Hittites

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Hittites

Hittites (hĬt´īts), ancient people of Asia Minor and Syria, who flourished from 1600 to 1200 BC The Hittites, a people of Indo-European connection, were supposed to have entered Cappadocia c.1800 BC To the southwest, in the Taurus and Cilicia, were the Luites, relatives of the Hittites; to the southeast, in the Upper Euphrates, the Hurrians (Khurrites). In the country the Hittites then occupied, the aboriginal inhabitants were apparently the Khatti, or Hatti. Hittite names appear c.1800 BC on the tablets written by Assyrian colonists (see Assyria) at Kültepe (Kanesh) in Cappadocia. However, real evidence of Hittite existence does not occur until the Old Hittite Kingdom (1600–1400 BC). This kingdom, which was centered in Cappadocia, was opposed by the Syrians. The Hittites tried to invade Babylonia but were halted by Egypt and Mitanni.

The Hittite Empire that followed the Old Kingdom, with its capital at Boğazköy (also called Hattusas), was the chief power and cultural force in W Asia from 1400 to 1200 BC The famous Hittite rulers date from this period. Among these are Supiluliumash (fl. 1380 BC), who is mentioned in the Tell el Amarna letters; Mursilish II (fl. 1335 BC); and Hattusilish III (fl. 1300 BC). The Hittite Empire was a loose confederation that broke up under the invasions of the Thracians, Phrygians, and Assyrians c.1200 BC Several small states arose, with Carchemish becoming an outstanding city. The Neo-Hittite kingdom (c.1050–c.700 BC) was conquered by the Assyrians, who installed Hittite princes as vassals to their throne.

The artistic work of the Hittites, as in reliefs, round sculptures, and seals, shows a high state of culture and considerable Babylonian and Assyrian influence. A great number of inscriptions have been uncovered in the Hittite area; these are for the most part in cuneiform. Besides the Babylonian inscriptions, there are many in Hittite hieroglyphs, or Kanesian. The Hittite language is Indo-European. There are several other languages meagerly represented in the Hittite archives: the so-called Luwian (similar to Hittite), and Khattian and Hurrian (both non–Indo-European and apparently unrelated to one another). There is also a hieroglyphic alphabet (or syllabary) liberally represented; the deciphering of this script was aided by the bilingual texts found at Karatepe and was published by H. T. Bossert. The Hittite civilization clearly had many foreign elements, notably from Mesopotamia; its pantheism borrowed most of its concepts from Babylonian, Assyrian, and Hurrian sources. The Hittite law codes are interesting partly because they are to some extent independent of the Babylonian. The Hittites were one of the first peoples to smelt iron successfully.

Bibliography

See D. G. Hogarth, Hittite Seals (1920); E. H. Sturtevant, Comparative Grammar of Hittite (2d ed. 1951); J. Garstang, The Hittite Empire (1929, repr. 1976); O. R. Gurney, The Hittites (rev. ed. 1961); E. Akurgal, The Art of the Hittites (tr. 1962); H. S. Maine, Sr., Ancient Law (1987).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hittites
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.