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v t e

Mitanni
Mitanni
(/mɪˈtæni/; Hittite cuneiform KUR
KUR
URUMi-ta-an-ni; Mittani Mi-it-ta-ni), also called Hanigalbat (Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) in Assyrian or Naharin in Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from c. 1500–1300 BC. Mitanni
Mitanni
came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Amorite[1] Babylon
Babylon
and a series of ineffectual Assyrian kings created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia. At the beginning of its history, Mitanni's major rival was Egypt under the Thutmosids. However, with the ascent of the Hittite Empire, Mitanni
Mitanni
and Egypt made an alliance to protect their mutual interests from the threat of Hittite domination. At the height of its power, during the 14th century BC, Mitanni
Mitanni
had outposts centred on its capital, Washukanni, whose location has been determined by archaeologists to be on the headwaters of the Khabur River. The Mitanni
Mitanni
dynasty ruled over the northern Euphrates- Tigris
Tigris
region between c. 1475 and c. 1275 BC. Eventually, Mitanni
Mitanni
succumbed to Hittite and later Assyrian attacks and was reduced to the status of a province of the Middle Assyrian Empire. While the Mitanni
Mitanni
kings were Indo-Iranians, they used the language of the local people, which was at that time a non Indo-Iranian language, Hurrian. Their sphere of influence is shown in Hurrian
Hurrian
place names, personal names and the spread through Syria and the Levant
Levant
of a distinct pottery type.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Name 3 People 4 History

4.1 Summary 4.2 Early kingdom 4.3 Barattarna
Barattarna
/ Parsha(ta)tar 4.4 Shaushtatar 4.5 Artatama I and Shuttarna II 4.6 Artashumara and Tushratta 4.7 Shattiwaza / Kurtiwaza 4.8 Shattuara I 4.9 Wasashatta 4.10 Shattuara II 4.11 Hanigalbat as an Assyrian province

5 Indo-Aryan superstrate 6 Mitanni
Mitanni
rulers 7 Legacy 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Sources 12 External links

Geography The Mitanni
Mitanni
controlled trade routes down the Khabur to Mari and up the Euphrates
Euphrates
from there to Carchemish. For a time they also controlled the Assyrian territories of the upper Tigris
Tigris
and its headwaters at Nineveh, Arbil, Assur
Assur
and Nuzi. Their allies included Kizuwatna
Kizuwatna
in southeastern Anatolia, Mukish which stretched between Ugarit
Ugarit
and Quatna
Quatna
west of the Orontes to the sea, and the Niya which controlled the east bank of the Orontes from Alalah
Alalah
down through Aleppo, Ebla
Ebla
and Hama
Hama
to Qatna
Qatna
and Kadesh. To the east, they had good relations with the Kassites.[2] The land of Mitanni
Mitanni
in northern Syria extended from the Taurus mountains
Taurus mountains
to its west and as far east as Nuzi
Nuzi
(modern Kirkuk) and the river Tigris
Tigris
in the east. In the south, it extended from Aleppo
Aleppo
across (Nuhashshe) to Mari on the Euphrates
Euphrates
in the east. Its centre was in the Khabur River valley, with two capitals: Taite and Washshukanni
Washshukanni
called Taidu and Ushshukana respectively in Assyrian sources. The whole area supports agriculture without artificial irrigation and cattle, sheep and goats were raised. It is very similar to Assyria
Assyria
in climate, and was settled by both indigenous Hurrian
Hurrian
and Amoritic-speaking (Amurru) populations. Name The Mitanni
Mitanni
kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri
Hurri
by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably, according to Michael C. Astour.[3] Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri
Hurri
(Ḫu-ur-ri), located in northeastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a "King of the Hurri". The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders "Hurri" as Hanigalbat. Tushratta, who styles himself "king of Mitanni" in his Akkadian
Akkadian
Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.[4] Egyptian sources call Mitanni
Mitanni
"nhrn", which is usually pronounced as Naharin/Naharina [5] from the Assyro- Akkadian
Akkadian
word for "river", cf. Aram-Naharaim. The name Mitanni
Mitanni
is first found in the "memoirs" of the Syrian wars (c. 1480 BC) of the official astronomer and clockmaker Amenemhet, who returned from the "foreign country called Me-ta-ni" at the time of Thutmose I.[6] The expedition to the Naharina announced by Thutmosis I
Thutmosis I
at the beginning of his reign[7] may have actually taken place during the long previous reign of Amenhotep I[8] Helck believes that this was the expedition mentioned by Amenhotep II. People The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni
Mitanni
is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses.[9] Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language,[9][10] but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.[11] The names of the Mitanni
Mitanni
aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin, but it is specifically their deities which show Indo-Aryan roots (Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nasatya), though some think that they are more immediately related to the Kassites.[12] The common people's language, the Hurrian
Hurrian
language, is neither Indo-European nor Semitic.[13] Hurrian
Hurrian
is related to Urartian, the language of Urartu, both belonging to the Hurro- Urartian language
Urartian language
family. It had been held that nothing more can be deduced from current evidence.[14] A Hurrian passage in the Amarna letters
Amarna letters
– usually composed in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the day – indicates that the royal family of Mitanni
Mitanni
was by then speaking Hurrian
Hurrian
as well. Bearers of names in the Hurrian language
Hurrian language
are attested in wide areas of Syria and the northern Levant
Levant
that are clearly outside the area of the political entity known to Assyria
Assyria
as Hanilgalbat. There is no indication that these persons owed allegiance to the political entity of Mitanni; although the German term Auslandshurriter ("Hurrian expatriates") has been used by some authors. In the 14th century BC numerous city-states in northern Syria and Canaan
Canaan
were ruled by persons with Hurrian
Hurrian
and some Indo-Aryan names. If this can be taken to mean that the population of these states was Hurrian
Hurrian
as well, then it is possible that these entities were a part of a larger polity with a shared Hurrian
Hurrian
identity. This is often assumed, but without a critical examination of the sources. Differences in dialect and regionally different pantheons (Hepat/Shawushka, Sharruma/Tilla etc.) point to the existence of several groups of Hurrian
Hurrian
speakers. History No native sources for the history of Mitanni
Mitanni
have been found so far. The account is mainly based on Assyrian, Hittite, and Egyptian sources, as well as inscriptions from nearby places in Syria. Often it is not even possible to establish synchronicity between the rulers of different countries and cities, let alone give uncontested absolute dates. The definition and history of Mitanni
Mitanni
is further beset by a lack of differentiation between linguistic, ethnic and political groups. Summary It is believed that the warring Hurrian
Hurrian
tribes and city states became united under one dynasty after the collapse of Babylon
Babylon
due to the Hittite sack by Mursili I and the Kassite invasion. The Hittite conquest of Aleppo
Aleppo
(Yamhad), the weak middle Assyrian kings who succeeded Puzur- Ashur III, and the internal strife of the Hittites
Hittites
had created a power vacuum in upper Mesopotamia. This led to the formation of the kingdom of Mitanni. King Barattarna
Barattarna
of Mitanni
Mitanni
expanded the kingdom west to Halab
Halab
(Aleppo) and made the Canaanite[citation needed] king Idrimi
Idrimi
of Alalakh
Alalakh
his vassal. The state of Kizzuwatna
Kizzuwatna
in the west also shifted its allegiance to Mitanni, and Assyria
Assyria
in the east had become largely a Mitannian vassal state by the mid-15th century BC. The nation grew stronger during the reign of Shaushtatar
Shaushtatar
but the Hurrians
Hurrians
were keen to keep the Hittites
Hittites
inside the Anatolian highland. Kizzuwatna
Kizzuwatna
in the west and Ishuwa in the north were important allies against the hostile Hittites. After a few successful clashes with the Pharaohs
Pharaohs
over the control of Syria, Mitanni
Mitanni
sought peace with Egypt and an alliance was formed. During the reign of Shuttarna in the early 14th century BC the relationship was very amicable, and he sent his daughter Gilu-Hepa to Egypt for a marriage with Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Amenhotep III. Mitanni
Mitanni
was now at its peak of power. However, by the reign of Eriba-Adad I (1390–1366 BC) Mitanni influence over Assyria
Assyria
was on the wane. Eriba-Adad I became involved in a dynastic battle between Tushratta and his brother Artatama II and after this his son Shuttarna II, who called himself king of the Hurri while seeking support from the Assyrians. A pro-Hurri/ Assyria
Assyria
faction appeared at the royal Mitanni
Mitanni
court. Eriba-Adad I had thus loosened Mitanni
Mitanni
influence over Assyria, and in turn had now made Assyria
Assyria
an influence over Mitanni
Mitanni
affairs.[15] King Ashur-Uballit I (1365–1330 BC) of Assyria
Assyria
attacked Shuttarna and annexed Mittani territory in the middle of the 14th century BC, making Assyria
Assyria
once more a great power.[16] At the death of Shuttarna, Mitanni
Mitanni
was ravaged by a war of succession. Eventually Tushratta, a son of Shuttarna, ascended the throne, but the kingdom had been weakened considerably and both the Hittite and Assyrian threats increased. At the same time, the diplomatic relationship with Egypt went cold, the Egyptians
Egyptians
fearing the growing power of the Hittites
Hittites
and Assyrians. The Hittite king Suppiluliuma I invaded the Mitanni
Mitanni
vassal states in northern Syria and replaced them with loyal subjects. In the capital Washukanni, a new power struggle broke out. The Hittites
Hittites
and the Assyrians supported different pretenders to the throne. Finally a Hittite army conquered the capital Washukanni
Washukanni
and installed Shattiwaza, the son of Tushratta, as their vassal king of Mitanni
Mitanni
in the late 14th century BC. The kingdom had by now been reduced to the Khabur Valley. The Assyrians had not given up their claim on Mitanni, and in the 13th century BC, Shalmaneser I
Shalmaneser I
annexed the kingdom. Early kingdom As early as Akkadian
Akkadian
times, Hurrians
Hurrians
are known to have lived east of the river Tigris
Tigris
on the northern rim of Mesopotamia, and in the Khabur Valley. The group which became Mitanni
Mitanni
gradually moved south into Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
before the 17th century BC. Hurrians
Hurrians
are mentioned in the private Nuzi
Nuzi
texts, in Ugarit, and the Hittite archives in Hattushsha (Boğazköy). Cuneiform texts from Mari mention rulers of city-states in upper Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
with both Amurru (Amorite) and Hurrian
Hurrian
names. Rulers with Hurrian
Hurrian
names are also attested for Urshum and Hashshum, and tablets from Alalakh
Alalakh
(layer VII, from the later part of the old-Babylonian period) mention people with Hurrian
Hurrian
names at the mouth of the Orontes. There is no evidence for any invasion from the North-east. Generally, these onomastic sources have been taken as evidence for a Hurrian
Hurrian
expansion to the South and the West. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a "King of the Hurrians" (LUGAL ERÍN.MEŠ Hurri). This terminology was last used for King Tushratta of Mitanni, in a letter in the Amarna archives. The normal title of the king was 'King of the Hurri-men' (without the determinative KUR
KUR
indicating a country). It is believed that the warring Hurrian
Hurrian
tribes and city states became united under one dynasty after the collapse of Babylon
Babylon
due to the Hittite sack by Mursili I and the Kassite invasion. The Hittite conquest of Aleppo
Aleppo
(Yamkhad), the weak middle Assyrian kings, and the internal strifes of the Hittites
Hittites
had created a power vacuum in upper Mesopotamia. This led to the formation of the kingdom of Mitanni. The legendary founder of the Mitannian dynasty was a king called Kirta, who was followed by a king Shuttarna. Nothing is known about these early kings. Barattarna
Barattarna
/ Parsha(ta)tar Main article: Parshatatar King Barattarna
Barattarna
is known from a cuneiform tablet in Nuzi
Nuzi
and an inscription by Idrimi
Idrimi
of Alalakh.[17] Egyptian sources do not mention his name; that he was the king of Naharin whom Thutmose III
Thutmose III
fought against in the 15th century BC can only be deduced from assumptions. Whether Parsha(ta)tar, known from another Nuzi
Nuzi
inscription, is the same as Barattarna, or a different king, is debated. Under the rule of Thutmose III, Egyptian troops crossed the Euphrates and entered the core lands of Mitanni. At Megiddo, he fought an alliance of 330 Mitanni
Mitanni
princes and tribal leaders under the ruler of Kadesh. See Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC). Mitanni
Mitanni
had sent troops as well. Whether this was done because of existing treaties, or only in reaction to a common threat, remains open to debate. The Egyptian victory opened the way north. Thutmose III
Thutmose III
again waged war in Mitanni
Mitanni
in the 33rd year of his rule. The Egyptian army crossed the Euphrates
Euphrates
at Carchemish
Carchemish
and reached a town called Iryn (maybe present day Erin, 20 km northwest of Aleppo.) They sailed down the Euphrates
Euphrates
to Emar
Emar
(Meskene) and then returned home via Mitanni. A hunt for elephants at Lake Nija was important enough to be included in the annals. This was impressive PR, but did not lead to any permanent rule.[citation needed] Only the area at the middle Orontes and Phoenicia
Phoenicia
became part of Egyptian territory. Victories over Mitanni
Mitanni
are recorded from the Egyptian campaigns in Nuhashshe (middle part of Syria). Again, this did not lead to permanent territorial gains. Barattarna
Barattarna
or his son Shaushtatar controlled the North Mitanni
Mitanni
interior up to Nuhashshe, and the coastal territories from Kizzuwatna
Kizzuwatna
to Alalakh
Alalakh
in the kingdom of Mukish at the mouth of the Orontes. Idrimi
Idrimi
of Alalakh, returning from Egyptian exile, could only ascend his throne with Barattarna's consent. While he got to rule Mukish and Ama'u, Aleppo
Aleppo
remained with Mitanni. Shaushtatar Main article: Shaushtatar

Šauštatar's royal seal

Shaushtatar, king of Mitanni, sacked the Assyrian capital of Assur some time in the 15th century during the reign of Nur-ili, and took the silver and golden doors of the royal palace to Washshukanni.[18] This is known from a later Hittite document, the Suppililiuma- Shattiwaza treaty. After the sack of Assur, Assyria
Assyria
may have paid tribute to Mitanni
Mitanni
up to the time of Eriba- Adad
Adad
I (1390–1366 BC). There is no trace of that in the Assyrian king lists; therefore it is probable that Ashur was ruled by a native Assyrian dynasty owing sporadic allegiance to the house of Shaushtatar. While a sometime vassal of Mitanni, the temple of Sin and Shamash
Shamash
was built in Ashur. The states of Aleppo
Aleppo
in the west, and Nuzi
Nuzi
and Arrapha
Arrapha
in the east, seem to have been incorporated into Mitanni
Mitanni
under Shaushtatar
Shaushtatar
as well. The palace of the crown prince, the governor of Arrapha
Arrapha
has been excavated. A letter from Shaushtatar
Shaushtatar
was discovered in the house of Shilwe-Teshup. His seal shows heroes and winged geniuses fighting lions and other animals, as well as a winged sun. This style, with a multitude of figures distributed over the whole of the available space, is taken as typically Hurrian. A second seal, belonging to Shuttarna I, but used by Shaushtatar, found in Alalakh, shows a more traditional Assyro- Akkadian
Akkadian
style. The military superiority of Mitanni
Mitanni
was probably based on the use of two-wheeled war-chariots, driven by the 'Marjannu' people. A text on the training of war-horses, written by a certain " Kikkuli the Mitannian" has been found in the archives recovered at Hattusa. More speculative is the attribution of the introduction of the chariot in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
to early Mitanni. During the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Amenhotep II, Mitanni
Mitanni
seems to have regained influence in the middle Orontes valley that had been conquered by Thutmose III. Amenhotep fought in Syria in 1425 BC, presumably against Mitanni
Mitanni
as well, but did not reach the Euphrates. Artatama I and Shuttarna II Main articles: Artatama I and Shuttarna II Later on, Egypt and Mitanni
Mitanni
became allies, and King Shuttarna II himself was received at the Egyptian court. Amicable letters, sumptuous gifts, and letters asking for sumptuous gifts were exchanged. Mitanni
Mitanni
was especially interested in Egyptian gold. This culminated in a number of royal marriages: the daughter of King Artatama I was married to Thutmose IV. Kilu-Hepa, or Gilukhipa, the daughter of Shuttarna II, was married to Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Amenhotep III, who ruled in the early 14th century BC. In a later royal marriage Tadu-Hepa, or Tadukhipa, the daughter of Tushratta, was sent to Egypt. When Amenhotep III
Amenhotep III
fell ill, the king of Mitanni
Mitanni
sent him a statue of the goddess Shaushka (Ishtar) of Nineveh
Nineveh
that was reputed to cure diseases. A more or less permanent border between Egypt and Mitanni seems to have existed near Qatna
Qatna
on the Orontes River; Ugarit
Ugarit
was part of Egyptian territory. The reason Mitanni
Mitanni
sought peace with Egypt may have been trouble with the Hittites. A Hittite king called Tudhaliya conducted campaigns against Kizzuwatna, Arzawa, Ishuwa, Aleppo, and maybe against Mitanni itself. Kizzuwatna
Kizzuwatna
may have fallen to the Hittites
Hittites
at that time. Artashumara and Tushratta Main articles: Artashumara and Tushratta

Cuneiform tablet containing a letter from Tushratta of Mitanni
Mitanni
to Amenhotep III
Amenhotep III
(of 13 letters of King Tushratta).

Artashumara followed his father Shuttarna II on the throne, but was murdered by a certain UD-hi, or Uthi. It is uncertain what intrigues that followed, but UD-hi then placed Tushratta, another son of Shuttarna, on the throne. Probably, he was quite young at the time and was intended to serve as a figurehead only. However, he managed to dispose of the murderer, possibly with the help of his Egyptian father-in-law, but this is sheer speculation. The Egyptians
Egyptians
may have suspected the mighty days of Mitanni
Mitanni
were about to end. In order to protect their Syrian border zone the new Pharaoh Akhenaten
Akhenaten
instead received envoys from the resurgent powers of the Hittites
Hittites
and Assyria. From the Amarna letters
Amarna letters
we know how Tushratta's desperate claim for a gold statue from Akhenaten
Akhenaten
developed into a major diplomatic crisis. The unrest weakened the Mitannian control of their vassal states, and Aziru
Aziru
of Amurru seized the opportunity and made a secret deal with the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I. Kizzuwatna, which had seceded from the Hittites, was reconquered by Suppiluliuma. In what has been called his first Syrian campaign, Suppiluliuma then invaded the western Euphrates valley, and conquered the Amurru and Nuhashshe in Mitanni. According to the later Suppiluliuma- Shattiwaza treaty, Suppiluliuma had made a treaty with Artatama II, a rival of Tushratta. Nothing is known of this Artatama's previous life or connection, if any, to the royal family. He is called "king of the Hurri", while Tushratta went by the title "King of Mitanni". This must have disagreed with Tushratta. Suppiluliuma began to plunder the lands on the west bank of the Euphrates, and annexed Mount Lebanon. Tushratta threatened to raid beyond the Euphrates
Euphrates
if even a single lamb or kid was stolen. By the reign of Eriba-Adad I (1390–1366 BC) Mitanni
Mitanni
influence over Assyria was on the wane. Eriba-Adad I became involved in a dynastic battle between Tushratta and his brother Artatama II and after this his son Shuttarna III, who called himself king of the Hurri
Hurri
while seeking support from the Assyrians. A pro-Hurri/ Assyria
Assyria
faction appeared at the royal Mitanni
Mitanni
court. Eriba-Adad I had thus loosened Mitanni influence over Assyria, and in turn had now made Assyria
Assyria
an influence over Mitanni
Mitanni
affairs Suppiluliuma then recounts how the land of Ishuwa on the upper Euphrates
Euphrates
had seceded in the time of his grandfather. Attempts to conquer it had failed. In the time of his father, other cities had rebelled. Suppiluliuma claims to have defeated them, but the survivors had fled to the territory of Ishuwa, that must have been part of Mitanni. A clause to return fugitives is part of many treaties between sovereign states and between rulers and vassal states, so perhaps the harbouring of fugitives by Ishuwa formed the pretext for the Hittite invasion. A Hittite army crossed the border, entered Ishuwa and returned the fugitives (or deserters or exile governments) to Hittite rule. "I freed the lands that I captured; they dwelt in their places. All the people whom I released rejoined their peoples, and Hatti incorporated their territories." The Hittite army then marched through various districts towards Washukanni. Suppiluliuma claims to have plundered the area, and to have brought loot, captives, cattle, sheep and horses back to Hatti. He also claims that Tushratta fled, though obviously he failed to capture the capital. While the campaign weakened Mitanni, it did not endanger its existence. In a second campaign, the Hittites
Hittites
again crossed the Euphrates
Euphrates
and subdued Halab, Mukish, Niya, Arahati, Apina, and Qatna, as well as some cities whose names have not been preserved. The booty from Arahati included charioteers, who were brought to Hatti together with all their possessions. While it was common practice to incorporate enemy soldiers in the army, this might point to a Hittite attempt to counter the most potent weapon of Mitanni, the war-chariots, by building up or strengthening their own chariot forces. All in all, Suppiluliuma claims to have conquered the lands "from Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon
and from the far bank of the Euphrates". But Hittite governors or vassal rulers are mentioned only for some cities and kingdoms. While the Hittites
Hittites
made some territorial gains in western Syria, it seems unlikely that they established a permanent rule east of the Euphrates. Shattiwaza / Kurtiwaza Main article: Shattiwaza A son of Tushratta conspired with his subjects, and killed his father in order to become king. His brother Shattiwaza was forced to flee. In the unrest that followed, the Assyrians asserted themselves under Ashur-uballit I, and he invaded the country; and the pretender Artatama/Atratama II gained ascendancy, followed by his son Shuttarna. Suppiluliuma claims that "the entire land of Mittanni went to ruin, and the land of Assyria
Assyria
and the land of Alshi divided it between them", but this sounds more like wishful thinking. Although Assyria annexed Mitanni
Mitanni
territory, the kingdom survived. Shuttarna wisely maintained good relations with Assyria, and returned to it the palace doors of Ashur, that had been taken by Shaushtatar. Such booty formed a powerful political symbol in ancient Mesopotamia. The fugitive Shattiwaza may have gone to Babylon
Babylon
first, but eventually ended up at the court of the Hittite king, who married him to one of his daughters. The treaty between Suppiluliuma of Hatti and Shattiwaza of Mitanni
Mitanni
has been preserved and is one of the main sources on this period. After the conclusion of the Suppiluliuma- Shattiwaza treaty, Piyashshili, a son of Suppiluliuma, led a Hittite army into Mitanni. According to Hittite sources, Piyashshili and Shattiwaza crossed the Euphrates
Euphrates
at Carchemish, then marched against Irridu in Hurrian territory. They sent messengers from the west bank of the Euphrates and seemed to have expected a friendly welcome, but the people were loyal to their new ruler, influenced, as Suppiluliuma claims, by the riches of Tushratta. "Why are you coming? If you are coming for battle, come, but you shall not return to the land of the Great King!" they taunted. Shuttarna had sent men to strengthen the troops and chariots of the district of Irridu, but the Hittite army won the battle, and the people of Irridu sued for peace. Meanwhile, an Assyrian army "led by a single charioteer" marched on the capital Washshukanni. It seems that Shuttarna had sought Assyrian aid in the face of the Hittite threat. Possibly the force sent did not meet his expectations, or he changed his mind. In any case, the Assyrian army was refused entrance, and set instead to besiege the capital. This seems to have turned the mood against Shuttarna; perhaps the majority of the inhabitants of Washshukanni
Washshukanni
decided they were better off with the Hittite Empire
Hittite Empire
than with their former subjects. In any case, a messenger was sent to Piyashshili and Shattiwaza at Irridu, who delivered his message in public, at the city gate. Piyashshili and Shattiwaza marched on Washukanni, and the cities of Harran and Pakarripa seem to have surrendered to them. While at Pakarripa, a desolate country where the troops suffered hunger, they received word of an Assyrian advance, but the enemy never materialised. The allies pursued the retreating Assyrian troops to Nilap_ini but could not force a confrontation. The Assyrians seem to have retreated home in the face of the superior force of the Hittites. Shattiwaza became king of Mitanni, but after Suppililiuma had taken Carchemish
Carchemish
and the land west of the Euphrates, that were governed by his son Piyashshili, Mitanni
Mitanni
was restricted to the Khabur River and Balikh River
Balikh River
valleys, and became more and more dependent on their allies in Hattarsus. Some scholars speak of a Hittite puppet kingdom, a buffer-state against the powerful Assyria. Assyria
Assyria
under Ashur-uballit I began to infringe on Mitanni
Mitanni
as well. Its vassal state of Nuzi
Nuzi
east of the Tigris
Tigris
was conquered and destroyed. According to the Hittitologist Trevor R. Bryce, Mitanni
Mitanni
(or Hanigalbat as it was known) was permanently lost to Assyria
Assyria
during the reign of Mursili III of the Hittites, who was defeated by the Assyrians in the process. Its loss was a major blow to Hittite prestige in the ancient world and undermined the young king's authority over his kingdom. Shattuara I Main article: Shattuara The royal inscriptions of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari I
Adad-nirari I
(c. 1307–1275 BC) relate how the vassal king Shattuara of Mitanni rebelled and committed hostile acts against Assyria. How this Shattuara was related to the dynasty of Partatama is unclear. Some scholars think that he was the second son of Artatama II, and the brother of Shattiwazza's one-time rival Shuttarna. Adad-nirari claims to have captured King Shattuara and brought him to Ashur, where he took an oath as a vassal. Afterwards, he was allowed to return to Mitanni, where he paid Adad-nirari regular tribute. This must have happened during the reign of the Hittite King Mursili II, but there is no exact date. Wasashatta Main article: Wasashatta Despite Assyrian strength, Shattuara's son Wasashatta attempted to rebel. He sought Hittite help, but that kingdom was preoccupied with internal struggles, possibly connected with the usurpation of Hattusili III, who had driven his nephew Urhi-Teshup into exile. The Hittites
Hittites
took Wasashatta's money but did not help, as Adad-nirari's inscriptions gleefully note. The Assyrians expanded further, and conquered the royal city of Taidu, and took Washshukannu, Amasakku, Kahat, Shuru, Nabula, Hurra and Shuduhu as well. They conquered Irridu, destroyed it utterly and sowed salt over it. The wife, sons and daughters of Wasashatta were taken to Ashur, together with much booty and other prisoners. As Wasashatta himself is not mentioned, he must have escaped capture. There are letters of Wasashatta in the Hittite archives. Some scholars think he became ruler of a reduced Mitanni
Mitanni
state called Shubria. While Adad-nirari I
Adad-nirari I
conquered the Mitanni
Mitanni
heartland between the Balikh and the Khabur from the Hittites, he does not seem to have crossed the Euphrates, and Carchemish
Carchemish
remained part of the Hittite kingdom. With his victory over Mitanni, Adad-nirari claimed the title of Great King (sharru rabû) in letters to the Hittite rulers. Shattuara II Main article: Shattuara II In the reign of Shalmaneser I
Shalmaneser I
(1270s–1240s) King Shattuara of Mitanni, a son or nephew of Wasahatta, rebelled against the Assyrian yoke with the help of the Hittites
Hittites
and the nomadic Ahlamu (Arameans) around 1250 BC.[19] His army was well prepared; they had occupied all the mountain passes and waterholes, so that the Assyrian army suffered from thirst during their advance. Nevertheless, Shalmaneser I
Shalmaneser I
won a crushing victory for Assyria
Assyria
over the Hittites
Hittites
and Mitanni. He claims to have slain 14,400 men; the rest were blinded and carried away. His inscriptions mention the conquest of nine fortified temples; 180 Hurrian
Hurrian
cities were "turned into rubble mounds", and Shalmaneser "…slaughtered like sheep the armies of the Hittites
Hittites
and the Ahlamu his allies…". The cities from Taidu to Irridu were captured, as well as all of mount Kashiar to Eluhat and the fortresses of Sudu and Harranu to Carchemish
Carchemish
on the Euphrates. Another inscription mentions the construction of a temple to the Assyrian god Adad/ Hadad
Hadad
in Kahat, a city of Mitanni
Mitanni
that must have been occupied as well. Hanigalbat as an Assyrian province A part of the population was deported and served as cheap labour. Administrative documents mention barley allotted to "uprooted men", deportees from Mitanni. For example, the Assyrian governor of the city Nahur, Meli-Sah received barley to be distributed to deported persons from Shuduhu "as seed, food for their oxen and for themselves". The Assyrians built a line of frontier fortifications against the Hittites on the Balikh
Balikh
River. Mitanni
Mitanni
was now ruled by the Assyrian grand-vizier Ilī-padâ, a member of the royal family, who took the title of king (sharru) of Hanigalbat. He resided in the newly built Assyrian administrative centre at Tell Sabi Abyad, governed by the Assyrian steward Tammitte. Assyrians maintained not only military and political control, but seem to have dominated trade as well, as no Hurrian
Hurrian
or Mitanni
Mitanni
names appear in private records of Shalmaneser's time. Under the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I
Tukulti-Ninurta I
(c. 1243–1207 BC) there were again numerous deportations from Hanigalbat (east Mitanni) to Ashur, probably in connection with the construction of a new palace. As the royal inscriptions mention an invasion of Hanigalbat by a Hittite king, there may have been a new rebellion, or at least native support of a Hittite invasion. The Mitanni
Mitanni
towns may have been sacked at this time, as destruction levels have been found in some excavations that cannot be dated with precision, however. Tell Sabi Abyad, seat of the Assyrian government in Mitanni
Mitanni
in the times of Shalmaneser, was deserted between 1200 and 1150 BC. In the time of Ashur-nirari III (c. 1200 BC, the beginning Bronze Age collapse), the Phrygians
Phrygians
and others invaded and destroyed the Hittite Empire, already weakened by defeats against Assyria. Some parts of Assyrian-ruled Hanigalbat was temporarily lost to the Phrygians
Phrygians
also; however, the Assyrians defeated the Phrygians
Phrygians
and regained these colonies. The Hurrians
Hurrians
still held Katmuhu and Paphu. In the transitional period to the Early Iron Age, Mitanni
Mitanni
was settled by invading Aramaeans. Indo-Aryan superstrate Main article: Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni exhibit close similarities to Indo-Aryan, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian
Hurrian
population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion. In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni, the deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. Kikkuli's horse training text includes technical terms such as aika (eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pancha, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, turn, round in the horse race). The numeral aika "one" is of particular importance because it places the superstrate in the vicinity of Indo-Aryan proper as opposed to Indo-Iranian or early Iranian (which has "aiva") in general.[20] Another text has babru (babhru, brown), parita (palita, grey), and pinkara (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of the solstice (vishuva) which was common in most cultures in the ancient world. The Mitanni
Mitanni
warriors were called marya, the term for warrior in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
as well; note mišta-nnu (= miẓḍha,~ Sanskrit mīḍha) "payment (for catching a fugitive)".[21] Sanskritic interpretations of Mitanni
Mitanni
royal names render Artashumara (artaššumara) as Arta-smara "who thinks of Arta/Ṛta",[22] Biridashva (biridašṷa, biriiašṷa) as Prītāśva "whose horse is dear",[23] Priyamazda (priiamazda) as Priyamedha "whose wisdom is dear",[24] Citrarata as citraratha "whose chariot is shining",[25] Indaruda/Endaruta as Indrota "helped by Indra",[26] Shativaza (šattiṷaza) as Sātivāja "winning the race price",[27] Šubandhu as Subandhu "having good relatives",[note 1] Tushratta (tṷišeratta, tušratta, etc.) as *tṷaiašaratha, Vedic Tvastr "whose chariot is vehement".[29] Mitanni
Mitanni
rulers

(short chronology)

Rulers Reigned Comments

Kirta ca. 1500 BC (short)

Shuttarna I

Son of Kirta

Parshatatar
Parshatatar
or Parrattarna

Son of Kirta

Shaushtatar

Contemporary of Idrimi
Idrimi
of Alalakh, sacks Ashur

Artatama I

Treaty with Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Thutmose IV
Thutmose IV
of Egypt, Contemporary of Pharaoh Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
of Egypt

Shuttarna II

Daughter marries Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Amenhotep III
Amenhotep III
of Egypt in his year 10

Artashumara

Son of Shutarna II, brief reign

Tushratta ca. 1350 BC (short) Contemporary of Suppiluliuma I
Suppiluliuma I
of the Hittites
Hittites
and Pharaohs
Pharaohs
Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV
Amenhotep IV
of Egypt, Amarna letters

Artatama II

Treaty with Suppiluliuma I
Suppiluliuma I
of the Hittites, ruled same time as Tushratta

Shuttarna III

Contemporary of Suppiluliuma I
Suppiluliuma I
of the Hittites

Shattiwaza or Kurtiwaza

Mitanni
Mitanni
becomes vassal of the Hittite Empire

Shattuara

Mittani becomes vassal of Assyria
Assyria
under Adad-nirari I

Wasashatta

Son of Shattuara

Shattuara II

Last king of Mitanni
Mitanni
before Assyrian conquest

All dates must be taken with caution since they are worked out only by comparison with the chronology of other ancient Near Eastern nations. Legacy Main article: Urartu Within a few centuries of the fall of Washshukanni
Washshukanni
to Assyria, Mitanni became fully Assyrianized and linguistically Aramaized, and use of the Hurrian language
Hurrian language
began to be discouraged throughout the Neo-Assyrian Empire. However, Urartean, a dialect closely related to Hurrian
Hurrian
seems to have survived in the new state of Urartu, in the mountainous areas to the north in their Armenian Highlands.[note 2] In the 10th to 9th century BC inscriptions of Adad-nirari II
Adad-nirari II
and Shalmaneser III, Hanigalbat is still used as a geographical term. See also

Nagar, Syria History of the Hittites Short chronology timeline

Notes

^ a name in Palestine[28] ^ Jacquetta Hawkes, The First Great Civilizations "Yet the Hurrians did not disappear from history. Away to the North in their Armenian homeland, they entrenched themselves and build up the kingdom of Urartu."; M. Chahin, The Kingdom of Armenia, "The new kingdom of Urartu, which proved to be the stronghold of the Hurrian
Hurrian
race."

References

^ Trevor Bryce (2005). The Kingdom of the Hittites. Oxford University Press. p. 98.  ^ Michael Roaf, Cambridge Atlas of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
maps pp 134–135. ^ Astour, "Ḫattusilis̆, Ḫalab, and Ḫanigalbat" Journal of Near Eastern Studies 31.2 (April 1972:102–109) p 103. ^ Astour 1972:103, noting Amarna letters
Amarna letters
18:9; 20:17;29:49. ^ Faulkner, Raymond O. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. p.135. Griffith Institute, Oxford, 1962; Egyptian New Kingdom Topographical lists, by Kenneth Kitchen, p.5 bottom paragraph, University of Memphis ^ His memoir was published by L. Borchardt, "Altägyptische Zeitmessung" in E. von Basserman-Jordan, Die Geschichte der Zeitmessung und der Ühre, vol. I. (Berlin/Leipzig) 1930, pp 60ff, noted in Astour 1972:104, notes 25,26. ^ W. Helck, ''Oriens Antiquus 8 1969:301, note 41; 302. ^ É. Drioton
É. Drioton
and J. Vandier, L'Égypte4th ed. (Paris) 1962:396f. ^ a b Robert Drews, "The Coming of the Greeks: Indo-European Conquests in the Aegean and the Near East", Princeton University Press, Chariot Warfare. p. 61 ^ Annelies Kammenhuber, "Die Arier im vorderen Orient" (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universistätsverlag, 1968. p. 238. On p. 238 she indicates they spoke a "noch ungeteiltes Indo-Iranisch". ^ M. Mayrhofer, Die Arier im Vorderen Orient – ein Mythos? Sitzungsberichte der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 294,3, Vienna 1974; M. Mayrhofer, Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, Heidelberg 1986–2000, vol. IV ^ Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, p. 229. Penguin Books, 1966. ^ Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, p. 234. Penguin Books, 1966. ^ E. A. Speiser, Introduction to Hurrian, p. 10. American Schools of Oriental Research, New Haven. Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Vol. 20. 1941. ^ George Roux - Ancient Iraq ^ Cline, Eric H. (2014). 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed. Princeton University Press. p. 61. ISBN 1400849985.  ^ IDRIMI INSCRIPTION ^ Cline 2014, p. 61 ^ Bryce 2005, p. 314 ^ Paul Thieme, The 'Aryan' Gods of the Mitanni
Mitanni
Treaties. JAOS 80, 1960, 301-17 ^ (M. Mayrhofer, Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen Heidelberg 1986-2000; Vol. II 358) ^ (Mayrhofer II 780) ^ Mayrhofer II 182 ^ (Mayrhofer II 189, II378) ^ (Mayrhofer I 553) ^ (Mayrhofer I 134) ^ (Mayrhofer II 540, 696) ^ Mayrhofer II 209, 735 ^ (Mayrhofer, Etym. Wb., I 686, I 736)

Sources

Gaal, E. "The economic role of Hanilgalbat at the beginning of the Neo-Assyrian expansion." In: Hans-Jörg Nissen/Johannes Renger (eds.), Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn. Politische und kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im Alten Orient vom 4. bis 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient 1 (Berlin, Reimer 1982), 349–354. Harrak, Amir " Assyria
Assyria
and Hanilgalbat. A historical reconstruction of the bilateral relations from the middle of the 14th to the end of the 12th centuries BC." Studien zur Orientalistik (Hildesheim, Olms 1987). Kühne, Cord "Politische Szenerie und internationale Beziehungen Vorderasiens um die Mitte des 2. Jahrtausends vor Chr. (zugleich ein Konzept der Kurzchronologie). Mit einer Zeittafel." In: Hans-Jörg Nissen/Johannes Renger (eds.), Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn. Politische und kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im Alten Orient vom 4. bis 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient 1 (Berlin, Reimer 1982), 203–264. Novák, Mirko: "Mittani Empire and the Question of Absolute Chronology: Some Archaeological Considerations." In: Manfred Bietak/Ernst Czerny (eds.): "The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC III"; Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Denkschrift Band XXXVII; Wien, 2007; ISBN 978-3-7001-3527-2; pp. 389–401. Starr, R. F. S. Nuzi
Nuzi
(London 1938). Thieme, P., The 'Aryan Gods' of the Mitanni
Mitanni
Treaties, Journal of the American Oriental Society 80, 301–317 (1960) Von Dassow, Eva Melita. Social Stratification of Alalah
Alalah
Under the Mittani Empire. [S.l: s.n.], 1997. Weidner, "Assyrien und Hanilgalbat". Ugaritica 6 (1969) Wilhelm, Gernot: The Hurrians, Aris & Philips Warminster 1989.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mitanni.

Mitanni
Mitanni
(livius.org) Dutch excavations at Tell Sabi Abyad Excerpts from the text of the Shuppililiuma-Shattiwazza treaty

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