Runaways and Extradition
We have already seen (Chapter 6) that some ambiguity is to be found in texts that describe a movement of borders over territory as a movement of ‘settlements’ across borders. This can be exploited in rhetorical and political argument. Thus a major change in the political allegiance of a large country, which, of course, could not move physically, is described as follows by the Hittite king: ‘Now (the people of) Kizzuwatna are Hittite cattle, and have chosen their stable. They separated from the Hurrian and turned toward my Sun.’ 1 The Hittite king is cunningly using the very same wording already used by the Hurrian king in describing the movements of the Ishuwa communities: ‘Formerly, in the time of my (= the Hurrian king's) grandfather, these cities went into Hurri and settled there. It is true that afterwards they went back as fugitives to Hatti. But now the cattle have chosen their stable: they have (definitively) come into my land.’ 2 At a superficial reading the two episodes seem similar, which is the effect the Hittite king expects. In fact, however, the Ishuwa story is a story of mountain communities and refugees really moving across a border, a case incomparably less important than the political shift of Kizzuwatna from the Hurrian to the Hittite sphere.
The ambiguity is made possible by the mobility of communities (especially pastoralists) moving in search of new settlements and better land, and by the fact that it is the inclusion of a community inside borders which is of economic importance rather than the way it came about. In the Paddatishu treaty the situation is quite clear:
If a community of the great king, with its women, its belongings, its cattle, its sheep-and-goats, moves and enters into Kizzuwatna, Paddatishu shall seize and give them back to the great king. And if a community of Paddatishu, with its women, its belongings, its cattle, its
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Publication information: Book title: International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C. Contributors: Mario Liverani - Author. Publisher: Palgrave. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 66.
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