This is the first book-length collection in English of letters from the ancient kingdom of the Hittites. All known well-preserved examples, including the important corpus of letters from the provincial capital of Tapikka, are reproduced here in romanized transcription and English translation, accompanied by introductory essays, explanatory notes on the text and its translation, and a complete description of the rules of Hittite correspondence compared with that of other ancient Middle Eastern states. Letters containing correspondence between kings and their foreign peers, between kings and their officials in the provinces, and between these officials themselves reveal rich details of provincial administration, the relationships and duties of the officials, and tantalizing glimpses of their private lives. Matters discussed include oversight of agriculture, tax liabilities, litigation, inheritance rights, defense against hostile groups on the kingdom’s periphery, and consulting the gods by means of oracular procedures.
Harry A. Hoffner Jr. is the John A. Wilson Professor of Hittitology Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the founding editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the author of over 20 books on the Hittites and the ancient Near East, and the co-author of the definitive grammar of the Hittite language.
“This fine volume will become a standard source for Hittite history, politics and society.”
— A. R. Millard, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament