1. Prezi Presentation
2. Information on the Hittites
1) Basic Facts: What is the Hittite Empire? Who are the Hittites?
The Hittite empire was the Rulers of the “central Anatolian kingdom from c. 1900 – 800 BCE” and they were one of the first Anatolian Civilizations. They had a system of Government and the Military was Very strong and was equipped with full armor and chariots (Eduljee). The Hittites’ government goes back to the roots of constitutional monarchy which is where there is one ruler, but there are people with power beneath the superior emperor. Also, they also used an Indo-European Language (Crabben). Some modern day Indo-European languages include Hindi, Latin, Russian, English, and French (Wheeler). Even though there were all of these different language from this one language, there is one surprising fact that was found. It is said that the Indo-European language originated from Anatolia. The very own area of the Hittites and modern day Turkey (Wade). “Hittite was written with a cuneiform script adapted from a version of Akkadian cuneiform from northern Syria and was deciphered during the early 20th century mainly by Bedřich Hrozný, with contributions by Jørgen Alexander Knudtzon, and Hugo Winckler, who discovered many tablets written in Hittite at the village of Boğazköy in Turkey” (Ager).
The ruins of Hittites are located in modern day Turkey, Boğazköy (Eduljee).
2) When did the Hittite Empire exist?
The Hittites existed from 1900 to 800 BCE (Eduljee). The Occupation of the area of the hittites date back to 3000 – 2500 BCE (Mark). Before the Hittites came to place, there were three Indo-European civilizations in Anatolia which were the Luwians, Palaians, and Nesites. Where the Hittites would raise their empire, before “the center of Hittite civilization was controlled by a non Indo-European population called the Hattians” (Crabben). Some people get confused with the people of Hatti and the Hittites. However, they are different groups of people. The people of Hatti were the aboriginal people of that area and the Hittites were Indo-European people that had invaded the land of Hatti and claimed it for their own in 1700BCE (Mark). The earliest kingdoms of the Hittites are called the old kingdom. The history is known because of tablets that was used in the 17th century BCE. In this time, it is said that the Hittites grew from the city of Kussara (Crabben). the city of Kussara was a kingdom that was near the south of modern day turkey.The founder of the kingdom was “Labarna I who began a new era of conquest” (Crabben). Hattusili, the grandson of Labarna was very successful as well expanding the Hittites by gaining land from Syria (Crabben).
The new kingdom was when you can say that the hittites entered the “Hittite Empire period”. In this time, the Hittites expanded and even went in to the northern parts of syria and expanded rapidly. The age of Suppiluliuma I (c. 1350–1322 BCE) could be considered the light of the Hittite empire. Suppiluliuma attacked Kizzuwadna and invaded Isuwa. There was also an empire called the Mitanni and Suppiluliuma managed to grasp the capital of Mitanni and brought the end of the Mitanni (Crabben).
Finally the down fall of the Hittites is written as that “Tudhaliya’s death led to instability in the kingdom” (Crabben). The destruction of the Hittites can also be because of the so called “sea peoples” who wiped out a lot of Anatolia and other neighbouring areas in the 12th century BCE (Crabben). The sea peoples “The nationality of the Sea peoples remains a mystery as the only records we have of their activities are mainly Egyptian sources who only describe them in terms of battle” (Mark). After the invasion of the sea peoples, the Hittites “shrank to collection of Neo-Hittite city states such as Carchemish and Milid (present-day Malatya)” (Eduljee).
3) What territory did it conquer?
The Hittites weren’t living in the area of their city Hattusha and In this time, it is said that the Hittites grew from the city of Kussara which is located in the south of modern day Turkey (Crabben). As mentioned before, a non-undo european civilisation called the people of Hatti were living there. However, although some might think that they had conquered it and imperialised the aborigines. However, they did not imperialise them and “they peacefully adapted to the language, custom and religion of the aboriginal Hattians with whom they enjoyed a mutually profitable and amicable relationship”(Eduljee). (More on the definition of Imperialism with the Hittites will come later). The real conquering started with the rule of “the Hittite king Labarna, or Tabarna, (r. 1680-1650 BCE) who established what some call the Old Kingdom (c. 1680 – 1400 BCE), and from the time of its establishment, the Hittite kingdom rapidly grew in size” (Eduljee). Labarna did a lot of work for the Hittites. Labarna is mentioned a lot in the proclamation of Telepenus because “the establishment of the kingdom and the dynasty are chronicled in the Proclamation of Telepenus (c. 1525-1500 BCE). The Proclamation states that King Labarna consolidated power among the disparate Hittite city states and then proceeded to conquer nearly all of central Anatolia up to its shores” (Eduljee).
Later in the New kingdom of the Hittites, King Suppiluliumas I sacks the Mitanni capital Washukanni in 1344 BCE – 1322 BCE. In the following year of 1321 BCE the western part of the Mitanni was completely taken over by the Hittites (Mark). “5th and 14th centuries BCE, subsequent Hittite kings extended the extent of their empire westward to the Aegean Sea, eastward into Armenia, south-eastward into upper Mesopotamia, and southward as far as the mouth of the Litani River (a territory known as Amqu) in present-day Lebanon” (Eduljee).
4) Who were the most important people involved?
– Suppiluliuma I (ca.1344 – 1322 BC)
Suppiluliuma I was a leader who had brought many fortune to the Hittites and did a lot for them such as challenging the Egyptians who were at a dominant rule of that area. Suppiluliuma I “took advantage of the tumultuous reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, and seized control of Egyptian territory in Syria, inciting many Egyptian vassals to revolt” (Wikipedia). It is shown that the Hittites were the largest in the rule of Suppiliuliuma I and it can be seen in the three maps below.
– Hattusili III (r. 1289-1265 BCE)
King Hattusili III is well known for “a treaty of peace and alliance with Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses and gave Ramses his daughter in marriage” (Eduljee). “The Treaty of Kadesh, the earliest peace treaty known, was concluded between the two big political and military powers of the 13th century BC, the Hittite and Egyptian empires. The clay tablet containing the text of this treaty sealed by Hattusili III, the king of the Hittite empire and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II was found during excavations at Boğazköy in 1906″ (Istanbul Archeological Museums). The treaty of Kadesh is written in Akkadian and that was how the excavations could read the text because they could read Akkadian.
– Ramses II (c. 1303 BCE- 1213 BCE)
Ramses II or also known as Ramses the great was a spectacular leader for the egyptians. “Ramesses lived to be 96 years old, had over 200 wives and concubines, 96 sons and 60 daughters, most of whom he outlived” (Mark). He is famous for the battle of Kadesh, which was the battle between the Hittites and the Egyptians and was a very brutal battle of history. This is also what led to the later king Hattusili II and Ramses the II to sign the peace treaty which is the first treaty to be signed and made ever in the world which is currently located in the Istanbul Archeological Museum in Istanbul. “He was known to later Egyptians as the ‘Great Ancestor’ and many pharaohs would do him the honor of taking his name as their own; none of them, however, would surpass the grand achievements and glory of Ramesses the Great” (Mark).
5) Why is it considered an empire?
The definition of an empire is: “a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially : one having an emperor as chief of state” (Merriam Webster). The Hittites are indeed an Empire because they meet all of these requirements. The definition stated that a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories was an empire and the Hittites meet this. For example, “Suppiluliuma control over various Mitanni vassal states including parts of Assyria” (Eduljee). This means that the Hittites not only had rule over their own empire, they also owned states from neighbouring empires, in this example which are Mitanni and Assyria. Not only this the Hittites are “having an emperor as chief of state” (Merriam Webster). For example, the Hittites are ruled under emperors some famous ones being Hattusilis III or Suppiluliuma I.
6) How has it impacted our world today?
The Hittites have impacted our world today in a lot of ways. It is said that the Hittites were the first example of “Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a king or queen acts as Head of State. As a system of government, constitutional monarchy separates the Head of State’s ceremonial and official duties from party politics. A constitutional monarchy also provides stability, continuity and a national focus, as the Head of State remains the same even as governments change” (The british Monarchy). The Hittites were one of the first examples of Constitutional monarchy and a lot of countries still use constitutional monarchy until today. Also the Hittites have a lot of pottery and made one of the first ways to make clay pottery. For example in cappadoccia we saw the different ways that we made pottery and we saw different patterns of the Hittites.
7) Timeline of the Hittites (See prezi)
- The political borders of your empire at it’s greatest extent
This was under the rule of Suppiliuma I when the Hittites were at it’s greatest extent. It can be seen that they had parts of modern day Turkey and some of Northern Syria.
- The physical geography of the empire
The Hittites had a lot of mountains which made it hard for neighbouring empires to invade them. Also the land is a Peninsula which helps with the trade and is connected with both the contents of Asia and Europe.
- The modern day political borders of the area once controlled by your empire
The hittites covered mostly all of Modern day Turkey and some of Northern Syria.
9) What role did physical geography play in the successes or failures of the empire?
Geography played a major role in the successes of the Hittite empire and there are many ways how. The reason is because it is a peninsula. A peninsula is described as: “a portion of land nearly surrounded by water and connected with a larger body” (Merriam Webster). The current modern day Turkey is a peninsula and it was the land in which the Hittites occupied. The Hittites were connected to Asia and Europe which helped with the trade routes and later it evolved to be one of the major stops for the silk road. “The Hittite economy was based on agriculture, trade and manufacture” (Eduljee). Also if they are in a war situation, it is easy to get to the other areas and empires by sea rather than going around all the way on land.
3. Works Cited
4. Source Analysis