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Tomoki Kitazumi - Translation and Translation Techniques in the Hittite Empire

The dissertation will show how scribes in the Hittite empire dealt with the practice of "translation". Though the practice of translation in neighboring Mesopotamia has long been known, there are few areas of the ancient world in which scribes were so regularly and intensively confronted with diverse languages as the Hittite empire.


The study focuses on texts preserved in two languages, in which one of the languages can be identified as the translation of another. The relevant original languages include Hattic, Hurrian, and Akkadian, while the target language is usually Hittite. Ideally, these texts are preserved on tablets as bilinguals. There are, however, also cases of translations preserved on separate tablets. The most difficult case is represented by translated literature for which the original is no longer preserved, but for which a Mesopotamian origin can be postulated.


The methodological basis is provided by the the various disciplines which form the complex field of translation studies. The analysis is thus based not only on linguistically oriented explanations for problematic grammatical divergences, but on the philological commentary on the variants. The topic of "translation strategies" has only recently been addressed in Hittite Studies, a more comprehensive investigation is still lacking.


Since the practice of translation remains a current topic in the modern world, the study is relevant to ongoing discussions beyond the field of Ancient Studies.


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