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Ed. Menabde.
Hittite society
(economy, property, family, inheritance)


Book on Russian

Scanned by Alexey Alexeev.

The economic foundation of the development in Hittite-state was rural farming, with predominantly developed cattle-breeding and rather intensive agriculture.

At the same time together with the breeding of numerous cattle (oxen, sheep, goats, pigs, etc.) Hittites were occupied with the cultivating of corn, gardening, vine-growing, and also with poultry-farming and bee-keeping.

Farming (first of all agricultural) unit was marked by ideogr. É (akk. BITU, hitt. pir-, parn-) — «house». Hittite agricultural unit included not only fields, orchards with vineyards (GIŠSAR-GEŠTIN), vegetable gardens, forests, pastures, but definite kinds of workmanship.

Workmanship in Hatti achieved high development (metal-working, stone-working, blacksmith's work, leather-dressing, carpentry, weaving, dressmaking, manufacture of tools and weapons, vessels, adornments, etc.).

The development of agriculture and workmanship was the basis of home and foreign trade.

Main kinds of property were the state (royal), temple and private ownerships, which were closely connected with each other, la Hittite society the state property in land had dominating importance, one of the parts of which was royal lands (QAQARA ŠA É.GAL). One could come across state lands in different parts of country and they were under the rule of the whole system of «stone-hoses» (É.NA4).

There existed a rather wide system of «feeding» and royal presents, together with duties (saḫḫan, luzzi, ILKU) on the basis of royal and partly common property. Saḫḫan is connected with getting a plot from the royal lands and it implies handicraft and building works. Luzzi is connected with receiving a strip from the common land and implies public works in a community. ILKU was a military duty.

There was a close connection between sahhan and luzzi, i. e. Hittite community aid not oppose to the State and was a component part of it. The state power itself originated from tlie common self-government, which later became a local civil body.

The centres of religious worship and temples with wide spread property played a great part in the State.

The private property in land originated from private possession and land-tenure.

A Hittite family and a system of inheritance had a patriarchal charakter.

The Hittite family is monogam as a rule, though in reality the polygamy existed as well.

The head of the family (a man) had a great power over all the members of it.

A woman in the Hittite society played an important part and during her husband's absence could temporarily become the head of the family. However, by the system of levirat she was firmly connected with her husband's family.

There were two kinds of marriage in Hittite society: the patrilocal and matrilocal marriage.

The main form of marriage was that, which was founded on the paying bride-price (kusata). Equally with it there was the marriage by kidnapping. Rather spread in the Hittite society was the marriage ercbu. Mixed marriages (between slaves and freemen) and marriages among slaves-were allowed by law.

The property of the family consisted of the following components: 1) the property of the husband, 2) the property of the wife (a dowry and a present of her husband), 3) the property gained together.

The family property could be in the joint ownership of two persons: the main owner (EN) and his joint owner (LU ḪA.LA-ŠU).

Children were the direct heirs', first — a son, and theu — a doughter. Parents will had no power to deprive children of inheriting the property.

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