Asia Minor and the West The journeys of the apostle Paul have made Asia Minor an important area of New Testament studies. In apostolic times the region was under Roman dominion. The inhabitants were primarily Greek, with a heavy influx of Jews into the cities of the southeastern provinces. Scattered remnants of earlier peoples existed, primarily Armenians.
Today the Turk inhabits Asia Minor. But neither Turk nor Greek were the original peoples of the plains and mountains of Anatolia. Until the advent of archaeology, the history of Asia Minor was almost unknown before the Greek period. Classical writers indeed preserved marvelous tales of the region — of the Golden Fleece — of the Trojan War (there were really three wars!) — of King Midas — of Amazons — of the Phrygians who later migrated into Europe.
Modern Mythology The Greeks turned the facts of Anatolia's history into myths. Unfortunately the archaeologist and the modern historian, discarding both Greek myth and historical fact, have created new and more fabulous myths.
Scholars today would have us believe, for example, that most of Asia Minor and the Greek world went through five long centuries of darkness — "Dark Ages" is the academic label used. The early civilizations of Crete, of Greece, Cyprus and Asia Minor snuffed out for centuries — only to suddenly reappear in full bloom 500 years later.
Historians label the early civilization in the Aegean world "Mycenaean" after the site of ancient Mycenae in Greece. This civilization is assumed to have perished during the twelfth century before the birth of Jesus. Not until the seventh century does the curtain of history lift with clarity again — according to the modern myth:
Such an interpretation of history is absurd. This was long ago admitted in a publication of the Cambridge University Press: "Memphis and Mscenae", by Cecil Torr. Torr wrote on page 69:
"For example, the Greek coins and gems of about 700 to 600 resemble the Mycenaean gems so closely, that any judge of art would be prepared to place the Mycenaean age immediately before 700." Not before 1200 as is done today:
In Asia Minor the same absurdity exists in modern textbooks. A great Anatolian empire — the Hatti — is said to have perished shortly after 1200. Its greatest heyday is marked by an utter paucity of monuments. Yet in the five following centuries — after the Empire (supposedly) perished — the Hatti kings "left a wealth of monuments, reliefs, steles, rock carvings, most of them covered with the hieroglyphic script, in striking contrast with the relatively few monuments that have survived from Imperial times." ("Hittite Art", by Maurice Vieyra, page 7.)
Of course, the only reason for a 500-year blank is that Asia Minor and Aegean history have been conformed to the misplaced chronology of Egypt. Once the history of Egypt and Mesopotamla is restored in proper historical setting, the gaps in Asia Minor and Greece disappear.
Beginnings of History Asia Minor first appears in Biblical history in the days of Abram. In Genesis 14:1 "Tidal king of Goiim" is named as ruler of Asia Minor. "Goiim" is the Hebrew word for "Nations." The history of ancient Asia Minor is the story of continuous attempts to unite the warring nations of the region into a loose confederacy. In earliest days Tidal ruled this confederacy.
But the nations of Asia Minor were themselves part of a greater empire composed of kings of Shinar, Elam and Assyria. The Jewish historian Josephus describes this vast empire in "Antiquities", I, ix. "At this time, when the Assyrians had the dominion over Asia, the people of Sodom were in a flourishing condition .... the Assyrians made war upon them; and, dividing their army into four parts, fought against them. Now every part of the army had its own commander; and when the battle was joined, the Assyrians were conquerors; and imposed tribute on the kings of the Sodomites, who submitted to this slavery twelve years ... but on the thirteenth year they rebelled, and then the army of the Assyrians came upon them, under their commanders Amraphel, Arioch, Chodorlaomer, and Tidal. These kings had laid waste all Syria, and overthrown the offspring of the giants ...."
Tidal was therefore an Assyrian king and general ruling over several different nations and peoples. So famous was Tidal that many later kings took the same name in Asia Minor. Historians, transliterating late cuneiform inscriptions, spell the name Tudhaliya(s) — as, in similar fashion, they spell Tiglathpileser Tukulti-apil-Esarra.
In the three succeeding centuries after the battle of Genesis 14, little is known of Asia Minor. The curtain lifts during the reign of Sargon "the Great" of Akkad. Assyrians from Mesopotamia continually migrated into Asia Minor, where they set up numerous trading posts. The Akkadian kings claim to have conquered the region. A vast collection of cuneiform tablets from this and later periods have been recovered by archaeologists. They exhibit an unusual affiliation between native rulers and Assyrian traders. An affiliation inexplicable apart from Josephus' statement that Assyrians settled and ruled Anatolia in Abram's day. So prominent were the Assyrians in Asia Minor that Sylax, the author of "Periplus" (he lived about 550), wrote of this region: "The coast of the Black Sea ... is called Assyria" (p. 261 of Perrot and Chipiez' "History of Art in Sardinia, Judaea, Syria and Asia Minor", vol. II).
Assyrian kings and traders were only one of the early people to inhabit Asia Minor. Egyptian and Mesopotamian records reveal it was also the land of Meshech and Tubal (spelled Musku and Tabal in Assyrian documents), and of Armenians and Lydians. Along the coasts dwelled outposts of the children of Javan. Greek traditions speak of Amazons and Phrygians. Cappadocia, in eastern Anatolia, was a dwelling place of the children of Togarmah (Tegarma or Tilgarimmu).
But how did the name "Hittite" become associated with this land of many races? Modern historians, remember, use the words "Hittite" or "Hatti" or "Chatti" to designate any or all of the diverse peoples who dwelled in Asia Minor or North Syria.
Even the Bible uses similar expressions. Solomon traded with the "king of the Hittites," who dwelt in the mountainous lands north of the Arameans (I Kings 10:29).
The true "Hittite" people were children of Canaan. Canaan was the father of Heth, the Hittite. The land of the Hittites in the days of Joshua, and of the judges who followed, extended north of Palestine through Syria to the Euphrates (Judges 1:26).
After the Israelite conquest of Palestine, many Hittites migrated northward through Syria into Anatolia. So famous were these people, so different from other races, that they gave their name to the whole wide regions to which they migrated. As late as the Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar the name Hatti, or Chatti, was applied to the vast area of Syria-Palestine and to part of eastern Asia Minor.
In Egyptian monuments the original Canaanite Hittites were portrayed with singularly striking characteristics. They were depicted with unusually prominent noses, "somewhat broad, with lips full, the cheek-bones high, the eyebrows fairly prominent, the forehead receding like the chin, and the face hairless." "The hair is black, the eyes dark brown." ("The Races of the Old Testament", by A. H Sayce, page 133.) They were a brachycephalic or even hyperbrachycephalic people. The skin color varied from brown to yellowish and reddish. Greek tradition insists the people were a warlike, rude people, known for their frenzied dances and music.
This racial type has become so characteristic a part of the Armenoid racial stock of Anatolia, the Caucasus and Syria, that one must conclude the Hittites heavily intermarried with their Armenian and Aramaic neighbors.
The Proof of Language The true Armenians are sons of Hul, son of Aram (compare Genesis 10:23 with Josephus).
Armenian is an Indo-European language. Indo-European languages are divided into two groups by scholars. It had long been assumed that the Armenian belonged to the Eastern or satem group, primarily because of vocabulary. Then the ancient language of the Hittites was discovered.
It proved to belong to the Western or centum group, to which the German, Celtic, Latin and Greek belonged. Then scholars began to recognize that this ancient language, rediscovered after 2000 years, bears a striking resemblance to Armenian.
The Armenian language has been found to share so many grammatical and lexical elements with the ancient language of the Hittites that scholars have been forced to the conclusion that Armenian developed from the Hittite-Luwian dialects of Lesser Armenia west of the Upper Euphrates. (See W. M. Austin's "Is Armenian an Anatolian Language?" in "Language", 18 (1942), 22 ff.)
Hittite and Armenian, for instance, are characterized by lack of grammatical gender. So many other phenomena were found to be exhibited by both groups that scholars now wonder why they did not see the relationship before. The Hittite language, a member of the "centum" group of Indo-European languages, lives on today in Armenian.
Over the centuries the Armenian, of course, has acquired a very large number of its vocabulary words from neighboring languages. So many, in fact, that its original relationship with the Western or "centum" group of Indo-European languages has been obscured. An excellent summary of the relationship of Armenian and Hittite is found in the revised edition of Cambridge Ancient History, vol. I, chapter iv, part iii "The Indo-Hittite Family," by Albright and Lambdin.
The Proof of Race The Armenians are the only people who have preserved the well-known "Armenoid" form of the ancient Hittite crania. Admittedly continuity of physical type and language is not necessarily related. But if both language and racial characteristics are found among two peoples who still live in almost the same geographic region, but separated by centuries of time, the proof becomes striking. Especially when it is considered that no other group of people in ancient times had the same racial strains.
The original cradle of the Armenian nationality and culture is precisely that area characterized by the greatest use of hieroglyphic script. In fact the latest Hittite inscriptions can be proved to overlap the known presence of Armenians in the same region (in the inscriptions of Darius Hystaspes) by a number of centuries, once the ancient history of the Hittites is properly restored.
The use of the modern Armenian alphabet begins where ancient Hittite hieroglyphic inscriptions cease!
Because of early predominance of population and war-like characteristics, the fame of the ancient Hittite name spread. The rulers of Asia Minor, once known as "kings of nations" (in Abraham's day), because of the many different peoples who populated the region, came to be called "kings of the Hittites" by Solomon's time. The Armenians ceased to be referred to under their national name and were included among the Hittites (spelled also Kheta, Chatti, or Hatti) by distant nations.
In Syria and Asia Minor, as time passed, the Arameans and Armenians gradually gained predominance over their Hittite neighbors and absorbed them. The Hittites disappeared as a separate racial stock and their name was totally lost. The names Aramean and Armenian replaced that of Hittite.
The Hebrew root "heth" (from whence Hittite is derived) signifies "warrior." The Canaanite Hittites were famous warriors. As the Assyrians were a war-making nation, the world also attached the name "Chatti" — meaning "warrior" or "men of war" — to them when they anciently migrated to the Halys River basin in Asia Minor. Thus Assyrians, like Armenians, in Anatolia also came to bear the name "Chatti."
Ninevite kings marched their armies through Anatolia to aid Troy in the First Trojan War shortly before the rise of the Canaanite Hittites to power. Assyrian colonists continued to live in Asia Minor for centuries thereafter. Sardanapallus, king of Assyria, "sent his three sons and two daughters together with much of his treasure to Paphlagonia (Asia Minor) to the governor Cotta ..." (Diodorus II, 26,8). It was an Assyrian district. For the same reason Assyrians were "removed to the land between Paphlagonia and Pontus" after the collapse of Nineveh (Diodorus II, 43,6).
After the fall of Troy in 677 the Assyrians commenced migration out of Anatolia northwest up the Danube into Europe. Roman annals within a few centuries were filled with the name Chatti, or Hatti, which later became changed to Hesse. (See "Encyclopaedia Britannica" article "Germany".)
The warlike proclivity of the Hessians through the Roman period and the Middle Ages, is undoubtedly due to some absorption of Hittite stock.
The history of the Hittites of Asia Minor may now be restored in proper setting. First, it should be remembered that modern textbook writers are in utter confusion chronologically. They speak of an "Old Kingdom" and a "New Empire," sometimes of a "Middle Kingdom." Rulers of the "Old Kingdom" were about 750 years too early, the latter about 600! The reason for this preposterous restoration of central Anatolian history is this. "Old Kingdom" rulers are known to parallel the close of the Hammurabi Dynasty of Babylon. As Hammurabi is often placed about 750 years too early in history, these kings of Hatti are likewise misplaced by that figure. The late kings of the supposed "New Empire" are known to be contemporary with Ramesses the Great of Dynasty XIX of Egypt. Since this period of Egyptian history is misplaced about 600 years. the kings of the "New Empire" are likewise placed six centuries too early.
Babylonian and Egyptian archives prove there was only one Empire period in Central Anatolia. That more than one king at a time was on occasion ruling Hatti is confirmed by the documents: "Formerly Labarnas was king: and then his sons, his brothers, his connections by marriage and his blood-relations were united." ("The Hittites", by O. R. Gurney, page 21.) Most of these were set over major cities in the realm — such as Carchemish.
For the Great Kings of Hatti king lists exist, but no date lists. A restoration can provide only synchronisms with other nations. In the following chart parallel rulers in other lands are listed and dated to indicate synchronisms.
The chart begins with kings of the so-called "Old" and "Middle Kingdom" and continues with the "New Empire" rulers who are known through correspondence as contemporary with the kings of Dynasty XIII and XIX of Thebes. (In spelling the following names of Hatti kings, the final "s" is used, though in numerous documents the letter is often dropped or sounded as an "sh.")
Notice the parallel between the events in column three and the Biblical history of the rise and fall of the Arameans. During the reign of Amenhotpe III and Mursilis I — about 890 — the Arameans rebelled and expanded under general Naaman. In their wars against Israel they feared the possibility that Israel would hire Egyptians and Hittites, to attack them. In II Kings 7:6 the Arameans, after hearing a noise of supernatural origin. are quoted as saying: "Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians. to come upon us."
Contemporary Great Kings of History from
Kings of Egypt Hatti Contemporary
Thutmose III Labarnas (I), Contemporary of
founder of new Solomon
Amenhotpe II Hattusilis (I), son
Thutmose IV Mursilis I, Attacks and
adopted son destroys Aleppo.
lon at end of
Amenhotpe III reign (905-879).
Akhenaten Hantilis (I), Arameans attack
brother-in-law Hittite realm in
and Mitanni in
Ay Ammunas, son Rise of Medes
Telipinus, Hittites slowly
brother-in-law revive and expand
of Huzziyas (see "Journal of
Cuneiform Stud.", xi,
3, p. 73)
Piankhi Zidantas (II) Hittite fortunes
continue to rise
Arnuwandas (I), Expansion of
a brother Hittites as
and Troy falls;
Taharka Suppiluliumas (I)
Seti I Arnuwandas (II), Arnuwandas dies
son of plague after
reigning a few
Mursilis (II), Plague and wide
brother spread rebellions.
Muwatallis, son Fought with
Ramesses the Urhi-Teshub, son Ramesses at battle
Great of "Kadesh" in his
Hattusilis (III), Reigned jointly
uncle with brother
Tudhaliyas (III). West in
son rebellion —
Arnuwandas (III). East in
son rebellion —
Suppiluliumas (II), Collapse of
brother Hittite Empire
Minor in 546
There are two known areas of contact from documents between these Hittite kings and Egypt and Babylon. Suppiluliumas, Mursilis, Muwatallis and Hattusilis are the known contemporaries of Ramesses the Great and his father Seti. This documented contact, including the account of the battle of Kadesh (Carchemish), determines the general dating of the late Hittite rulers. Muwatallis came to power about 616 since the first battle of Kadesh was fought in his tenth year. This was in the year 607-606, the date of the initial Egyptian struggle against Babylon and its allies. Egypt was momentarily victorious (see the restoration of Egyptian history for the period of Ramesses the Great).
An earlier area of contact is established by documentary evidence for the reign of Mursilis I, conqueror of Aleppo and Babylon at the close of the reign of Ammisaduga. Since the Babylonian king can be accurately dated, the overthrow of Babylon by the Hittite king dates the period of the early Hittite rulers. It is then merely a matter of placing the generations in between. The known number of generations of Hittite rulers and the time between Ammisaduga and his Egyptian contemporary to the reign of Ramesses the Great agrees perfectly.
The only question is the supposed parallelism between Suppiluliumas and Akhenaten and Tutankhamen. This parallelism is impossible. It arose from a false assumption. The Hittite documents of Suppiluliumas and his son mention two Egyptian rulers by name. But the names are not specific. Scholars have merely assumed that the Hittite names may refer to Akhenaten and his son. The names could just as well belong to other Egyptian kings — in this instance to the period of the close of Dynasty XXV This is the only possible period to which the events could apply. The eighteenth dynasty, archaeologists assume, died out with the widow of Tutankhamen. This is untrue. The line of Akhenaten continued to rule to the time of Piankhi the Ethiopian. The only dynasty to cease to reign through the male line in Egypt was that of the Ethiopians at the end of Dynasty XXV. The Ethiopians were killed in battle or fled from the Assyrians. The successor dynasty was Saite, of the line of Necho, an Egyptian family appointed by the Assyrians. This line intermarried into the Ethiopian line to legitimize its reign in Egypt. It is this family that must have plotted the death of the son of Suppiluliumas who was on his way to Egypt to become heir to the Ethiopian line in Egypt.
The Kingdom of Mitanni and the Hurrians In Mesopotamia, on the upper reaches of the Euphrates river, is a kingdom known as Mitanni in hieroglyphic and cuneiform records. This was the region in which the Median revolt occurred in 816. The history of the kingdom of Mitanni is, in fact, the history of the Medes and Midianites in the ninth and tenth centuries before the present era.
In the following chart the kingdom of Mitanni is restored to its proper place in history. In column one are the kings of Egypt. Column two, center, contains the kings of Mitanni. The third column is devoted to excerpts of important contemporary history. No date lists of the early kings of Mitanni are known.
The final comment in column three again demonstrates that Assyria and the Great Kings of Kheta or Hatti formed one vast empire far more extensive than modern historians realize.
Contemporary Kings of Mitanni History from
Kings of Egypt Contemporary Sources
Thutmose I Suttarna I Conquers city of
(1030-1017) Assur during Assyria's
50 years of decline
Thutmose II Saussatar
Thutmose III Artatama I Thutmose III asks
(997-943) for his daughter to
Amenhotpe III Suttarna II Amenhotpe III sought his
(909-871) daughter in marriage.
Artasura Kingdom of Mitanni
of Suttarna II
Akhenaton Mittiwaza Rise of Hurrian kingdom
(871-854) under Artatama II and
Suttarna III. Matti-
waza became Hittite
vassal. Assyria rules
Who Were the Hurrians? But who were the Hurrians who suddenly migrate from apparently nowhere to dwell in Mitanni on the borders of the Egyptian Empire in Asia? Of all the people known in the Middle East the "Hurrians," or "Harrians," are the most controversial. They should not be. Consider the facts of history.
Tushratta (Tusratta) was the first Mitannian king of this era to claim the title "lord of the Hurrian land" as well as "lord of the Mitanni land." ("Journal of Cuneiform Studies", XI, 3, p. 67, column two.) Tushratta was a contemporary of Amenhotpe III. Is there any record of a people in the days of Amenhotpe III who came to dwell on the borders of the Empire of Egypt? There certainly is. The record has already been mentioned in this Compendium in connection with Akhenaten ("Huria" in Hittite) in the beginning of chapter eight. Here it is again: "The Ethiopians, removing from the River Indus, settled near Egypt."
There are two branches of Ethiopians in the world. wrote Herodotus. Those who dwell in India, with straight or wavy hair; and those who dwell in Africa with frizzled hair ("Polymnia", sect. 20). The Indian Cushites. or Ethiopians, are Aryan-speaking. The leaders of the Hurrians, or Harrians. were Indo-Iranian or Aryan speaking. The Hurrians worshipped Indra, Varuna and various other gods of the Hindu pantheon. No such worship has ever been found among African tribes. No migration to Africa from the Indus is known. But the migration of Indo-Iranian people into Mesopotamia is well attested in history.
Why, then, did Manetho, in the Book of Sothis, refer to "Egypt" as the neighborhood of the Ethiopian migration from the Indus? Because in the days of Amenhotpe III the Empire of Egypt extended to the Upper Euphrates. Literally dozens of Assyrian references speak of "Musri" — Egypt — as that territory immediately west of the Upper Euphrates. See the annals of Tiglath-pileser I, for example. As late as the days of Necho and Nebuchadnezzar the city of Carchemish, on the Euphrates. was regarded as the fixed border of Egypt. That the Hurrians were Cushites is also clear from Egyptian annals which speak of "God's Land, Syria and Cush."
The famous migration of Cushites into Mesopotamia during the reign of Amenhotpe had been preceded by Cushite migrations from the Persian highlands over a century before. They were the Kassu or Kassites under Gande, the first Kassite king. The Kassites worshipped Maruttash, a god of India. These Ethiopian incursions from the East were paralleled by Ethiopian conquests in Asia from Egypt under the Theban kings. The influence of the children of Cush in the ancient world has never been made plain before. It reveals why so many of the descendants of Aram and Lud, sons of Shem, show strong intermixture with dark races. In most of the Middle East, the population today has become light brown, not white, as a result of such mixture.
Phrygians and Hatti To turn to northwestern Anatolia. Historians have constructed from Greek annals an extensive kingdom in northwestern Asia Minor called Phrygia. Its influence is known to have extended over much of Anatolia at the very time Assyrian and Egyptian history speaks of the Empire of Hatti.
"Phrygia" is a Greek word. The eleventh edition of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica", article "Phrygia." provides its meaning: "Phrygia, the name of a large country in Asia Minor, inhabited by a race which the Greeks called Phryges, 'freemen'." The Phrygians — or Freemen — were said to have spoken "the original speech of mankind." They were known for their extensive wealth. It is said of one of their kings, Midas, that everything he touched turned to gold — figuratively, of course! They showed a high degree of artistic skill.
After the Trojan War the region of Phrygia was utterly devastated by Cimmerians — Greek for people of Gomer. The Phrygians gradually migrated into Europe. Because they came from the region ruled by the wild Cimmerian hordes, it was common to speak of the Phrygians also as Cimmerians. The Greek name Phryges was gradually changed to Phraggoi. When the Romans encountered them, they applied the Roman word for Freemen — Franci — Franks in English. Procopius, in his Roman history, called the Franks Phraggoi (III, 3, 1). They finally settled in France. Is it only a coincidence that the name of the capital of their new land is Paris — the name of the famous Trojan or Phrygian hero Paris, son of Priam?
The original region which the Greeks called Phrygia extended to the Hellespont, for the Phrygians at one time controlled the sea. This land was termed Wilusa or Uilusa in Hattic inscriptions. The Great Kings of Hatti were allied with the Phrygians of Wilusa — a name changed in later Greek to Ilion, the plain of Troy. "In bygone times Labarnas, my ancestor, fought against the Arzawan Lands and the Land of Wilusa; he subdued them. Now after that, Arzawa became hostile ... but never did the Land of Wilusa secede from Hatti, but from afar they remained loyal to the kings of Hatti," declared the Treaty of Muwatallis, Great King of Hatti, with Alaksandus (Alexander) of Wilusa (Ilion, or early Phrygia). This union maintained itself even after both the Assyrians in the land of Hatti and the Phrygians were defeated at the fall of Troy in 677.
The collapse of Phrygia and the decline of the Hittites east of the Halys River basin in 677 is confirmed by Herodotus. His words are: "... the Medes bent under the Persian yoke, after they had ruled over all Asia beyond the river Halys for the space of one hundred and twenty-eight years, excepting the interval of the Scythian dominion" ("Clio", 130). The Medes succumbed to Cyrus in 549. And 128 years before is 677 the date of the Fall of Troy and the defeat of the Hatti who were Trojan allies. There were no five centuries of darkness between the so-called "Hittite Empire" and the Medes. One followed the other. West of the Halys River the Phrygians are said by several classical writers to have been overrun in the succeeding year, 676, by the Cimmerians.
In a sense the Phrygians and Assyrians in Hatti were one vast confederation. When these people journeyed into Europe they maintained the old league. The Romans recognized among the Franks, or Phraggoi, two groups: East and West Franks. The one German, the other French. The German tribe called East Frankish was the Chatti or Hessian tribe — the same as in ancient Anatolia. Could history repeat itself any more precisely?
In reading any book on Asia Minor — many are now being published — always remember that it is common practice to apply the name "Hittite" to all peoples of Asia Minor. It properly belongs only to Canaanite Hittites, a wild and rude people who disappeared from the area after the fall of Persia.