• NINO CHAREKISHVILI Professor, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) Gorgasali street #101, Tbilisi, Georgia


In this article there is examined one of the political units of Asia Minor- Išuwa, which was considered as constant “enemies” of Hittites.

Išuwa appears in Hittite cuneiform Texts from the period when Kingdom of Hittites was very weakened as economically and politically. This became the reason for activation of Hittite “enemies” in the east of Euphrate river. Among them was “Išuwa enemy“.

On the basis of conducted historical analysis it appeared that Išuwa is connected to the rulers of Hittite Empire period, particularly to the names of Tudḫaliya I/II, Arnuwanda  I,  Tudḫaliya III and Šuppiluliuma I.

From written sources it seems that Išuwa should had been powerful and important political unit. Most probably Išuwa was ruled by Council of Elders, which after some period shoud had been replaced by King’s Institute. We can think that it was political unit/ union of city-state, which was very important for Hittites. This side was not only of strategic significance but also was a rich region. “Išuwa-enemy” constantly attacked Hittites, but in most cases military operations ended with victory of Hittites. Išuwa comes to political background especially in the period of weakening of Hittites and tries to contradict them, but without any result. Hittites were not easy to conquer. It was a certain bordering political unit which was located inbetween of Hittites and various powerful States. That's why we mention activity of all kings who were somehow related to Išuwa. Hittite kings always tried to have Išuwa under their constant influence. Hittite cuneiform Texts are also confirmation of this, while they show very well how Hittites tried to obtain or restore influence over Išuwa. As a result they would have opened a way to other powerful States like Hurri-Mitanni. Išuwa is mentioned in relationships with several political units: Kalašma, Tegarama, Paḫḫuwa, Ḫayaša, and also Lalḫa mountain and Zuḫalpa. There are also separate less known political units which were neighboring Išuwa and are mentioned beside it: Timia, Zanzaliya, Lilima, Watarušna, Taḫisa, Taḫišna, Mararḫa, Urika, Ḫinzuta.

Concerning to Išuwa borders: This is wide space on the present Turkey territory and from north side is sarrounded by river Arsania (=Murat River), from west and south-west by river Euphrat. The east and south-east borders arn’t pricizly determened. However, it can ve assumed, that from this side Išuwa’s territory was tpread out until Upper Mesopotamia’s low lands. The main settlments of Išuwa were located on fruitful and rich plains, on the north (present Elaziğ territory) and south (low land of Harput) sides of the Murat river. This was an important location in the pilitical history of Near East, as Išuwa most probably was presenting connecting bridge between Mesopotamia and Central Anatolia. 

Keywords: Assyriology, Hittite, Išuwa, Tudḫaliya I/II, Tudḫaliya III, Arnuwanda I, Šuppiluliuma I.