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The Religious Interactions between the Luwians and Arameans

Authors:
Gönderim Tarihi/Received Date: 14.10.2021
Kabul Tarihi/Accepted Date: 25.11.2021
Yayın Tarihi/Published Date: 10.12.2021
DOI Number: 10.46250/kulturder.1009769
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 2021, 11: 113-126
Araştırma Makalesi
Research Article
113
THE RELIGIOUS INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE LUWIANS AND ARAMEANS
Luviler ve Aramiler Arasındaki Dinsel Etkileşim
Kürşat BARDAKCI
ABSTRACT
Two peoples that stood out with their unique languages in ancient history: Luwian
and Arameans. These two peoples with different cultures and origins meet in North-
ern Syria in the 10th century BC. They mostly acted together against the Assyrian
state in the political units known as the Neo-Hittite principalities. Luwians and Ara-
means decide to live together in this geography rather than conflict. By adopting the
Hieroglyphic Luwian, the Arameans used this language especially in monumental
buildings. Because, Hieroglyphic Luwian was the most suitable writing for transfer-
ring the texts that were desired to be permanent to monumental structures. Similar-
ly, Aramaic reached the Greek world through the Luwians. Thus, Aramaic language
has been the common language of agreement of different communities, especially
in commercial relations. It is inevitable to experience cultural interactions in the
geography where the language spreads. As a matter of fact, the Aramean Moon cult
Sin became a very popular cult among the Luwians. Even, the Aramean cult of Sin
surpassed the Luwian cult of the Moon, Arma. Apart from this, Luwian cults Tarhu
and Runta and Aramaic cults Hadad and Rešeph are seen as equivalents of each
other.
Keywords: Luwians, Arameans, Northern Syria, Neo-Hittites, religious interaction.
ÖZ
Antik Çağ’da kendilerine özgü dilleriyle ön plana çıkan iki halk: Luviler ve Aramiler.
Farklı köken ve kültüre sahip bu iki halk, M.Ö. 10. yüzyılda Kuzey Suriye’de karşılaş-
mışlardır. Bu iki halk söz konusu bölgede çatışma yerine birlikte yaşamayı tercih
etmişlerdir. Luviler ve Aramiler, Geç-Hitit beylikleri olarak bilinen siyasi birimlerde
Asur Devleti’ne karşı çoğunlukla beraber hareket etmişlerdir. Aramiler, bu bölgede
Hiyeroglif Luviceyi benimseyerek, özellikle anıtsal yapılarda kullanmışlardır. Çünkü
bu dönemde kalıcı olması istenen metinlerin anıtsal yapılara aktarılması için en
uygun yazı Hiyeroglif Luviceydi. Benzer şekilde Aramice de Luviler aracılığıyla Yunan
dünyasına ulaşmıştır. Böylece Aramice, özellikle ticari ilişkilerde farklı toplulukların
Dr., Ancient Historian, Archaeologist, Turkey. E-mail: kbrdkci@gmail.com. ORCID: 0000-0001-
7893-4434.
This article was checked by Turnitin.
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 11 (2021)
114
ortak anlaşma dili olmuştur. Dilin yayıldığı bir yerde kültürel etkileşimlerin yaşanma-
sı kaçınılmazdır. Nitekim Arami Ay kültü Sin, Luviler arasında çok popüler bir kült
haline gelmiştir. Hatta Arami Ay kültü Sin, Luvi Ay kültü Arma’yı geride bırakmıştır.
Bunun dışında Luvi kültleri Tarhu ve Runta ile Arami kültleri Hadad ve Rešeph birbir-
lerinin muadili olarak görülmektedir.
Anahtar Sözcükler: Luviler, Aramiler, Kuzey Suriye, Geç Hititler, dini etkileşim.
Introduction
In the 1st millennium BC, the terms “Neo-Hittite”, “Late-Hittite”, and
“Syro-Hittite” are mostly used to describe the civilization of Luwian and
Aramaic speaking centers. The reason for this is that no clear stylistic dis-
tinction can be made in the art and architectural styles of these two peo-
ples. Although they are common adjectives to define the Luwian and Ara-
mean centers, these terms are still controversial (Aro, 2003: 281-282). So
much so that there are also principalities in Central Anatolia consisting en-
tirely of the Luwian people. In addition, there are principalities in Northern
Syria with a predominantly Hurrian population. On the other hand, one of
the reasons for using different terms for the region is that little is known
about the political organization of these principalities (Van de Mieroop,
2007: 218). While kings with Luwian names were ruling in these principali-
ties, kings of Aramaic origin could suddenly replace them. At the same
time, the names of principalities and cities of some Luwian origin were also
changing and taking Aramaic names.
The fact that the Northern Syria is called “Hatti and Aram” in the Assyr-
ian annals shows that there is a difference between the Hittite-linked
states and the Aramean states. However, these nomenclatures are also
ambiguous. As a matter of fact, Assyrians used the term Hatti in general to
describe the west together with the Aramean and Phoenician states and
sometimes to describe the Northern Levant (Kuhrt, 1995: 411). For instance,
when Sargon captured the Aramaic kingdom of Hamath, he described Ya-
hu-bihdi, king of Hamath, as a “damned Hittite” (Oppenheim, 1969: 285).
Another problem is that Aramaic writings have not survived. As a mat-
ter of fact, since the Arameans wrote on papyrus and parchment, all rec-
ords of the daily activities disappeared over time. Papyrus and parchment
were not durable materials, and the climate of the region was not suitable
for their preservation. Only a few monumental inscriptions carved into stone
remain today. There are also some problems for Hieroglyphic Luwian. It is
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 11 (2021)
115
known that syllable signs were used with many variants in Hieroglyphic
Luwian writing.
1
A single sign can have many different forms (Gelb, 1931: 6).
These syllable signs must be determined one by one. This causes some un-
certainties about the sequence of signs. So, there were serious misunder-
standings in the resolution of some inscriptions. Cuneiform Luwian texts,
however, are extremely limited. At the same time, it is sometimes difficult
to decide whether a particular form is Luwian or Hittite (Friedrich, 2000:
116-117). Despite all this, the value of the inscriptions found in the region
cannot be denied. These inscriptions provide very important information in
terms of both political and cultural history.
2. Luwians and Arameans
Several provisions of the Hittite Laws assure us that in the middle of the
2nd millennium BC there was in Anatolia a land Luwiya (KUR (URU)Lu-ú-i-ya).
The “Land Luwiya” appears to be an Old Hittite ethno-linguistic term refer-
ring to the area where Luwian was spoken (Hawkins, 2013: 30-32). Howev-
er, questions such as where and why the Luwians came from and how they
call themselves, who settled in Anatolia from the end of the 3rd millennium
BC remain a mystery. When the Luwians of Indo-European origin came to
Anatolia, they settled in the south of Anatolia; especially organized in
Tarhuntašša and Kizzuwatna (Bryce, 2003: 88). After the collapse of the
Hittite state, the Luwians migrated to the east and southeast, where they
defined themselves as the successors of the Hittites and established a se-
ries of principalities -Neo-Hittite principalities- (Van de Mieroop, 2007:
218). During the migration movements of the Luwians, Arameans also
started to infiltrate the entire Near East, leaving the Syrian-Arabian deserts.
The origin of the Semitic Arameans is thought to be from Aram, son of
Shem, Noah’s grandson, and dates back to 3rd millennium BC (Potts, 1881:
231). The word “Aram”, as the name of a region or of a state, first appears,
in a cuneiform inscription of the Akkadian king Naram-Sin (2254-2218 BC);
from the context this Aram would seem to be situated in Upper Mesopota-
mia. The interpretation of this inscription is not absolutely certain; but a
new mention of “Aram” is to be found soon afterwards on a tablet from the
commercial archives of Drehem (ancient Puzriš-Dagan), belonging to
about 2000 BC, and referring to a city and a state near Ešnunna, on the low-
er Tigris. Another Drehem tablet contains the personnel name Aramu, and
the same name is found again in a Mari text dating back to 1700 BC. An in-
1
For Hieroglyphic Luwian records, see. (Yıldırım, 2018).
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 11 (2021)
116
scription of the Assyrian king Arik-den-ilu speaks of victories over the hosts
of the “Akhlamu”, and this name reappears under subsequent kings, until
Tiglath-pilesser I (1114-1074 BC) announces that he has routed the Akhla-
mu-Arameans who came from the desert to infest the banks of the Euphra-
tes. After Tiglath-pilesser I there are several other references in Assyrian
sources to Akhlamu and Akhlamu-Arameans, but the simple term “Arame-
ans” becomes more and more usual, and finally is the only one in use (Mos-
cati, 1960: 168-169). During the mentioned periods, the Arameans spread
over a wide geography from Mesopotamia to the Eastern Mediterranean.
They kept their tribal organization and were subdivided into groups identi-
fied as belonging to the “house of so-and-so”, in Akkadian Bit and the
name of a person, who was considered to be the tribal ancestor. Some of
the states they founded were referred to in the 1st millennium by this desig-
nation, for instance Bit-Adini. In Northern Syria, Arameans took control of
many cities, including some that were inhabited by people who maintained
Hittite cultural and political traditions (Van de Mieroop, 2007: 204).
Arameans, when they infiltrated Northern Syria in the 10th century BC,
they encountered people using Hieroglyphic Luwian. These principalities in
Northern Syria used Hieroglyphic Luwian: Carchemish, Melid, Kummuh,
Gurgum, Masuwari (Aramaic Til Barsip), Pattina (Aramaic Unqi), Sam’al
(Aramaic Y’DY), Hamath and Arpad (Younger, 2016: 30). The principalities
mentioned had a mixed population. Luwians and Arameans constituted the
majority of this population. In addition, as it is understood from the kings
with Hurrian names in some principalities, Hurrians also lived in these prin-
cipalities. Moreover, peoples such as Kaškaeans and Phrygians were also
involved in these principalities. Thus, Northern Syria in the 10th century BC, it
had become a multicultural region where people from many different cul-
tures interacted closely. With the Luwians and Arameans starting to live
together in the region, it is seen that there is an intense interaction between
the two cultures in many areas from language to religion. This interaction
can be most clearly observed in the belief system. Before going into this
subject, it will be useful to talk about the belief systems of the two peoples.
There will be no detailed explanation here. Only the belief structures within
the scope of our study will be briefly mentioned.
3. A General Look at Luwian Religion
Almost all cuneiform texts related to the Luwian religion come from
the Hittite capital, Hattuša, not from the Luwian lands (Bawanypeck, 2013:
159). “Maššan(i)” is the general Luwian word for god. This name and names
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 11 (2021)
117
derived from it are used in the sense of “god/deity” or “divine” (Masson,
1991: 673). The most important Luwian god is the Storm god Tarhu(nt). Hit-
tites and Hurrians (Tešup) also worshipped Tarhu. In order for the Tarhu to
bring blessings, ripen the grapes and protect the vineyards, a festival was
held accompanied by Luwian songs and talismans, and sacrifices were pre-
sent to Tarhu. Indeed, abundance was generally associated with the Storm
god, who brought rain through lightning and thunder. Another Luwian god
to be mentioned in the study is Santa, who is probably the god of War. As a
War god or warrior, Santa can be dangerous to his enemies, and thus his
name is thought to derive from the Luwian “šā(i)”- “to be(come) angry”. In
general, his strength is positive for his followers. Runta/Runtiya, on the oth-
er hand, is a Luwian Guardian god, similar to the characters of war or hunt-
ing gods. Runta, the deer is closely related to the bow and arrow. For this
reason, it is also referred to as the “Deer god”. It is understood from the Hi-
eroglyphic Luwian inscriptions that it is not only protective but also reward-
ing. The Luwian Moon god is Arma. His worship is almost exclusively limited
to the Luwians. He was worshiped mostly in Tarhuntašša (Hutter, 2003:
219-229). The rituals to facilitate pregnancy or birth are performed for Ar-
ma, the Moon god, and sometimes the problems caused by Arma are also
mentioned. The “Pittei birth ritual” of Luwians is not only related to birth,
but also a ceremony associated with the moon. Some scientists think that
this ceremony was held during the lunar eclipse.
2
However, this ritual was
performed at the time of the birth of Pittei’s patient to counter the sign of
evil indicated by a rising red moon. In this ritual, the moon is depicted in a
frightening way. There are parallels of this ritual in Hittite, Hattian and Ak-
kadian (Bacharova, 2013: 135-141, 155).
Luwian rituals were held in open areas such as mountains and springs.
Due to the mountainous geographical structure, the Luwians were far from
the understanding of architectural temples. No Luwian temple has been
detected so far. It is thought that only the stele building on Kilise Tepe could
be a Luwian temple. However, it is currently not correct to describe this
place as a Luwian temple with certainty (Postgate & Stone, 2013). On the
other hand, ÇİFTLİK and KULULU 5 in Tabal principality in middle Anatolia
Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions middle 8th century BC, mentioned “houses”
built for important gods (Hawkins, 2000: 431). These houses can also be
temples in a sense. However, the temple is not just about advanced archi-
2
See (Giorgieri, 2004).
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118
tectural sites. Apart from mountains and water sources, sometimes a stone,
tree or any region can serve as a temple (Demirci, 2017: 79). Mountains and
rivers, where mostly rituals were performed for the Luwians, served as tem-
ples.
4. A General Look at Aramean Religion
The Aramean religion, like all the beliefs of the ancient Near East, de-
rives its characteristic from the coexistence of the official religion and the
folk religion. In addition, Arameans were influenced by the beliefs of other
nations, as they did not have a common culture. In general, the influence of
Mesopotamia and Canaan is seen in the Aramean belief system (Köroğlu,
2012: 148). The Arameans immediately adopted the new beliefs they en-
countered in the said regions. For example, when the Arameans settled in
the Harran region, they encountered the cult of the Moon god Sin. Harran
was the cult center of the Sin cult. As a matter of fact, the cult of the moon
occupied an important place in Urfa and Harran in ancient Anatolia
(Demirci, 2017: 32).
3
The Arameans also adopted this cult and identified it
with their god “Śahr” and shortened it as “Ši’” (Lipinski, 1994: 174; Niehr,
2014: 133).
In ancient times, the cult of the moon is a legacy of a tradition formed
by the lifestyle of nomadic peoples such as the Arameans. As a matter of
fact, nomads believed that there was a mysterious relationship between
man and the moon due to the moon’s illuminating feature at night and the
spontaneous existence and disappearance of the full moon and the cres-
cent. According to belief, Sin is not the god of the moon or a god sitting on
the moon. It was believed that Sin manifested especially in the moon. How-
ever, the moon in which Sin is manifested is Sin itself, and the moon be-
comes god. The kispum ritual, originating from Mesopotamia is also asso-
ciated with the cult of the moon. Apart from the moon cult, it is also related
to the cult of ancestors. As a matter of fact, the kispum ritual served to ap-
pease the spirits of it was deceased ancestors and was performed twice a
month. In this ritual, the names of the deceased were mentioned and the
continuity of their lives in the next world it was ensured. Also, when the
moon was dark, it was considered ominous, and some taboo rituals of the
moon were performed during these periods (Demirci, 2017: 22-23, 31-32).
The belief about the sinister and evil aspect of the moon, as will be remem-
bered, was also valid for the Luwians.
3
See also (Green, 1992).
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119
The religion of the state and the religion of the people were united in
Baal. The official lord of each city or kingdom and protector of the city is
Baal, its lady is Baalat (Van der Toorn et al., 1998: 132-140). For exam-
ple, “My lord, Baal of Harran” text is visible in “Bar-rākib and his scribe”
Aramaic inscription in Sam’al. Also, it is known that Luwian cult Santa was
associated with Baal of Tarsos by the Arameans (Hutter, 2003: 229). Baal
and Baalat of each kingdom were not only the guardians of the country, but
also the gods of vegetation and fertility. The Aramean Storm god Hadad is
associated with Baal. If Baal and Hadad refer back to the same deity, how-
ever, it must be admitted that, in the 1st millennium BC, the two names
came to stand for distinct deities: Hadad being a god of the Arameans, and
Baal a god of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites (Van der Toorn et al.,
1998: 132). As understood from the tomb steles (Panamuwa and Katimu-
wa) the Arameans were performing rituals for the Storm god Hadad and
offering sacrifices to him. But these rituals are not clear. There have been
attempts to explain it as a substitution rite following Hittite royal ancestor
cult in which the transgressions of the deceased are transferred to an ani-
mal (Niehr, 2014: 129; 188). As for Rešeph is generally seen as the god of
epidemic and sudden death. However, it also has different features and
tasks (Lipinski, 2009).
Unlike the Luwians, the Arameans had an architectural understanding
of temple. As a matter of fact, the existence of temples built by the Arame-
ans in Syria is known. Among the most well-known of these structures is the
“‘Ain Dara” temple (Assaf, 1990). Also, the Hieros gamos ritual (holy
marriage), which was performed once a year at the New Year’s celebration
(the Akitu holiday) in the spring, was performed in the ziggurats, such as
of Harran Castle ziggurat. These ziggurats were seen as places where gods
and humans met. The public could not participate in this ritual. As a matter
of fact, this ceremony is it was performed with the king and a nun; Thus, the
well-being of the people and the city it was believed to be provided
(Hrouda, 2005: 105; Demirci, 2017: 88). At the same time, the sanctity of the
mountains was also valid for the Arameans. As a matter of fact, in almost
all of the ancient civilizations, it was thought that some gods sited on the
mountain.
5. Luwian-Aramean Religious Acculturation
The earliest data on Luwian-Aramean interaction comes from Hamath.
Urahilina, one of the Luwian origin kings who ruled in Hamath in the 9th cen-
tury BC, mentions a donation to a temple endowment to the goddess
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120
Baalat in an inscription. It is understood that the temple existed during the
time of Urahilina’s father and grandfather, but they were not interested in
the temple and Baalat. Also in this inscription, Urahilina damnes (possibly)
with Tarhu against those who erase the name of herself and Baalat. The
emphasis on Tarhu instead of Baalat’s wife Baal shows the religious global-
ization in the region:
I’m Urahilina, son of Paritas, king of Hama… And I made his own
seat for every single god. But this seat I built for Baalat, and I my
put name and Baalat’s (on it). But who(soever) shall take away
my name and Baalat’s from this seat, but after (?), the Storm god
Tarhunzas [...]. During the time of my father and grandfather, the
temple of Baalat lacked income. They did not burn the burnt offer-
ing, a sacrificial ox, up and down to the god. But (as regards) my-
self, in my times, it shall not lack income. Time and time, I offered
to it MUHA and offerings… (HAMA 4; Payne, 2012: 65).
More information about the interaction belief interaction between
Luwians and Arameans
4
comes from Tabal. The Aramean people in Tabal
could not establish a political union, however, Aramean culture spread to
this region through the Bit-Brutaš tribe. Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions
unearthed in Tabal are found in the region; especially it gives some infor-
mation about the belief system in the second half of the 8th century BC.
Luwian-Aramean belief interaction can be seen especially in funeral in-
scriptions and god lists. In one of the funerary inscriptions dated to the mid-
dle of the 8th century BC, the theme of a funeral cult prepared in memory of
Panuni was mentioned. Here Panuni die while eating and drinking with the
Luwian cult Santa: “I (am) Panunis, the Sun-blessed prince. For me my
children made here a sealed (?) document (?). On my bed(s) eating (and)
drinking (?)… by the god Santas I died” (KULULU 2; Hawkins, 2000: 488).
We encounter a similar theme in the inscriptions found in Sam’al
(Zincirli). For example, about in connection with the offerings made by king
Panamuwa to the Aramean Storm god Hadad, dated to 750 BC, in Gerçin
(about 6-7 km. northeast of Zincirli) found on the Sam’alian
5
funeral in-
4
For Luwi-Aramean cultural interaction, see also (Yıldırım, 2016).
5
One of the languages used in Sam’al principality. There is still no consensus on the classifica-
tion of Sam’alian. The three main classification theories are as follows: Sam’alian as an archa-
ic form of Aramaic; Sam’alian as a hybrid of Aramaic, and Canaanite and Sam’alian as a
unique Northwest Semitic language (Noorlander, 2012: 203).
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 11 (2021)
121
scription “eating and drinking of the soul with Hadad” theme Luwians and
Arameans between shows that there is an interaction:
I’m Panamuwa, son of Qarli, king of Y’DY, who have erected this
statue for Hadad in my eternal abode (burial chamber)
[whoev]er of my sons (descendants) seizes the scepter, and sits
on my throne, and reigns over Y’[DY], and maintains his power,
and sacri[fices to his Hadad], [and does not remem]ber the name
of Panamuwa, (who) does (not) say: ‘May the dead spirit of
Pana[muwa] eat with Hadad, and may the dead spirit of Panamu-
wa drink with H[adad’]; then […] his sacrifice… (Younger, 2003:
156-158).
In addition, the emphasis on the relationship between the Storm God
and the vineyards in some tomb steles is also an important evidence of the
belief interaction between Luwians and Arameans. The belief about the
relationship of the Storm god with grape and grain it appears in some in-
scriptions from the 8th century BC. For example, in a hieroglyphic inscription
found in Sultanhain Tabal, the following expressions are mentioned: “I
set up this Tarhunt of the vineyard (saying): … Tarhunt shall make his vine-
yard grow, and the vine shall grow” (SULTANHANI 2; Hawkins, 2000: 465).
The relationship between the god believed to be Tarhu in the Luwians
and the vineyards is valid for Hadad in the Arameans. For example, on the
Sam’alian tomb stele of Sam’al royal officer Katimuwa (KTMW) found in
Sam’al, dated approximately 735 BC, the relationship between Hadad and
vineyards is seen. Sacrifices are also offered to “Hadad of the vineyards”:
“I’m KTMW, servant of Panamuwa, who commissioned for myself (this)
stele while still living. I placed in my eternal chamber and established a
feast (at) this chamber: … a ram for Hadad of the vineyards, a ram for
Kubaba…” (Pardee, 2009: 53-54).
Another evidence of the faith interaction between Luwians and Arame-
ans is the god lists found in Tabal. So much so that in the middle of the 8th
century BC, many inscriptions found in many places in the Tabal region,
such as Kululu, Bulgarmaden, Karaburun, refer to the Moon god of Harran.
According to these inscriptions, Semitic and Hurrian, such as Ea and Kuba-
ba, members joining the Luwian pantheon, but Tarhu of Luwian retained his
superior position. These inscriptions are among the clearest evidences of
the globalization experienced in this period. For example:
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122
Here Tarhunzas and Hepat sit(s), [and here] Ea and Ku[baba]
sit(s), and here Sarrumas and Alasuwas sit(s)… For Tuwatis may
also these gods come well, and to him to eat and to drink, and to
him life of person (lit., head) may they give, and to him long days,
(may) all the gods give this to him! [...] Tarhunzas […] and I mysef
built myself a house (ÇİFTLİK; Hawkins, 2000: 449). The gods
Tarhunzas, Hiputas (Hepat), [Ea], Kubaba, Haranean Sarmas
(Šarruma of Harran), Alasuwas, in the city Harmana, Haranean
Moon-god (Sin), the Sun-god ..., [...] house-lord these houses [...]
they gave them to Hulasayas the sun-blessed prince here”
(KULULU 5; Hawkins, 2000: 485).
These references refer to the Moon god (Sin) of the Harran Aramean
cult in Anatolia. This indicates that they were worshiped in remote areas
(Lipinski, 1994: 182). In fact, the Moon god from Harran entered Central An-
atolia during the Hittite empire and became very popular among the Hittites
(Yakubovich, 2013: 105). However, at that time, the Luwians did not worship
the Harran Moon god. In the 1st millennium BC, the Moon god of Harran be-
came so famous that this cult overshadowed the Luwian god Arma. The
Arma clearly lost power against the Moon god of Harran (Hutter, 2003: 273).
On the other hand, according to the expression “Haranean Sarmas (Šar-
ruma)” the Hurrian cult Šarruma was adopted by the Arameans and named
together with the city of Harran.
Apart from all these, the Karatepe-Aslantaş Hieroglyphic Luwian-
Phoenician bilingual inscription is an important source provides information
about the belief system in the period. In this inscription, Luwian Tarhu
(Tarhunzas) and Aramean Baal; The Luwian Runta (Runzas) and the
Rešeph of the Aramean goats are stated as equivalent gods of each other.
Rešeph’s equation with Runzas shows that he also has a protective feature.
Also, Ea and Tarhu are used together, and Tarhu is again supreme. As it is
understood, Azatiwatas speaks to peoples in the region:
I’m Azatiwatas, the Sun-blessed man, Tarhunza’s (Baal in Phoeni-
cian text) servant, whom Awarikus, king of Adanawa, made great.
Tarhunzas made me mother and father to Adanawa, and I caused
Adanawa to prosper, and I extended the Adanawa plain on the one
hand towards the west and on the other hand towards the east,
and in my days Adanawa had all good things, plentiness, and lux-
ury… I built this fortress, and I named it Azatiwataya. So Tarhunzas
and Runtiyas (Rešeph-SPRM; Rešeph-of-the-goats in Phoenician
Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 11 (2021)
123
text) were after me to build this fortress, and I built it [with (the
help of) Tarhunzas…] in my days […]… If anyone from the kings, or
(if) he (is) a man, and he has a manly name, speaks this: I shall
delete the name of Azatiwatas from these gates here, and I shall
carve in my name, or (if) he desires this fortress, and blocks up
these gates, which Azatiwatas made, and speaks thus: I shall
make these gates mine, and I shall write my own name (on
them). Or (if) from desire he shall block them up, or from bad-
ness or from evil he shall block up these gates, may celestial
Tarhunzas, the celestial Sun, Ea and all the gods delete that king-
dom and that king and that man! In future, may Azatiwatas’ name
continue to stand for all ages, as the name of the Moon and of the
Sun stands! (Bossert, 1948; Çambel, 1999; Hawkins, 2000; Payne,
2012).
Conclusion
Northern Syria has had a very important position throughout history, as
it is a geography where different cultures live together. In the 1st millennium
BC, the region hosted many different cultures such as Luwian, Aramean,
Phoenician and Hurrian. These peoples lived together in the Neo Hittite prin-
cipalities. This has caused a cultural interaction between peoples. Such
that, Hieroglyphic Luwian and Sam’alian/Aramaic inscriptions found in Ha-
math, Tabal and Sam’al reveal the belief interaction between the Luwians
and Arameans. Luwian-Aramean interaction can be clearly seen, especial-
ly in funerary inscriptions and god lists. So much so that many inscriptions
found in settlements such as Kululu, Bulgarmaden, and Karaburun in Tabal
refer to the Moon god of Harran. According to these inscriptions, the Moon
god of Harran entered the Luwian pantheon, even surpassing the Luwian
Moon god Arma. In addition, the Azatiwatas inscription shows the Luwian
cults Tarhu and Runta as the counterparts of the Aramean cults Hadad and
Rešeph. In addition, the relationship between Hadad and Tarhu with vine-
yards is the same. Similar themes are found in the funerary inscriptions at
Tabal and Sam’al.
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This article is a study of the linguistic transition in the Northwest Semitic inscriptions from Zincirli and a systematic survey of the classificatory debate of Sam'alian
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