Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hittites by Hourly History – Book Review

We have often heard of ancient kingdoms such as Egypt, Greece, Babylon, and etc. but there was a kingdom  which interacted with all these kingdoms and were a mighty kingdom in their own right,  but only a very few of us have even heard of the name. This is a brief compilation of the Hittite history by Hourly History.

The book starts about with the exact location of the Hittite empire, being based in Anatolia and then,  it firsts starts off with the sources of Hittite history which helps us understand as to why there is very little knowledge about them, as the excavation began  very late and the information gathering is still going on. It goes on to talk about the contributions of the British archaeologist, Sir T.E. Lawrence (more famously known as Lawrence of Arabia) towards collection of the artefacts. The book covers all major aspects of the Hittite history, throughout the Bronze and Iron Age, conflict management with neighbours, the royalty, the traditions, the cities and the army. 

I appreciate how the book began by explaining why people know very little about them owing to the lack of sources and also inculcating the interest by bringing in a very well known figure in history, Sir T.E.  Lawrence.  In fact, I have come across the name of this Empire only while reading the history of Egypt and assuming it to be more popular, the book covered all the incidents that I read about Hittites in relation to their interaction with Egypt. The book also brought out the contributions of Hittites in the field of politics and diplomacy, as to how they were perhaps the first kingdom to have documented foreign policies and ceasefire agreements. The society was also covered; as to how it was not a homogenous society and people were of different ethnicities and spoke different languages.

I would have liked it if the book had included the reasons for the eventual decline of the empire, however, I am unsure whether it was a conscious exclusion or whether there is insufficient evidence towards the same.

On the whole, this was a highly informative book about an empire which only a very few of us are aware of.

Rating – 7/10

Have a nice day,

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