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Tette and the Rebellions in Nuhassi*

  • T. R. Bryce (a1)


KUB XIV 17, which belongs to the Detailed Annals for Mursili's 7th year, records a rebellion against Hittite rule in this year by the people of the Nuhassi lands. In view of the loss of the entire first column of the tablet and the very fragmentary nature of the first few lines of the second column, the events leading up to the rebellion are far from clear.

In considering what these events may have been, I would like to begin with the restorations and translation which Goetze proposes for lines 1–6 of the second column:



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1 See Goetze, A., Die Annalen des Mursilis, Hethitische Texte, Heft 6, MVAG Bd. 38, Leipzig 1933 (repr. Darmstadt, 1967), (henceforth referred to as AM), pp. 82–6.

2 It is accepted without question by Klengel, H., Geschichte Syriens im 2. Jahrtausend v.u.Z., Berlin, Teil I, 1965, p. 75, and Bin-Nun, S. R., The Tawananna in the Hittite Kingdom, Heidelberg, 1975, p. 288.

3 There is, I believe, no evidential support for Bin-Nun's claims that relations were strained between Sarri-Kusuh and Mursili, or that Mursili was forced to make concessions to Sarri-Kusuh to ensure that his brother would not challenge his accession to the Hittite throne (The Tawannana, pp. 283–5, 288–9). The latter assertion is based primarily on Bin-Nun's reading of KBo I 28, the so-called “miniature treaty”. This reading has been refuted by Gurney, in “The Hittite Title Tuḫkanti-”, AS XXXIII, 1983, 100–1.

4 See AM p. 82, n. 3.

5 See CHD (The Hittite Dictionary, University of Chicago) 3(2), p. 175.

6 This is also the implication of Goetze's translation. But the way Goetze sees it, the prisoner would have continued to conspire even if he had heard that the Hittite king was coming to the region. The sense is rather that if the king had come he could have prevented the prisoner from conspiring. This is why Mursili feels it necessary to justify his failure to take action.

7 This assumes that U.DIB and LÚ[URU]Nu-ḫa-i are appositional terms (as Goetze construes them).

8 This can be assumed from ku-in [….. -a]n ḫar-ku-un “(the man of Nuhassi) whom I had…”.

9 A point made by Gurney in correspondence.

10 See Klengel, , “Der Schiedsspruch des Murili II. hinsichtlich Barga und seine Übereinkunft mit Duppi-Teup von Amurru (KBo III 3)”, Orientalia 32, 1963, 3255.

11 See the references cited by del Monte, G. and Tischler, J., Die Orts- und Gewässernamen der hethitischen Texte (Répertoire géographique des textes cunéiformes Bd. 6), Wiesbaden, 1978, p. 304 (under Parka).

12 According to Klengel's reading of I 10, Abiradda drove EN-urta from the land. Cornelius, however, who reads Enurta-El in this line in place of Klengel's EN-urta-an, claims that it was Abiradda who was vanquished, and subsequently came to Mursili as a fugitive (Geschichte der Hethiter, Darmstadt, 1979, pp. 190 and 330, n. 43).

13 Klengel's restoration pa-ra-a p[a-a-i] in I 30 seems highly likely.

14 See Klengel, op. cit., p. 50, n. 9.

15 See Klengel, op. cit. p. 48, n. 4, and the references cited therein.

16 Alternatively, Huya may have been the new ruler and Summittara his son (if the relationship between them is in fact that of father and son). On the three occasions on which the pair are mentioned in the text, Huya's name appears first once, Summittara's twice.

17 Op. cit. pp.51, 54.

18 Cf. Klengel, , Geschichte Syriens I p. 75, Kitchen, K., Suppiluliuma and the Amarna Pharaohs, Liverpool U.P., 1962, p. 36.

19 This was facilitated by the murder of Aitakkama, ruler of Kinza, by his son Niqmaddu (formerly read NIG.BA- Teub, AM. p. 112). For the new reading see Güterbock, , “Hittite Historiography, a Survey” in History, Historiography and Interpretation, ed. Tadmor, H. and Weinfeld, M. (Jerusalem), p. 33.

20 Reference to a treaty between Hatti and Egypt in the reign of Suppiluliuma is made in KUB XIV 8 (the so-called Plague Prayers of Mursili), obv. 13′–15′. See Sürenhagen, D., Paritätische Staatsverträge aus hethitischer Sicht, Studia Mediterranea 5, Pavia, 1985, pp. 2239.

21 Apart from the fragmentary reference to Sarri-Kusuh in the record of Mursili's accession year (AM p. 14).

22 It is of course possible that the Hittite king was involved in other military activities in the region—which are not mentioned in the Barga document because they are not relevant to the matters with which this document deals.

23 The sense of the first part of line 3 might be “(the prisoner whom) I had left behind…”. Gurney has suggested [EGIR-pa da-li--a]n har-ku-un. But he goes on to say “There are too many possibilities I'm afraid.”

24 The removal of reigning families from conquered rebellious kingdoms to Hattusa was a practice regularly adopted by Suppiluliuma; see e.g. the Mattiwaza treaty (CTH 51) obv. 35–45 (Weidner, , Politische Dokumente aus Kleinasien. Leipzig, 1923 (repr. Hildesheim/New York, 1970), pp. 1214.

25 The fact that Mursili continued to refer to Tette as a U.DIB would indicate that he refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the counter-coup. From the Hittite point of view, Tette's status continued to be that of a u.dib who was due to be taken into Hittite custody and brought to Hattusa.

26 There is no indication as to whether or not Niqmadu responded positively to this request.

* I wish to express my warmest thanks to Professor Gurney for the many valuable suggestions and comments he has made in relation to the matters dealt with in this article. These have had no small bearing on a number of the proposals which the article contains.

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Tette and the Rebellions in Nuhassi*

  • T. R. Bryce (a1)


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