“Hittite: A member of an ancient people of Asia Minor who gained control of central Anatolia c. 1800-1200 BC. The Hittite empire reached its zenith under the totalitarian rule of Suppiluliuma I (c. 1380 BC). Whose political influence extended from the capital, Hattusas, situated at Bogazkoy (about 22 miles east of Ankara in modern Turkey) west to the Mediterranean coast and southeast into northern Syria. In their struggle for power over Syria and Palestine the Hittites clashed with the troops of Ramses II of Egypt in a battle (1285 BC) at Kadesh on the River Orontes which seems to have ended indecisively. The subsequent decline and demise of Hittite power by 700 BC resulted from internal and external dissension, probably following an outbreak of famine.”

Excerpted from: Wright, Edmund, Ed. The Oxford Desk Encyclopedia of World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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