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By Gary Beckman / Scholars Press / 1999
Dr. Beckman presents full translations of more than 50 documents from the files of the "foreign office" of the Hittite Empire: 21 treaties, 18 diplomatic letters, and 18 royal edicts and miscellaneous records concerning the relations of the Hittites with their Anatolian and Syrian vassals, as well as with other great powers such as Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia. Originally composed in Hittite or in Akkadian, many of these texts have never before appeared in English. A short introduction places each document in its historical and cultural context, and a general essay acquaints the reader with the diplomatic practice of the Late Bronze Age. This collection of documents is a major source book for historians of the Ancient Near East and for students of cuneiform and Biblical law. It will also prove useful for those investigating the relationship between Biblical covenant theology and its possible antecedents in older Near Eastern treaty patterns. The index categorizes its subject matter into persons, deities, cities, countries, districts, people, mountains, rivers and topics for easy access.
We are privileged to have these translations made by one of the leading Hittitologists on the North American continent.…invaluable to scholars of the ancient Near East and of the Bible.
—Biblical Archaeology Review
This is truly an outstanding work. It serves biblical scholarship in general and ancient Near Eastern studies in particular with its superb translations from a civilization which was an important part of the literary and cultural milieu of the Bible. It is a work of reference that deserves to be read widely.
—Catholic Biblical Quarterly
Gary Beckman is the Chair, Department of Near Eastern Studies and Professor of Hittite and Mesopotamian Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his B.A. from Pomona College, studying Greek and Hebrew. From Yale University, he acquired an M.A., M.Phil. and a Ph.D. He is the author of Hittite Birth Rituals as well as other books and articles.