The Hurrian Song of Release is an odd text. Part wisdom, part legend, the best we can guess is that it was a set of rituals, cultural memories, and advice to accompany what may have been a monumental life event, when a debtor or perhaps slave was released from bondage. Or perhaps when a whole … Continue reading Episode 71 – Mitanni 6 Hurrian Wisdom
Finishing up the Kumarbi Cycle with the biggest of monsters, the Song of Hedammu and the Song of Ullikummi are the two tales that see some actual character development, as Ea, god of wisdom, slowly moves out of Kumarbi’s camp and is finally convinced to begin supporting Tessub as rightful king of heaven. A massive … Continue reading Episode 70 – Mitanni 5 Mighty Monsters of Mitanni
The Song of Lamma and the song of Silver, two further adventures in the Kumarbi cycle. Tessub may be the Hurrian king in heaven, but Kumarbi still wants to pull him down, and hatches scheme after scheme to defeat his usurper. Lamma is an obscure god, possibly a Lamassu, possibly the god Karhuhi, but he … Continue reading Episode 69 – Mitanni 4 Kumarbi Strikes Back
Today we begin the great epic of the Hurrians, the Kumarbi cycle, which in multiple fragmentary episodes discusses the multiple conflicts over kingship that the Hurrian gods have with each other. Focusing particularly on the battle between Tessub and Kumarbi, it draws in a number of gods from both native Hurrian as well as southern … Continue reading Episode 68 – Mitanni 3 The Song of Kumarbi
This may be the late bronze age, but it is the golden age of chariot warfare. To a great degree, the power of the great kingdoms is all built upon chariot warfare, from the Maryannu elites of Mitanni to the heavy chariots of the Hittites, to the personal valor of the Egyptian pharoahs, to the … Continue reading Episode 67 – Mitanni 2 Late Bronze Age Warfare
The world of the Late Bronze Age is expanding, and today we introduce the two final players to the near east battleground. Egypt is probably familiar to many, though worth a bit of an introduction to see what exactly the Nile valley is doing to bring it into our story. Mitanni, however, and its people, … Continue reading Episode 66 – Mitanni 1 Entering the Arena
The Hittites are not going to exceed the heights of king Mursili for a long, long time, if indeed they ever do. Today we are going to look at a dark century of decline, as the Kaskans and Hurrians press on the ever shrinking borders, and kings begin to off each other right and left … Continue reading Episode 65 – Hittite 9 Disorder in the Court
Part two of daily life in Anatolia under the Hittites continues where we left off last time. And also doesn’t get as far as I had planned this time either, but it turns out that we just have a lot of great detail about how people lived in late bronze age Anatolia. We discuss the … Continue reading Episode 64 – Hittite 8 Village Economics
Daily life for the average Anatolian living under the Hittites was not all that terrible, and though much of it is poorly documented, there are still quite a bit we can say about how it may have looked to be an inhabitant of one of the many villages that dotted the valleys of Anatolia. These … Continue reading Episode 63 – Hittite 7 Village People
Mursili I destroyed two empires, plundering Aleppo and Babylon, and ruled for thirty of the best years in Hittite history. His conquests would pave the way for the great battles of the late bronze age. And yet he is almost completely obscure, despite being the singular catalyst for everything that was to come. Today I … Continue reading Episode 62 – Hittite 6 The Man Who Changed The World, Mursili I
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