This work 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 the Akkadian lingua franca of the day, 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 will be 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.
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