The Ahhiyawa Texts. By GARY M. BECKMAN; TREVOR R. BRYCE; and ERIC H. CLINE. Writings from the Ancient World, vol. 28. Atlanta: SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE, 2011. Pp. xvi + 302. $34.95 (paper).
Ahhiyawa, a land recorded in the Hittite documents of the second millennium B.C., was equated with Greek lands of the period (our "Mycenaean" Greece) by the Swiss scholar Emil Forrer in 1924. After several decades of debate, the identification gradually won general acceptance, and now, some years later, the Ahhiyawa texts have been collected and made available to an English-speaking audience in a volume jointly authored by a philologist, an historian, and an archaeologist.
The three co-authors provide the Hittite text (and for the cinekoy inscription, the Luwian) with English translations of all the known documents relating to Ahhiyawa (Beckman), with a brief discussion of the historical context of each text (Bryce), and opening and closing essays on the Ahhiyawa "problem" and on Mycenaean-Hittite interconnections (Cline). Their stated purpose is to make these texts "accessible to graduate students and undergraduates alike, in addition to professional scholars active in related fields, such as Classics and/or Near Eastern archaeology" (p. xiii), and interested members of these groups will certainly derive huge benefits from their efforts. But, despite the modesty of their claim, the authors' contributions in this volume will be welcomed by specialists in various areas of Aegeo-Anatolian studies as well. The convenience of having these documents collected in a single (and happily very affordable) volume is no small contribution in itself, but the major benefit to specialists is Beckman's fresh transliteration and translation of all the texts.
The texts are presented in the order of the categories established by Laroche in his 1971 Catalogue des Textes Hittites (CTH), with the addition of three texts discovered since Laroche's publication. A useful list is provided of approximately two-thirds of the texts in tentative chronological order; those in the remaining third resist integration into a chronological list, though all are dated to the thirteenth century B.C. (It is in fact an interesting point that only three of the thirty Ahhiyawa texts date unequivocally to a period prior to the thirteenth century.) Each text now bears, in addition to its CTH number, a new number designating its appearance in this volume, in the series AhT 1-28. (Thirty texts...