ISBN: 978-2-87457-127-5

“L´État, c’est moi!” The Hittite king as embodiment of the State

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by Marta PALLAVIDINI, in Res Antiquae 18, 2021.

The concept of kingship in the Ancient Near East and the interrelation between the abstract idea of kingship, its concrete practice, and the king have been object of a significant number of studies. In particular, the ideology of kingship, the deification of the king, the functions and roles of the king have been the focus of scholarship’s interest in the past and present. However, at least in the field of Hittitology, the interconnection between the figure of the king and the institution that he represents has not been studied adequately. This contribution aims to demonstrate the strength of this interconnection by taking into consideration expressions involving the body and specific body parts of the Hittite king. It will be argued, on the basis of textual evidence, that these expressions were functional to the political communication and that the Hittite king embodies the institution that he represented.

Keywords: Hittite Empire, kingship, culture, State, body of the king, governance
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