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