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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Coined erroneously in the early 20th century in confusion with the neighbouring Hattites (Hattic) whose language was recorded in discovered texts as hasili. It is now known that the Hittites called themselves nesili (pertaining to the city of Nesa), hence the less popular alternative name Nesite or Neshite.




Hittite (plural Hittites)

  1. A person of the Hittite Kingdom.

Derived terms


Proper noun




  1. The Hittite language.



Hittite (comparative more Hittite, superlative most Hittite)


more Hittite

most Hittite

  1. Of or relating to the Hittite people.
  2. Of or relating to the Hittite language, An Indo-European language of the Anatolian branch.
  3. Of or relating to the Hittite Kingdom, located in central Anatolia (modern Turkey), that flourished from about 1800 to 1400 BCE.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
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From BibleWiki

Palestine and Syria appear to have been originally inhabited by three different tribes. (1.) The Semites, living on the east of the isthmus of Suez. They were nomadic and pastoral tribes. (2.) The Phoenicians, who were merchants and traders; and (3.) the Hittites, who were the warlike element of this confederation of tribes. They inhabited the whole region between the Euphrates and Damascus, their chief cities being Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Kadesh, now Tell Neby Mendeh, in the Orontes valley, about six miles south of the Lake of Homs. These Hittites seem to have risen to great power as a nation, as for a long time they were formidable rivals of the Egyptian and Assyrian empires. In the book of Joshua they always appear as the dominant race to the north of Galilee.

Somewhere about the twenty-third century B.C. the Syrian confederation, led probably by the Hittites, arched against Lower Egypt, which they took possession of, making Zoan their capital. Their rulers were the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. They were at length finally driven out of Egypt. Rameses II. sought vengeance against the "vile Kheta," as he called them, and encountered and defeated them in the great battle of Kadesh, four centuries after Abraham. (See JOSHUA.)

They are first referred to in Scripture in the history of Abraham, who bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and the cave of Machpelah (Gen 15:20: 23:3-18). They were then settled at Kirjath-arba. From this tribe Esau took his first two wives (26:34; 36:2).

They are afterwards mentioned in the usual way among the inhabitants of the Promised Land (Ex 23:28). They were closely allied to the Amorites, and are frequently mentioned along with them as inhabiting the mountains of Palestine. When the spies entered the land they seem to have occupied with the Amorites the mountain region of Judah (Num 13:29). They took part with the other Canaanites against the Israelites (Josh 9:1; 11:3).

After this there are few references to them in Scripture. Mention is made of "Ahimelech the Hittite" (1Sam 26:6), and of "Uriah the Hittite," one of David's chief officers (2 Sam 23:39; 1Chr 11:41). In the days of Solomon they were a powerful confederation in the north of Syria, and were ruled by "kings." They are met with after the Exile still a distinct people (Ez 9:1; comp. Neh 13:23-28).

The Hebrew merchants exported horses from Egypt not only for the kings of Israel, but also for the Hittites (1 Kg 10:28, 29). From the Egyptian monuments we learn that "the Hittites were a people with yellow skins and 'Mongoloid' features, whose receding foreheads, oblique eyes, and protruding upper jaws are represented as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on those of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of caricaturing their enemies. The Amorites, on the contrary, were a tall and handsome people. They are depicted with white skins, blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in fact, of the white race" (Sayce's The Hittites). The original seat of the Hittite tribes was the mountain ranges of Taurus. They belonged to Asia Minor, and not to Syria.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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[[File:|thumb|200px|The Hittite Empire at its peak. Hittites:blue; Mycenaean Greeks:pink; Assyria:green; Egypt: yellow)]][[File:|thumb|200px|Sun disks found in the royal tombs at Alaca Hüyük point to possible Indo-European influence.]]

Relief of Suppiluliuma II, last known king of the Hittite Empire

The Hittites were an ancient people from Anatolia who spoke an Indo-European language. They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia from the 18th century BC.

At its peak, the Hittite Empire covered most of modern Turkey and Syria. This was under the reigns of Suppiluliuma I (~1350–1322) and Mursili II (~1321–1295 BC). They had up-and-down relationships with Ancient Egypt to the south, and the Assyrian Empire in Mesopotamia. They were a party to the first known peace treaty, which was made with Ramesses II of Egypt by Hattusili III in 1258 BC.

After 1180 BC, the empire disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some surviving until as late as the 8th century BC.


Empire of Suppiluliuma and Mursili II

The Hittite Kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of Suppiluliuma I (~1350–1322).[1] The kingdom of Mitanni, wracked by civil war, was unable to withstand the Hittite onslaught. Suppiluliuma swiftly attacked the Mitanni heartland, capturing and plundering the Mitanni capital of Washshuganni. He then turned west, recrossed the Euphrates and captured all the Syrian kingdoms which were vassals to the Mitanni, including Aleppo, Mukish, Niya, Qatna, Upi (Upina), and Kadesh. Other kingdoms such as Ugarit and Amurru (an Egyptian vassal) voluntarily became vassal states of the Hittites.[1]

When hostilities flared up once more with Mitanni, Tulipinu, Suppiluliuma's son and viceroy at Aleppo invaded Carchemish but was unable to take the city. Suppiluliuma met with his son and then invaded Syria himself, laying siege to the city of Carchemish. Suppiluliuma broke the siege on the eighth day, installing his son Piyassili as viceroy of the kingdom. With his sons as viceroys of Aleppo and Carchemish, Suppiluliuma had cemented his rule over Syria and brought the empire of Mitanni to an end. The Mitanni King was assassinated soon after.[1]

The murdered prince

When Tutankhamun, the Egyptian Pharaoh died, to Suppiluliuma's amazement, Tutankhamun's wife asked him to marry one of their sons. Suppiluliuma sent an envoy to Egypt to confirm this message. After meeting with his returning ambassador and an Egyptian envoy, Suppiluliuma agreed to send his son Zannanza to Egypt to marry the queen. However, Zannanza was assassinated en route to Egypt. Suppiluliuma was furious and blamed the new Egyptian Pharaoh Ay for his son's death. A Hittite army under crown prince Arnuwanda invaded Egyptian territory from Syria, pillaging and taking many prisoners. These prisoners brought with them a plague which ravaged the Hittite Kingdom continuing well into Mursili's reign and may have killed Suppiluliuma himself.[1]

Mursili II

Mursili II was young and inexperienced, but he proved to be a strong king. In the first years of his reign he carried out punitive campaigns against several kingdoms. In Syria the Nuhashshi king Tette rebelled and was joined by Egyptian troops. Troubles in Syria continued when Mursili brothers Tulipinu and Piyassili both died. The loss of his Syrian viceroys led to rebellion and even the invasion of Carchemish by Assyria. Leaving his generals to deal with Syria and Hayasa, Mursili invaded Carchemish and drove out the Assyrians.[1] Later in his reign Mursili II campaigned against the Kaska once again retaking the Hittite holy city of Nerik. He also decisively defeating the King of Tummanna.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Trevor R. Bryce 2005. The Kingdom of the Hittites.


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