Episode 80 – Hittite 13 The Storm Before The Calm

Today the Hittite Empire will fall, pretty much completely, and be replaced by the western anatolian state of Arzawa. We have seen the Hittites beaten pretty badly before, and this is about as bad at it has ever gotten, with even the capitol Hattusa sacked and burned to the ground. But no matter how hard the Hittites get hit this episode, they have a secret weapon in their back pocket, king Tudhaliya III’s son and heir Suppiluliuma.

Is our king today Tudhaliya the 2nd or Tudhaliya the 3rd? You will see the matter written about differently in different places, but what is certain is that he carried the kingdom through its last great dark time, keeping it intact enough to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. There is a sense in which most history accounts of the younger Tudhaliya see him just as an anticipation of his son Suppliliuma, but lets make sure and give this king as much of his due as we can, for while some see a guy who lost huge chunks of territory, I see a man faced with greater challenges than ever before who weathered them as best he could.

I have found a very attractive map from just a little bit later on, which notes a few of the more obscure locations like Azzi-Hayasa

Click to zoom in, but that purple blob in modern Armenia is Hayasa, while the dark purple is Azzi-Hayasa. Hayasa in general seems to be either a region or ethnic group, while Azzi is one particular section within that group, though it honestly isn’t quite as clear cut as this map makes it out to be. Like all ancient world maps, these borders should be considered skeptically.

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