Orient
Online ISSN : 1884-1392
Print ISSN : 0473-3851
ISSN-L : 0473-3851
SPECIAL ISSUE: Royal Ideology, Cult and Administration in the Ancient Near East and the Bible
The Concept of Territories and Borders in Hittites’ Royal Ideology
Hajime YAMAMOTO
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2020 Volume 55 Pages 29-41

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present which components of the kingdom the Hittite kings recognized as their own lands. In the analysis, the usages of the Hittite verb maniyaḫḫ- ‘to govern’ and the noun irha-/arḫa- ‘border’ are examined to understand the Hittite concept of territories and borders. Their usages show that, in the Hittite ideology, the state gods were regarded as heavenly owners of the Hittite lands, and the kings were given rule over these lands as divine deputies on earth. Those lands were centered in the Anatolian heartland, but they also extended to Carchemiš in Northern Syria. The Hittites, however, believed that they were not supposed to expand their territories unlimitedly, but rather protect them, since national borders were regarded as equal to the body of the state gods.

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