Photographs of the Palace of Phaistos by the author.


Hurrians and Hurrian in Minoan Crete: Text and summary

The author shows that the Holy Trinity of the main Hurrian Gods, Tešub, Ḫebat and their son Šarruma is addressed in a sophisticated and poetic way, usually at the beginning of the so-called ‘libation formulas’, by means of descriptive epithets. They appear in a fixed order of importance. First Tešub’s Linear A epithet a-ta-i-jo-wa-ja ‘Our Father’, absolutive/vocative attai=(j)=o/uwwa=(j)=aš, consisting of attai ‘father’ + transitional semi-vowel -j- between 2 vowels + enclitic possessive pronoun 1st person sing. -o/uwwa- (my) + transitional semi-vowel -j- between 2 vowels + the pluralizer -aš (our). Compare cuneiform Hurrian dTe-e-eš-šu-pa-aš …….. eb-ri-iw-wa-šu-uš at-ta-iw-wa-šu-uš (3 ergatives), ‘Tešub …. Our Lord, Our Father’ in the Tušratta letter (Mit. IV 118).

Then the epithet of Tešub’s wife Ḫebat, a-di-<da->ki-ti/e(-te), analysis ašdi-dagitti, ‘The woman is a beauty / beautiful’ > ‘The (most) beautiful woman’, appears (in haplography) in the libation formulas. The form is attested as a-di-da-ki-ti (KN Zc 6.2) in scriptio plena on the interior of a Middle-Minoan III cup at Knossos (ašdi = ‘woman’).

[In Linear A and B -s- preceding an occlusive is not expressed in consonant clusters.]

Then the epithet of the young god Šarrum(m)a appears as a-sa-sa-ra-me, analysis arša-šarr=a=me, ‘The young man/boy, he is like the King of Gods’. The Linear A variant ja-sa-sa-ra-ma|-na (KN Za 10a-b) can be analysed as y(a)/y(e)-arša-šarr=a=mann=a, ‘as well as “The young boy (arša ‘young man’) is (mann=(i)a) like the King of Gods” ’, (šarr=a is the essive of Hurrian šarr=i ‘King of Gods’).

The contents of the prayers in the ‘libation formulas’ appear to be about the same subject as the meaning of many personal names, in which the birth of healthy children, sometimes after the death of an older child, is always in the minds of the parents.

Linear A u-na-ka-na-si, Hurrian un=a-ḫ(ḫ)an=a=šši ‘come childhood, childbirth’ is an essential term occurring in almost every formula. It may not be accidental that the name Arkhanes is attested as a]-ka-ne (AK 3a.1+fr. AK.1b.1, join P.G. van Soesbergen) on a Linear A tablet found in the Minoan Villa of Epano Arkhanes. Even more significant is the fact that the toponym can be analysed as Hurrian ar=ḫane/i ‘Give a child’ and that the Villa of Arkhanes may well have been the starting point for supplicants and priests to go upto the Peak Sanctuary of Mount Ioukhtas to pray to Tešub, Ḫebat and Šarru(m)ma.

In an inscription from Mount Ioukhtas a variant of eni attanni ‘God the Father’ is mentioned: i-na-ta-i-do-di-si-ka (IO Za 6), analysis en(i) / in(i) ‘God’ + atta ‘Father’ + id=u/od=i-šikka ‘do not strike your thunderbolt !’ (all notions joined in one sequence). The Old Hurrian negation -u/od- shows that the inscription is Old Hurrian. The inscription u]-na-pi-da-da-[ (IO Za 11.1) from Ioukhtas, Hurrian un=a=b Ida=da(n) ‘He/She (a god/ priest) comes/came to (Mount) Ida (+ directive -da) or from Ida (+ ablative -dan), is also Old Hurrian, for -b in un=a=b is the Old Hurrian marker of the subject 3rd person sing. In the next line the Holy Trinity appears as i-na-i-da-mi (IO Za 11.2) ‘Gods of Ida’.

See for an extensive analysis Chapter 11: ‘Religious’ Linear A inscriptions.

ISBN: 9789083275413

Author: Peter G. van Soesbergen

Publisher: Peter G. van Soesbergen

Pub date: 22 Sep 2022

Edition: Third completely revised and extended edition

Language: English

Number of pages: 524

Height: 297 mm

Width: 210 mm