Cultures > Hittites

Hittites

Background

One of a group of Indo-European speaking peoples intrusive to Anatolia, the Hittites rose from a modest city state to establish first a kingdom on the central plateau and then an empire that fought with the kings of Babylon and Assyria, the Hurrians, and the pharaohs of Egypt for control of SE Anatolia, Syria and Palestine, and contended with one or more Mycenaean Greek kings over western Asia Minor. One of their many vassal states was Wilusa, certainly to be identified with Troy. The multiethnic Hittite kingdom absorbed heavy cultural influence from many peoples and played a role in transmitting Ancient Near Eastern culture to the Greeks. A combination of factors, including the assaults of the “Sea Peoples”, brought an end to the Hittite Empire shortly after 1200 BCE, but some former subordinate states inherited their name and culture and maintained a degree of independence for several centuries until conquered by the Assyrians. It is these “Neo-Hittite” states that are represented in the “Hittites” of the Old Testament.

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

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