Historical Overview Section

The Hittites were an ancient Anatolian people who established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around the C18 BC. The Hittite empire reached its height around C14 BC, encompassing a large part of Anatolia, north-western Syria about as far south as the mouth of the Litani River (a territory known as Amqu), and eastward into upper Mesopotamia

The Hittite kingdom is conventionally divided into three periods, the Old Hittite Kingdom (ca. 1750–1500 BC), the Middle Hittite Kingdom (ca. 1500–1430 BC) and the New Hittite Kingdom (the Hittite Empire proper, ca. 1430–1180 BC).

The Old Kingdom, centered at Hattusa, peaked during the 16th century BC. The kingdom even managed to sack the Babylonians at one point, but made no attempt to govern there. During the 15th century BC, Hittite power fell into obscurity, re-emerging with the reign of Tudhaliya I from ca. 1400 BC. Under Suppiluliuma I and Mursili II, the Empire was extended to most of Anatolia and Syro-Canaanite lands so that by 1300 BC the Hittites were bordering on the New Kingdom Egyptian sphere of influence, leading to the inconclusive Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC.

Civil war and rivalling claims to the throne, combined with the external threat of the Sea Peoples weakened the Hittites and by 1160 BC, the Empire had collapsed. "Neo-Hittite" post-Empire states like Early Assyrians and contempories with the Neo-hittite successor states in Syria and other petty kingdoms under Assyrian Empire and Sargonid rule may have lingered on until ca. 700 BC.

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