TREATY BETWEEN THE HITTITES AND EGYPT

(Translation from J.B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Related to the Old Testament, 3rd ed., p. 199-201.)

 

The reign of Ramses II began in hostility against the Hittite state. However, by this pharaoh's twenty-first year (about 1,290 B.C.), both powers were ready to conclude a treaty, so that they might turn their attention to other problems, such as the encroachments of the "Sea Peoples." The offensive and defensive alliance set forth in the following document mentions no effective frontier between the two empires. Perhaps there was no one firm line, but Egyptian hegemony was recognized in Palestine and southern Phoenicia, Hittite hegemony in Syria and northern Phoenicia.

 

Since Akkadian was the diplomatic language of the day, the Egyptian text was a translation, edited to give greater prominence to the role of Egypt in granting peace. The Hittite version was probably much closer to the text formally agreed upon, and the two versions should be read together. The Egyptian version was carved upon the walls of the Temple of Amon at Karnak and of the Ramesseum.

 

Year 21, 1st month of the second season, day 21,1 under the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: User-maat-Re; Son of Re: Ramses Meri-Amon, given life forever, beloved of Amon-Re; Har-akhti; Ptah, South-of-His-Wall, Lord of Life of the Two Lands; Mut, the Lady of Ishru; and Khonsu Neferhotep; appearing on the Horus-Throne of the Living, tike his father Har-akhti forever and ever.

 

On this day, while his majesty was in the town of Per-Ramses Meri-Amon,2 doing the pleasure of his father Amon-Re; Har-akhti; Atum, Lord of the Two Lands, the, Heliopolitan; Amon of Ramses Meri-Amon;2 Ptah of Ramses Meri-Amon;2 and Seth, the Great of Strength, the Son of Nut, according as they give him an eternity of jubilees and an infinity of years of peace, while all lands and all foreign countries are prostrate under his soles forever--there came the Royal Envoy and Deputy . . . Royal Envoy . . . User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re . . . Tar-Teshub, and the Messenger of Hatti, carrying the tablet of silver which the Great Prince of Hatti, Hattusilis caused to be brought to Pharaoh--life, prosperity, health!--in order to beg peace from the majesty of User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the Son of Re: Ramses Meri-Amon, given life forever like his father Re every day.

 

Copy of the tablet of silver which the Great Prince of Hatti, Hattusilis, caused to be brought to Pharaoh-- life, prosperity, health!--by the hand of his envoy Tar-Teshub, and his envoy Ra-mose,3 in order to beg peace from the majesty of User-maat-Re, Son of Re: Ramses Meri-Amon, the bull of rulers, who has made his frontier where he wished in very land.

 

Preamble

The regulations4 which the Great Prince of Hatti, Hattusilis, the powerful, the son of Mursilis, the Great Prince of Hatti, the powerful, the son of the son of Suppiluliumas, the Great Prince of Hatti, the powerful, made upon a tablet of silver for User-maat-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, the powerful, the son of Men-maat-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, the powerful, the son of Men-pehti-Re,5 the great ruler of Egypt, the powerful; the good regulations of peace and of brotherhood, giving peace . . . forever.

 

Former Relations

Now from the beginning of the limits of eternity, as for the situation of the great ruler of Egypt with the Great Prince of Hatti, the god did not permit hostility to occur between them, through a regulation.6 But in the time of Muwatallis, the Great Prince of Hatti, my brother,7 he fought with Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt. But hereafter, from this day, behold Hattusilis, the Great Prince of Hatti, is under a regulation for making permanent the situation which the Re and Seth8 made for the land of Egypt with the land of Hatti, in order not to permit hostility to occur between them forever.

 

The Present Treaty

Behold, Hattusilis, the Great Prince of Hatti, has set himself in a regulation with User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, beginning from this day, to cause that good peace and brotherhood occur between us forever, while he is in brotherhood with me and he is at peace with me, and I am in brotherhood with him and I am at peace with him forever. Now since Muwatallis, the Great Prince of Hatti, my brother, went in pursuit of his fate,9 and Hattusilis sat as Great Prince of Hatti upon the throne of his father, behold, I have come to be with Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, for we are together in our peace and our brotherhood. It is better than the peace or the brotherhood which was formerly in the land. Behold, I, as the Great Prince of Hatti, am with Ramses Meri-Amon, in good peace and in good brotherhood. The children of the children of the Great Prince of Hatti are in brotherhood and peace with the children of the children of Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, for they are in our situation of brotherhood and our situation of peace. The land of Egypt, with the land of Hatti, shall be at peace and in brotherhood like unto us forever. Hostilities shall not occur between them forever.

 

Mutual Renunciation of Invasion

The Great Prince of Hatti shall not trespass against the land of Egypt forever, to take anything from it. And User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, shall not trespass against the land of Hatti, to take from it forever.

 

Reaffirmation of Former Treaties

As to the traditional regulation10 which had been here in the time of Suppiluliumas, the Great Prince of Hatti, as well as the traditional regulation which had been in the time of Muwatallis,11 the Great Prince of Hatti, my father, I seize hold of it. Behold, Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, seizes hold of the regulation which he makes together with us, beginning from this day. We seize hold of it, and we act in this traditional situation.

 

A Defensive Alliance--for Egypt

If another enemy come against the lands of User- maat-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, and he send to the Great Prince of Hatti, saying: "Come with me as reinforcement against him," the Great Prince of Hatti shall come to him and the Great Prince of Hatti shall slay his enemy. However, if it is not the desire of the Great Prince of Hatti to go (himself), he shall send his infantry and his chariotry, and he shall slay his enemy. Or, if Ramses Meri-Amon the great ruler of Egypt, is enraged Against servants belonging to him, and they commit another offence against him, and he go to slay them, the Great Prince of Hatti shall act with him to slay everyone against whom they shall be enraged.

 

A Defensive Alliance--for Hatti

But if another enemy come against the Great Prince of Hatti, User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, shall] come to him as reinforcement to slay his enemy. If it is (not)12 the desire of Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, to come, he shall . . . Hatti, land he shall send his infantry and his chariotry, besides returning answer to the land of Hatti. Now if the servants of the Great Prince of Hatti trespass against him, and Ramses Meri-Amon. . . .

 

The Contingency of Death?

. . . the land of Hatti and the land of Egypt . . . the life. Should it be that I shall go in pursuit of my fate, then Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, living forever, shall go and come to the land of Hatti, . . . to cause . . . , to make him lord for them, to make User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, silent with his mouth forever.13 Now after he . . . the land of Hatti, and he returns . the Great Prince of Hatti, as well as the. . . .

 

Extradition of Refugees to Egypt

If a great man flee from the land of Egypt and come to the Great Prince of Hatti, or a town belonging to the lands of Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, and they come to the Great Prince of Hatti, the Great Prince of Hatti shall not receive them. The Great Prince of Hatti shall cause them to be brought to User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, their lord, because of it. Or if a man or two men--no matter who14--flee, and they come to the land of Hatti to be servants of someone else, they shall not be left in the land of Hatti; they shall be brought to Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt.

 

Extradition of Refugees to Hatti

Or if a great man flee from the land of Hatti and come to User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, or a town or a district or a . . . belonging to the land of Hatti, and they come to Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, (then) User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, shall not receive them. Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, shall cause them to be brought to the Prince [of Hatti]. They shall not be left. Similarly, if a man or two men--no matter who14--flee, and they come to the land of Egypt to be servants of other people, User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, shall not leave them. He shall cause them to be brought to the Great Prince of Hatti.

 

The Divine Witnesses to the Treaty

As for these words of the regulation which the Great Prince of Hatti made with Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, in writing upon this tablet of silver-as for these words, a thousand gods of the male gods and of the female gods of them of the land of Hatti, together with a thousand gods of the male gods and of the female gods of them of the land of Egypt, are with me as witnesses hearing these words:15 the Re, the lord of the sky; the Re of the town of Arinna; Seth, the lord of the sky; Seth of Hatti; Seth of the town of Arinna; Seth of the town of Zippalanda; Seth of the town of Pe(tt)iyarik; Seth of the town of Hissas(ha)pa; Seth of the town of Sarissa; Seth of the town of Aleppo; Seth of the town of Lihzina; Seth of the town . . .; . . .; Seth of the town of Sahpin; Antaret16 of the land of Hatti; the god of Zithari(as); the god of Karzis; the god of Hapantaliyas; the goddess of the town of Karahna; the goddess of . . .  . . .17  . . .; the Queen of the Sky; the gods, the lords of oaths; this goddess, the Lady of the Ground; the Lady of the Oath, Ishara; the Lady (of the) mountains and the rivers of the land of Hatti; the gods of the land of Kizuwadna; Amon; the Re; Seth; the male gods; the female gods; the mountains; and the rivers of the land of Egypt; the sky; the earth; the great sea; the winds; and the clouds.

 

Curses and Blessings for this Treaty

As for these words which are on this tablet of silver of the land of Hatti and of the land of Egypt--as for him who shall not keep them, a thousand gods of the land of Hatti, together with a thousand gods of the land of Egypt, shall destroy his house, his land, and his servants. But, as for him who shall keep these words which are this tablet of silver, whether they are Hatti or whether they are Egyptians, and they are not neglectful of them, a thousand gods of the land of Hatti, together with a thousand gods of the land of Egypt, shall cause that he be well, shall cause that he live, together with his houses and his (land) and his servants.

 

Extradition of Egyptians from Hatti

If a man flee from the land of Egypt--or two or three-- and they come to the Great Prince of Hatti, the Great Prince of Hatti shall lay hold of them, and he shall cause that they be brought back to User-maat-Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt. But, as for the man who shall be brought to Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler off Egypt, do not cause that his crime be raised against him; do not cause that his house or his wives or his children be destroyed; do not cause that he be slain; do not cause that injury be done to his eyes, to his ears, to his mouth, or to his legs; do not let any crime be raised against him.

 

Extradition of Hittites from Egypt

Similarly, if men flee from the land of Hatti--whether he be one or two or three--and they come to User-maat- Re Setep-en-Re, the great ruler of Egypt, let Ramses Meri-Amon, the great ruler of Egypt, lay hold of them and cause that they be brought to the Great Prince of Hatti, and the Great Prince of Hatti shall not raise their crime against them, and they shall not destroy his house or his wives or his children, and they shall not slay him, and they shall not do injury to his ears, to his eyes, to his mouth, or to his legs, and they shall not raise any crime against him.

 

Description of the Tablet

What is in the middle of the tablet of silver. On its front side: figures consisting of an image of Seth embracing an image of the Great Prince of Hatti, surrounded by a border with the words: "the seal of Seth, the ruler of the sky; the seal of the regulation which Hattusilis made, the Great Prince of Hatti, the powerful, the son of Mursilis, the Great Prince of Hatti, the powerful." What is within that which surrounds the figures: the seal of Seth. What is on its other side: figures consisting of a female image of the goddess of Hatti embracing a female image of the Princess of Hatti, surrounded by a border with the words: "the seal of the Re of the town of Arinna, the lord of the land; the seal of Putu-hepa, the Princess of the land of Hatti, the daughter of the land of Kizuwadna, the priestess of the town of Arinna, the Lady of the Land, the servant of the goddess." What is within the surrounding (frame) of the figures: the seal of the Re of Arinna, the lord of every land.

 

 

1 Around 1280 B.C., this date would fall toward the end of November.

2 The capital city of Ramses in the Delta.

3 Tar-Teshub bears a Hittite name, Ra-mose an Egyptian name. However, in the broken context above, two Hittite names appear.

4 The "prescribed form," used throughout this inscription for the treaty.

5 Ramses II, the son of Seti I, the son of Ramses I.

6 Reference to a previous treaty (in the reign of Hor-em-heb?).

7 Whose best-known encounter with Ramses II was at the Battle of Kadesh, 16 years earlier.

8 Cuneiform version: "the Sun-god and the Storm-god." See n.15 below.

9 This is an example of the non-Egyptian language resulting from a translation of the cuneiform.

10 The former treaty.

11 Muwatallis was the brother of lbttusilis; Mursilis the father of Hattusilis. There seem to have been two former treaties---or one which was valid in two reigns.

12 It is clear from the context and from the parallel above that the negative has dropped out.

13 The meaning of this section is uncertain, but it seems to provide that Ramses II shall take helpful action in the succession to the Hittite throne, if Hattusilis dies. If so, the reciprocal section about Egypt does not appear, cf. the Hittite version.

14 "They are unknown." The clause provides for the same treatment of individuals and of subject princes or subject states.

15 Langdon and Gardiner, op. cit., 194-97, show a number of the cuneiform originals of these Hittite deities. The present translation has profited by the suggestions of A. Goetze. For example, "the Re, the lord of the sky" from an original "the Sun-god, lord of heaven"; "the Re of the town of Arinna" from an original "the Sun-goddess of Arinna"; "Seth, lord of the sky" from an original "the Storm-god, lord of heaven"; etc.

16 Goetze believes that the formerly proposed emendation of this name to "Astarte" is impossible and that the original here had "the (patron god) of Hatti land," with the ideogram dKAL, Hittite reading unknown but designating the patron god, hidden behind the curious Egyptian 'ntrt

17 Goetze rules out the previously proposed "the goddess of Tyre," and suggest that we have here an Egyptian attempt to render a Hittite original, "the goddess of the field " He believes that the previous "the goddess of the tow n of Karahna" stems from an original "the (patron god) of Karahna," dKAL again. The present translation omits a broken context following this note.