Hittite Religion and Ancient Greece: Seven Types of Relationship

Visiting Research Scholar Lecture

Ian Rutherford

This paper examines how religion connects cultures in the ancient world, looking in particular at connections between Anatolia and Greece during the Late Bronze Age (1400-1200BC). My starting point is the religious culture of Hittite Anatolia, which is now better understood than that of most other parts of the ancient world thanks to rich cuneiform archives, which have turned out to record not just the Hittites' own religious practice, but also that of contemporaneous Anatolian cultures, such as that of the Luwians. In the paper I shall show how we can use these texts and other sources to determine what relationships may have existed (or not existed) between the religions of Anatolia and the Aegean region in this period, situating these in the historical and geo-political context of the times. I am also interested in the secondary question of to what extent comparison of different religious cultures may be a useful approach in itself, even if they were never in contact. Types of relationship that I shall consider include regional dynamics, diplomatic connections, traveling gods, shared inheritance, borrowing, hybridity, and analogy.

There will be a reception folowing the event.

This is a public event.

To RSVP, please email isaw@nyu.edu.