Episode 83 – Hittite 15 Vengeance, Mortal and Divine

We have a bit of a hodge podge here as we finish up the reign of Suppiluliuma and move into his successors, Arnuwanda II and Mursili II. But there is a common thread of vengeance woven throughout. We will see the level of violence rise, both in terms of more combat which has been recorded and in the brutality that gets pulled out to deal with the defeated side in these wars. We will talk a little bit about military trends, particularly the balance of siegecraft and city defense, and some of the reasons for Hittite military dominance. Mursili is an interesting fellow, a mix of remarkable brutality and unusual piety, and the gods himself will treat with him in remarkable ways.

There are some serious dating issues here, and I have multiple parallel dates that are off by a good 15 years in both directions. In this episode I am quietly switching from a set of dates that I don’t even remember which paper I got them from over to Trevor Bryce’s dating system, mostly because if I stick to the system I was using, then it messes up Mursili’s eclipse and the standard dating for the battle of Kadesh, both of which are coming up soon. Anyway, precise dates are a mess, and most important is the order things happen in and the parallels in other kingdoms.

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