Samuha

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Samuha was reputedly a city of the Hittites, a religious centre and for a few years military capital for the empire. Samuha's faith was syncretistic. Rene Lebrun in 1976 called Samuha the "religious foyer of the Hittite Empire".

In the treaty between the Hittite king Mursili II and Duppi-Tessub of Amurru (c. 1315 BC), the Hittites swear by the god Abara whose sanctuary was in Samuha. The treaty further mentions a Storm God in classic Anatolian style. It is unknown if Abara and this Storm God were equivalent.

CTH 480 is a ritual ascribed to Samuha, which Melchert has dated on linguistic grounds to the Late Hittite period (1350-1200 BC). It shows Hurrian influence. Middle Hittite Revisited The treaty between Suppiluliuma I and Shattiwaza of Mitanni further names the Storm God of Samuha as the Hurrian Teshub, but this could be for the sake of diplomacy.

In addition, the Hattusa tablets CTH 710-2 preserve festival rites to a goddess whom the scribes equated to Akkadian Ishtar. Mursili appointed his youngest son Hattusili III priest of the goddess of Hurrian name Sausga / Shaushka in Samuha, and when Hattusili was governing on behalf of the throne then sited at Tarhuntassa he adopted "the Ishtar of Samuha" as protector. It is thought that the Ishtar and Sausga are equivalent.[1]

Mursili II also wrote KUB 32.133. According to Ada Taggar-Cohen, KUB 32.133 tells of this time:

King Tudhaliya III "ordered a new cult for the [Kizzuwatnan] Deity of the Night to be established in Samuha. However, a short while after “the wooden-tablet-scribes and the temple-men (=priests) came, and they falsified the ceremonies and the cultic obligations (ishhiules), which he had mandated for the temple of the Deity of the Night. Mursili, the great king, [after hearing about the incident] rewrote the cultic obligations on the spot.”)

Tudhaliya III introduced a new deity to the cult of Samuha. He did it by entrusting the priesthood with written tablets (in cuneiform), which are tablets of i�hi¹l. By these tablets the priests are obliged to fulfill the worship of that deity. But the priests did not like the change in their cultic procedure and they rewrote the tablets. Mur�ili II, who learned of their conduct, rewrote the tablets anew and imposed the laws and regulations of the new cult, which was transferred from Kizzuwatna to Samuha. We learn three things from the Hittite text: 1) the introduction of a new cult is formalized through tablets of ishhiul upon which the regulations and laws of the cult are written; 2) the introduction of a new cult is initiated by the king and carried out by cult professionals, in our case the priests; 3) the priests tend to reject changes to their familiar cult practice and adhere to their old ways, unless forced by the leadership to change them.

History[edit]

Samuha was a primary base of field operations for the Hittites while the Kaskas were plundering the Hatti heartland, including the historic capital Hattusa, during the 14th century BC under kings Tudhaliya I-III and Suppiluliuma I. During this period, the religions of Samuha and Sapinuwa became influenced by the faith of the Hurrians.

Excavations at Sapinuwa have revealed that at the beginning of this time, Sapinuwa held the archives for the kingdom. Under either Tudhaliya I or Tudhaliya II, Sapinuwa was burnt. Hattusili III later recorded of this time that Azzi had "made Samuha its frontier".

Samuha then became the base for the reconquests of Tudhaliya III and his then-general Suppiluliuma. The Deeds of Suppiluliuma report that he brought Kaska captives back to Samuha after a campaign toward Hayasa (connected somehow with Azzi) on Tudhaliya's behalf. Tudhaliya III himself centralised the faith of Kizzuwatna to Samuha.

(Mursili further records in his annals that when Suppiluliuma was king, the Arawannans invaded the land of the Kassiyans near "Sammaha". Some translators think that this may be a Late Hittite pronunciation of "Samuha"; compare the mid 14th century BC "Suppiluliuma I" with late 13th century BC "Suppiluliama". However, elsewhere Arawanna and Kassiya are not associated with Samuha. Mursili in his fifth year - c. 1317 BC - moved to the city of Ziulila in the vicinity of Sammaha to rescue the Kassiyans.)

Mursili appointed his youngest son Hattusili III priest of the Sausga / Ishtar in Samuha. The Hittites of Hattusa apparently remembered the goddess of Samuha as a protective deity.

Samuha disappears from the historical record after Hattusili III.[citation needed]

Coordinates: 38°06′N 38°00′E / 38.100°N 38.000°E / 38.100; 38.000