Hittites And Hittite Religion Essay Topics




 View of Yazilikaya.I


Yazilikaya, Chamber A. The central group (Mrs. Gurney’s photo-graph).I


Yazilikaya, Chamber A. The line of gods (courtesy of Professor

J. Garstang).IIYazilikaya, relief in Chamber B. Tudhaliya IV in the protective

embrace of his god Surruma (Mrs. Gurney’s photograph).III. Relief from Alaca Huyuk. The king worshipping Teshub in the form

of a bull (courtesy of the Museum of Anatolian Cultures, Ankara).IV. Late Hittite relief from Malatya. The king pouring a libation before

the Weathergod, Ishtar, and two other deities (courtesy of the

Museum of Anatolian Cultures, Ankara). V Relief from Carchemish showing musicians playing a horn and a

large drum or gong (courtesy of the Museum of Anatolian Cultures,

 Ankara). V I.Relief from Carchemish showing musicians playing a lute and double

pipes (courtesy of the Museum of Anatolian Cultures, Ankara). V IIRelief from Zincirli showing musicians playing two kinds of lyre and

tambourines (courtesy of the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul).S' IIIRelief from Karatepe showing musicians playing a lyre, double pipes

and tambourines (?) (courtesy of Professor H. T. Bossert).l'tij iYazilikaya. The sculptures of Chamber A. (From J. Garstang,


 Hittite Empire,

 pl. XXIV. Reproduced from O. R. Gumey,



Pélican 1954). pp. 201

Religion plays a major role in diplomacy in Bronze Age cultures, as we see from treaties between different states, where lists of gods on either side are called on as witnesses. In order for the treaty to have validity, it is essential that the ideas of the deities are understood by both sides, i.e. are "translatable" (see Smith 2008). No such treaty survives for relations between the Hittites and Ahhiyawa or between any Western Anatolian state and Ahhiyawa, although they probably existed. Contact between the two at the level of religion is shown by the presence of deities of Ahhiyawa and Lazpa at the Hittite court (AhT20§24). Diplomatic correspondence also reveals shared assumptions about the gods: 1. Gods as responsible for actions: AhT6, a letter from the king of Ahhiyawa to the king of Hatti, refers to "a certain storm god" as having granted the possession of territory; a similar expression is found in AhT7§4 in the context of "purple dyers of Lazpa" who had belonged to the Hittites but were seized by Piyamaradu acting for Ahhiyawa. 2. Gods as witnesses. In AhT4 the Tawagalawa Letter, written to the king of Ahhiyawa, the Hittite king invokes the storm god and other gods as an audience (§3); he also mentions the Sun-God (§15). The general nature of these references suggests that common religious understanding between the Hittites and Ahhiyawans was at a very general level, involving general categories of gods, but not specific deities. Further evidence of cultural distance is the fact that the Hittite king has to explain to the king of Ahhiyawa the Hittite principle of "safe-conduct" (< zarsiya) (AhT4§8). 

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