Kassite language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Native to Babylon
Region Near East
Era 18th–4th century BC
unclassified (Hurro-Urartian?)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog kass1244[1]

Kassite (also Cassite) was a language spoken by Kassites in the Zagros Mountains of Iran and southern Mesopotamia from approximately the 18th to the 4th century BC. From the 16th to 12th centuries BC, kings of Kassite origin ruled in Babylon until they were overthrown by Elamites.

Kassites in the Babylonian state used mostly the Semitic Akkadian language of the native Assyrians and Babylonians. Traces of the Kassite language are few: a short Kassite-Akkadian dictionary containing agricultural and technical terms, names of colours etc., and lists of personal names (some names are collated with Semitic equivalents), names of deities and horses.[citation needed] A lack of Kassite texts makes the reconstruction of Kassite grammar impossible at present.

Genetic relations of the Kassite language are unclear, although it is generally agreed that it was not Semitic; relation with Elamite is doubtful. Relationship with or membership in the Hurro-Urartian family has been suggested,[2] being possibly related to it,[2] based on a number of words.

Morphemes are not known; the words buri (ruler) and burna (protected) probably have the same root.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kassite". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ a b Schneider, Thomas (2003). "Kassitisch und Hurro-Urartäisch. Ein Diskussionsbeitrag zu möglichen lexikalischen Isoglossen". Altorientalische Forschungen (in German) (30): 372–381. 


  • Ancilotti, A. La lingua dei Cassiti. Milan, 1980.
  • Balkan, K. Kassitenstudien. I. Die Sprache der Kassiten. New Haven, 1954.
  • Jaritz, K. Die kassitischen Sprachreste // Anthropos, vol. 52, 1957.

External links[edit]