The recovery of the imperial Hittites and their history began only in 1905, when German archaeologists opened their excavations at the ancient capital of Hattusa (located at the modern village of Boghazkale c. 150 km east of Ankara), where they soon began turning up the central archives of the Great Kings of Hatti. The documents from these archives1 were inscribed on clay tablets in the cuneiform script and in several languages. Most of the texts were composed in the then-unintelligible Hittite2 and related Indo-European tongues (Luwian and Palaic), or in the Hurrian language still resistant to interpretation today.3 But a number were written in Akkadian, the Semitic language of Mesopotamia which served as a lingua franca for the diplomats of the Near East in the second millennium. Since by the early years of this century scholars had already achieved a good command of Akkadian, from the start it was possible to read and interpret many Hittite treaties and diplomatic letters.4 On the basis of this material Eduard Meyer wrote the first history of the Hittites in 1914.5
The Hittites were a powerful civilization that controlled most of Anatolia in the second millennium B.C. Their language, written in cuneiform script on clay tablets, was recovered and deciphered in the first decades of the twentieth century, but scholars are still wrestling with the problem of placing the cities and countries named in their ancient texts onto modern maps. The kingdom of Arzawa, located roughly in western Anatolia, was a threat to the Hittites throughout most of the fourteenth century B.C. but toward the end of that period was decisively defeated and broken up into provinces. The treaties concluded with the vassal rulers of these provinces are known among the Hittite texts.
This work contains the first English translations of a collection of Hittite myths. The translations are based on the original tablets on which the myths were written and take into account recent textual discoveries and published studies on the texts. Revised and corrected, this second edition includes an additional newly published Hurrian myth. In addition to translations, the volume includes a series of brief introductions to the myths, a glossary of names and technical terms, and indexes of proper names and topics/subjects. Accessible to nonspecialists, the translations also preserve column and line count for the convenience of scholars.
Dr. Beckman presents full translations of more than 50 documents from the files of the "foreign office" of the Hittite Empire: 21 treaties, 18 diplomatic letters, and 18 royal edicts and miscellaneous records concerning the relations of the Hittites with their Anatolian and Syrian vassals, as well as with other great powers such as Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia. Originally composed in Hittite or in Akkadian, many of these texts have never before appeared in English. A short introduction places each document in its historical and cultural context, and a general essay acquaints the reader with the diplomatic practice of the Late Bronze Age. This collection of documents is a major source book for historians of the Ancient Near East and for students of cuneiform and Biblical law. It will also prove useful for those investigating the relationship between Biblical covenant theology and its possible antecedents in older Near Eastern treaty patterns. The index categorizes its subject matter into persons, deities, cities, countries, districts, people, mountains, rivers and topics for easy access.
Prophecy was a widespread phenomenon, not only in ancient Israel but in the ancient Near East as a whole. This is the first book to gather the available ancient Near Eastern, extrabiblical sources containing prophetic words or references to prophetic activities. Among the 140 texts included in this volume are oracles of prophets, personal letters, formal inscriptions, and administrative documents from ancient Mesopotamia and Levant from the second and first millennia BCE. Most of the texts come from Mari (eighteenth century BCE) and Assyria (seventh century BCE). In addition, new translations of the relevant section of the Egyptian Report of Wenamon are provided by Robert K. Ritner, and C. L. Seow offers various texts from Syria-Palestine containing allusions to prophets and prophetic activities.
Lindenberger presents an up-to-date translation of seventy-nine letters and fragments, virtually the complete corpus of surviving letters in Aramaic and Hebrew down to the time of Alexander, omitting only the most fragmentary and the most formulaic. This includes the correspondence from ancient Jewish writers at Yavneh-Yam (seventh century), Arad and Lachish (sixth century), and Elephantine (fifth century). There are also administrative letters from Persian bureaucrats, private commercial and family correspondence from Egypt, and other scattered letters from Assyria, Egypt, Philistia, and Idumaea. Also included are short notes in Edomite, Ammonite, and Phoenician (one in each language). The second edition is supplemented by an additional nine texts, some of them published very recently, not found in the 1994 edition. Translations are now provided with line numbers, and some have been improved in the light of recent studies. Each letter appears alongside the original text in square script. Brief introductions set each group of letters into its historical and social context. The arrangement within each language group is roughly chronological.
More than five hundred years before the Odyssey and the Iliad, before the biblical books of Genesis or Job, masters of the epic lived and wrote on the Mediterranean coast. The Ugaritic tablets left behind by these master scribes and poets were excavated in the second quarter of the twentieth century from the region of modern Syria and Lebanon and are brought to life here in contemporary English translations by five of the best known scholars in the field. Included are the major narrative poems Kirta, Aqhat, and Baal, in addition to ten shorter texts, newly translated with transcriptions from photographs using the latest techniques in the photography of epigraphic materials.
§12. Such a mode of diplomatic communication in Hittite texts follows in many ways the protocols of Akkadian texts as used in other major administrative centers of the ancient Near East, though the language used in the Ahhiyawa Texts is not Akkadian but Hittite. Of special interest, in this connection, are the protocols of correspondences written in Akkadian as well as in Hittite where the speaker of the written text is supposedly the pharaoh of Egypt himself, who is notionally speaking in the Hittite language to the king of the Hittites by way of official letters written to the king, which are then stored in the royal archives of Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire; and, conversely, the king of the Hittites speaks in the Hittite language to the pharaoh of Egypt by way of official letters notionally written by him to the pharaoh.
The poetic texts from Ugarit stand out among works of ancient literature in that they were dug up side-by-side with diplomatic treaties, edicts, and political correspondence that attest to both contemporary political thought and recent political history. Many other contemporary political documents have been unearthed at neighboring sites. This non-literary material makes it possible to consider the relationship between poetry and political life in a way unthinkable for textually more isolated works like the Homeric poems and the Mahabharata. The reading presented here should therefore be of interest beyond the limited circle of those concerned with the interpretation of Ugaritic literature. The richness of the contextual sources surrounding the Baal Cycle renders this fragmentary poem from a peripheral Bronze Age city an excellent locus for studying the dynamic relationship between audience and text that can emerge in the play between political ideals, historical experience, and literary representation.
Reviewed by: Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks and their Neighbours. Proceedings of an International Conference on Cross-Cultural Interaction, September 17-19, 2004, Emory University, Atlanta, GA Annette Teffeteller Billie Jean Collins, Mary R. Bachvarova, and Ian C. Rutherford, eds. Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks and their Neighbours. Proceedings of an International Conference on Cross-Cultural Interaction, September 17-19, 2004, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2008. Pp. x+213; 2 maps, 8 figs. (3 tables, 5 B&W illustrations). US $90.00, GB 45 (hardback). ISBN-13: 978-1-84217-270-4. It is now more than a decade since Calvert Watkins observed that classicists did not "seem to be trampling each other in their haste to get at the Hittite texts," and were thus, he implied, denying themselves the opportunity to explore the "linguistic and thematic connections between speakers from these geographically contiguous regions [of Greece and Anatolia], who were certainly in contact at various times and in various places in the second millennium B.C. and later."1 This book might start the stampede. It offers a wealth of material for Hellenists, insight and information on a wide range of topics: the evolution of epic, Homeric formulas, Mycenaean Hittite diplomatic correspondence, Lesbos as a Hittite possession, the purple-dye industry in the Late Bronze Age, girls' choruses, the Hellenistic devotees of Kybele, the homeland of the wandering Luwians, isoglosses between Greek and Anatolian languages, Lydian loanwords in Greek, and much more. 2b1af7f3a8