As far as the Khabur Mesopotamia seems to have been a wellinhabited country from at least the 15th century B.C., when it constituted the Hittite kingdom of Mitanni, down to about the 12th century A.D., and the same is true of the country on the Syrian side of the Euphrates as far as the eastern limit of the Palmyrene.
The Tell el-Amarna Letters (15th century B.C.) show Syria held in part by Egyptian viceroys, who are much preoccupied with southward movements in the Buka'a and the rest of the interior beyond their control, due to pressure of Amorite peoples, and of the Mitanni and the Kheta, whose non-Semitic blood was mingled with that of the Aramaeans even in Palestine.
Syria (Mitanni) and E.
C. the Cappadocian Hatti were already in relations, generally more or less hostile, with a rival power in Syria, that of Mitanni; and Subbiluliuma (= Saplel or Saparura), king of these Hatti, a contemporary of Amenophis IV.
Whether the Mitanni had shared in that civilization while independent, and whether they were racially kin to the Hatti, cannot be determined at present.
Winckler has adduced evidence from names of local gods to show that there was an Indo-European racial element in Mitanni; but none for a similar element in the Hatti, whose chief god was Teshub.
The Hatti now pushed southwards in force, overcame the kingdom of Mitanni and proceeded partly to occupy and partly to make tributary both north Syria and western Mesopotamia where some of their congeners were already settled.
Dushratta, king of Mitanni, about 1400 B.C., in the Tell el-Amarna letters offers to send to the king of Egypt an image of Ishtar of Nineveh; from which it has been inferred that Nineveh was then under foreign rule.
Metan is clearly the same as Mitanni, over against Khatti, mentioned e.g.
63), which is the same as Mitanni, several letters from which are in the Amarna collection.
Since a Mitanni princess of these letters is called in Egyptian scarabs a princess of Naharin, it is clear that Mitanni and Naharin are more or less equivalent, whilst in the Amarna letters, even Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, seems to use in the same way the name Khanigalbat.
Possibly the rulers of Babylon had a freer hand in a city that they apparently raised to a dominant position than the Semitic rulers of Asshur, who seem to have succeeded to men of the stock which we have hitherto called Mitanni, if we may judge ' On the theory that it was climatic changes in Arabia that drove the Semites to seek new homes along the route mentioned above, see L.
When Khammurabi's fifth successor saw the fall of the Amorite dynasty in consequence of an inroad of "Hittites," these may have been Mesopotamian Shubaru-Mitanni; but they may, as Ungnad suggests, represent rather an- Timee Times.
The first mention of Mitanni, as we saw, is under Tethmosis III., who clearly crossed the Euphrates.
It is at least possible that common enmity to Mitanni led to a treaty with Assyria (under Ashur-nadin-akhe).
The language of the Mitanni state, however, was neither Aryan nor Semitic, and may very well be that of the mysterious "Hittite" hieroglyphic inscriptions (see Hittites).
Mitanni was one of the great powers, alongside of Egypt and Babylonia, able to send to Egypt the Ninevite 'Ishtar; and at this time as much as at any Ungnad, Beitr.
The king mentioned above (Shaushatar) conquered Asshur (Assur), and Assyria remained subordinate to Mitanni till near the middle of the 14th century, when, on the death of Tushratta, it overthrew Mitanni with the help of Alshe, a north Mesopotamian state, the allies dividing the territory between them.
Knowing what we know of the colonizing power of the Assyrians, we may assume that among the "Mitanni" and other elements in the Mesopotamian population there would now be an increase of people of "Assyrian" origin.
When Mitanni fell Babylon no doubt adhered to its older claims on Mesopotamia; but the Kassite kings could do little to contest the advance of Assyria, although several rectifications of the boundary between their spheres are reported.
PU.DI.ili), carried on the work of enforcing Assyria's claim to the heirship of Mitanni, he is described as conquering the warriors 1 (?) of the Akhlame and the Suti.
The first group is contemporary with the XVIIIth and XIXth Dynasties and consists in the first place of the Tell ci .Amarna tablets with others related to them, containing the reports of governors of the Syrian possessions of Egypt, and the correspondence of the kings of Babylon, Assur, Mitanni and Khntti (the Hittites) with the Pharaohs.
Through the fortunate discovery of cuneiform tablets deposited by his successor in the archives at Tell el-Amarna, we can see how the rulers of the great kingdoms beyond the river, Mitanni, Assyria and even Babylonia, corresponded with Amenophis, gave their daughters to him in marriage, and congratulated themselves on having his friendship. The king of Cyprus too courted him; while within the empire the descendants of the Syrian dynasts conquered by his father, having been educated in Egypt, ruled their paternal possessions as the abject slaves of Pharaoh.
Peoples (apparently Iranian) of Hittite connexion from the powerful state of Mitanni (Northern Syria and Mesopotamia) had already left their mark as far south as Jerusalem, as may be inferred from the personal names, 4 and to the intercourse with (apparently) Aegean culture revealed by excavation, the letters add references to mercenaries and bands from Meluhlia (viz.
Of exceptional interest are the letters from Jerusalem describing the hostility of the maritime coast and the disturbances of the IIabiru (" allies "), a name which, though often equated with that of the Hebrews, may have no ethnological or historical significance s But Egypt was unable to help the loyalists, even ancient Mitanni lost its political independence, and the supremacy of the Hittites was assured.
In view of the relations subsisting among Palestine, Mitanni and the Hittites, it is evident that Babylonian 5 Amor (Ass.
In the cuneiform letters from Tell el-Amarna in Egypt (1400 B.C.), we find among the princelings of Syria and Palestine names like Artamanya, Arzawiya, Shuwardata, a name terminating in -warzana, &c.; while the kings of Mitanni on the Euphrates are Artatama, Shutarna, Artashumara, and Dushratt anames too numerous and too genuinely Iranian to allow of the hypothesis of coincidence.