II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > B. Kingdoms of Western Asia and Africa, to 323 B.C.E. > 7. Asia Minor, c. 3000–333 B.C.E. > c. The Hattians and the Hittites
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
c. The Hattians and the Hittites
c. 3000–2000
 
THE HATTIANS AND THE LUWIANS. The Hattians inhabited central Asia Minor in the third millennium. Their language, known from Hittite religious texts, is without known affinities. They appear to have been absorbed by the Hittites. Sometime after 2300, the Luwians, an Indo-European-speaking people, settled in southern Anatolia.  1
 
c. 2000–1200
 
THE HITTITES.  2
 
2000–1700
 
THE HITTITE INVASION OF ASIA MINOR. The Indo-European-speaking Hittites migrated into central Anatolia from Europe sometime around 2000. Around 1800, the Hittite King Pitkhana of Kussara and his successor Anitta defeated the Hattic rulers of Hattusas and Kanesh. They sacked Hattusas, but used Kanesh as the capital of a Hittite state.  3
 
c. 1680–1500
 
THE OLD KINGDOM. Labarnas I (c. 1680–1610) founded what is known as the Old Hittite Kingdom or Hatti. Hattusilis I (c. 1660–1620) moved the capital to Hattusas (modern Boghazköy), located in the bend of the Halys River. He conquered the area of the Konya plain, which became the center of the Hittite empire, then overcame Alalakh in northern Syria and campaigned against Arzawa in the far west. His successor Mursilis I (c. 1620–1595) defeated a Hurrian army, destroyed Aleppo, and then boldly marched south into Mesopotamia. The Hittites took Babylon, pillagedit, and brought down the 1st Dynasty of Babylon (1595) (See 1749–1595). Political disturbances brought Mursilis back to Hattusas where he was assassinated in a coup d'état. After his death a series of petty kings ruled, and the Old Kingdom declined in power. The Hurrians (See 1749–1595) took the North Syrian region, which they named Hanigalbat and Cilicia, now called Kizzuwatna. When Telepinus (c. 1520) came to the throne he halted the kingdom's decline of Hatti, pushing back the Hurrians. Telepinus issued an edict on the law of succession that stabilized the crown. The Hittite law code also dates from this general period.  4
 
c. 1420–1200
 
THE HITTITE EMPIRE.  5
 
c. 1420–1375
 
THE EARLY KINGS. Tudhaliyas II (c. 1420) established a new dynasty, but in the reigns of Arnuwandas I (c. 1425), Hattusilis II (c. 1400), and Tudhaliyas III (c. 1420–1375), the Hittite state was almost destroyed. The Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni attacked on the east, and Arzawa, now important enough to correspond with the Egyptian pharaoh, pressed from the west. The Kaska tribes from the north succeeded in taking and sacking Hattusas. The Hittites faced a desperate situation, when Tudhaliyas's son, who had served as commander of the army, took the throne.  6
 
c. 1375–1345
 
THE REIGN OF SUPPILULIUMAS. Suppiluliumas rebuilt Hattusas, expanding the city and fortifying it with a four-mile-long wall of stone and brick. He also reorganized the home territories and then marched against the Hurrians. His first encounter with Tushrata of Mitanni resulted in a severe defeat for the Hittites, but, with the help of Artadama II, the rival to Tushrata for the throne of Mitanni, Suppiluliumas was able to conquer the capital Washukkani and Mitanni was turned into a vassal (See c. 1550–1250). The Hittites then attacked the Amorite kingdoms of northern Syria, and the two largest, Aleppo and Carchemish, were taken and given Hittite princes as kings (See 1365–1078). The wealthy coastal city-state of Ugarit paid tribute. Suppiluliumas also campaigned against the Kaska peoples, keeping them under control. Suppiluliumas fell victim to a plague, and his son, Arnuwandas II (1345–1344), died after only a year.  7
 
c. 1344–1250
 
THE HEIGHT OF THE HITTITE EMPIRE. In the early part of the reign of Mursilis II (1344–c. 1310), Ashur-Uballit I took Mitanni and annexed it to Assyria. Mursilis had more success against Arzawa in the west, defeating and killing its king. A revolt in Carchemish was pacified, and for many years he fought almost annual campaigns against the Kaska. Muwatallis (c. 1310–1280) inherited a powerful, well-organized empire from his father, but Ramses II was ambitious to regain Egypt's Syrian possessions and the inevitable battle was fought at Qadesh on the Orontes in 1286 (See 1305–1186). Ramses claimed a victory but probably falsely, as Muwatallis continued his advance as far as Damascus, and the Hittites retained firm control of northern Syria. During the king's absence in Syria, the Kaska again sacked Hattusas, and, perhaps as a result, Muwatillis moved his official residence to Tarhuntassa, somewhere in the Taurus Mountains. Urhiteshup (c. 1280), Muwatallis's oldest son by a royal concubine, was shortly deposed by his uncle Hattusilis III (c. 1280–1250). In 1270, Hattusilis signed an important treaty with Ramses II, setting a boundary between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires. The treaty was probably made to counter the growing threat of Assyria under Shalmeneser I (See 1365–1078). Hattusilis married Puduhepa, the daughter of a Hurrian priest from Kizzuwatna, and the couple issued edicts jointly. Hurrian influence appears in sculpture, particularly on the reliefs of Yazilikaya, with their enormous processions of gods.  8
 
c. 1250–1200
 
THE FALL OF THE HITTITE EMPIRE. Tudhaliyas IV (c. 1250–1225) was almost continuously at war in western Anatolia: fighting the kings of Arzawa, as well as the Ahhiyawa (probably Achaeans from the Greek mainland). He conquered the island of Cyprus (Alashiya) to obtain control of its copper deposits. In the reign of Arnuwandas III (c. 1225–1220), the situation in the western provinces abruptly worsened, and in the reign of Suppiluliumas II (c. 1220–1200) the final waves of the Sea Peoples (See 1224–1186) and Phrygians destroyed the empire.  9
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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