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The weight of evidence seems to point in that direction; but, when we remember that Renan declared the proper names on the Assyrian inscriptions to be clearly non-Semitic as late as 1855,* we should abstain from dogmatising where we do not know. The most probable explanation is that the Hittites, like modern missionaries and merchants, learned the language of the people among whom they lived. And, if a missionary can learn the Arabic language in two or three years, so as to think and speak fluently in that language, observing the niceties of inflection and forms of courtesy, I fail to see any reason for beliering that the Hittites would not make the Canaanitish language their own in as many hundred years. Afghans and Armenians pick up the language of Syria in a few months after their arrival in that land, and their children in the first generation, in name, in language, and in looks, are, to all intents, Syrians.
Besides all these considerations, we must remember that the Hittite names in the Bible come to us in a Hebrew dress, and were first written for the use of Hebrews. With these considerations before us, I think we can have no hesitation in accepting as authentic the story of the Hittites in the Book of Genesis.
The Khatti of the Assyrian inscriptions, the Kheta of the Egyptians, and the Dinn of the Bible are thus one and the same people, known to the Authorised Version as Hittites. The claim, therefore, of the Hittite empire to recognition rests on threefold history.
Admitting the concurrent testimony of the Bible, and the inscriptions to be true regarding the Hittites, would it not seem strange that they should disappear, and leave behind them trace of their existence? The Hittites were surrounded by such literary peoples as the Assyrians, the Egyptians, and the Phoenicians. Their relations with Assyria must have been extensive, and they could not have been ignorant of the Assyrian libraries and public monuments. Hittites who visited Egypt, either as captives or merchants, would see on the Egyptian temples great pictures representing their countrymen as vanquished, and long, boastful records of the Egyptian victories over them. It is hardly conceivable that a brave and patriotic people like the Hittites would, century after century, continue to hold the Egyptians and Assyrians at bay, without having some records or monuments of their own to match those of their enemies. Nothing less
* Lang. Semit., 1885, p. 56.
than the absence of a written language would sufficiently account for such an omission on their part.
We know, however, that the Hittites had a written language, and that they were a literary people. The offensive and defensive alliance between the Hittites and Egyptians which Kheta-Sira took with him to Egypt was written in the language of the Hittites on a silver tablet. The version of the treaty, inscribed on the temples of Egypt, is a mere translation from the Hittite original. So fully do the Egyptian inscriptions recognise the literary attainments of the Hittites, that they contain a contemptuous reference to their writing propensities. The facts being such, it seemed to me only reasonable to look out for Hittite remains in the "land of the Hittites."
With this object in view, I started from Damascus, on the 10th of November, 1872, to secure the wonderful inscriptions which Burckhardt had seen in Hamah sixty years before. Our adventures in saving the inscriptions, and making casts of them, are fully recorded elsewhere, and I need only add that before leaving Hamah I wrote a long account of the inscriptions, which I forwarded from Damascus to the Palestine Exploration Fund.
The first part of my paper, consisting of simple description, appeared in the quarterly journal of the P. E. F. for April, 1873. The second half of my paper, under the heading
"THE HAMAH INSCRIPTIONS: HITTITE REMAINS,
after lying for a time at the office of the Athen@um unappreciated, was finally printed by my friend, Dr. Oswald Dykes, in the British and Foreign Evangelical Review, of January, 1874.
I claim no credit beyond the exercise of a little common sense for suggesting that the Hamah inscriptions were Hittite remains. The Cuneiform inscriptions were called Assyrian before Grotfend made the happy guess that led to their decipherment. The hieroglyphics were called Egyptian long before Champollion, or Thomas Young, or Dr. Birch began to unravel the mysteries of the Rosetta Stone; and it does not seem a violent supposition that the remarkable inscriptions in the land of the Hittites, may have been produced by the warlike, but cultured, people who once inhabited that land. Indeed, I should not have dwelt on this point but for the fact that my very obvious hypothesis was received at first, like Holman Hunt's scape-goat, as some kind of joke, or, as Captain Burton expressed it in Drake's life~" magno cum risu."
Professor Sayce and Dr. Isaac Taylor came subsequently to the conclusion at which I had arrived, but by quite a different route. They believed that the Lycian, Carian, and Cappadocian alphabets, as well as the Cypriote Syllabics, were derived from a common stock, which must have been in use before the introduction of the Phænician or Greek alphabets. George Smith declared that “the real connexion between the traditions of Babylonia and Palestine would never be cleared up until the literature of the Syrian population, which intervened, was cleared up." These eminent scholars can e to attribute the Hamah and kindred inscriptions to the Hittites in much the same way as astronomers have sometimes been led to the discovery of a new planet, by the existence of certain phenomena which could only be accounted for by the presence of some commanding influence. The commanding influence was the Hittite, the central stock of which the Cypriote and the mysterious scrips of Asia Minor are branches.
To mr article, written at the close of 1872, I ventured to predict that the Hamah inscriptions would prove the first i fruits of a rich harvest to be gleaned by the intelligent and
industrious antiquary, Few predictions have been so signally fulfilled. In the first edition of my book,* published in 1884, I was able to give eighteen plates of inscriptions. In the second edition the number rose to twenty-seven. The number is constantly on the increase, and even since I began to write this paper, Professor Enting, of Strasburg, has sent me copies of new inscriptions, and Dr. Hayes Ward sends me a copy of; Scribner's Magazine, in which he publishes two new inscriptions.
Inscriptions of the same character, with variations, are now found throughout the length and breadth of Asia Minor, and Northern Syria, from Hamah on the Orontes to Eyuk by the HaKys, and from Carchemish on the Euphrates to the Euxine and the Ægean. Professor Sayce, Sir Charles Wilson, Canon Tristram, Dr. Hayes Ward, and other scholars, have 'testified 20 the wealth of Hittite sculptures and inscriptions, which abound throughout Asia Minor.
That more inscriptions have not yet been found between Kadesh and Carchemish need not surprise any one. The country has not been carefully explored. The destroying Scythians swept the land of the Hittites. The Seleucidæ, with their mania for building and re-building, occupied the land. The Romans succeeded the Greeks, and they, too, pulled down
* The Empire of thè Hittites. Nisbet & Co.
to build up. The Moslems drove out the Byzantines; and barbarous hoards of Crusaders captured and sacked most of the towns on the Orontes plains. For several centuries the Turk, like the genius of destruction, has been fulfilling his destiny by turning the fertile plains of Syria into barren wastes, and her splendid cities and temples into heaps and mounds. The spoilers have been in the land of the Hittites for over 2,500 years, and it need not cause wonder if most of the Hittite inscriptions and sculptures have disappeared. The records of the past, however, are not all irretrievably lost. The scores and scores of enormous mounds that dot the plains of Hittite land preserve their treasures safely from the destroyer, and when the obstinacy of the Turk' has been removed, and our own indifference succeeded by intelligent enterprise, the lost past shall live again, and the dead millenniums shall tell us all their story.
The legend of Memnon, son of the morning, the leader of the Keteians, is now intelligible. The Assyrians of Ctesias and Diodorus Siculus, who took part in the closing scenes at Troy, seem to be none other than the Hittites; and this hypothesis is rendered still more probable by the presence of Dardanians and Mysians at the Battle of Kadesh.
The numerous peoples who fought under Kheta-Sira, whether as tributaries or allies, obeyed a voice that claimed a right to command, and this explains the mystery of Hittite resistance for so many centuries. The shocks of Egyptian and Assyrian invasion exhausted themselves against the frontier capitals of Kadesh and Carchemish, but the mighty empire of the Hittites extended beyond, on the broad plains and highlands of Asia Minor; and so there were always fresh Hittite armies, and abundant Hittite wealth, to enable the empire to withstand the assaults of its enemies for a thousand years.
I must not prolong this paper by subsidiary questions, such as the origin of the Hittites, the origin of the script now associated with their name, the decipherment of the inscriptions, and other similar questions which would require special treatment and considerable space and time. My object has been to summarise in broad outline the more prominent and generally received facts regarding the great empire now claiming recognition. In arranging my facts I have claimed for the Hebrew Scriptures no higher authority than would naturally attach to the ancient writings of a historic people. But I think it must be admitted that in standing the test of scientific treatment these Scriptures assert their claim to be not only true, but divine.
The CHAIRMAN (A. McArthur, Esq., M.P.). -- I have to congratulate the Institute on so large an attendance on such an unfavourable night, and I am sure that all present will, cordially join in returning a vote of thanks to Dr. Wright for his very able paper. It is now open for any present to offer remarks upon the subject dealt with.
Mr. H. DUNNING MACLEOD.—May I ask Dr. Wright how far he considers the Hittite empire of which he speaks to have extended towards the west ? Does he consider it to have included Troy?
Rev. Dr. WRIGHT.--Yes. The remains are found as far as Smyrna and ancient Ephesus ; in fact, to use the language of Dr. Isaac Taylor, as far as the Ægean.
Rev. Dr. WRIGHT.—I may be allowed to express my pleasure at seeing M. de Lacouperie here; because it so happened that after I had finished my paper I came upon an article written by him which was of the greatest interest to me, and one of which I should have taken notice in my paper if I had had time to do so. In that article he gives an account of the Kushites, and I hope we shall hear more from him upon that subject. He also makes a suggestion which I trust will receive due attention,-after referring to the manner in which the Kushites spread over the country, he says: " Those who ascended the Euphrates carried their rude art of writing, half phonetic half pịctorial, to the north of Palestine, where it became the Hittite writing; and from hence they advanced along the Mediterranean shores of Asia Minor, founding those establishments, colonies, and that trade which came by inheritance to the Carians and to the Phænicians.” He then gives this suggestion in a foot-note :-“There are strong reasons to believe that the Babylonian and Egyptian writing have sprung from a former system.” If this be proved it will reconcile many things that are now opposite. “They have many symbols in common, with similar phonetic values, which are not loan signs. A list of such signs was begun by Professor Hommel and by myself, independently, and requires only to be extended for being published. Professor Hommel thinks that the Egyptian writing was derived from that of Pabylon, and says that he can put forward some facts in support of this view. For iny part I find that there are cogent reasons to believe that both writings have come from an older system, which has also produced the Hittite hieroglyphics and the pictorial figures and symbols which were preserved on the black stone of Susa, the born stones of Babylonia, and also preserved in some later symbols which may be the relics of the older system in that region.” This, to my mind, presents an extremely interesting field for investigation. 'I ought to add that this article appears in the second number of a new magazine called The Babylonian and Oriental Record.
Mr. W. St. Chad BOSCAWEN, F.R. Hist. Soc.—Perhaps, as the subject is one in which I personally take great interest, I may be allowed to say a few words upon it. Dr. Wright has, I must say, given us a very excellent résumé of the progress that has been made in relation to