The Hittites By Oliver Robert Gurney

The rediscovery of the ancient empire of the Hittites has been a major achievement of the last hundred years. Known from the Old Testament as one of the tribes occupying the Promised Land, the Hittites were in reality a powerful neighboring kingdom: highly advanced in political organization, administration of justice and military genius; with a literature inscribed in cuneiform writing on clay tablets; and with a rugged and individual figurative art, to be seen on stone monuments and on scattered rock faces in isolated areas. Newly revised and updated, this classic account reconstructs, in fascinating detail, a complete and balanced picture of Hittite civilization, using both established and more recent sources. The Hittites

The Hittites were a major power of the Ancient Near East, based in central Anatolia. At their height they were rivals and (rarely) allies of the Egyptian New Kingdom. The Hittite Empire was destroyed by the Sea Peoples during the Bronze Age collapse, save for a group of small successor kingdoms in northern Syria which lasted until overrun by the Assyrians. Other than a few terse references in the Old Testament, the Hittites were then forgotten until the discovery of their diplomatic letters in the Amarna cache, and the excavation of Hattusas, their capital.

This is a very readable general history of the Hittites: their religion, their politics, and their culture. It's a bit older, but, as far as I'm aware, there haven't been much in the way of important innovations in Hittiteology in the last thirty years.

Read in college, and re-read recently -- I was searching for my favorite example of elaborate (and, from the modern view, ridiculous) Hittite auguries. Unfortunately the examples of auguries in The Hittites were more prosaic, but I enjoyed the chapter enough that I went back to the beginning and re-read the whole thing. Still need to keep my eye out for the original source. Paperback Έχω μεγάλη αδυναμία στους Χετταίους. Μάλλον γιατί ακόμη κι η προγιαγιά μου τους ήξερε -για την ακρίβεια ήξερε την πρωτεύουσά τους τη Χαττούσσα, την οποία και μνημόνευε εις την ποντιακήν, όποτε ήθελε να πει ότι κάτι ήταν μακριά. Πάντως τους έχω αδυναμία φοβερή, γιαυτό κι όταν αποφάσισα να γράψω κάτι ψευδοελληνικό-ψευδοποντιακό, οι αντίπαλοι των ηρώων μου, αν και όχι οι κακοί, ήταν κάποιοι που έμοιαζαν με Χετταίους.

Για να κάνεις κάτι τέτοιο όμως χρειάζεσαι άπειρο διάβασμα. Κι έχω κάνει άπειρο χετταίϊκο διάβασμα. Και το βιβλίο του Γκάρνεϋ είναι από τα καλύτερα που έχω διαβάσει.

Απλό αλλά όχι απλοϊκό, λεπτομερές αλλά όχι μπουκωτικό και τίμιο στις πηγές και τις ιδέες του, ζωντανεύει με προσοχή και τρυφερότητα έναν λαό που για αιώνες είχε μείνει ξεχασμένος. Έναν λαό που κάποιοι (ναι, φίλτατε Ραμσή, εσένα εννοώ) προσπάθησαν να μας πείσουν ότι τον νίκησαν, ενώ παραλίγο να νικηθούν από αυτόν. Ένα λαό που πιθανόν να ήταν κοντινότερα στην ισότητα των δύο φύλων από εμάς, κοντινότερα στην ανεξιθρησκεία από εμάς και κοντινότερα στο απόλυτο δίκαιο από μας.

Σταματώ εδώ, τους αγαπώ τόσο πολύ, που μπορώ να γράφω γι' αυτούς για ώρες. Αν πετύχετε πουθενά το βιβλίο, διαβάστε το. Θα τους αγαπήσετε κι εσείς όπως κι εγώ. Paperback An introduction to the civilisation of the Hittites, a people who lived on the Anatolian plateau and also in what is now Syria, and were contemporaneous with other better known nations such as the Assyrians and Egyptians. It gives a good coverage of the various aspects, though the linguistics section is rather erudite, assuming knowledge of Latin and ancient Greek.

The version I read is an ex library discard, rather old, so I don't know how different the 1990 update is, which presumably itself is somewhat out of date, but this work still seems to be a basic primer on the subject. Paperback Until I read this book, I only had a very vague idea of the Hittites. I guess I got my ites mixed up, because I didn't realize they were one of the major ancient civilizations lost to history until the discovery of the Aleppo Stone in the 19th century. The Stone had all but been rubbed away by local inhabitants because they thought it was a cure for diseased eyes. A strange way to re-discover Asia Minor's most formidable people.

Mighty builders of empire and the most formidable foe of Ramesses II, the Hittites dominated Asia Minor for hundreds of years...and then vanished. Was it war? Fire? Famine? Disease? Did the Four Horsemen all visit at once?

What is this, O gods, that you have done? You have let in a plague and the Land of Hatti, all of it, is dying...

I believe the Hittites are connected to the Trojans. At the very least, Homer must have heard about their great debacle and used it for his Iliad. Were the Trojans actually the Hittites themselves? Or were they the next generation? So many questions, so few answers, as much is lost.

This is the Folio Society edition, which means I was scared to touch it. Gorgeous imprinted cover, drop-dead gorgeous typesetting, and color photographs that make the reader yearn for a little expedition to modern-day Turkey.

Book Season = Summer (but not for the beach) Paperback Lettlest og gir en grei oversikt over forksjellige aspekter ved Hetittene uten å gå noe speiselt i dybden på noe. Boka er opprinnelig fra 1950-tallet og bærer preg av det ved å til tider ha endel funky og litt gammeldagse vendinger i språk og omtale av forskjellige kulturer. Paperback

Oliver Robert Gurney Õ 6 Summary

Good introductory textbook. Not really light reading. Paperback a lot of the information is outdated but the presentation is very insightful and informative. A great introduction. Paperback 4 out of 5 stars - Full review can be found at -

Cons - No real wrap-up/reflection
- Some esoteric sections (Hittite and ancient Anatolian languages)
Pros - Great chapter on Hittite law
-Solid overview of much of everything
- Folio Society edition
- Extensive bibliography

Paperback Gurney's work is a solid overview of Hittite history, culture, religion, and mythology. - (from my Hittite/Hurrian Mythology REF in March 1996) Paperback An excellent introduction to the topic. Though there are more up-todate/indepth works on the Hittites, most notably Trevor Bryce's publications, Gurney's book should still be read. Firstly, it highlights how advanced our understanding of the Hittites was in the period between the 20s and the 50s, and in light of subsequent discoveries, how much there was still left to learn. Secondly, there is something to learn from his reference to theories that have now fallen out of favor, and thirdly its section on Hittite language is concise and very well written. There are a few negatives. The sections on art and literature felt a bit tacked on, though that may be a result of a lack of material at the time this book was published. This was the first book published for a english general readership - most of the Hittite scholarship of that time being in German and Czech. I would also deduct one star on this edition as the maps are inadequate. There are a number of sites referenced in the book that do not appear on the map or are obviously outside the view that the map takes. There are many landmarks in Anatolia that are also better known by their names from classical history that I feel would have benefitted from some sort of dual-labeling. Paperback