Sunday, 7 October 2012


Pudu-Ḫepa, or Pudu-Kheba) was a Hittite Queen married to the King Hattusili III.

Queen Pudu-Hepa was born at the beginning of the 13th century BC in the city of Lawazantiya in Kizzuwatna (Cilicia, a region south of the Hittite kingdom). Her father Bentepsharri was the a priest of Ishtar, and Puduhepa grew up to be a priestess of the same goddess.

Her daughters were Queen Maathorneferure of Egypt and Princess Kiluš-Ḫepa.

The Hittite princess (Maathorneferure) left Hattusa, the Hittite capital, in late 1246 BCE, accompanied by her mother and a huge contingent laden with gold, silver, bronze, cattle and sheep, and slaves. At the Egyptian frontier, a message was despatched to the Pharaoh:
'They have traversed sheer mountains and treacherous passes to reach Your Majesty's border.'
 Ramesses sent a welcoming party to escort the princess through Canaan and into Egypt.

She  arrived in February 1245 BCE at Pi-Ramesse.

For Ramesses, the marriage was valuable more for the large dowry he acquired rather than his new bride, who, given his great love for his Egyptian wife Nefertari, was despatched to his harem palace at Mer-wer (today's Gurob).

According to another account, however, Maathorneferure is said to have given Ramesses a baby and died shortly thereafter.

You, Oh Lelwani, eat the fat of [the cow], of the ewe and the nanny-goat [and satisfy your hunger].
Drink (!) that [blood] and quench your thirst!
The fat [...] of the fattened cow, and that of the ewe and the nanny-goat, [...].
Behold Gassulawiya, your maid [has] herewith [sent] to you this woman.
Oh god, she has dressed [her] up in festive garments and sent you her [substitute].
If you, oh god, have counted something against her, let this woman stand for you in her place.
Oh god, my lord, remove this sickness from Gassuliyawiya!...

From Hittite Prayers.
By Itamar Singer, Harry A. Hoffner

Mursili II was the younger son of Suppiluliuma I, one of the most powerful rulers of the Hittite Empire. He was the younger brother of Arnuwanda II and had a sister and one more brother.

Mursili is known to have had several children with his first wife Gassulawiya including three sons named Muwatalli, Hattusili III and Halpasulupi. A daughter named Massanauzzi (referred to as Matanaza in correspondence with the Egyptian king Ramesses II) was married to Masturi, a ruler of a vassal state. Mursili had further sons with a second wife named Tanuhepa. The names of the sons of this second wife have not been recorded however.

Mursili III, Queen Maathorneferure and Tudhaliya IV were grandchildren of Mursili II.