Life and Society in the Hittite World

By Trevor Bryce | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
Links across the Wine-Dark Sea

Greeks and Trojans confront each other on the plains of Troy.
In the space in between, two warriors meet—Diomedes, son
of Tydeus, from Argos in Greece, and Glaukos, son of
Hippolochos, from Lycia in the remote south-western corner of
Anatolia. As they prepare to do battle, Diomedes calls upon
Glaukos to identify himself, to state his lineage and place of
origin. He learns that Glaukos too has ancestral origins in
Argos, that there have been close bonds between their families,
bonds extending back several generations. Enmity between the
two is set aside. They exchange weapons and armour, and
pledge to renew their families' traditional links.1

From the Bronze Age onwards, there have been many meetings, many links between the peoples of the ancient Greek and Near Eastern worlds—all contributing in greater or lesser measure to the ongoing process of cultural transmission and cultural exchange between east and west. The process involved two-way traffic, sometimes predominantly in one direction, sometimes predominantly in the other. During the middle centuries of the first millennium BC, the Greek world had a profound influence on a number of its Near Eastern neighbours; the remains of the Hellenized cities of the Anatolian littoral are amongst the tangible witnesses of this. In the early centuries of the millennium and in the preceding millennium, the Greeks in their turn derived much from their contacts with their neighbours across the wine-dark sea. Mainland and island Greece lay towards the western end of a cultural continuum which began with the earliest historical societies of Mesopotamia. Customs, traditions, and institutions which first appeared in these societies passed ever westwards, from one generation to another, from one civilization to another, and from one region to another over a period of several thousand years, sometimes undergoing substantial changes and modifications along the way. The Hittites were participants in the process, as they absorbed within the fabric of their own

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Life and Society in the Hittite World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • List of Hittite Kings xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Synopsis of Hittite History 8
  • Chapter 1 - King, Court, and Royal Officials 11
  • Chapter 2 - The People and the Law 32
  • Chapter 3 - The Scribe 56
  • Chapter 4 - The Farmer 72
  • Chapter 5 - The Merchant 87
  • Chapter 6 - The Warrior 98
  • Chapter 7 - Marriage 119
  • Chapter 8 - The Gods 134
  • Chapter 9 - The Curers of Diseases 163
  • Chapter 10 - Death, Burial, and the Afterlife 176
  • Chapter 11 - Festivals and Rituals 187
  • Chapter 12 - Myth 211
  • Chapter 13 - The Capital 230
  • Chapter 14 - Links Across the Wine-Dark Sea 257
  • Notes 269
  • Bibliography 293
  • Index 302
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