The translation of legal texts is a centuries old tradition. The first documented translation of a legal text dates back to the year 1259 B.C. The Egyptian Hittie Peace Treaty is regarded as one of the oldest legal document to be translated. Also known as the Eternal Treaty or the Silver Treaty, it was drawn upon by the Hittite king, Hattusili III, with the great pharaoh of Egypt, Ramesses II.
The intent of the Treaty of Kadesh was to establish peace and brotherhood between the two great empires for all time to come. Thus two separate treaties were made, one in Hattusa (the capital of Hittite) and other in Pi-Ramesse (capital of Ramesses). The Kadesh treaty was first written in the Akkadian language by the Hittites and inscribed on a silver tablet. Thereafter it was sent to Egypt for consideration where it was translated into Egyptian. This original Akkadian version of the treaty of Kadesh now appears above the entrance of the Security Council Chamber of the United Nations in New York.
Subsequently the Egyptians too composed a treaty and translated it into Akkadian language. The treaty was inscribed on a silver tablet and sent to the court of Hattusili III. Both the versions didn't have many changes and all major issues had been negotiated and agreed upon.
Mitannis were considered a major power in the Near Eastern world from 1500 to 1300 B.C. There empire extended across Nothern Mesopotamia, northern Syria and parts of eastern Anatolia. However this changed during the second half of the 14th century B.C. when Suppiluliuma, a warlord of Hittites defeated the Mitannis and thus became the new master of the Syrian territories.
Tensions started to rise between Egypt and Hatti owing on one hand to the increase in power of Hittites and on the other hand to the defeat of Mittanis which bought the Hittites, to the doors of Egyptian subject territory in Southern Syria and Palestine. Not late thereafter conflicts started to rise over the control of local kingdoms such as Kadesh and Amurru, which stood in between the Egyptian and Hittite territories.
Amurru had several rulers. Though all the rulers had pledged their allegiance to Akhenaten, the then pharaoh of Egypt, however one of the ruler, Aziru, slipped and secretly pledged his allegiance to the supreme warlord of Hittites, Suppiluliuma. Sometime later Kadesh also came under the control of Hittites.
Under the kingship of Tutankhamun, Egyptians tried to gain control by attacking Kadesh, but were defeated by Suppiluliuma. Some 30 years later during the reign of Seti I, Egypt once again attacked the Hittites in Kadesh, but was successful this time around. Muwatalli, the king of Hittite lost both Kadesh and Amurru to the Egyptians. After Seti, Ramesses took over and posed a serious threat to other Syrian territories of Hittite, which included Aleppo and Carchemish.
To counter attack the threat, in May 1274 B.C. Muwatalli assembled his great armies in Kadesh against the Ramasses forces. Initially the battle was indecisive, however by the end Muwatalli turned out to be the winner. He pushed Ramasses forces towards Aba, a region around Damascus, and before returning to Hatti placed a part of his region under the control of his brother Hattusili.
Hattusili eventually succeeded to the Hittite throne. At the same time Assyrian forces started gaining power and posed a threat to Hittites. The prevailing situations favored a Peace Treaty with Egypt. Firstly Assyrians had a clear objective of establishing direct access up till the Mediterranean coast, an area which mostly was under the control of Hittites. Secondly Hattusili didn't intend to expand his Syrian limits and Ramesses too had lost his taste in any new territories in Syria. Fifteen years after the famous battle of Kadesh, this unexpected turn of events eventually led to the Peace Treaty of Kadesh. Hattusili thus proposed the peace treaty to Egypt.
Looking at this Peace Treaty from Hittites perspective, it should have been beneficial in many ways. Firstly it would lead to demilitarization of the Hittite forces against Egypt and Hittites could focus their forces against the rising Assyrian threat. Secondly a strong influence of Hittites would be established in the Near Eastern World by coming on terms with the great Egyptian empire and thereby combining forces with Egypt.
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