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Inconsistency in the TorahAncient Literary Convention and the Limits of Source Criticism$
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Joshua A. Berman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190658809

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658809.001.0001

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Divergent Histories between Original and Renewal Treaties in Hittite Diplomatic Literature

Divergent Histories between Original and Renewal Treaties in Hittite Diplomatic Literature

Chapter:
(p.63) 3 Divergent Histories between Original and Renewal Treaties in Hittite Diplomatic Literature
Source:
Inconsistency in the Torah
Author(s):

Joshua A. Berman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658809.003.0004

As Hittite kings communicated with their vassals, they routinely recounted the history of their relationship between the two kingdoms. Strikingly, the record reveals that each communication brought with it a redrafted version of that history which was often at odds with the history recounted in the earlier communications. Most significantly, as Hittite monarchs redrafted earlier histories, these past versions were not erased from the record—rather, even as the Hittite kings redrafted their historical accounts in accord with the needs of the moment, both they and their vassals would read these accounts while retaining and recalling the earlier, conflicting versions of events. A series of pioneering studies of the El-Amarna letters from the field of international relations sheds light on why the Hittite kings composed such conflicting histories and how, in turn, these were read and interpreted by their vassals.

Keywords:   Hittites, vassal treaties, Amarna, El-Amarna, historical prologue, Ugarit, Amurru, Hittite Empire, international relations

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