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 … Continue reading Episode 80 – Hittite 13 The Storm Before The Calm
Magic, science, and medicine are our topic today, focusing primarily one the good number of documents on these topics which survive from the Middle Hittite period. We are going to learn how to cure diseases like impotence and argumentativeness, and we are going to learn which animals are and are not ok to have sexual … Continue reading Episode 79 – Hittite 12 Magic and Medicine in Hattusa
Things are tough for the Hittite Empire. The vassals who promise to be loyal keep being disloyal, the enemies who promise to attack keep attacking, and we can’t even know for certain what the logistical situation looked like, though it was surely quite grim, given the number of folks who appear unwilling to show up … Continue reading Episode 78 – Hittite 11 Foreigners and Vassals of Hatti
We return to Anatolia, where our tale remains just as poorly documented and fast moving as it is in Babylon, thought there is light at the end of the tunnel this week as we finally get into the transition to the Hittite New Kingdom, with all the renewed conquest and court drama that entails. Actually, … Continue reading Episode 77 – Hittite 10 Idrimi’s Adventure and Tudhaliya’s Invasion
The Amarna letters are famous because nowhere else in bronze age history do we have a cache of documents quite like it. Thirteen letters from Kadashman-Enlil, and later his son Burna-Buriash, addressed to Pharoah Akhenaten of Egypt, give us insights into the nuts and bolts of bronze age international diplomacy that even most bronze age … Continue reading Episode 76 – Kassite 3 The Amarna Mailbag
The growth of Kassite Babylonia, also called Karduniash, continues apace. Just like last week, Kassite Babylonia is very poorly documented, and thus we are going to cover all the way from Pharaoh Thutmose III to Pharaoh Akhenaten. That’s right, Kassite Babylonia has so little history that we make our bookmarks against Egyptian history instead of … Continue reading Episode 75 – Kassite 2 Building Babylonia
Babylon is reborn! Following the decline and sack of Babylon, the entire region was devastated for decades. However, even in these ashes lay the seeds of a new growth, the Kassite Dynasty, which will emerge to rebuild not just Babylon but the whole region. This is a relatively poorly documented century, but a significant one, … Continue reading Episode 74 – Kassite 1 A New Dawn for Babylon
True crime! Corruption in city hall! A gang of thugs terrorizing a town! One of the most interesting finds in the town of Nuzi is a series of court documents which contain testemony about a large number of criminal activities by a gang of thugs, including men who have positions in city hall. Today we … Continue reading Episode 73 – Mitanni 8 Corruption in Nuzi
Happy Mesopotamian New Year! Akitu was celebrated at the start of the year from Sumerian times until the end of Babylonian civilization, and naturally the details changed significantly over the course of thousands of years. However, this is something of a reconstructed outline of what went on, with attention particularly paid both to the cultural … Continue reading Bonus 4 Akitu New Year Special
Today we have a very real discussion about some very real people, hearing from the Hurrians in their own words by looking at the goings on in a town called Nuzi. When two groups disagree about who is the rightful owner of some land, the matter gets resolved in a peaceful and civilized fashion, with … Continue reading Episode 72 – Mitanni 7 Lawyers of Nuzi
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