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Abstract

Administration of the Hittite Empire is a contentious topic among Hittitologists, with some arguing that most administrative activity took place on perishable records now lost to modern researchers. It is my contention that the Hittite administration preserved on clay tablets in the archives of Hattusa is sufficient for the Hittite state. Philological evidence for the system of perishable records is ambiguous and I argue that future research should be guided by reevaluating the needs of the Hittite state. Chapters 1 and 2 review previous and current models of the Hittite state, and conclude that a wealth-financed, religious oriented administration is most likely for the Anatolian heartland, with the remaining areas of the Empire allowed considerable autonomy. The remainder of this dissertation are offered as case studies towards proving this hypothesis. Chapters 3 studies the KASKAL series, which record the largest single collection of wealth in the Hittite administrative corpus. The objects of the KASKAL Main Text are examined in Chapter 4 and their value is compared to other sources of wealth available to the Hittites in Chapter 5. It cannot, as of yet, be concluded where the objects of the KASKAL Main Text were meant to go, though the endowment of a temple or large religious program in the “royal demesne” to the north of Hattusa is speculated. Chapter 6 examines the Hittite Votive Corpus, where it is shown that during the queenship of Puduhepa at least half, if not two-thirds, of all regular income from foreign tribute and gift exchange were spent as votive gifts, providing evidence for a wealth-financed religious system. However, it is also shown that the Hittite vow system was more geared towards regular expenditure than large bursts of wealth like the KASKAL text.

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