SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Introductory Hittite

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

This module deals with the history of the discovery, script and language of Hittite, a study of the orthography and grammar, and the reading of selected passages.


Introductory Akkadian is a prerequisite.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module the student should have acquired knowledge and understanding of basic Hittite grammar, mastery of essential Hittite vocabulary and competence in the reading of easy cuneiform texts in Hittite; should have acquired competence in the translation and interpretation of cuneiform texts in the genres studied; should have acquired a fundamental understanding of the written legacy of ancient Anatolia; and should have gained appropriate knowledge of the philological and methodological issues with which Hittitologists engage.


The module will normally entail two or three hours in the classroom each week. Preparation for classes will include the study of passages from the set texts for reading in class.

Scope and syllabus

The module begins with the study of Hittite grammar and script. Thereafter it comprises mainly the reading and discussion of a selection of set texts in cuneiform.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (70%); four (non-repeatable) pieces of coursework to be submitted on day 5, after reading week, term 1 (5%); day 5, week 1, term 2 (10%); day 5 after reading week, term 2 (5%); day 5, week 1, term 3 (10%).

Suggested reading

Basic bibliography:
  • Rüster, C., and E. Neu: Hethitisches Zeichenlexikon. StBoT Beiheft 2. Wiesbaden, 1989 
  • Friedrich, J.: Hethitisches Elementarbuch I and II. Heidelberg, 1960, 1967 
  • Friedrich, J.: Hethitisches Keilschrift Lesebuch. Heidelberg, 1960 
  • Friedrich, J.: Hethitisches W?rbuch. Heidelberg, 1962 
  • Friedrich, J., and A. Kammenhuber: Hethitisches W?rbuch. 2nd edition. Heidelberg, 1975-, in progress 
  • Güterbock, H. G., and H. A. Hoffner: The Hittite Dictionary. Vol. 3, L-N; Chicago, 1989. Vol. 4/1, P-par®; 1984 ("Chicago Hittite Dictionary", abbr. CHD) 
  • Kammenhuber, A.: Materialien zu einem hethitischen Thesaurus, Lief. 1-11. Heidelberg, 1973-89 (contents: (1)ak(k)-/ek(k)-; (2)su; (3)ta; (4)-a-; (5)eku-/aku-; (6)da-; (7)sak(k)-/sek(k)-; (8)handai-) 
  • Puhvel, J.: Hittite Etymological Dictionary. Vols. 1-2 (A, E-I); Berlin, New York, Amsterdam, 1984. Vol. 3 (H); 1991 
  • Tischler, J.: Hethitisches etymologisches Glossar, Teil 1, a-k; Innsbruck, 1983. Teil II, l-n; 1990-1. Teil III/8-10, t/d; 1993-4


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules