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Who Took the Oath on the Vassal Treaty: Only the Vassal King or also the Suzerain? – The Hittite Evidence

Pages 178 - 184



1 References to Hittite documents will be followed by their catalogue number according to E. Laroche, Catalogue des textes hittites, Paris 1971 (hereafter: CTH, followed by the number of the entry).

2 V. Korošec, Hethitische Staatsverträge, Leipziger rechtswissenschaftliche Studien 60, Leipzig 1931, 27–35, 100.

3 G. Beckman, Hittite Diplomatic Texts (edited by H.A. Hoffner, Jr.), Writings from the Ancient World series, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia, 2nd edition 1999, 2 (this assertion was already expressed in the first edition [1996, 2] of this book).

4 Dennis J. McCarthy, Treaty and Covenant, 2nd ed. Rome 1978: p. 80. This assertion, though somewhat more reserved, was expressed by him already in the first edition (1963: p. 47) of that book.

5 McCarthy pointed in this context also to a treaty with the Kaška, CTH 139: obv. ii, 8, and to an oath taken by a Hittite king to the SA.GAZ (Habiru) people (CTH 27). As far as the former case is concerned, I doubt if the statement in line 8 (“we”) refers indeed to the Hittite king, either with the Kaška or with his queen. It may rather be a quotation of the words declared by the Kaška only.

6 In the following references, I have generally adapted the translations of Beckman in his book (1999) mentioned above in note 2, save for minor modification.

7 The fact that the Hittite king should have taken an oath in this case is implied also from the words of that provision: it refer to any Hittite person that would seek evil against Aziru, and this should have included in the first place the Hittite king himself.

8 To this we may add also F 16‚-21’ provided the restorations of J. Friedrich, Staatsverträge des Hatti-Reiches in Hethitischer Sprache, 1. Teil: MVAeG 31, I, 1926, 142f., and of Beckman, Hittite Diplomatic Texts (note 2 above), 80, are valid.

9 For this category, see in details my book The Historical Prologue of the Hittite Vassal Treaties, Ramat Gan: Bar IIan University Press, Chapter XIV (in press).

10 Aziru: CTH 49.11: iii, 1‚-3’; Tette: CTH 53: A iii, 1–6; Duppi-Tessub: CTH 62.11: A i, 23‚-27’; ii, 25‚-29’; Niqmepa: CTH 66: §5 (lines 35–38)

11 Šunaššura: CTH 41.I: e.g. A i, 49–54 and passim; Ḫuqqana: CTH 42: A i, 31–40; iv, 41‚-46’; Niqmaddu: CTH 46: B obv. 3‚-20’; Aziru: CTH 49.II: iii, 1‚-3’; Tette: CTH 53: A iii, 1–6; Duppi-Teššub: CTH 62.11: A i, 23‚-27’; ii, 25‚-29’; Abiradda: CTH 63a: A ii, 8–18; Niqmepa: CTH 66: §5 (lines 35–38); Targašnalli: CTH 67: Obv. 41‚-rev. 1; Kupanta-Kurunta: CTH 68: §§23–24; Talmi-Šarrumma: CTH 75: A, rev. 3–16; Alakšandu: CTH 76: A i, 57’-79‚; B ii, 5–10; Bentešina: CTH 92: obv. 30–33; Ulmi-Teššub: CTH 105: obv. 7’-14′; rev. 21–27; Kurunta: H. Otten, Die Bronzetafel aus Boğazköy: Eine Staatsvertrag Tuthalijas IV, Studien zu den Boğazköy-Texten, Beiheft 1, Wiesbaden 1988: particularly ii 95-iii, 31;

12 So is the case in the treaties of Kurunta and Ulmi-Teššub, and the edict of Niqmaddu II, quoted above.

13 See in the Šattiwaza Declaration: CTH 52.I: rev. 44–53 (curses), 53–62. But see there in rev. 25–39 for formulating the curses and the blessings in the second person.

14 This is the case in the treaties of Ḫuqqana, Aziru, Šattiwaza, Tette, Duppi-Teššub, Niqmepa, Targašnalli, Manapa-Tarḫunta, and Alakšandu.

15 This is evidently the case with at least exemplar A or B, or both, of CTH 51.I, the treaty drawn up by Šuppiluliuma I to Šattiwaza of Mittani.

16 Philo H. J. Houwink ten Cate, Hittite royal Prayers, Numen 16, 1969, (81–98) 87; I. Singer, Hittite Prayers (edited by H.A. Hoffner, Jr.), Writings from the Ancient World series, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia, 2002, 12, with nos. 3 and 20 for two rare extant descriptions of the accompanied ceremonies and rituals.


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