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A History of Hittite Literacy
Writing and Reading in Late Bronze-Age Anatolia (1650–1200 BC)


  • Date Published: March 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108816496

£ 29.99

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About the Authors
  • Why did the Anatolians remain illiterate for so long, although surrounded by people using script? Why and how did they eventually adopt the cuneiform writing system and why did they still invent a second, hieroglyphic script of their own? What did and didn't they write down and what role did Hittite literature, the oldest known literature in any Indo-European language, play? These and many other questions on scribal culture are addressed in this first, comprehensive book on writing, reading, script usage, and literacy in the Hittite kingdom (c.1650–1200 BC). It describes the rise and fall of literacy and literature in Hittite Anatolia in the wider context of its political, economic, and intellectual history.

    • The first comprehensive overview of the subject, the product of a lifetime of research and thinking
    • Provides a good introduction to both the Hittite cuneiform and Anatolian hieroglyphic writing systems
    • Offers new solutions to a number of longstanding problems in the field of Hittite/Anatolian studies
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108816496
    • length: 453 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • contains: 51 b/w illus. 1 map 35 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Writing and Literacy among the Anatolians in the Old Assyrian Period
    2. From Kanesh to Hattusa
    3. First Writing in Hattusa
    4. Literacy and Literature in the Old Kingdom until 1500 bc
    5. The Emergence of Writing in Hittite
    6. A Second Script
    7. The New Kingdom Cuneiform Corpus
    8. The New Kingdom Hieroglyphic Corpus
    9. The Wooden Writing Boards
    10. The Seal Impressions of the Westbau and Building D and the Wooden Tablets
    11. In the Hittite Chancellery and Tablet Collections
    12. Scribes and Scholars
    13. The End and Looking Back.

  • Author

    Theo van den Hout, University of Chicago
    Theo van den Hout is Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor of Hittite and Anatolian Languages in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He is the Chief Editor of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary project, corresponding member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, and the author of various books.

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