The figure on the right is queen Puduhepa
|Title||Queen of the Hittites|
|Spouse(s)||King Hattusili III|
Puduhepa (Hittite: Pudu-Ḫepa, or Pudu-Kheba) (fl. 13th century BCE) was a Hittite queen married to the King Hattusili III. She has been referred to as "one of the most influential women known from the Ancient Near East."
Early life and marriage
Puduhepa was born at the beginning of the 13th century BCE in the city of Lawazantiya in Kizzuwatna (i.e. Cilicia, a region south of the Hittite kingdom). Her father Bentepsharri was the head priest of the tutelary divinity of the city, Ishtar, and Puduhepa grew up to exercise the function of priestess of this same goddess.
On his return from the Battle of Kadesh, the Hittite general Hattusili met Puduhepa and, it was said, Ishtar instructed him to take her as his wife. She went with him then to the kingdom of Hapissa. When her spouse successfully rose to the Hittite throne by defeating his nephew Mursili III, Puduhepa became a queen.
Puduhepa had an important role to play in the Hittite court and international diplomacy of the period. She would appear constantly by the side of her husband as he made his rulings and decisions. It appears however that she was portrayed reigning hand in hand with her husband rather than subservient to the king.
She played an important role in diplomacy with Ancient Egypt. Puduhepa communicated several times with the king of Egypt Ramesses II as he signed a peace treaty with Hattusili, in which Hattusili agrees that two of his daughters should go to Egypt to marry Ramesses.
A princess of Babylon was married into the Hittite royal family. This would have been a daughter or sister of King Kudur-Enlil and the news elicited contempt from Ramesses II, who apparently no longer regarded Babylon significant. Puduhepa replied in a letter, ‘If you say "The king of Babylon is not a Great King," then you do not know the status of Babylon.’
After the death of Hattusili, the role of Puduhepa expanded under the reign of her son Tudhaliya IV, under the title of goddess-queen. She was involved in judicial matters to the point of intervening in legal cases. She was also a priestess who worked on organising and rationalising Hittite religion.
Nefertari and Puduhepa
The great Queen Naptera (Nefertari) of the land of Egypt speaks thus: ʻSpeak to my sister Puduhepa, the Great Queen of the Hatti land. I, your sister, (also) be well!! May your country be well. Now, I have learned that you, my sister, have written to me asking after my health. You have written to me because of the good friendship and brotherly relationship between your brother, the king of Egypt, The Great and the Storm God will bring about peace, and he will make the brotherly relationship between the Egptian king, the Great King, and his brother, the Hatti King, the Great King, last for ever... See, I have sent you a gift, in order to greet you, my sister... for your neck (a necklace) of pure gold, composed of 12 bands and weighing 88 shekels, coloured linen maklalu-material, for one royal dress for the king... A total of 12 linen garments.’
- Journal of the American Oriental Society
- Darga, Muhibbe. Women in the Historical Ages. In Women in Anatolia, 9000 Years of the History of the Anatolian Woman, Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture, Istanbul, 1993, page 30.
- Letter from Ramses II of Egypt to Puduhepa, from Women in Anatolia, 9000 Years of the History of the Anatolian Woman, Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture, Istanbul, 1993.
- Reign of Hattusili III
- Ortega Balanza, Marta (2009). El poder de las mujeres de la realeza hitita en el impero nuevo: Puduhepa. Mizar.
- Tablets KUB 21:38 to Kudur-Enlil and KUB 26.88 to Kadašman-Enlil or Kadašman-Turgu.
- KUB 21.38: letter from Pudu-Ḫepa.
- Trevor Bryce (2005). The Kingdom of the Hittites. Oxford University Press. pp. 297–298.
- The Kingdom of the Hittites by Trevor Bryce, pages 286-289
- J.H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Three, § 415ff.
- Dodson, Aidan; Hilton, Dyan (2004). The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-5000-51283.
- Tyldesley, Joyce. Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2006. ISBN 0-500-05145-3
- Kitchen, Kenneth A., Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, The King of Egypt, Aris & Phillips. 1983 ISBN 978-0-85668-215-5
- WEIDNER 1917, 78; FRIEDRICH 1925, 23; Ün 1989, 3-6 , via