.e. voiced stops are represented by single consonants (*yugom = i-ú-kán), voiceless stops with double consonants (*k'eyto > ki-it-ta).
    Laryngeals Hittite preserves some very archaic features lost in other Indo-European languages. For example, Hittite has retained two of three laryngeals ( h2 and h3 word-initially). These sounds, whose existence had been hypothesized by Ferdinand de Saussure on the basis of vowel quality in other Indo-European languages in 1879, were not preserved as separate sounds in any attested Indo-European language until the discovery of Hittite. In Hittite, this phoneme is written as ḫ . Hittite, as well as most other Anatolian languages, differs in this respect from any other Indo-European language, and the discovery of laryngeals in Hittite was a remarkable confirmation of Saussure's hypothesis. The preservation of the laryngeals, and the lack of any evidence that Hittite shared grammatical features possessed by the other early Indo-European languages, has led some philologists to believe that the Anatolian languages split from the rest of Proto-Indo-European much earlier than the other divisions of the proto-language. Some have proposed an "Indo-Hittite" language family or super family, that includes the rest of Indo-European on one side of a dividing line and Anatolian on the other. The vast majority of scholars continue to reconstruct a Proto-Indo-European, but all believe that Anatolian was the first branch of Indo-European to leave the fold.
  • As the oldest attested Indo-European language, Hittite is interesting largely because it lacks several grammatical features exhibited by other "old" Indo-European languages such as Sanskrit, Latin, and Ancient Greek. Notably, Hittite does not have the IE gender system opposing masculine-feminine; instead it has a rudimentary noun class system based on an older animate-inanimate opposition reminiscent of noun class systems in non-Bantu Niger-Congo languages. The Noun The Hittite nominal system consists of the following cases: nominative, accusative, dative-locative, genitive, allative, ablative, and instrumental, and distinguishes between two numbers (singular and plural) and two genders, common (animate) and neuter (inanimate). The distinction between genders is fairly rudimentary, with a distinction generally being made only in the nominative case, and the same noun is sometimes attested in both genders. In its most basic form, the Hittite noun declension functions as follows, using the examples of pisna- ("man") for animate and pēda- ("place") for neuter. As can be seen, there is a trend towards distinguishing fewer cases in the plural than in the singular. A handful of nouns in earlier text form a vocative with -u , however, the vocative case was no longer productive even by the time of our earliest sources, its function was subsumed by the nominative in most documents. The allative also fell out of use in the later stages of the language's development, its function subsumed by the dative locative. An archaic genitive plural -an is found irregularly in earlier texts, as is an instrumental plural in -it . A few nouns also form a distinct locative without any case ending at all.
  • The Verb When compared with other early-attested Indo-European languages, such as Ancient Greek and Sanskrit, the verb system in Hittite is relatively morphologically uncomplicated. There are two general verbal classes according to which verbs are inflected, the mi -conjugation and the hi -conjugation. There are two voices (active and medio-passive), two moods (indicative and imperative), and two tenses (present and preterite). Additionally, the verbal system displays two infinitive forms, one verbal substantive, a supine, and a participle. Rose (2006) lists 132 hi -verbs and interprets the hi/mi oppositions as vestiges of a system of grammatical voice ("centripetal voice" vs. "centrifugal voice"). Syntax Hittite syntax exhibits one noteworthy feature typical of Anatolian languages. Commonly, the beginning of a sentence or clause is composed of either a sentence connecting particle or otherwise a fronted or topicalized form, to which a "chain" of fixed-order clitics are appended. "Hittite" is a modern name, chosen after the (still disputed) identification of the Hatti kingdom with the Hittites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In multi-lingual texts found in Hittite locations, passages written in the Hittite language are preceded by the adverb nesili (or nasili , nisili ), "in the [speech] of Neša (Kaneš)", an important city before the rise of the Empire. In one case, the label is Kanisumnili , "in the [speech] of the people of Kaneš". Although the Hittite empire was composed of people from many diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, the Hittite language was used in most of their secular written texts. In spite of various arguments over the appropriateness of the term, Hittite remains the most current term by convention, although some authors make a point of using Nesite .
  • The Hittite kingdom was centered on the lands surrounding Hattusa and Neša, known as "the land Hatti" ( URU Ha-at-ti ). After Hattusa was made capital, the area encompassed by the bend of the Halys River (which they called the Marassantiya) was considered the core of the Empire, and some Hittite laws make a distinction between "this side of the river" and "that side of the river", for example, the reward for the capture of an eloped slave after he managed to flee beyond the Halys is higher than that for a slave caught before he could reach the river. To the west and south of the core territory lay the region known as Luwiya in the earliest Hittite texts. This terminology was replaced by the names Arzawa and Kizzuwatna with the rise of those kingdoms. Nevertheless, the Hittites continued to refer to the language that originated in these areas as Luwian. Prior to the rise of Kizzuwatna, the heart of that territory in Cilicia was first referred to by the Hittites as Adaniya. Upon its revolt from the Hittites during the reign of Ammuna, it assumed the name of Kizzuwatna and successfully expanded northward to encompass the lower Anti-Taurus mountains as well. To the north lived the mountainous people called the Kaskians. To the southeast of the Hittites lay the Hurrian empire of Mitanni. At its peak during the reign of Mursili II, the Hittite empire stretched from Arzawa in the west to Mitanni in the east, many of the Kaskian territories to the north including Hayasa-Azzi in the far northeast, and on south into Canaan approximately as far as the southern border of Lebanon, incorporating all of these territories within its domain.
  • The Hittites greatly modified the system of law they inherited from the Old Babylonians. The most extensive literature that the Hittites have left us is, in fact, decrees and laws. These laws were far more merciful than the laws of the Old Babylonians, perhaps because the Hittites were less concerned about maintaining a rigid, despotic central authority. While you could lose your life for just about everything under the Old Babylonian system of laws, including getting rowdy in a tavern, under the Hittites only a small handful of crimes were capital crimes. Even premeditated murder only resulted in a fine - a large fine, to be sure, but far preferable than losing your head. They modified the role of the monarch in that they gave the king ownership of all the land under his control. Previously, under the Sumerians and Amorites, private property was allowed and the monarch only owned his own private property. Individuals were allowed control over land, which belong to the king, only by serving in the king's army. So the bulk of the population became tenant farmers.
  • During the Old Kingdom there was a council of nobles, known as pankus , serving below the king. The Hittite governance was totally dominated by the king, who was also the supreme priest, military commander and chief judge. Still the king was defined as "first among equals", suggesting that the Hittite society was less authoritarian than many others of its time. Territorial control over the core of the kingdom was administered by provincial governors who answered directly to the king. More distant territories were in the hands of vassal kings who acted according to treaties signed with the Hittite king. Hittite society was much inspired by Babylonian patterns, as well as Babylonian law. The legal system was mild, and there were few examples of the death penalty. The basic penal principle was restitution or fining. The art and architecture of Hatti was strongly influenced by neighboring countries. They used stone and brick as well as wooden columns to erect their houses and temples. The Hittites built large palaces, temples and fortifications, upon which carved reliefs adorned walls, gates and entrances.
  • As with most other ancient kingdoms, agriculture provided the foundation of Hittite economy. The main crops were wheat and barley, and the livestock was dominated by cattle and sheep. The lands of the Hittites were rich, and there were good mineral reserves of copper, lead, silver and iron. It is believed that the Hittites were the first people to work iron. It is believed that trade with other countries was limited. This was true because the kingdom so often found itself in a state of war. Hence, if the Hittites needed special natural resources, conquest provided the solution, not foreign trade.
  • The main sources for the Hittites are provided by Hittite texts that were discovered at Bokasköy (the location of Hattusha) in 1906. Before they were found, researchers had to rely upon Egyptian and Biblical sources, both of which suffered from being written by enemies of the Hittites.
  • The Hittites used cuneiform letters. Archaeological expeditions have discovered in Hattushash entire sets of royal archives in cuneiform tablets, written either in Akkadian, the diplomatic language of the time, or in the various dialects of the Hittite confederation. The first archaeological evidence for the Hittites appeared in tablets found at the Assyrian colony of Kültepe (ancient Karum Kanesh), containing records of trade between Assyrian merchants and a certain "land of Hatti ". Some names in the tablets were neither Hattic nor Assyrian, but clearly Indo-European. The script on a monument at Boğazköy by a "People of Hattusas" discovered by William Wright in 1884 was found to match peculiar hieroglyphic scripts from Aleppo and Hamath in Northern Syria. In 1887, excavations at Tell El-Amarna in Egypt uncovered the diplomatic correspondence of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his son Akhenaton. Two of the letters from a "kingdom of Kheta " -- apparently located in the same general region as the Mesopotamian references to "land of Hatti " -- were written in standard Akkadian cuneiform script, but in an unknown language; although scholars could read it, no one could understand it.
  • Shortly after this, Archibald Sayce proposed that Hatti or Khatti in Anatolia was identical with the "kingdom of Kheta " mentioned in these Egyptian texts, as well as with the biblical Hittites. Others such as Max Muller agreed that Khatti was probably Kheta , but proposed connecting it with Biblical Kittim, rather than with the "Children of Heth". Sayce's identification came to be widely accepted over the course of the early 20th century; and the name "Hittite" has become attached to the civilization uncovered at Boğazköy. During sporadic excavations at Boğazköy (Hattusa) that began in 1906, the archaeologist Hugo Winckler found a royal archive with 10,000 tablets, inscribed in cuneiform Akkadian and the same unknown language as the Egyptian letters from Kheta — thus confirming the identity of the two names. He also proved that the ruins at Boğazköy were the remains of the capital of an empire that at one point controlled northern Syria. Under the direction of the German Archaeological Institute, excavations at Hattusa have been underway since 1907, with interruptions during both wars. Kültepe has been successfully excavated by Professor Tahsin Özgüç since 1948 until his death in 2005. Smaller scale excavations have also been carried out in the immediate surroundings of Hattusa, including the rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, which contains numerous rock-cut reliefs portraying the Hittite rulers and the gods of the Hittite pantheon.
  • The Hittites adopted many of the gods of the Sumerians and Old Babylonians. The odd thing about the Hittites, though, is that they seemed to have recognized that all gods were legitimate gods. Whenever they conquered a people, they adopted that people's gods into their religious system. As far as history is concerned, this has tremendous consequences for the history of the Hebrews. The Assyrians seem to have adopted the same tolerance towards other religions, which allowed the Jewish faith to persist after the Jewish state was decimated by the Assyrians. And the Assyrians seem to have adopted the same tendency to adopt the gods of conquered people, so the Assyrian conquerors of Palestine adopted the Hebrew god, Yahweh, into their religion. This eventually led to the only major religious schism in Hebrew history, the schism between Jews and Samaritans. There are still Samaritans alive today. The religion of the Hittite people was concerned primarily with ensuring the favor of the local deity, whose in most cases was that of a fertility god controlling the weather. In most shrines he had a family and wife, and the note of a mother-goddess is another indication suggesting an early matrilineal society. With the unification of the country under the kings of Hattush, a centralized religion developed in which the numerous local deities were combined into a complicated pantheon. It became the kings duty to tour the country and officiate at the most important festivals, chiefly during the winter months. A king who allowed his military duties to override that of the gods, which would lead to dire consequences for the Hittite state. Mursilis II is particularly notable for his duty to religion. There exist several prayer at which he addresses the gods at a time when the nation was afflicted with serious plague or epidemic. In these prayers, he pleas that he himself has given no cause for divine anger and though his father has, he begs for the gods to relent and not to punish the innocent with the guilty.
  • The names of the deities reflect the ethnic diversity of the Hittite kingdom. The oldest of the gods was that of the Hattia, a god who lead the king to victory in battle. Later, especially in 13th century BC under the influence of Queen Puduhepa, Hurrian deities entered the pantheon and the leading Hurrian pair, Teshub and Hebat, were identified with their Hittite counterparts, the goddess taking a subordinate place. The religion of the Hittites was an amalgam (mixture). It incorporated popular elements of indigenous to central Anatolia with some external influences largely of Hurrian origin. These external influences appealed particularly to the royal court and is most clearly evident in the rock-cut shrine of Yazilikaya. Water was never far from the peoples thoughts, especially in the heat of the summer, and shrines or relieves at Hattusas is most likely dedicated to the weather god Teshub and thus was the home of his cult. About 1200 meters to the northeast of the main site of Hattusas is the famous rock shrine of Yazilikaya. There is perhaps a road or at least a Processional Way from the city to Yazilikaya. The relieves of Yazilikaya show gods and goddess wearing the horned headdress which was an originally Mesopotamian characteristic emblem of divinity. The most imposing is worn by the weather god Teshub with goddess wearing their own distinctive crowns. The tradition of depicting divinities standing on an animal is of Hurrian origin. An interpretation of Yazilikaya naturally depends on the understanding the shrines purpose, which is continually debated. Cremation was widespread in central Anatolia. From textual sources it is known to be the funerary custom of the Hittite kings. The ordinary people of Hattusas, however, were either buried or cremated. Funerary offerings were rather smaller from a funeral feast.
  • The Hebrew Bible refers to "Hittites" in several passages, ranging from Genesis to the post-Exilic Ezra-Nehemiah. Genesis 10 (the Table of Nations) links them to an eponymous ancestor Heth, a descendant of Ham through his son Canaan. The Hittites are thereby counted among the Canaanites. The Hittites are usually depicted as a people living among the Israelites - Abraham purchases the Patriarchal burial-plot of Machpelah from them, and Hittites serve as high military officers in David's army. In 2 Kings 7:6, however, they are a people with their own kingdoms (the passage refers to "kings" in the plural), apparently located outside geographic Canaan, and sufficiently powerful to put a Syrian army to flight. It is a matter of considerable scholarly debate whether the biblical "Hittites" signified any or all of: 1) the original Hattites of Hatti; 2) their Indo-European conquerors (Nesili), who retained the name "Hatti" for Central Anatolia, and are today referred to as the "Hittites" (the subject of this article); or 3) a Canaanite group who may or may not have been related to either or both of the Anatolian groups, and who also may or may not be identical with the later Neo-Hittite (Luwian) polities. Other biblical scholars have argued that rather than being connected with Heth, son of Canaan, instead the Anatolian land of Hatti was mentioned in Old Testament literature and apocrypha as "Kittim" (Chittim), a people said to be named for a son of Javan.
  • The Hittites (also Hethites ) and children of Heth are a people or peoples mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They are listed in Book of Genesis as second of the eleven Canaanite nations, descended from one Heth ( חת ḤT in the consonant-only Hebrew script). Under the names בני - חת ( BNY-ḤT "children of Heth") or חתי ( ḤTY "native of Heth") they are mentioned several times as living in or near Canaan since the time of Abraham (estimated to be between 2000 BC and 1500 BC) to the time of Ezra after the return from the Babylonian exile (around 450 BC). Heth (Hebrew: חֵת , Modern  Ḥet Tiberian  Ḥēṯ ) is said in Genesis to be a son of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah. In the early 20th century, the Biblical Hittites were identified with a newly discovered Indo-European-speaking empire of Anatolia, a major regional power through most of the 2nd millennium BC, who therefore came to be known as the Hittites. This nomenclature is used today as a matter of convention, regardless of debates about possible identities between the Anatolian Hittite Empire and the Biblical Hittites. Given the casual tone in which the Hittites are mentioned in most Old Testament references, Biblical scholars before the age of archaeology traditionally regarded them as a smaller tribe, living in the hills of Canaan during the era of the Patriarchs, including Abraham. This picture was completely changed by the archaeological finds that placed the center of the Hatti/Hattusas civilization far to the north, in modern-day Turkey, relegating Hittites in Canaan to a periphery. The question of whether the Biblical Hittites of the first half of the first millennium BC are identical to the earlier Anatolian Hittites is still disputed in academic Biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies.
  • Some scholars take the view that the two peoples are identical. Apart from the similarity in names, the Anatolian Hittites were a powerful political entity in the region before the collapse of their empire in the 14th-12th centuries BC, so one would expect them to be mentioned in the Bible, just in the way that the ḤTY post-Exodus are. A stone lion relief found at Beth Shan, near the Sea of Galilee (now at the Israel Museum), dated to about 1700 BC, has been interpreted by professor Bill Humble as confirming this identification, since lions are often pictured in Hittite art. Moreover, in the account of the conquest of Canaan, the Hittites are said to dwell "in the mountains" and "towards the north" of Canaan — a description that matches the general direction and geography of the original Hittite empire, which had been influential in the region prior to the Battle of Kadesh. Modern academics propose, based on much onomastic and archaeological evidence, that Anatolian populations moved south into Canaan as part of the waves of Sea Peoples who were migrating along the Mediterranean coastline at the time of the collapse of the Hittite Empire. Many kings of local city-states are shown to have had Hittite and Luwian names in the Late Bronze to Early Iron Age transition period. Indeed, even the name of Mount Zion may be Hittite in origin. Some people have conjectured that the Biblical Hittites could actually be Hurrian tribes living in Canaan, and that the Hebrew word for the Hurrians ( ḤRY in consonant-only script) became the name of the Hittites ( ḤTY ) due to a scribal error. Others have proposed that the Biblical Hittites were a group of Kurushtameans.
    • The case for Identity
  • Because of the perceived discrepancy between the picture of the Hittites as developed in the Bible and the archaeological discoveries, some Biblical scholars reject Archibald Sayce's identification of the two peoples, and believe that the similarity in names is only a coincidence. For example E. A. Speiser, referring to "the children of Heth" in the Book of Genesis writes "For reasons of both history and geography, it is most unlikely that this group name has any direct connection either with the Hattians of Anatolia or with their 'Hittite' successors." Trevor Bryce suggests that biblical references to Hittites may be separated into two distinct groups. The first, the majority, are to a Canaanite tribe as encountered by Abraham and his family. The names of these Hittites are for the most part of a Semitic type; for example Ephron at Genesis 23:8-17 etc, Judith at Genesis 26:34 and Zohar at Genesis 23:8. These were presumably the Hittites who were subject to Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-2, 1 Kings 9:20-21, 2 Chronicles 8:7) and who were elsewhere in conflict with the Israelites (Deuteronomy 20:17, Judges 3:5). They were a small group living in the hills, and clearly to be distinguished from the Hittites of the Anatolian Kingdom. But there are other biblical references which are not compatible with the notion of a small Canaanite hill tribe. Most notable among these is 2 Kings 7:6: "For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.“ This conveys the impression that the Hittite kings were commensurate in importance and power with the Egyptian pharaohs. A similar impression is conveyed by 2 Chronicles 1:17: "And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means." In these cases there can be little doubt that the references are to the neo-Hittite kingdoms of Syria. If the references to the Canaanite tribe are distinct from those to the neo-Hittite kingdom, the similarity between the names (only two significant consonants) could easily be due to chance.
    • The case for Separation
  • Hittite religion and mythology was heavily influenced by Mesopotamian mythology, increasingly so as history progressed. In earlier times, Indo-European elements may still be clearly discerned, for example Tarhunt the god of thunder, and his conflict with the serpent Illuyanka. The Hittites had an abundant number of local cult deities and sets of local pantheons. As the government became more centralized, particularly during the imperial period around 1400 - 1200 B.C., there were efforts to equate many of these local deities and form a state pantheon. Such a pantheon was headed by the Weather-god/Storm-god, who also represented the mountains, and his consort - usually the earth goddess, who was also attached to the waters of rivers and the sea. The Hittites themselves write of 'the thousand gods of Hatti', and more than eight-hundred such names have been discovered. The associated myths have both Hittite and Hurrian content, with the origin of many suspected to be Hurrian. The Kumarbis-Ullukummis myth is chief among the Hurrian tales and the Illuyankas stories and missing god myths of Telipinus and the missing Storm-god are thought to be more Hattic. There also exist fragments of a Hittite version of the Gilgamesh epic and many Akkadian deities were worshiped outright. Doubtless the Hatti left their mark in Hittite religion as well.
    • Alalu
      • He was the king in heaven in olden days and Anus was the first among the gods. Anus served as his cupbearer for 9 years before defeating him and dispatching him to under the earth.
    • Anu (Akkadian in origin)
      • While Alalus was king in heaven, Anus was more powerful. He served as Alalus' cup bearer for 9 years and then defeated him, dispatching him to under the earth. He took his seat on the throne and had Kumarbis as his cupbearer. Likewise, after nine years Kumarbis rebelled, chased Anus - who fled in the sky like a bird, and bit off and swallowed his phallus. In this act Anus had some revenge by impregnating Kumarbis with the Storm-god, the Aranzahus ( Tigris ) river, and Tasmisus. He then hid himself in heaven. He advised the Storm-god on the places where he might exit Kumarbis. After the Storm-god's birth, they plotted to destroy Kumarbis and, with his other children, apparently succeeded.
    • Imbaluris
      • He is Kumarbis' messenger. He is sent to warn the Sea that Kumarbis' must remain the father of the gods.
    • Mukisanus
      • He is Kumarbis' right arm.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Kummarbi (‘the father of all Gods’according to Hurrian)
      • He is sometimes equated with Enlil and Dagan. His city is Urkis. He thinks wise thoughts and carries a staff. He served as Anus's cup-bearer for 9 years and then rebelled, chased Anus, and bit off and swallowed his phallus, thereby becoming impregnated with the Storm-god, the Aranzahus (Tigris) river, and Tasmisus. With that news, he spat out Aranzahus and Tasmisus of on Mount Kanzuras. The Storm-god begins to exit through Kumarbis's 'tarnassus', causing him to moan in pain. He asks Ayas to give him his son to devour, which he does. Ayas has 'poor' magic worked on him and his 'tarnassus' is secured, so the Storm-god exits through his 'good place' instead. He is then presumably defeated by the Storm-god, Anus, and his offspring. During a plot to overthrow the Storm-god, he lay with a Rock as if it were a woman. He instructs Imbaluris, his messenger to send a message to the Sea, that Kumarbis should remain father of the gods. The Sea hosts a feast for him and later Kumarbis' Rock gives birth to Ullikummis. Kumarbis announces that his son will defeat the Storm-god, his city Kummiya, his brother Tasmisus and the gods from the sky. He charges Imbaluris to seek out the Irsirra deities to hide Ullikummis from the Sun-god, the Storm-god, and Ishtar.
    • Seris (Serisu)
      • This is one of the bulls sacred to the Storm-god. In preparation for battle, the Storm-god has Tasmisus anoint his horns with oil and drive him up Mount Imgarra with Tella and the battle wagon.
    • Tella (Hurris)
      • This is another bull sacred to the Storm-god. In preparation for battle, the Storm-god has Tasmisus plate his tail with gold and drive him up Mount Imgarra with Seris and the battle wagon.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Storm/Weather-god (Hurrian's Teshub, Taru, Luwian's Tarhun - 'The Conqueror'), 'The king of Kummiya', 'King of Heaven, Lord of the land of Hatti'.
    • He is chief among the gods and his symbol is the bull. As Teshub he has been pictured as a bearded man astride two mountains and bearing a club. He is a god of battle and victory, especially when the battle is with a foreign power. As Taru, he is the consort of Wurusemu. He was the child of Anus and Kumarbis - conceived along with Tasmisus and the Aranzahus (Tigris) river when Kumarbis bit off and swallowed Anus' phallus. He is, however, considered Ea's son in the myth of Ullikummis. He is informed by Anus of the possible exits from Kumarbis, and tries to exit through Kumarbis's 'tarnassas', causing him great pain. With the 'tarnassas' blocked, he exits through Kumarbis' 'good place'. He plots with Anus, Tasmisus, and Aranzhus to destroy Kumarbis, and apparently succeeds seizing kingship in heaven. He sent rain after the fallen Moon-god/Kashku when he fell from heaven.
    • Alerted to the imminent arrival of the Sun-god, who in some myths is his son, he has Tasmisus prepare a meal for their guest and listens to his report about the sudden appearance of the giant Ullikummis. He and Tasmisus then leave the kuntarra and are led to Mount Hazzi by his sister, Ishtar, where they behold the monstrous creature. He looks upon Kumarbis' son with fear and Ishtar chides him. Later, emboldened, he has Tasmisus prepare his bulls and wagon for battle, and has him call out the thunderstorms, lightning and rains. Their first battle resulted in his incomplete defeat. He dispatches Tasmisus to his wife, Hebat, to tell her that he must remain in a 'lowly place' for a term. When Tasmisus returns, he encourages the Storm-god to seek Ea in the city Abzu/Apsu and ask for the 'tablets with the words of fate' (Tablets of Destiny? 'me'?). After Ea cleaves off Ullukummis' feet, he spurs Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to battle the crippled giant. Despite the diorite man's boasting, the Storm-god presumably defeats him.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Storm/Weather-god (Hurrian's Teshub, Taru, Luwian's Tarhun - 'The Conqueror'), 'The king of Kummiya', 'King of Heaven, Lord of the land of Hatti'.
    • He fought with the Dragon Illuyankas in Kiskilussa and was defeated. He called the gods for aid, asking that Inaras prepare a celebration. She does so and when the dragon and his children have gorged themselves on her feast, the mortal Hupasiyas binds him with a rope. Then the Storm-god, accompanied by the gods, sets upon them and destroys them.
    • In another version of that myth, he looses his eyes and heart to Illuyankas after his first battle. He then marries a poor mortal woman and marries their son to Illuyankas daughter. He has the son ask for his eyes and heart. With their return, he attacks the dragon again. When his son sides with Illuyankas, the Storm-god kills them both. When his son, Telepinus, is missing he despairs and complains to the Sun-god and then to Hannahannas, who tells him to search for him himself. After searching Telepinus' city he gives up.
    • In other versions of this myth, it is the Storm-god who is missing. One is almost exactly the same, and in another, he journeys to the Dark Earth in his anger, and is returned with the help of his mother - here Wuruntemu/Ereshkigal/the Sun-goddess of Arinna. He sends Telipinu to recover the Sun-god who had been kidnapped by the Sea-god. The Sea-god is so intimidated that he gives Telipinu his daughter in marriage but demands a bride-price from the Storm-god. After consulting with Hannahanna, he pays the price of a thousand sheep and a thousand cattle. He notices his daughter, Inara, is missing and sends a bee to Hannahanna to have her search for her.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Hannahanna (Nintu, Mah) - the mother of all the gods.
    • She is associated with Gulses. After Telepinu disappears, the Storm-god complains to her. She sends him to search himself and when he gives up, she dispatches a bee, charging it to purify the god by stinging his hands and feat and wiping his eyes and feet with wax. She recommends to the Storm-god that he pay the Sea-god the bride-price for the Sea-god's daughter on her wedding to Telipinu. Apparently she also disappears in a fit of anger and while she is gone, cattle and sheep are stifled and mothers, both human and animal take no account of their children. After her anger is banished to the Dark Earth, she returns rejoicing. Another means of banishing her anger is through burning brushwood and allowing the vapor to enter her body. After Inara consulted with her, she gave her a man and land. Soon after, Inara is missing and when Hannahanna is informed thereof by the Storm-god's bee, she apparently begins a search with the help of her Female attendant a. She appears to consult with the Sun-god and the War-god, but much of the text is missing.
    • Upelluri (Ubelluris)
    • Similar to Atlas, this giant carries the world on his shoulders. The olden gods built the earth and heaven upon him though he did not notice, even when those two were separated with a cleaver. On the direction of Kumarbis' messenger Imbaluris, the Issira deities place Ullikummis on his right shoulder where the child grows. Ea interviews him, in search of Ullikummis and Upelluri admits to a small pain on his shoulder, although he can't identify which god is causing it.
    • Aranzahas - The Tigris river deified.
    • A child of Anus and Kumarbis, he was the brother of the Storm-god and Tasmisus, spat out of Kumarbis' mouth onto Mount Kanzuras. Later he colludes with Anus and the Storm-god to destroy Kumarbis.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Tasmisus
    • A child of Anus and Kumarbis, he is conceived along with the Storm-god and Aranzahus. The brother of the Storm-god and Aranzahus, he was spat out of Kumarbis upon Mount Kanzuras. Later he colludes with Anus and the Storm-god to destroy Kumarbis. He serves as the Storm-god's attendant. He spies the Sun-god approaching and informs the Storm-god that this visit bodes ill. At the Storm-god's command he has a meal set up for their visitor. After the Sun-god's tale, he and the Storm-god depart and are met by Ishtar, who takes them to Mt. Hazzi near Ugarit, where they can see Ullikummis. The Storm-god has him take his bulls up Mt. Imgarra and prepare them for battle. He is also ordered to bring forth the storms, rains, winds, and lightning. After their defeat, he is dispatched by the Storm-god to Hebat, to tell her that he must remain in a 'lowly place' for a term. He returns and encourages the Storm-god to seek Ea in the city Abzu/Apsu and ask for the 'tablets with the words of fate'. After Ea cleaves off Ullukummis' feet, he spurs Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to battle the crippled giant.
    • Suwaliyattas
    • He is a warrior god and probably the brother of the Storm-god.
    • Hebat (Hurrian name) (Hepit, Hepatu)
    • The matronly wife of the Storm-god. She is sometimes depicted standing on her sacred animal, the lion. After the Storm-god and Astabis' failed attacks on Ullikummis, the giant forced her out of her temple, causing her to lose communication with the gods. She frets that Ullikummis may have defeated her husband and expresses her concern to her servant Takitis, charging him to convene the assembly of the gods and bring back word of her husband. Presumably she is brought word of his defeat. Tasmisus visits her in the high watchtower, telling her that the Storm-god is consigned to a 'lowly place' for a length of time. She is the mother of Sharruma.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Wurusemu, (Wuruntemu?), 'Sun Goddess of Arrina', 'mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of heaven and earth', 'mistress of the kings and queens of Hatti, directing the government of the King and Queen of Hatti'
    • This goddess is later assimilated with Hebat. She made the cedar land. She is the primary goddess in Arrina, with Taru as her consort. She is a goddess of battle and is associated with Hittite military victory. She is the mother of the Storm-god of Nerik, and thereby possibly associated with Ereshkigal. She aids in returning him from the underworld.
    • Sharruma (Hurrian name), 'the calf of Teshub'
    • The son of Teshub and Hebat, this god is symbolized by a pair of human legs, or a human head on a bull's body. He is later identified with the Weather-god of Nerik and Zippalanda.
    • Takitis
    • He is Hebat's servant. After Hebat was driven from her temple he is told of her concern for her husband and charged with convening the assembly of the gods and returning with word of her husband‘s fate.
    • Mezzullas
    • She is the daughter of the Storm-god and the Sun-goddess of Arinna. She has influence with her parents.
    • Zintuhis
    • She is the granddaughter of the Storm-god and the Sun-goddess of Arinna.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Telepinu(s) 'the noble god'
    • An agricultural god, he is the favorite and firstborn son of the Storm-god. He 'harrows and plows. He irrigates the fields and makes the crops grow. He flies into a rage and storms off, losing himself in the steppe and becoming overcome with fatigue. With his departure, fertility of the land, crops and herds disappears and famine besets man and god. Hannahannas's bee finds him, stings his hands and feet, and wipes his eyes and feet with wax, purifying him. This further infuriates him, and he wrecks further havoc with the rivers and by shattering houses and windows. Eventually, the evil and malice is removed through magic by Kamrusepas, but not before Telepinus thunders with lightning. Telepinus returns home, restoring fertility and tending to the life and vitality of the royal family. His prosperity and fertility is symbolized by a pole suspending the fleece of a sheep. In other versions of this myth, the Storm-god or the Sun-god and several other gods are missing instead. He is asked by his father to recover the Sun-god from the Sea-god, and so intimidates the Sea-god that he is given his daughter as a bride.
    • Hapantallis
    • He is the Sun-god's shepherd.
    • Moon-god (Hurrian Kashku)
    • He fell upon the 'killamar', the gate complex, from heaven and disappeared. Storm-god/Taru rain-stormed after him, frightening him. Hapantali went to him and uttered the words of a spell over him. While known to bestow ill omens, he can be appeased by sheep sacrifice.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Ullikummi(s), the diorite man
    • He is born of Kumarbis and the Rock. This god is made entirely of diorite. He was born to be used as a weapon to defeat the Storm-godand his allies. Kumarbis had him delivered to the Irsirra deities to keep him hidden from the Storm-god, the Sun-god, and Ishtar. After the Irsirra deities presented him to Ellil, they placed him on the shoulder of Upelluri where he grows an acre in a month. After 15 days he grows enough so that he stands waist deep in the sea when the Sun-god and he notice each other. Alerted by the Sun-god, the Storm-god eventually prepares for battle atop Mount Imgarra, yet their first battle results in an incomplete victory. He drives Hebat from her temple, cutting off her communication with the other gods. Astabis leads seventy gods on attack against him, attempting to draw up the water from around him, perhaps in order to stop his growth. They fall into the sea and he grows to be 9000 leagues tall and around, shaking the heavens, the earth, pushing up the sky, and towering over Kummiya. Ea locates him and cuts off his feet with the copper knife that separated the heaven from the earth. Despite his wounds he boasts to the Storm-god that he will take the kingship of heaven. Presumably, he is none-the-less defeated.
    • The Sea, the Waters
    • She is told by Imbaluris that 'Kumarbis must remain father of the gods'. Struck with fear by this message, she makes ready here abode and prepares to act as hostess for a feast for Kumarbis. This feast may have served as a meeting of Mother-goddesses who delivered Kumarbis' child by the Rock, Ullikummis.
    • Uliliyassis
    • He is a minor god who, properly attended to, removes impotence.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Sun-god (of Heaven)
    • Probably an Akkadian import, this god is one of justice and is sometimes the king of all gods. An ally of the Storm-god, he notices the giant Ullikummis in the sea and visited the Storm-god, refusing to eat until he reports his news. After he has done so, the Storm-god proclaims that the food on the table shall become pleasant, which it does, and so the Sun-god enjoys his meal and returns to his route in heaven. When Telepinus disappears, bringing a famine, he arranges a feast, but it is ineffective in assuaging their hunger. At the Storm-god's complaint, he dispatches an eagle to search for the god, but the bird is unsuccessful. After the bee discovers Telepinus, he has man perform a ritual. In another version of the missing god myth, he is one of the missing gods. He keeps several sheep. At the end of the day, he travels through the nether-world. He was kidnapped by the Sea-god and released when Telipinu came for him. In a longer version of that story, the Sea-god caught him in a net, possibly putting him into a Kukubu-vessel when he fell. During his absence, Hahhimas (Frost) took hold.
    • The Sea-god
    • He quarreled and kidnapped the Sun-god of Heaven. When Telipinu came to recover the Sun-god, the Sea-god was so intimidated that he also gave him his daughter. he later demanded a bride-price for her of the Storm-god, and was eventually given a thousand cattle and a thousand sheep. In another version, he caught the Sun-god in a net as he fell, and may have sealed him in a Kukubu-vessel, allowing Hahhimas (Frost to take hold of most of the other gods. He questions the fire in its role in one of Kamrusepa's healing spells.
    • Zashapuna
    • He is the chief god of the town of Kastama, held in greater regard there than the Storm-god, possibly gaining such influence through drawing lots with the other gods.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Inaras
    • Daughter of the Storm-god and goddess of the wild animals of the steppe. After the Storm-god's initial defeat by Illuyankas, she follows his request to set up a feast. She recruits Hupasiayas of Zigaratta, to aid in revenge on Illuyankas, by taking him as a lover. She then sets about luring Illuyankas and his children to a feast. After the dragon and his children gorge themselves on her meal, Hupasiayas binds him with a rope. Then the Storm-god sets upon them and defeats them. She then gives Hupasiayas a house on a cliff to live in, yet warns him not to look out the window, lest he see his wife and children. He disobeys her, and seeing his family begs to be allowed to go home. Gurney speculates that he was killed for his disobedience. She consults with Hannahanna, who promises to give her land and a man. She then goes missing and is sought after by her father and Hannahanna with her bee.
    • Illuyankas - the Dragon.
    • He defeated the Storm-god in Kiskilussa. Later he was lured from his lair with his children by a well dressed Inaras with a feast. After they were too engorged to get into their lair again, the Storm-god, accompanied by the other gods, killed him. In another version of the myth, he defeated the Storm-god and stole his eyes and heart. Later, his daughter married the son of the Storm-god. Acting on the Storm-god's instruction, his son asked for the eyes and heart. When these were returned to him, the Storm-god vanquished Illuyankas, but slew his son as well when the youth sided with the dragon. The ritual of his defeat was invoked every spring to symbolize the earth's rebirth.
    • Hedammu
    • He is a serpent who loved Ishtar.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Irsirra deities
    • These gods who live in the dark earth are charged by Kumarbis through Imbaluris to hide Ullikummis from the sky gods, the Sun-god, the Storm-god, and Ishtar. They are also charged with placing the child on the shoulder of Upelluri. Later they accept the child and deliver it to Ellil, before placing it on Upelluri's right shoulder.
    • Hapantalliyas/Hapantalli
    • He took his place at the Moon-god's side when he fell from heaven on the gate complex and uttered a spell.
    • Kamrusepa(s) (Katahziwuri)
    • She is the goddess of magic and healing. She witnessed and announced the Moon-god's fall from heaven on to the gate complex. She is the goddess of magic and healing. After Telepinus has been found, yet remains angry, she is set to cure him of his temper. She performs an elaborate magical ritual, removing his evil and malice. In another tablet, she performs the spell of fire, which removes various illnesses, changing them to a mist which ascends to heaven, lifted by the Dark Earth. The Sea-god questions the fire on its role.
    • Astabis (Zamama, Akkadian Ninurta)
    • He is a Hurrian warrior god. After the Storm-god's first attack on Ullikummis is unsuccessful, he leads seventy gods in battle wagons on an attack on the diorite giant. They try to draw the water away from him, perhaps in order to stop his growth, but they fall from the sky and Ullikummis grows even larger, towering over the gate of Kummiya.
    • Kurunta
    • This god's symbol is the stag. He is associated with rural areas.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Kubaba
    • She is the chief goddess of the Neo-Hittites, she became Cybebe to the Phrygians and Cybele to the Romans. She was known as Kybele in Anatolia.
    • Yarris
    • He is a god of pestilence. A festival was held for him every autumn.
    • Hasamelis
    • He is a god who can protect travelers, possibly by causing them to be invisible.
    • Zaliyanu
    • She is the wife and concubine of Zashapuna.
    • Papaya
    • One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinus.
    • Istustaya
    • One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
    • Miyatanzipa
    • One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu. He or she also sat under Thippiyas tree when Hannahanna found the hunting bag.
    • Hittite and Hurrian Deities
    • Fate-goddesses
    • They were among the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu. In one myth, they and the Mother-goddesses are missing.
    • Dark-goddess
    • One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
    • Tutelary-deity, (Sumerian Lamma)
    • One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
    • Uruzimu
    • A deity involved in returning the lost Storm-god of Nerik.
    • Hahhimas (Frost)
    • When the Sea-god captures the Sun-god, he takes hold of the other gods and of the land's plants and animals, paralyzing them. He is half-brother to Hasamili's brothers and spares them from his grip.
  • Given the casual tone in which the Hittites are mentioned in most of these references, Biblical scholars before the age of archaeology traditionally regarded them as a smaller tribe, living in the hills of Canaan during the era of the Patriarchs. This picture was completely changed by the archaeological finds that placed the center of the Hatti/Hattusas civilization far to the north, in modern-day Turkey. Because of this perceived discrepancy and other reasons, some Biblical scholars reject Sayce's identification of the two people, and believe that the similarity in names is only a coincidence. In order to stress this distinction, E. A. Speiser called the Biblical Hittites Hethites in his translation of the Book of Genesis for the Anchor Bible Series. On the other hand, the view that the Biblical Hittites are related to the Anatolian Hittites remains popular. Apart from the coincidence in names, the latter were a powerful political entity in the region before the collapse of their empire in the 14th-12th centuries BC, so one would expect them to be mentioned in the Bible, just in the way that the HTY post-Exodus are. A stone lion relief found a Beth Shan, near the Sea of Galilee, dated to about 1700 BC, has been interpreted as confirming this identification, since lions are often pictured in Hittite art. Moreover, in the account of the conquest of Canaan, the Hittites are said to dwell "in the mountains" and "towards the north" of Canaan - a description that matches the general direction and geography of the Anatolian Hittite empire, if not the distance.
  • Modern linguistic academics therefore propose, based on much onomastic and archaeological evidence, that Anatolian populations moved south into Canaan as part of the waves of Sea Peoples who were migrating along the Mediterranean coastline at the time in question. Many kings of local city-states are shown to have had Hittite and Luwian names in the Late Bronze - Early Iron transition period. Indeed, even the name of Mount Zion may be Hittite in origin. Some people have conjectured that the Biblical Hittites could actually be Hurrian tribes living in Palestine, and that the Hebrew word for the Hurrians (HRY in consonant-only script) became the name of the Hittites ( HTY ) due to a scribal error. Others have proposed that the Biblical Hittites were a group of Kurushtameans. These hypotheses are not widely accepted, however. It is also possible that the Biblical HTY refers to two distinct people at different times; e.g. a local tribe before Exodus, and the Anatolian empire after Exodus.
  • (1680 – 1500 BCE) This kingdom was founded by the leader, Labarna, and under later kings it was extended to cover all of central Anatolia, down to the Mediterranean Sea. The kingdom became strong enough to be able to raid Babylon in 1595 BCE. But the kingdom itself was never stronger than its leader, and there were no clear laws for how a new king should take power. Because of weakness at the top, the Hittite kingdom entered a period of decline that lasted through the final 30 years of the 16th century. The founding of the Hittite Empire is usually attributed to Hattusili I, who conquered the plain south of Hattusa, all the way to the outskirts of Yamkhad (modern-day Aleppo) in Syria. Though it remained for his heir, Mursili I, to conquer that city, Hattusili was clearly influenced by the rich culture he discovered in northern Mesopotamia, and founded a school in his capital to spread the cuneiform style of writing he encountered there.
  • Mursili continued the conquests of Hattusili, reaching through Mesopotamia and even ransacking Babylon itself in 1595 BC (although rather than incorporate Babylonia into Hittite domains, he seems to have instead turned it over to his Kassite allies, who were to rule it for the next four centuries). This lengthy campaign, however, strained the resources of Hatti, and left the capital in a state of near-anarchy. Mursili was assassinated shortly after his return home, and the Hittite Empire was plunged into chaos. The Hurrians, a people living in the mountainous region along the upper Tigris and Euphrates rivers took advantage of the situation to seize Aleppo and the surrounding areas for themselves, as well as the coastal region of Adaniya, renaming it Kizzuwadna (later Cilicia). Following this, the Hittites entered a weak phase of obscure records, insignificant rulers, and reduced area of control. This pattern of expansion under strong kings followed by contraction under lesser ones, was to be repeated over and over again throughout the Hittite Empire's 500-year history, making events during the waning periods difficult to reconstruct with much precision. The next monarch of any note following Mursili I was Telepinu (ca. 1500 BC), who won a few victories to the southwest, apparently by allying himself with one Hurrian state (Kizzuwadna) against another (Mitanni). His reign marked the end of the "Old Kingdom" and the beginning of the lengthy weak phase known as the "Middle Kingdom", whereof little is known. One innovation that can be credited to these early Hittite rulers is the practice of conducting treaties and alliances with neighboring states; the Hittites were thus among the earliest known pioneers in the art of international politics and diplomacy.
  • (1500 - 1400 BCE) This is the period about which the least is known. Apparently, the control over the Hittite kingdom soon passed to rulers from the Hangilbat region, who soon forged alliances with Egyptian kings. Inside Hatti, a new aristocracy took over the leading positions in the society. To the south a new strong kingdom rose to power, Mitanni. Mitanni took control over the city, Kizzuwadna, and strong ties were also established with the Egyptians.
    • (1400 – 1193 BCE)
      • About 100 years later, the Old Kingdom disappeared, and the New Kingdom was established. During a period of weakness, a new leader took control over Hatti. While the Old Kingdom had been a strong one, the New one became one of the leading states of its time, rivalling Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria.
      • The Hittite kingdom, experienced, alternatively, peace and war, depending on whether the neighbors held values embraced by the Hittites, or the neighbors wanted to gain control over Hittite territory and resources.
      • It is believed that during its final years, the New Kingdom was weakened by migrations into the region. It's demise resulted from attacks by the Sea people.
  • With the reign of Tudhaliya I (who may actually not have been the first of that name; see also Tudhaliya), the Hittite Empire reëmerges from the fog of obscurity. During his reign (c. 1400), he again allied with Kizzuwadna, vanquished the Hurrian states of Aleppo and Mitanni, and expanded to the west at the expense of Arzawa (a Luwian state). Another weak phase followed Tudhaliya I, and the Hittites' enemies from all directions were able to advance even to Hattusa and raze it. However, the Empire recovered its former glory under Suppiluliuma I (c. 1350), who again conquered Aleppo, reduced Mitanni to tribute under his son-in-law, and defeated Carchemish, another Syrian city-state. With his own sons placed over of all of these new conquests, Babylonia still in the hands of the Kassites, and Assyria only newly independent with the crushing of Mitanni, this left Suppiluliuma the supreme power broker outside of Egypt, and it was not long before even that country was seeking an alliance by marriage of another of his sons with the widow of Tutankhamen. Unfortunately, that son was evidently murdered before reaching his destination, and this alliance was never consummated. After Suppiluliuma I, and a very brief reign by his eldest son, another son, Mursili II became king (c. 1330). Having inherited a position of strength in the east, Mursili was able to turn his attention to the west, where he attacked Arzawa and a city known as Millawanda in the coastal land of Ahhiyawa. Many recent scholars have surmised that Millawanda in Ahhiyawa is likely a reference to Miletus and Achaea known to Greek history, though there are a small number who have disputed this connection.
  • (1193 - 710 BCE) Following the fall of the New Kingdom, young, smaller states emerged. These were typical city-states (independent cities with agricultural contexts). The most important among them was Carchemish. The people living in these states were known as Syro-Hittites, but by the 10th century many cities had been taken over by the Arameans. Although the Hittites disappeared from most of Anatolia after c.1200 BC, there remained a number of so-called Neo-Hittite kingdoms in northern Syria. The most notable Neo-Hittite kingdoms were those at Carchemish and Milid (near the later Melitene). These Neo-Hittite Kingdoms were gradually conquered by the Assyrians, who conquered Carchemish during the reign of Sargon II in the late 8th century BC, and Milid several decades later.
  • The Hittites are thought to have had the first constitutional monarchy. This consisted of a king, royal family, the pankus (who monitored the king's activities), and an often rebellious aristocracy. The Hittites also made huge advances in legislation and justice. They produced the Hittite laws. These laws rarely used death as a punishment. For example, the punishment for theft was to pay back the amount stolen.
    • KING ROYAL RELATIONSHIP MIDDLE CHRONOLOGY
    • Pithana early 18th c.
    • Anitta son of Pithana mid 18th c.
    • Labarna first known Hittite king 1680-1650
    • Hattusili I nephew/adopted son of Labarna 1650-1620
    • Mursili I grandson/adopted son of Hattusili I 1620-1590
    • Hantili assassin and brother-in-law of Mursili I 1590-1560
    • Zidanta I son-in-law of Hantili 1560-1550
    • Ammuna son of Hantili 1550-1530
    • Huzziya I son of Ammuna? 1530-1525
    • Telipinu son of Zidanta I?/brother-in-law of Ammuna 1525-1500
    • Tahurwaili ?
    • Alluwamna son-in-law of Huzziya I
    • Hantili II son of Alluwamna 1500-1450
    • Zidanta II ?
    • Huzziya II ?
    • Muwatalli I ?
    • Tudhaliya II son of Huzziya II? 1450-1420
    • Arnuwanda I son-in-law of Tudhaliya II 1420-1400
    • Tudhaliya III son of Arnuwanda I 1400-1380
    • Tudhaliya son of Tudhaliya III 1380?
    • Hattusili II ? ?
    • Suppiluliuma I son of Tudhaliya III or Hattusili II 1380-1340
    • Arnuwanda II son of Suppiluliuma I 1340-1339
    • Mursili II son of Suppiluliuma I 1339-1306
    • Muwatalli II son of Mursili II 1306-1282
    • Mursili III son of Muwatalli II 1282-1275
    • Hattusili III son of Mursili II 1275-1250
    • Tudhaliya IV son of Hattusili III 1250-1220
    • Karunta son of Muwatalli/cousin of Tudhaliya IV ?
    • Arnuwanda III son of Tudhaliya IV 1220-1215
    • Suppiluliuma II son of Tudhaliya IV 1215-1200
  • Hittite prosperity was mostly dependent on control of the trade routes and metal sources. Because of the importance of Northern Syria to the vital routes linking the Cilician gates with Mesopotamia, defense of this area was crucial, and was soon put to the test by Egyptian expansion under Pharaoh Rameses II. Although his own inscriptions proclaimed victory, it seems more likely that Rameses was turned back at the Battle of Kadesh by the Hittite king Muwatalli, successor to Mursilis II. This battle took place in the 5th year of Ramses (c 1275 BC by the most commonly used chronology). After this date, the power of the Hittites began to decline yet again, as the Assyrians had seized the opportunity to vanquish Mitanni and expand to the Euphrates while Muwatalli was preoccupied with the Egyptians. Assyria now posed equally as great a threat to Hittite trade routes as Egypt had ever been. His son, Urhi-Teshub, took the throne as Mursili III, but was quickly ousted by his uncle, Hattusili III after a brief civil war. In response to increasing Assyrian encroachments along the frontier, he concluded a peace and alliance with Rameses II, presenting his daughter's hand in marriage to the Pharoah. The "Treaty of Kadesh", one of the oldest completely surviving treaties in history, fixed their mutual boundaries in Canaan, and was signed in the 21st year of Rameses (c. 1258 BC).
  • Hattusili's son, Tudhaliya IV, was the last strong Hittite king able to keep the Assyrians out of Syria and even temporarily annex the island of Cyprus. The very last king, Suppiluliuma II also managed to win some victories, including a naval battle against the Sea Peoples off the coast of Cyprus. But it was too late. The Sea Peoples had already begun their push down the Mediterranean coastline, starting from the Aegean, and continuing all the way to Philistia -- taking Cilicia and Cyprus away from the Hittites en route and cutting off their coveted trade routes. This left the Hittite homelands vulnerable to attack from all directions, and Hattusa was burnt to the ground sometime around 1180 BC following a combined onslaught from Gasgas, Bryges and Luwians. The Hittite Empire thus vanished from the historical record. By 1160 BC, the political situation in Asia Minor looked vastly different than it had only 25 years earlier. In that year, the Assyrians were dealing with the Mushku pressing into northernmost Mesopotamia from the Anatolian highlands, and the Gasga people, the Hittites' old enemies from the northern hill-country between Hatti and the Black Sea, seem to have joined them soon after. The Mushku or Mushki had apparently overrun Cappadocia from the West, with recently discovered epigraphic evidence confirming their origins as the Balkan "Bryges" tribe, forced out by the Macedonians. A large and powerful state known as Tabal had occupied the region south of these. Their language appears to have been Luwian, related to Hittite, but usually written in hieroglyphics instead of cuneiform. Several lesser city-states extending from here to Northern Syria also used Luwian, although they are sometimes known as "neo-Hittite". Soon after these upheavals began, both hieroglyphs and cuneiform were rendered obsolete by a new innovation, the alphabet, that seems to have entered Anatolia simultaneously from the Aegean (with the Bryges, who changed their name to Phrygians), and from the Phoenicians and neighboring peoples in Syria. Ironically, the language of the Lydians, spoken in the West of Asia Minor until the 1st century BC, was apparently a linguistic descendant of Hittite, and not Luwian. This and the fact that one of Lydia's kings known to the Greeks bore the Hittite royal name Myrsilis (Mursilis) may indicate that this state was the purest cultural and ethnic continuation of the former Hittites. The last trace of this language persisted until the 5th century AD, according to some Church Fathers, when it was known as the tiny dialect of Isaurian, spoken in only one or two villages.
  • However, at its greatest level of power during the Hittite New Kingdom, this empire, along with the other great powers of the Ancient Near East all wished to dominate and exploit the economic resources and trade of the Syria region. At this time, Syria was the crossroads of world commerce. Products from the Aegean and even beyond entered the Near East by ports such as Ugarit, who's ships dominated maritime trade in the eastern Mediterranean. The merchandise from these ships was then distributed over an extensive network of trade routes, which were also used by merchants who brought raw materials such as precious metals, tin, copper, lapis lazuli and other merchandise from as far away as Iran and Afghanistan to trade in the emporia of Syria.  Hence, Syria offered a considerable motive for the predatory powers of the region. Therefore, it is perhaps understandable that the great powers of Egypt, Mitanni and Hatti expended much effort, along with blood to control this vitally strategic region.  In the first half of the 14th century BC, the Hittite kingdom came under the rule of a vigorous leader by the name of Suppiluliumas, who began a systematic, as well as successful campaign against the Kingdom of Mitanni in northern Syria.  In his earliest campaigns in Syria, Suppiluliumas conquered the Mitanni vassal states of Aleppo, Alalakh, Nuhashshe and Tunip, all in northern Syria. In the second Syrian war, he crossed the River Euphrates into the land of Ishuwa and marched directly south. He totally surprised Mitanni, attacking the empire directly and in a very rapid campaign, occupied and sacked the capital Washukkanni. Afterwards, the small kingdoms in Syria fell to him one after the other.
  • Hattusili's son, Tudhaliya IV, was the last strong Hittite king able to keep the Assyrians out of Syria and even temporarily annex the island of Cyprus. The very last king, Suppiluliuma II also managed to win some victories, including a naval battle against the Sea Peoples off the coast of Cyprus. But it was too late. The Sea Peoples had already begun their push down the Mediterranean coastline, starting from the Aegean, and continuing all the way to Philistia -- taking Cilicia and Cyprus away from the Hittites en route and cutting off their coveted trade routes. This left the Hittite homelands vulnerable to attack from all directions, and Hattusa was burnt to the ground sometime around 1180 BC following a combined onslaught from Gasgas, Bryges and Luwians. The Hittite Empire thus vanished from the historical record. By 1160 BC, the political situation in Asia Minor looked vastly different than it had only 25 years earlier. In that year, the Assyrians were dealing with the Mushku pressing into northernmost Mesopotamia from the Anatolian highlands, and the Gasga people, the Hittites' old enemies from the northern hill-country between Hatti and the Black Sea, seem to have joined them soon after. The Mushku or Mushki had apparently overrun Cappadocia from the West, with recently discovered epigraphic evidence confirming their origins as the Balkan "Bryges" tribe, forced out by the Macedonians. A large and powerful state known as Tabal had occupied the region south of these. Their language appears to have been Luwian, related to Hittite, but usually written in hieroglyphics instead of cuneiform. Several lesser city-states extending from here to Northern Syria also used Luwian, although they are sometimes known as "neo-Hittite". Soon after these upheavals began, both hieroglyphs and cuneiform were rendered obsolete by a new innovation, the alphabet, that seems to have entered Anatolia simultaneously from the Aegean (with the Bryges, who changed their name to Phrygians), and from the Phoenicians and neighboring peoples in Syria. Ironically, the language of the Lydians, spoken in the West of Asia Minor until the 1st century BC, was apparently a linguistic descendant of Hittite, and not Luwian. This and the fact that one of Lydia's kings known to the Greeks bore the Hittite royal name Myrsilis (Mursilis) may indicate that this state was the purest cultural and ethnic continuation of the former Hittites. The last trace of this language persisted until the 5th century AD, according to some Church Fathers, when it was known as the tiny dialect of Isaurian, spoken in only one or two villages.
  • In actuality, the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas sought initially to avoid conflict with Egypt. During the Egyptian New Kingdom, Egypt held central and southern Syrian territories for some two hundred years, reaping considerable wealth from these territories. Indeed, the perception that these borders marked the true boundaries of the Egyptian empire of this period had become impressed on the Egyptian mind as permanent and fixed. In all likelihood, Egypt would take take strong measures against any power that encroached upon that region.  These territories included the city state of Kadesh, among others, and the Hittite king had actually sought to avoid any occupation of that city. However, the king of Kadesh, operating as he believed was in the interests of his Egyptian overlord, attempted to block the Hittite advance southwards. He was defeated and the leading men of the city, including both the king and his son, Aitakama, were carried off the Hattusas, the Hittite capital of this period.  Yet the Hittites returned Aitakama, who took back control of Kadesh seemingly renewing the status of the city as a vassal of Egypt, so the Egyptians were placated. However, within a short time of his return, Aitakama began to act in a manner that suggested he may well have become a stooge for the Hittite ruler, as rulers of other Egyptian vassal cities reported attempts by him to subvert them to the Hittite cause. Hence, Egypt was finally forced to act in order to protect its territories. Though sparsely documented, an Egyptian assault on Kadesh in the reign of Akhenaten is now assumed to have occurred, and failed. Afterwards, the city formally passed into the hands of the Hittites, and its recovery became the focus of Egyptian military efforts down until the 19th Dynasty reign of Ramesses II, though the first substantial efforts were made by Ramesses II's father, Seti I. With a strong Hittite military presence in Syria that was not offset by any similar Egyptian equivalent, the balance of power shifted in the region and soon other vassal states of Egypt fell to the Hittites without bloodshed. 
  • Like other Late Bronze Age armies of the Old World, the Hittite military was built around the chariot and infantry, which would be expanded during the campaigning season when men would be called to the colors to fulfil their feudal obligations to the king. However, they apparently employed considerable mercenary troops during this period. Many of these troops apparently forwent regular pay choosing instead the prospect of booty, which of course would cause problems as it did for even the Egyptians at various times.  As for dress, the Hittite forces, unlike the Egyptians, seem to have worn uniforms that were geared to their various campaigns, so that at various times, we find them in different costumes. We do know that they wore helmets and bronze scale armor, but in many reliefs, such as those related to the Ramesses II Battle at Kadesh, many are depicted only in a "white" coverall. Some authorities assume that this was worn over the armor.  Just as in Egypt, the chariotry tended to attract men from the landed nobility, while the infantry was of lesser status. However, unlike the Egyptians chariot, theirs was the principal offensive arm of the Hittite army. This difference also extended to the very design and implementation of their chariotry. They viewed the chariot as essentially an assault weapon designed to crash into and break up groups of enemy infantry. Hence, it was a much heavier vehicle then that of the Egyptians, with a central axle strong enough to carry a three man crew. Of course, it was also less maneuverable and slower then its Egyptian counterpart. While the chariot crews did use composite the composite bow as a weapon, its predominant weapon was the long, thrusting spear. When used under ideal conditions, the Hittite chariotry was very effective. It would open the way for their infantry to follow through and finish off the enemy. 
  • In actuality, the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas sought initially to avoid conflict with Egypt. During the Egyptian New Kingdom, Egypt held central and southern Syrian territories for some two hundred years, reaping considerable wealth from these territories. Indeed, the perception that these borders marked the true boundaries of the Egyptian empire of this period had become impressed on the Egyptian mind as permanent and fixed. In all likelihood, Egypt would take take strong measures against any power that encroached upon that region.  These territories included the city state of Kadesh, among others, and the Hittite king had actually sought to avoid any occupation of that city. However, the king of Kadesh, operating as he believed was in the interests of his Egyptian overlord, attempted to block the Hittite advance southwards. He was defeated and the leading men of the city, including both the king and his son, Aitakama, were carried off the Hattusas, the Hittite capital of this period.  Yet the Hittites returned Aitakama, who took back control of Kadesh seemingly renewing the status of the city as a vassal of Egypt, so the Egyptians were placated. However, within a short time of his return, Aitakama began to act in a manner that suggested he may well have become a stooge for the Hittite ruler, as rulers of other Egyptian vassal cities reported attempts by him to subvert them to the Hittite cause. Hence, Egypt was finally forced to act in order to protect its territories. Though sparsely documented, an Egyptian assault on Kadesh in the reign of Akhenaten is now assumed to have occurred, and failed. Afterwards, the city formally passed into the hands of the Hittites, and its recovery became the focus of Egyptian military efforts down until the 19th Dynasty reign of Ramesses II, though the first substantial efforts were made by Ramesses II's father, Seti I. With a strong Hittite military presence in Syria that was not offset by any similar Egyptian equivalent, the balance of power shifted in the region and soon other vassal states of Egypt fell to the Hittites without bloodshed. 
  • The infantry, as depictions of their "thr" warriors surrounding Muwatallish at Qadesh would suggest, were armed with long thrusting spears and short stabbing daggers similar to those employed by their chariotry. Iron weapons were to some extent used by the Hittites, but most hand weapons were bronze sickle swords and battle axes.  The Hittites were masters of strategy and even used guile and sleight of hand when it was to their advantage. They attempted to stage their battles in situations that were ideal to their military tactics, in open battles where the chariotry could be used to its greatest advantage.  As an enemy of Egypt, Ramesses II condescendingly spoke of them as "effeminate ones" because the Hittites had a propensity for wearing their hair long. However, he would learn quickly that the Hittite warriors were every bit as brave and formidable as the Egyptian army, for the stage was set for the first battle in history that was well documented at Kadesh. He would eventually meet, fight, make peace with and even marry into the Hittite empire, all within his long reign. 
  • The Hittite occupation of Anatolia: The first suggestion of the Hittites' presence in central Anatolia during the Middle Bronze Age is the occurrence in the Kültepe tablets of Indo-European personal names in the correspondence of the Assyrian merchants and local rulers of central Anatolia (the "Land of Hatti"), whose non-Indo-European language is known as Hattian (Khattian, Hattic, or Khattic). Although it is now known that these Indo-Europeans called their language Nesite (after the city of Nesa), it is still, confusingly, called Hittite. Besides Nesite, two other Indo-European dialects were found in Anatolia: Luwian (Luvian), spoken by immigrants into southwest Anatolia late in the Early Bronze Age and later written with the pictographs commonly called Hittite hieroglyphs; and the more obscure Palaic, spoken in the northern district known in classical times as Paphlagonia. The first knowledge of the Hittites, then, depends upon the appearance of typically Nesite names among the predominant Assyrian and Hattian names of the texts. The problem of the origin of the Hittites has been the subject of some controversy and has not yet been conclusively resolved. On linguistic grounds, some scholars were at first disposed to bring them from lands west of the Black Sea, but it subsequently was shown that this theory conflicts with much archaeological evidence. One authority argues for their arrival in Anatolia from the northeast, basing his theory on the burning or desertion during the 20th century BC of a line of settlements representing the approaches to Cappadocia from that direction. The evidence from the cities near the Kzl (Halys) River and Cappadocia, however, does not support this picture of an invading army, destroying settlements in its path and evicting their inhabitants. The impression is rather one of peaceful penetration, leading by degrees to a monopoly of political power. From their first appearance among the indigenous Anatolians, the Hittites seem to have mingled freely, while the more flexible Nesite language gradually replaced Hattian. It has even been argued that Anatolia was the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans and that they gradually spread east and west after about 7000 BC, carrying with them not only their language but also the invention of agriculture. There are, however, good grounds for rejecting this theory.
  • Only a few of the tablets of the Hittite archives found at Bogazk ِ y can be dated earlier than the 17th century BC; nevertheless, certain historical texts of this period have survived in the form of more or less reliable copies made in the 14th or 13th centuries. One of these concerns two semi-legendary kings of Kussara (Kushshar) named Pitkhanas and Anittas. The city called Kussara has yet to be identified, but the text gives an impressive list of cities that Pitkhanas had conquered, and among them appears the name of Nesa, which his son, Anittas, subsequently adopted as his capital. Also included in the list is Hattusas (Khattusas), known to be the ancient name of the later Hittite capital at Bogazk ِ y, which Anittas was said to have destroyed. The fact that no direct connection could be inferred between these two kings and the subsequent history of the Hittites has been explained by later archaeological discoveries, which demonstrated that Pitkhanas and Anittas were in fact native Anatolian (Hattian) rulers of the 18th century BC. Indeed, a dagger bearing the name Anittas has been found at Kültepe.
  • The Hittites were a group Indo-European people whose empire stretched across Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Palestine. Most of modern Turkey is considered to be the home land of the Hittite people. The peak of their civilization was reached from 1600 to 1200 BC. Their civilization ended as suddenly as it started. Originally the Hittites spoke a language similar to Sanskrit, a dead language of India. They were a warrior race notorious for their ferocity and brutality. Because of them Mesopotamia lost its honor as the cradle land of civilization and never emerged at its full strength again. Hittites had similar food as other Mediterranean people. Their chief food was bread. Meat was also a part of their day to day menu. Rich people used to satisfy their appetite with homemade cheese and various other milk produced delicacies.
  • The Hittites were unknown to the modern world until 1900 AD, when a tablet with an unknown inscription was excavated. The tablet was later translated and gave the world the information of their existence. Hattie was their home land and Hattusas was the name of their capital. It is situated in Central Anatolia region of modern Turkey and in the town of Boghazköy about 210 kilometers east of Ankara. The Hittite lived in present-day Turkey. The Hittite capital was near a village that is now called Bogazkoy. It was between the Mediterranean sea and the Black Sea and known as the Near East. They spread into North Syria from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. The Hittites were a warlike empire that was in existence from 1600 BC until they were raided and destroyed by The sea people in 1200 BC
  • Hittites spoke a language belonging to the Indo-European linguistic family. They used Akkadian’s cuneiform writing system to write their language. The first Hittite tablets were discovered in 1906 by German excavators. Within ten years the language had been deciphered, and a sketch of its grammar published. Gradually, the international community of scholars, led by the Germans, expanded the knowledge of the language. The number of common Hittite words that one could translate with reasonable certainty increased gradually. Now we have a good collection of Hittite words that tells us how closely it was related to Indo-Europeans languages. Hittites were strongly influenced by Babylonians; it is easily conceivable that they used to wear similar clothes as the Babylonians. Picture that we have added with this article supports our view. Hittites men wore long cloaks and women had a dress which consisted of two parts similar to a blouse and knee-long skirt. These dresses are still common in Turkey and Middle East
  • Hittites were very generous in adopting other people’s religions. Most of the Hittites deities were from Babylonian and Sumerian origins. Whichever nation they have conquered they had included their gods with gods of Hittites, looks like they believed that gods whoever their worshipper are all legitimate therefore worthy of getting their allegiance. In fact the Hittites probably were the world’s first nation having an attitude of religious tolerance. Art and architecture of Hatti was strongly influenced by neighboring countries. They used stone and brick as well as wooden columns to erect their houses and temples. The Hittites built large palaces, temples and fortifications, where carved reliefs adorned walls, gates and entrances. The style was very solid and they tended to go for a massive look. The cities were usually mapped out in a rectangular format.
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  • Ruins of Hattusa (Lion's Gate)
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  • VOWELS Front Central Back Close I   u Mid E     Open   a  
  • CONSONANTS Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Labialized Velar Laryngeal Plosives p  b t  d   k  ɡ kʷ  ɡʷ   Nasals m n         Fricatives   s       ḫ Affricate   ts         Liquids, Glides w r, l j      
  • Common Neuter Singular Plural Singular Plural Nominative Pisnas Pisnēs Pēdan Pēda Accusative Pisnan Pisnus Pēdan Pēda Genitive Pisnas Pisnas Pēdas Pēdas Dative/Locative Pisni Pisnas Pēdi Pēdas Ablative Pisnats Pisnats Pēdats Pēdats Allative Pisna - Pēda - Instrumental Pisnit - Pēdit -
  • Indicative Imperative Present Suwāyemi Suwāyesi Suwāyetsi Suwāyeweni Suwāyetteni Suwāyeantsi Suwāyeallut Suwāyet Suwāyettu Suwāyetten Suwāyentu Preterite Suwāyeun Suwāyes Suwāyeta Suwāyewen Suwāyeten Suwāyēr
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  •     To those who watched our presentation, Thank you!     I hope you have learned something about the Hittites       Till Next time :)