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Lidewij E. van de Peut - Persuading the Divine: The Emergence and Development of Hittite Prayers

The Hittite prayers, which are often very long and personal in style and content, are the focus of this PhD research. The main goal of the prayers was to ask the addressee(s) for help of some kind. Therefore, it is possible to study these texts as rhetorical monologues intended to persuade the divine addressee(s) to aid the supplicant or beneficiary of the prayer. The study aims to map the development of the Hittite prayer genre with a special focus on the persuasion strategies. This will be done by studying the structures, phraseology, and vocabulary of the texts through structural, formal, and intertextual analysis. The structures and phraseology of the prayers will be analysed in order to find out how all the different elements of the prayers and their organisation support the main goal of the text. Patterns in the phraseology and structures as well as intertextual relationships between the separate prayers will be recognised and analysed to discern and describe the development of the Hittite prayer genre, but also to find out to what extent older prayers were used to compose new ones. It will be considered whether certain innovations in the prayer tradition can be explained by foreign influences or as indigenous Hittite developments.

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Jörg Klinger, Prof. Dr. Markham Geller