Kurunta (Cuneiform: 𒀭𒆗 dLAMMA) was a Hittite king, a son of Muwatalli II born in the 13th century BC, and cousin of Tudhaliya IV. Kurunta is a Luwian name; he also bore the Hurrian name Ulmi-Teššup (often spelled Ulmi-Teshub").
He was named after an Anatolian tutelary deity in the Late Bronze Age frequently associated with stags.
The sources on Kurunta's life include two treaties between Hattusa and Tarhuntassa, mention in the so-called Tawagalawa Letter, numerous seals, and a rock inscription.
Muwatalli entrusted Kurunta to his brother Hattusili III to raise in his own household. Hattusili's son Tudhaliya, in his later treaty with Kurunta, claims that the two developed a deep bond of friendship.
A significant event in Muwatalli's reign, which probably influenced the later course of Kurunta's life, was his transfer of the Hittite court to Tarhuntassa in south-central Anatolia.
In the struggle for the throne between Mursili III and Hattusili, Kurunta gave his loyalty to Hattusili. His reward was rich: after seizing the throne, Hattusili granted him vassal kingship over Tarhuntassa, his father's former capital. In that treaty he bore the name Ulmi-Tessup. However, most of the territory under Tarhuntassa's nominal sway had fallen into the hands of Lukkan warriors acting with support from Ahhiyawa. Kurunta apparently spent all of Hattusili's reign slowly reconquering the lost territory.
A bronze tablet found in Hattusa records a treaty between Tudhaliya IV and Kurunta, wherein Tudhaliya re-grants Kurunta authority over Tarhuntassa. At the time the treaty was sealed, it is clear that Kurunta was still actively reconquering the west, where the city Parha (Classical Perge in Pamphylia) was expected to fall into his hands. For modern scholarship, this treaty is very important, as it has been used to resolve many of the disputes about west Anatolian geography. Further, it is in a state of near perfect preservation, making it a rare and valuable artifact.
Ultimately, Kurunta does not appear to have been content with his fiefdom, and at some point he began using the title of 'Great King' on his seals and on a rock inscription at Hatip, just outside Konya. The seals were found in Hattusa itself, and the bronze tablet was intentionally buried under a paved area near the great southern Sphinx Gate, suggesting some severe breach between the two lands.
The general supposition is that Kurunta usurped the throne from Tudhaliya or his successor Arnuwanda III, although there is no agreement on the course of events. It has also been suggested, for instance, that Kurunta simply declared independence from the Hittite Great Kings, and that Tarhuntassa was then able to maintain that independence for some time.
A Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription on a wall of the southern acropolis of Hattusa mentioned an attack by Suppiluliuma II, son of Tudhaliya IV, on Tarhuntassa. At this time Tarhuntassa likely was ruled by a certain great king known as Hartapu, son of the great king Mursili. This Hartapu is thought to be the son of Mursili III and thus to be the nephew of Kurunta.
Ulmi-Tessup and Kurunta
There has been scholarly debate about whether Ulmi-Tessup and Kurunta were the same person. Comparisons between the Ulmi-Tessup treaty and the Kurunta treaty have led some scholars to conclude they are the same person, and others to conclude that they are different. For instance, the later treaty between Tudhaliya and Kurunta mentions that in a former treaty, Hattusili had demanded that Kurunta marry a woman of queen Pudu-Hepa's choice; Tudhaliya then revoked that demand. This requirement is not found in the Ulmi-Tessup's treaty, although the beginning of that treaty is missing.
Hittite New Kingdom royal family tree
- (1) = 1st spouse
- (2) = 2nd spouse
- Small caps indicates a Great King (LUGAL.GAL) of the Land of Hatti; italic small caps indicates a Great Queen or Tawananna.
- Dashed lines indicate adoption.
- Solid lines indicate marriage (if horizontal) or parentage (if vertical).
- Trevor Bryce (1997). The Kingdom of the Hittites. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
- Trevor Bryce (2012). The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
- Volkert Haas (2006). Die hethitische Literatur. Berlin, Germany: de Gruyter.
- ^ Scholars have suggested that Tudhaliya I/II was the son of Himuili and thus a grandson of the Hittite king Huzziya II (Bryce 1997, p. 131).
- ^ Bryce (1997) does not consider it clear whether Tudhaliya I/II was one king or two (p. 133).
- ^ a b c Bryce (1997), p. 139.
- ^ The existence of Hattusili II is doubtful (Bryce 1997, pp. 153–154).
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 158.
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 172.
- ^ a b c d Bryce (1997), p. 174.
- ^ a b Bryce (1997), p. 168.
- ^ Also known as Malnigal; daughter of Burnaburias II of Babylonia (Bryce 1997, p. 173).
- ^ ‘Great priest’ in Kizzuwadna and king (lugal) of Aleppo (Bryce 1997, p. 174).
- ^ a b c d King (lugal) of Carchemish.
- ^ Bryce (1997), pp. 174, 203–204.
- ^ Zannanza died on his way to Egypt to marry a pharaoh's widow, probably Ankhesenpaaten, the widow of Tutankhamun (Bryce 1997, pp. 196–198).
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 227.
- ^ a b c Bryce (1997), p. 230.
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 220.
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 222.
- ^ Haas (2006), p. 91.
- ^ Massanauzzi married Masturi, king of the Seha River Land (Bryce 1997, p. 313).
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 296.
- ^ Puduhepa was the daughter of the Kizzuwadnan priest Pentipsarri (Bryce 1997, p. 273).
- ^ Bryce (1997), pp. 346, 363.
- ^ King (lugal) of Tarhuntassa (Bryce 1997, p. 296); apparently later Great King of Hatti (Bryce 1997, p. 354).
- ^ Nerikkaili married a daughter of Bentesina, king of Amurru (Bryce 1997, p. 294).
- ^ Two daughters of Hattusili III were married to the pharaoh Ramesses II; one was given the Egyptian name Ma(hor)nefrure. Another, Gassuwaliya, married into the royal house of Amurru. Kilushepa was married to a king of Isuwa. A daughter married into the royal family of Babylon. A sister of Tudhaliya IV married Sausgamuwa, king of Amurru after his father Bentesina. From Bryce (1997), pp. 294 and 312.
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 332.
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 363. Tudhaliya IV probably married a Babylonian princess, known by her title of Great Princess (dumu.sal gal) (Bryce 1997, pp. 294, 331).
- ^ Bryce (1997), p. 363.
- ^ Great King of Tarhuntassa; son of Mursili, the Great King, who is likely identical with Mursili III/Urhi-Tesub (Bryce 2012, p. 21 f.).
- ^ a b Bryce (1997), p. 361.
- ^ Last documented Great King of the Land of Hatti.
- ^ King and then Great King of Carchemish (Bryce 1997, pp. 384–385).
- ^ Bryce, Trevor. The Kingdom of the Hittites, 2005 (pp.270-71)
- ^ Trevor Bryce: The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History. Oxford, New York 2012, p. 21 f., 29, 145.
- Bryce, Trevor. The Kingdom of the Hittites. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. 270-321.