Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religion & Culture / Religious Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Lawrence E. Toombs

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This presentaton is an updating of Mitannian Studies, utilizing material from all available sources, discipline and other relevant countries. The results indicate that Mitanni had a unique history and offered rather remarkable contributions to mankind. These ranged from technology to politics, but were especially evident in the realms of both military and peaceful activities. This effort seeks to present Mitanni’s achievements more clearly and to put these into their proper place in history. I believe that the goals and objectives of this thesis have been attained through the following accomplishments.

All relevant material from the past thirty-five years has been gathered and amalgamated with the older information, producing a new edition of theMitannian data. Some of this older scholarship has been re-worked and refined, approving some assumptions, while rejecting others. In the Introduction chapter a detailed list and assessment of previous research was offered. All the ancient literature relating to Mitanni, both primary and secondary sources, was surveyed.

One of the chief results is a new outline of Mitannian history and its division into four recognizable sections.

There is a delineation of the threefold military genius of early Mitanni, the war chariot, the battering ram and the archer, which enabled them to overcome strong cities and place immense regions, under their jurisdiction. The consequence of this was the termination of the old city-state system, a rising to an awareness of the world and a new era of co-operation which in turn produced an environment conducive to trade, commerce and travel.

This study presents a comprehensive and fuller treatment of the Hurrian people and their rise under Mitanni from a state of virtual insignificance to an important place in history. A detailed religious study focuses on the Hurrian mythology, pantheon and Epic literature, while also suggesting an influence on the birth of the Old Testament in northern Mesopotamia.

Then it depicts the Mitannian political genius, the creation of a loose overlordship throughout the region, containing many smaller kingdoms and former city-states. Consequently, Pax Mitannia, the longest and most wide spread time of peace in the Near East was defined, named and the term offered for recognition. It was a period of new security, international involvements, the beginning of diplomacy, indulgence in craftsmanship and agriculture as the region enjoyed the absence of war with its sufferings.

The Assyrians and especially the Hittites are seen as taking over many ideas, technologies and items from Mitanni.

This study collected all Mitannian archaeological information and produced summaries, conclusions and chronologies. Finally, some areas for further research are suggested.

Convocation Year