International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C.

By Mario Liverani | Go to book overview

18
Peace as Mutual Recognition

In the Hittite treaties, foreign countries are either enemies (nakru) 1 or friends/allies (šalmu). Only those integrated into the Hittite political system by a formal pact fall into the second category; if they ‘rebel’, they too become enemies. To the group of enemies belong ‘Hurri, Misri (= Egypt), Karduniash (= Babylonia), Ashtata, Alshe, and every enemy country close to the border of your (= the vassal's) land, which is enemy of the Hatti land’. To the friends/allies belongs ‘every country close to the border of your land, which is an ally of the Hatti land – Mukish, Qadesh, Nuhashe – but rebels and becomes enemy of the Hatti land’. 2 The act of rebellion is here expressed by the verb sahāru (‘to change direction’), with the same implications that we have already seen for nabalkutu (‘to transgress’) in the middle-Assyrian royal inscriptions (Chapter 12).

A partial yet significant coincidence may be noticed between the lists of ‘enemy’ countries and the lists of countries whose kings are peers (mihrūti) of the Hittite great king (see Chapter 5). The overlap of the sorting principles of rank (parity vs. subordination) and kind of relationship (friend vs. enemy) is only partial, relationships being determined not by rank but by whether or not there exists a formal agreement whose basic principle is ‘with my friends be friend, with my enemies be enemy’. 3 This basic principle is contained in pacts between those unequal in rank as well as in treaties between peers. In the first case its application is not open to doubt, since the status of enemy/friend is decided by the great king and has to be accepted by the small king – hence the detailed lists quoted above. In the second case, as we have seen (Chapter 16), the perspectives of the two partners are of equal value yet can be applied differently, leading in consequence to rival interpretations and further conflicts. From this point of view, a treaty with a subordinate is much more stable and explicit than a treaty between equals. Moreover, no subordination is

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International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Territory and Borders 15
  • 1 - Inner vs. Outer Territory 17
  • 2 - Universal Control 23
  • 3 - The Boundaries of the World 29
  • 4 - Symbolic Attainment of the World Border 34
  • 5 - The Coexistence of Different States 38
  • 6 - Moving Borders 46
  • 7 - The Boundary as a Watershed for Taxation 52
  • 8 - The Boundary as a Watershed for Responsibilities 57
  • 9 - Runaways and Extradition 66
  • 10 - Messengers and ‘Ambassadors’ 71
  • Part II - War and Alliance 77
  • 11 - The One Against Many 79
  • 12 - War as Elimination of the Rebels 86
  • 13 - Conquest as a Cosmic Organization 91
  • 14 - Peace as Submission 97
  • 15 - Ordeal by War 101
  • 16 - The Rules of War 108
  • 17 - The Battle of Megiddo 116
  • 18 - Peace as Mutual Recognition 122
  • 19 - The Ideology of Protection 128
  • 20 - The Ideology of Brotherhood 135
  • Part III - Circulation of Goods 139
  • 21 - Priority and Continuity of the Redistributive Pattern 141
  • 22 - Intervention of the Reciprocal Pattern 146
  • 23 - Accumulation vs. Circulation 151
  • 24 - Self-Sufficiency vs. Interdependence 155
  • 25 - The Ideology of Life 160
  • 26 - Hatshepsut and Punt: Trade or Tribute? 166
  • 27 - Wen-Amun and Zakar-Ba'Al: Gift or Trade? 170
  • 28 - The Annals of Tuthmosis Iii: Tribute or Gift? 176
  • 29 - The Origins of Tribute 183
  • 30 - Equal vs. Unequal Marriages 189
  • 31 - Conclusions 196
  • Chronologies 203
  • Notes 205
  • Index 233
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