The Ahhiyawa Texts

The Ahhiyawa Texts

by Gary M. Beckman, Trevor Bryce

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589832688
Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
Publication date: 12/12/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.72(d)

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The Ahhiyawa Texts 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
_Zoe_ on LibraryThing 17 days ago
In the middle of the second millennium BCE, the kings of the major Near Eastern powers corresponded among themselves. The most influential were referred to as Great Kings, and addressed as "brother" those whom they considered their equals. Most of these Great Kings ruled lands that we're familiar with today: there were the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Assyrians.... but some Hittite documents also refer to a place known as "Ahhiyawa", a place that was previously unknown. Early scholars made the connection between Ahhiyawa and Achaea, suggesting that the Ahhiyawans referred to in the Hittite documents might actually be the Mycenaean Greeks. In that case, there would be textual evidence for the activities of the Mycenaeans and their interactions with Anatolia at the time of the Trojan war. This is the sort of connection that's very exciting for people who care about such things, but the evidence was also very nebulous. The idea was largely dismissed, and it was assumed that Ahhiyawa was just some part of Anatolia.As time progressed, though, and scholars came to know more about the geography of ancient Anatolia, the map was filled in. There wasn't really room for a place called Ahhiyawa on the Anatolian mainland. And so the idea that it was actually a part of Greece returned, and now seems to be largely accepted by the specialists.This book is an edition of all the Hittite texts that refer to Ahhiyawa, whether letters, royal propaganda, or oracle reports. The texts are given in both transliterated Hittite and English translation, and each has a brief introduction and following commentary. It's a very small corpus, but an intriguing one. Many of the texts are very fragmentary, and I was grateful for the commentaries; it was interesting to see just how much could be gleaned from the bits of evidence we have. I can't say that I found the whole picture absolutely convincing, but the authors themselves acknowledge the problem; however likely it may be that Ahhiyawa refers to Greece, it just isn't a certainty. Still, this book is very much worth reading for anyone interested in Greece at the time of the Trojan war.