Ramses II - Peace Treaty - Hattusilis
S. Langdon & Alan H. Gardiner
Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. VI, 1920.
Transcription of the Hittite Babylonian Version
Comparing the Hittite-Babylonian & Egyptian Versions
Notes & References
Hieroglyphic & Cuneiform Sources for Qadesh - Carchemish
Egyptian Treaty Version|
The publication in Germany, during the war, of the Hittite archives discovered at Boghazköi by Hugo Winckler makes it at least possible to compare in detail the hieroglyphic und cuneiform versions of the famous treaty concluded by the Hittite king Hattusili with Ramses II of Egypt. Archaeology has no more romantic coincidence to show than the recovery in the heart of Asia Minor, a thousand miles away across the Mediterranean, of those two clay tablets reproducing in Babylonian language and writing the self-same treaty that Ramses II had commemorated upon hieroglyphic stelae in his Theban temples. The full details of the story are doubtless unknown to many readers of the Journal; we may therefore be permitted to narrate them briefly by way of preface to our more technical investigations.
In the course of the expedition to Egypt, wherein Champollion sought to turn to practical account his decipherment of the hieroglyphs, his attention was especially attracted to the sculptures and inscriptions recording the wars between Ramses II and a people whose name was read as Schéto. The sequel to those wars was a treaty of alliance of which the full terms were set forth in a hieroglyphic version upon great stelae in the temples of Karnak and the Ramesseum respectively. Champollion copied both the more complete example at Karnak and the fragmentary one in the Ramesseum, but his tentative rendering of some lines in the Notices Descreptives , as well as a reference in his published letters , shows that he did not yet divine the exact purport. This was, however, quite clearly recognized by his pupil Rosellini, the first scholar to attempt a complete translation. Since those early days many translations and editions of the text have seen the light, but it must be confessed with some shame that Egyptologists have not yet provided themselves with quite definitive copies of this all-important historical document. The best edition available is one published by the late W. Max Müller in 1902 , and it would be doing him an injustice to suggest that there is very much amiss with it; but a collation made by Professor Sethe, which, thanks to his kindness, we have been permitted to use for the present article (see Pl. XVIII), shows that in points of detail Max Müller's copy left a good deal to be desired; and a comparison of the first lines with the photograph of Béato pointed to the same conclusion. When will our scholars realize that the accurate copying of the monuments above ground is a task of far greater urgency than the exploitation of new sites?
Champollion was inclined to equate the people whose name he read as Schéto with the Scythians, and it was not until 1858 that their identity with the Hittites of the OT was conjectured by Brugsch, almost simultaneously with De Rougé and Bunson. What at first was a mere guess has been gradually converted into a certainty. Little by little monuments of the Hittites themselves have come to light both in Northern Syria and in Asia Minor; the El Amarna letters have revealed the existence of a great Hittite kingdom whose warlike rulers were pressing southward towards Phoenicia and Palestine in the time of Amenophis III and his successor; and finally, in 1906, Hugo Winckler dicovered the capital of the Hittites themselves, the extensive city of Hatti in the great fortified ruins of Boghazköi within the circuit of the Halys(River). Here, in the magazines of the largest palace, as well as at another spot, were unearthed a vast number of clay tablets that proved to be nothing more or less than the archives of the Hittite Foreign Office. All the tablets were written in cuneiform characters, but in many the language was that actually spoken by the Hittites. The diplomatic idiom of those times was, however, Babylonian, just as French is with ourselves, and in consequence the correspondence and treaties with the rulers of surrounding countries were couched in that tongue. The duplicate of the treaty with Ramses II was recognized as such by Winckler himself , but it was not until 1916, ten years later, that the full text was published. Fragments of two copies were recovered; they were written in the Canaanite dialect of Babylonian, and though there are divergences from the hieroglyphic version that will have to be considered hereafter, a cursory examination reveals the fact that in many paragraphs at least the Boghazköi tablets represent the actual original text from which the Egyptian version was translated. It had long been recognized that the phraseology of the hieroglyphic version was non-Egyptian, and the newly discovered tablets, no less than the other treaties and similar documents found at Boghazköi, now prove beyond doubt that it was purely Babylonian. Unhappily, both the tablets from Boghazköi are incomplete: the larger fragment, no. 7 in the publication, carries 43 well preserved lines containing about half the treaty; no. 25 furnishes only the beginnings of the first 12 lines. The first critical edition of the Boghazköi version was given by Bruno Meisner, in a paper printed in the Sitzungsberichte of the Berlin Academy ; in that paper, which has been used for the present article with much profit, a full transcription and translation were provided, together with valuable comments and comparisons with the Egyptian counterpart. In a later work  containing a résumé of the historical data obtainable from the Semitic texts of Boghazköi, Meisner repeats his translation of the treaty, placing the corresponding paragraphs of the Egyptian version in a parallel column; the translation of the hieroglyphic text used by Meisner is that of Breasted. A new rendering of the Egyptian text is similarly printed opposite a rendering of the cuneiform tablets in a recent well-written pamphlet by Roeder.
In the present article Professor Langdon offers a new transcription and translation of the Boghazköi tablets, making abundant use of the other texts from Boghazköi for restoring defective passages and for commentating those parts of the treaty that are preserved in the hieroglyphic version alone. For the new rendering of the Egyptian text and for the form in which the two renderings are presented Dr. Gardiner has assumed the responsibility. The comments are our joint work; but the chronological and historical conclusions in the last section (iv) are due to Professor Langdon alone.
Before embarking upon the translation of the cuneiform and hieroglyphic examples of the treaty, we must devote some words both to the form in which the names of gods, kings and countries are rendered in the original texts and to the equivalents adopted for these in our English versions. So far as the hieroglyphic writings of foreign names are concerned, it is recognized that the so-called sylabic writing employed for this purpose was not truly syllabic at all, and that for such a geographical name as (`Hi-sa-sa-pa'), which Max Müller transcribed H'i-sa-sa-pa, all that we are strictly justified in giving is the consonantal framework `H-s-s-p' . Now in many cases it has proved possible, on the strength of the Boghazköi evidence, to identify such place-names, so that nothing prevents us from inserting in our translation of the Egyptian text the fully vocalized original pronunciations. By way of precaution, however, we shall add the hieroglyphic consonantal counterpart in round brackets; thus the place-name that we have quoted as an example will appear as Hiššašhapa (H-s-s-p). For those who are not orientalists it should be noted that the symbol `H' (when underlined) represents a strongly aspirated h and that š is to be pronounced sh.
To avoid repetition of the Egyptian consonantal equivalents it will be well to state here the form in which the hieroglyphs render the names of the land of Hatti and of its rulers. For Hatti the Egyptian writes Ht3 (where the 3 is a special narrower character), purely consonantally. There is no more justification for the pronunciation Kheta adopted by the older school of Egyptologists than there is for Khetasar, Merasar, Metella, and Seplel respectively. These names should henceforth disappear from the history books; the Egyptian hieroglyphs give no more than the consonants Ht-s-r, M-r-s-r, M-t-nr, and S-p-r-r and provide no warrant for any vowels in which we may choose to clothe those inarticulate skeletons. The Hittites themselves doubtless pronounced the names of their kings somewhat otherwise than did the Egyptians - there are certain variations even in the consonants, Babylonian š corresponding to Egyptian s, and so forth. Nevertheless, we are not in a position to furnish the precise Egyptian equivalents of the Hittite names, and so we had best fall back on the native originals. Hence, in our translations both of the Boghazköi tablets and of the Theban stelae, we shall render uniformly Hattušili, Muršili, Muwattalli, Subbiluliuma.
We are more embarrassed to know how to deal with the Egyptian royal names. The cuneiform tablets, in writing the prenomen and nomen of Ramses II as Wašmuaria-šatepnaria  and Riamašeša-mai-Amana respectively, set a standard of excellence (mutatis mutandis, as š into s, see above) which we cannot maintain elsewhere in transcribing Pharaonic names. Here we are usually content with the sort of pronunciation that was current in Greek times, the sort of pronunciation that Manetho used. For this reason we will adhere, in translating the Karnak text, to our conventional transcriptions Usimare-setpenre (cf. Gk. Ousimares) and Ra-messe-mi-Amun (cf. Gk. `Pamesses Miamoun), while preserving the richer flavoured pronunciations in our versions of the Boghazköi texts. These later give the equivalents Minmuaria for `Menmare' Sethos I, Minpahiritaria (sic) for Menpehtire Ramesses I, and - in a letter, not in a treaty  - Naptera for Nefreteri, the consort of Ramses II. It may here be noted that the hieroglyphic copies of the treaty fairly consistently alternate the prenomen and nomen of Ramses II throughout the text, a common stylistic device at this period; the cuneiform tablets are content with the nomen alone. The cuneiform tablets make no distinction of title between the kings of Egypt and Hatti-land; they are šarru rabű šar matMi-is-ri-i `great king, king of Misr (Egypt)' and šarru rabű šar matHa-at-ti `great king, king of Hatti,' as the case may be; whereas the hieroglyphic copies have, in the one case `the great ruler [hks'] of Egypt' and, in the other, `the great chief  of Hatti,' with the less honorific term always applied to the Syrian and other foreign princelings.
As regards divine names, both the Hittite and the Egyptian versions exemplify the practice, almost universal in antiquity, of translating these into the indigenous equivalents. In our renderings we have perforce followed suit; the Egyptian sun-god, `Pre', `the Re', `the sun' appears in the Boghazköi texts as Šamaš, the Semitic name of the sun-god; the Hittite god of thunder, Tešub, is represented at Thebes by Setekh, the stranger-god par excellence, an equivalence which, from the Egyptian point of view, gained rather than lost through the sinister association with the enemy of Horus and Osiris.
We now proceed to the translation of the texts, appending to each section or paragraph such commentary as is necessary. The Egyptian version has an explanatory introduction (II. 1-4) and a heading (II. 4-5), which are not in the parallel texts from Boghazköi; the internal evidence would suffice to show that they were not translated, but composed by an Egyptian scribe.
It is important to note, from the outset, that the cuneiform version places Ramesses in the foreground as the principal contracting party; and he therefore sometimes uses the first person (II. 7,16). In the hieroglyphic version, on the other hand, it is Hattusili who employs the pronoun of the first person (II. 10,11,14,26), and his name and land are mentioned before Pharaoh and Egypt. This agrees with the statement 1.4 (cf. 1.3) that the Karnak stela gives the translation of the silver tablet sent to Ramesses by Hattušili. In §§ 6-9 this reversal of roles leads to the position that while the paragraphs retain their regular sequence in both versions, in actual substance Babylonian § 6 corresponds to Egyptian § 8, and Babylonian § 7 to Egyptian § 9.
Explanatory Introduction (Egyptian Treaty Version only), This is not the peace treaty with Hatti.
This introduction is almost pure cliché; Egyptian historical stelae regularly begin with a date and titles, these being followed by an indication of the momentary residence and occupation of the Pharaoh when the situation to be envisaged arose. The date of year 21 is, of course, important; Ramesses was, as usual, residing at his northern capital by the Pelusiac river-mouth, at or near Pelusium. The passage giving the names of the envoys is, unhappily, damaged beyond possibility of restoration. It would look as though two Egyptian military officers, perhaps commanders on the Egyptian frontier, accompanied the Hittite envoys into the presence of Pharaoh. The injured names of those envoys of the chief of Hatti Tartešub (T-r-t-s-b) and Ramose - this last a purely Egyptian name. In the present passage the name of the first envoy  might indeed be emended to [T-r]-t-s-b, (Tartešub), but that of the second was certainly not Ramose, but a name ending with the characteristically Hittite termination -sil (Max Müller saw Y-?-s-r); between this and the epithet `the messenger of Hatti' in front of it are some unintelligible foreign words .. n-i ... ?-y-m(?)-š regarded by Max Müller as a Semitic honorific title; Roeder (op. cit., p. 36) suggests `[Karke]mish' for the second word, a conjecture for which reference to the original is required.[206b]
This portion of the article addresses the main issues we are interested in. The rest is much about divine names and such information.
Notes & References
 Der Bündnisvertrag Ramses II und des Chetiterkönigs in Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, 1902, 5. W. Peiser, Berlin. A valuable translation, with good bibliography, is given in Breasted, Ancient Records, Vol. II, §§ 367-391. For a bibliography of previous translations, see Maspero, Histoire Ancienne, Vol. II, p. 401, n. 2.
 Restored from Knudtzon, `El-Amarna', 29, 132. See Mercer's EA letters here.
 Uncertain. For tillatu, help, support, see KTB, I, 25, 44 ti-il-la-tam irriš, he shall ask for help. See also Knudtzon, El-Amarna, 71, 21-2, dannat tillat-šu, mighty is his strength. A variant is tęlűtu, tillűtu; a-na te-el-ú-ti-ša, for his help, KTB, I, 16, 9, a-na ti-il-lu-ti-ia, I, 25, 66. The word is philologically identical with illatu, strength, and has the same ideogram. Note KTB, I, 17, 21 ana ILLAD-ti-šu. See now Ebeling, Religiöse Texte aus Assur, p. 333, til-lat = puhru, totality.
 See also Meissner restores from 1.35. This meaning of adi cannot be substantiated from parallel texts and may be an abbreviation for adi surri, cf. Meek in `Beiträge zur Assyriologie, Vol. X, No. 76, 28.
 See below****ADD LATER*****, end. These Greek names of these 19th Dynasty rulers are those used by Manetho (ca. 250 BC). Herodotus (ca. 484-424 BC) uses `Necho' for Ramses.
 There is the additional difficulty that there is barely room for the words `messenger of Hatti' before this first name; nor is the reason for the prenomen of Ramses II that precedes at all apparent.
[206b] Added by CIAS: The following information has been researched here. A number of pieces of information direct our attention toward Carchemish as the site of confrontation between Ramses II and Hattusilis. Carchemish being a prominent city with a palace and temple means, Carchemish certainly qualifies as a `holy' kadesh city. - The Egyptian source for `Carchemish' as documented by Breasted reads, "Beginning of the victory of King Usermare-Setepnere (Ramses II), [who is given life], forever, which he achieved in the land of Kheta (Ht) and Naharin (N-h-ry-n), in the land of Arvad (Y-r-tw), in Pedes (Py-d-s), in the Derden (D-r-d-ny), in the land of Mesa (M-s), in the land of Kelekesh ([K]-r-[k]y-s, sic!), -, Carchemish (K-r
]-k-my-š), Kode (Kdy), the land of Kadesh (Kdš), in the land of Ekereth (-k-r-t), and Mesheneth (Mw-š-n-t).
"[James Breasted, Records, Vol. III, Sec. 306, p. 136.] - - Hieroglyphic names for Kadesh can be compared here. The left is the form by Budge who locates it in Syria [E.A.W. Budge, Egyptian Dictionary, Vol. II, 1045a], the right is the writing in the larger tower in the fortress artwork (click on the image) of Qodesh on the north wall of the great hall of the temple at Abu Simbel. Both of these renditions seem to have enough in common below the wavy line to conclude that we have here the name for `Qodesh' represented. Other forms can be seen here. -- Here follows a cuneiform version for `Carchemish,' which city name, as far as we know, is not found in the peace treaty version by Hattusilis. - - Post script: We would like to emphasize that the conventional `Kadesh' on the Orontos River has never revealed any relevant information to the actions between Ramses II and his counterpart Hattusilis, which could not be interpreted any other way. That is so because the action took place near Carchemish, at least there was found a maze club bearing the name of Ramses II. Displacing Ramses II into a wrong century wrecked havoc with ancient history, in particular the participants of these battles. The Peace Treaty represents an agreement between Nebuchadnezzar/Hattusilis and Ramses II/ Necho toward the end of the 7th century BC written in the writing of the Babylonian Chaldeans of Anatolia, the Hatti, not Hittites.
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