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Information about the Hittites
The Telipinu Proclamation

The Proclamation of Telipinu

CTH 19

Sturtevant, Edgar, and George Bechtel, A Hittite Chrestomathy, 1935, pp.175 - 200



[Thusly] Tabarna, Telipinu, Great King: Formerly Labarna1 was Great King. His [son]s, his [brother]s, as well as his in-laws, his relatives, and his troops were united.


The land was small, but on whatever campaign he went, he held the enemy land in subjugation by (his) might.


He destroyed the lands, one after another - he overwhelmed3 the lands and made them borders of the sea. When he came back from campaign each (of) his sons went to some land.


(Namely) the city Ḫupišna, the city Tuwanuwa, the city Nenašša, the city Landa, the city Zallara, the city Paršuḫanta, (and) the city Lušna - they governed each of4 the lands and the great cities were prosperous.


Afterwards Ḫattušili became king. And his sons, his brothers, his in-laws, his relatives, and his troops were united, too. On whatever campaign he went, he too held the enemy land in subjugation by (his) might.


He destroyed the lands, one after another - he overwhelmed the lands and made them borders of the sea. When he came back from campaign each of his sons went to some land, and in his hand, too, the great cities were prosperous.


But when subsequently the servants of the princes became corrupt and began to devour their houses, they began to continually whisper against their lords and began to shed their5 blood.


When Muršili became king in Ḫattuša, his sons, his brothers, his in-laws, his relatives, and his troops were united, too. He held the enemy lands in subjugation by (his) might. He overwhelmed the lands and he made them borders of the sea.


He went to Ḫalpa, he destroyed Ḫalpa, and he brought civilian captives of Ḫalpa and its goods to Ḫattuša. Later he went to Babylon, he destroyed Babylon, he repulsed the Hurrians, and he kept the civilian captives of Babylon and its goods in Ḫattuša.


Ḫantili was a cup-bearer and he had Ḫarapšili, [sister] of Muršili, as (his) wife.


Zidanta, [the . .6 had . .7], the daughter of Ḫantili, for (his) wife, and he joined up with Ḫantili and they did an evil deed - they killed Muršili, they shed blood!


And Ḫantili was afraid. "Will I be protected? The gods protected him. [. . . .] wherever he went, the population [. . . .] the cities of Aštata, [Šukzi]ya, Ḫurpana, Kargamiš, [. . . troops] they began to give and troops [. . .]


And [when] Ḫantili reached the city of Tegarama he began to say, "What is this (that) I have done? [Why] did I listen to [the words of] Zidanta, my? [son-in-law? As soon as] he reigned [as king], the gods sought (justice for) the blood of Muršili.


[. . .] the Hurrian troops, chased (like) foxes in the bushes, they called. [When the Hurrian enemy?] came to Ḫatti, he [. . .]-ed [and . . .] in? the land he roamed?. [. . . .] they called and them [. . .]


(Almost completely lost)


[. . .] and the Queen of the city [Šukziy]a [. . .] the queen was dying. [. . .] Ilaliuma secretly sent out palace [attendent]s and [. . .]-ed, "May the Queen of Šukziya die!" So [they seized] her and killed (her) [together with her children.]


When Ḫantili inquired into (the case of) the queen of Šukziya [and her children, saying, "Who [has] killed them?", the Chief of the Palace Attendents brought word. They rounded up her family and [drove] them to Tegarama. They chased them in the bushes and [they] d[ied?.]


When Ḫantili [becam]e an old man and was about to become a god8, Zidanta killed [Pišeni], son of Ḫantili, along with his children, [and] he killed his foremost servents.


And Zidanta became king. The gods sought (justice for) the blood of Pišeni. The gods made [Ammuna, his] begotten (son), into his enemy, and he killed Zidanta, his father.


And Ammuna became king. The gods sought (justice for) the blood9 of Zidanta, his father, and in his hand [they did] not [make] him, or the grain, or [. . .], or the wine, or the cattle or sheep [prosper].


And the land became hostile to him. Wherever the troops went on campaign, (namely) the city [. . .]agga, [the city Mat]ila, the city Galmiya, the land Adaniya, the land Arzawiya, the city Šallapa, the city Parduwata, the city Aḫḫulašša, they kept returning unsuccessful. When Ammuna, too, became a god, Zuru, Chief of the Royal Bodyguard, in those same days secretly sent one of his own family, his son Taḫurwaili, the Man of the Gold Spear, and he killed the family of Tittiya along with his sons.


And he sent Taruḫšu, a courier, and he killed Ḫantili along with his sons. And Ḫuzziya became king. Telipinu had Ištapariya, his foremost sister, (as his wife). Ḫuzziya would have killed them, but the matter was exposed, and Telipinu chased them away.


Five were his brothers, and he built houses for them, (saying), "Let them go (and) live! Let them eat (and) drink!" May no one take part in evil against them! I repeatedly declare, "They did evil to me. [I will not do] evil to them!"


When I, Telipinu, sat upon the throne of my father, I went on campaign to the city Ḫaššuwa, and I destroyed the city Ḫaššuwa. My troops were in the city Zizzilippa, too, and a reversal9 occurred in the city Zizzilippa.


When I, the king, came to the city Lawazantiya, Mr. Laḫḫa was [hostile to me] and incited the city Lawazantiya to rebel. [The gods] put him in my hand. Of the foremost ones (there) were many: Commander of a Thousand, [. . .], Mr. Karruwa, Commander of the Chamberlains, Mr. Inara, Commander of the Cupbearers, Mr. Killa [Commander of the ...], Mr. Tarḫumimma, Commander of the Staffbearers, Mr. Zinwašeli, and Mr. Lelli. They sent secretly to Mr. Tanuwa, the Staffbearer.


I, the king, did not know! [He killed?] Ḫuzziya and his brothers. When I, the king, heard, they brought Tanuwa, Tarḫurwaili, [and] Taruḫšu, and the Council held them forth for death. But I, the king, said, "Why do they die? They will hide (their) eyes about them!" I, the king, made them into true farmers. I took the weapons from the shoulder and gave them a y[oke?.]


Blood(shed) of the whole royal family has become common! Ištapariya, the queen, died. Later it came to be that Ammuna, the prince, died. The Men of the Gods keep saying, "Blood(shed) has now become common in Ḫattuša!" I, Telipinu, called an assembly in Ḫattuša. From this moment on let no one in Ḫattuša do evil to a son of the (royal) family and draw a dagger against him!


Let a prince - a son - of the first rank only be installed as king! If a prince of the first rank does not exist, (then) let he who is a son of second rank become king. But if there is no prince, no male issue, (then) let them take an antiyant-husband9 for she who is a first rank daughter, and let him become king.

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First Published: June 24, 2000