пятница, 25 марта 2022 г.

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Until the beginning of the 20th century. scholars knew almost nothing about the Hittites. "Heteites" (in Russian translation) were briefly mentioned in the Bible. In Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions there is a mention of the "country of Het" or "Hatti". From Egyptian sources it can be understood that in 1300 BC. the Hittites fought with Egypt for dominance over Syria and Palestine (see the article "Ancient Egypt"). This struggle ended, so to speak, "in a draw" - which means that the Hittites turned out to be worthy rivals and did not yield to the powerful Egyptian power either on the battlefield or in the art of diplomacy.

Beginning at the end of the 19th century excavations in the central regions of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) showed that the center of the Hittite kingdom with the capital of Hattusa was located here. Archaeologists have found hundreds of clay tiles covered with inscriptions. The icons on many tiles turned out to be familiar to scientists - it was the Akkadian cuneiform script, the Hittites adopted it from the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. However, it was not possible to read them - the inscriptions were written in an unknown (Hittite) language. The Czech linguist Bedřich the Terrible was able to decipher them in 1915. He proved that the Hittite language is related to the Slavic, Germanic, Romance languages ​​that make up the Indo-European language family. It is enough to compare the Hittite words "vatar", "dalu gasti", "ne-bish" with their Russian counterparts "water", "longitude" (i.e. length), "sky". This discovery became a scientific sensation.





It turned out that the Hittites stood apart in the Ancient East, because here they spoke the languages ​​​​of the Afro-Asiatic family, similar to modern Arabic and Jewish. From the depths of centuries, peculiar outlines of the world in which the Hittites lived began to emerge. The Hittites combined the customs and institutions characteristic of the Indo-European peoples with those borrowed from their rival neighbors - the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians and Hurrians.

It remains unclear from where the Hittites came to Asia Minor - from the west, from the Balkan Peninsula, or from the east, through the mountain passes of the Caucasus. The lands inhabited by the Hittites were very different from the vast river valleys of the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates. These were small plains in the mountains and foothills of Asia Minor, separated from each other by mountain ranges and gorges, stormy, but shallow rivers. In many areas of the Hittite kingdom, cattle breeding turned out to be more profitable than agriculture. No wonder the Hittites were known in the East as excellent horse breeders; their chariot army was a formidable force. 

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