SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Hittite Language

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2017/2018
Taught in:
Full Year

The course is generally designed for students who have taken at least one year of Hittite. Its aim is for the students to achieve facility in reading and translating Hittite, and understanding of the content and background of the set texts. Texts to be studied will be selected from Hittite historical, legal and religious texts, such as the Apology of Hattusili, the Old Hittite Laws, the Edict of Telipinu, epic from the Kumarbi Cycle, and the Instructions to Temple Servants. The course can be adapted for students who have done no Hittite, in which case an element of introductory grammar and readings from Friedrich's Hethitisches Keilschrift Lesebuch will form the first part.

Qualifications for entry

The course is specifically designed as a component of the School’s MA Ancient Near Eastern Languages. It is suited to the third or fourth year of the study of the ancient Near East. Prerequisites are, e.g., Introductory Akkadian and at least one other unit of Akkadian (or equivalent study). Experience of Hittite (e.g. Introductory Hittite or equivalent study) is usually required.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course the student should have acquired competence in the reading of advanced-level cuneiform texts in Hittite; should have made progress in the reading, translation and interpretation of cuneiform texts in the genres studied; should have a better understanding of the written legacy of ancient Anatolia; and should have gained appropriate knowledge of the philological and methodological issues with which Hittitologists engage.


This course will be taught over 20 weeks with a 3 hours classroom contact.  10 research seminars to be taken within SOAS.  Attendance to be proven by signature from chair and to be submitted to the Associate Dean for Masters by the last day of term 2.

Scope and syllabus

The course comprises mainly the reading and discussion of a selection of set texts in cuneiform.


NME PG course page: Hittite Lanh

Method of assessment

One three hour written examination taken in May/June (70%);  a language learning portfolio consisting of a set of marked homework, short in-class tests, translation projects (30%).

Suggested reading

a) Language 
  • Friedrich, J.: Hethitisches Elementarbuch I and II. Heidelberg, 1960, 1967 
  • Friedrich, J.: Hethitisches Keilschrift Lesebuch. Heidelberg, 1960 
  • Friedrich, J.: Hethitisches W¨orterbuch. Heidelberg, 1962 
  • Friedrich, J., and A. Kammenhuber: Hethitisches W¨orterbuch. 2nd edn. 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-) 
  • Laroche, E.: Les noms des Hittites. Paris, 1966; Supplement: Hethitica 4 (1981) 3-58 
  • 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 
b) Selected texts
  •  Laroche, E.: Catalogue des textes hittites. Paris, 1971, publications in KBo, KUB, etc. Supplement: Revue Hittite et Asianique 30 (1972) 94-133 (abbr. CTH) 
  • The Apology of Hattusili (CTH no. 81). Edition: H. Otten, Die Apologie Hattusilis III. StBoT 24. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1981. Translation: E. Sturtevant, 
  • A Hittite Chrestomathy (Philadelphia, 1935), pp. 42-99 The Edict of Telipinu (CTH no. 19). Edition: I. Hoffmann, Der Erlass Telipinus. TdH 11. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1984. Translation: Sturtevant, 
  • Hittite Chrestomathy, pp. 175-200 The Hittite Laws (CTH no. 291). Edition and translation. H. Hoffner, 
  • The Laws of the Hittites. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming. Translation: H. Hoffner, "Hittite Laws", in Martha T. Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1995, pp. 213-47 
  • The Song of Ullikummi (CTH no. 345). Edition and translation: H. G¨uterbock, "The Song of Ullikummi", Journal of Cuneiform Studies 5 (1951) 135-61; 6 (1952) 8-42 
  • Instructions to Temple Servants (CTH no. 264). Edition and translation: Sturtevant, Hittite Chrestomathy, pp. 127-74; translation: A. Goetze, "Instructions for Temple Officials", in James B. Pritchard (ed.), Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd edn, Princeton: Princeton UP, 1969, pp. 207-10 
  • The Treaty on the Bronze Tablet. Edition: H. Otten, Die Bronzetafel aus Bogazköy. Ein Staatsvertag Tuthaliyas IV. StBoT Beiheft 1. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1988. Translation: G. Beckman, Hittite Diplomatic Texts. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1996


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules