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Hittites history and features of their culture

Hittite image

The city-state of "Hittite" appears in the Mesopotamian civilization.

This kingdom was very good at manufacturing iron.

To other neighboring peoples, the Hittites kept their iron manufacturing methods as a state secret.

Why was such the nation destroyed?

History of the Hittites

The Hittite Kingdom has three chronological divisions.

Old Hittite Kingdom → Middle Hittite Kingdom → New Hittite Kingdom

The history of the Hittites has been largely unraveled by the following found in the Hittite Kingdom, Egypt, and the Middle East:

  • Ancient documents in cuneiform script
  • Diplomatic and commercial documents

The following is a detailed account of the history of the Hittites from the time of their ancient kingdom until their destruction by the Sea Peoples.

Old Hittite Kingdom

In the Hittite Kingdom, kingdoms came and went.

In other words, strong kings ruled and weak kings perished.

This was repeated many times throughout the 500-year history of the Hittite Kingdom.

One of the reasons for the political instability in the ancient Hittite kingdom seems to have been the nature of kingship.

People image

A living god...!

Like the pharaohs (kings) of ancient Egypt, the Hittite kings were not seen by the citizens as the "living god".

Rather, it was seen among the citizens as follows.

People image

First place.

However, the lack of absoluteness towards the king caused anxiety.

Middle Hittite Kingdom

The Hittites also had a period called the Middle Kingdom of the Hittites, but few records exist, perhaps because of the rapid changes in kingship.

All that is known is that a rather weak kingdom lasted for 70 years.

Hittite Empire Period

The period of the New Hittite Kingdom is also known as the "Hittite Empire Period".

This is the only time when the Hittite period, which has not been so prominent in previous eras, is much in the spotlight.

Noteworthy about this period is the achievements as a pioneer in international politics and diplomacy, which include treaties and alliances with neighboring countries.

These achievements strengthened the kingship and led to the migration of Hittites during the imperial period.

During this period, kingship became hereditary.

Image of a king of Mesopotamia (Babylonia)

I have a god-like atmosphere, huh?

People image

Ah, my sun!

The people started calling the king like that.

So King Hittite acted as a priest and did the following:

  • Visit each Hittite city every year
  • Perform rituals
  • Oversee the cost of maintaining the sanctuary

He also planned a political marriage in an attempt to form an alliance with ancient Egypt.

However, the Hittite king's son was assassinated before reaching his destination, and this alliance was never formed.

What is the Battle of Kadesh?

The Battle of Kadesh was a battle between ancient Egypt and the Hittites.

It was the first official war ever recorded in military records.

Hittite prosperity depended heavily on trade and mining.

For areas where trade and mining are thriving,

People image

We have to somehow protect here ...!

The Hittite people thought so.

But then Egypt invaded.

The outcome of this battle is ambiguous, but it seems that the Hittites were not completely victorious because Egyptian reinforcements arrived just in time.

Also, the Egyptian army suffered heavy losses, so they may not have had the strength to fight to a decisive end.

Destruction by the Sea Peoples?

From this time on, the power of the Hittites began to wane with the rise of Assyria.

The Assyrians emerged as a threat to the Hittites' important trade routes, as powerful as Egypt had once been.

To learn more about the history of this new threat,

What is Assyria? The History that Gave Birth to Centralized Power, Explained in Plain English!

Please read this article.

In response to the Assyrian invasion of their borders, the Hittites made the "Peace of Kadesh" with ancient Egypt.

Image of a king of Mesopotamia (Babylonia)

Please get my daughter.

Pharaoh image

Oh, you are the daughter of King Hittite.

The King of Hittites gave his daughter to Egyptian Pharaoh (King) in marriage.

This is said to be one of the oldest treaties in history that has survived in its complete form.

The clay tablet containing the world's oldest peace treaty is displayed in the headquarters building of the United Nations, which is dedicated to the idea of peace.

And the time of the last Hittite king.

At this time, he won several victories, including a naval battle against the Sea Peoples, but it was too little, too late.

The invasion of the Sea Peoples led to the severing of important trade routes and the Hittite homeland was attacked from all directions.

The Hittite kingdom disappeared from history as a result of this attack.

On the other hand, recent studies have shown that below.

Scholarly image

Three generations of civil strife in the final years of the kingdom led to severe food shortages and other problems.

One of the reasons for the destruction of the Hittites may have been that they had already lost the strength to maintain the kingdom.

Who are the Hittites?

The Hittites were divided into several groups and lived mainly in cities.

However, rulers of powerful groups brought these cities together.

This is where the Hittite kingdom was founded.

The early Hittites adopted much from the ancient peoples of Hatti.

For example, their culture and cuneiform writing.

In particular, the Hatti language continued to be used for religious purposes, and there seems to have been considerable continuity between the Hatti and Hittite cultures.

Iron Culture of the Hittites

The Hittites are believed to have been the first to establish an "iron culture" using iron through their iron-making technology at a time when other peoples could only produce bronze.

They are said to have conquered the Mesopotamian region (part of present-day Iraq) with their advanced technology.

Furthermore, the powerful weapons produced by this iron-making technology brought the Hittites into conflict with ancient Egypt and other nations.

However, about this iron manufacturing technology, 

Image of a king of Mesopotamia (Babylonia)

It is a national secret.

They had such the policy, so it was never passed on to the surrounding peoples.

However, when the Hittites were destroyed by the attack of the Sea Peoples,

People image

The secret of Hittite iron manufacturing will be revealed, lucky♪

The surrounding peoples became aware of it.

At the same time, social changes took place and the main powers in the Orient, which are now the Middle East and Egypt, perished.

It seems that all of the countries that thrived or survived afterwards were equipped with iron manufacturing technology.

Who are the Sea Peoples?

The people of the sea are mainly

  • Greek immigrants
  • Greek-speaking intruders
  • People from Central Europe and the Italian Peninsula

It is said that they were the catalyst for the formation of this era.

There is a reason to be told this.

Scholarly image

Burned to the ground by the Sea Peoples?

This is evidenced by the discovery of numerous Italianate ceramics and bronze weapons among the ruins of cities thought to have been burned to the ground by the Sea Peoples.

There is no doubt that many rich cities were destroyed by the invasion of the Sea Peoples.

They also did not try to preserve their wealth and culture, which is why there is so much mystery.

Here are some other theories about the Sea Peoples.

According to many historical accounts, the ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian nations utilized mercenaries.

Scholarly image

These mercenary groups were the Sea Peoples, and that they teamed up with the slaves of the land to disrupt society and state structures.

Some believe that this is the case.

There is much more to the history of Mesopotamian civilization.

To learn more about the history of Mesopotamian civilization,

What is the Mesopotamian civilization, and here's a quick rundown of six features!

Please also read this article.

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