Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hittite’s Self-Image Characterized by Grandeur :: Hittite Culture Cultural History Essays

Hittite’s Self-Image Characterized by Grandeur The Hittite empire, like many others of the Bronze Age, arose at a time when new tactics and implements for fighting were being developed in abundance. Like many other empires of that time, the Hittites recognized the importance of protecting their lands and acquiring new ones. As the size and influence of the Hittite empire grew, it sometimes formed peaceful agreements with foreign lands. These agreements, however, primarily served their own interests. Evidence of the behavior of the Hittites found in primary documents reveals that they treated civilizations other than their own as their inferiors. Religion was central to the Hittite’s culture and they considered their devotion to it to be one of their primary strengths. The upkeep of Hittite religious institutions and their functionaries was a primary obligation of the commander of the Hittite border guards. A document containing instructions for that commander explains these responsibilities: â€Å"In the town through which the commander [passes]†¦ he shall attend to the necessary provisions for town-elders, priests, ‘anointed’ (and) mothers-of-god.† (par. 1) It was important to the Hittite king (also called the Sun) that all cities in the empire contain adequate sites for worship of the Hittite gods. This suggests that they believed paying tribute to the gods ensured them some sort of security or protection. In that same document it was stated, â€Å"The commander of the border guards shall make an inventory of the god’s utensils and send it before the Sun.† (par. 3) ‘Utensils’ probably refers to the possessions of the gods, perhaps including their temples, servants, and any commodities held in their name. A list of them was most likely held by the king so that what the Hittites had given to their gods was on record. The magnitude of religion in this civilization and the closeness of it to the military reveal that the favor of and protection from its gods gave its people a perceived power and authority that other civilizations lacked. Religion was also directly connected to imperial Hittite rule through the king. In a treaty between Mursilis, Sun of the Hittites, and Duppi-Tessub, king of Amurru, the preamble mentions that Mursilis was the â€Å"favorite of the Storm-god.

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