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Many early tribes and nations were named for an outstanding leader. The credit for the beginning of the Hittite Kingdom is given variously to Hattusilis; Anetta, a prince who is remembered in the name of "Anatolia" in Asia Minor (corresponding roughly to modern Turkey); and a character called Labarnus I. The problem is that no-one really knows where they came from, not even from which direction. That Labarnus set up a Kingdom in Anatolia is clear, but where he came from isn't.

Anyway, he collected together his people in some sort of organization, and his successor who was either Labarnus II or Hattusili (maybe one was an honorific name?) took a big step and put the seat of government at Hattussa (now called Boghazky, about 210 kilometers East of the modern capital, Ankara) where it stayed until the Galatians moved it to Ancyra ("anchor", now Ankara of course) around 400 BCE.

The wider area was known simply as the land of Hatti. Hatti was in Anatolia, but not all of Anatolia was Hatti, which makes Anetta an unlikely founder as such. However a local non-Hittite named Anittas (same person?) was a thorn in the new Kingdom's side early on, and it is stated in many documents that Bronze Age Hattians (as opposed to Hittites) were the original inhabitants of Hatti. Is this possibly just another spelling variant of a name transcribed from cunieform? Difficult to say. Certainly what was ruled over by Hattians, subsequently was ruled over by Hittites, yet many of these later folk had Hatti-ish names, such as Hattushili. It looks highly likely, all things considered, that the people we refer to as Hittites, whatever name they went by (which may have been Nesians just to further confuse the issue), moved in from outside this area, and took over from the Hattians, perhaps they assimilated so thoroughly some folks just carried on calling them Hattians. Maybe poor old Anittas/Anetta was making a last stand. The other way of looking at it is that Hatti was one part of the Hittite Kingdom, and being where the capital was, it was remembered as important. I've seen all these theories (and some others, which were less credible) espoused by the VCP, so as usual, there's no consensus, and it's too long ago now to ever really be sure.

Whoever they were, they were a a rowdy lot.


Old Hittite Kingdom 1720-1480

Great Hittite Kingdom (Imperial Hittites) 1480-1190

Late Hittite City States 1190-712

Tudhaliya I 1430-1406
Arnuwanda I 1410-1386
Hattushili II 1380-1358
Shuppiluliuma I 1357-1323

UNFINISHED. Please bookmark!