Suppiluliuma I (also rendered as Shuppiluliuma) was king of the Hittites (1390 BC – 1354 BC). He achieved fame as a great warrior and statesman, successfully challenging the then-dominant Egyptian empire for control of the lands between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates.
He took advantage of the tumultuous reign of the PharaohAkhenaton, and seized control of Egyptian territory in Syria, inciting many Egyptian vassals to revolt. His success encouraged the widow of the Egyptian king Nibhuruyiras (identified with either Akhenaton or Tutankhamun) to write to him, asking him to send one of his sons to be her husband, and rule Egypt. Suppliluliuma sent an ambassador to investigate, who reported that the situation was accurately described, and the king decided to take advantage of this windfall; unfortunately, Prince Zannanza died on the way, and the marriage alliance never was consummated.
The Annals of Suppiluliuma, compiled after his death by his son Mursili, is an important primary source for the 14th century BC. One of Suppiluliumas' letters, addressed to King Huriya (most likely Smenkhkare, but also identified with Tutankhamun and Akenaton) was preserved in the Amarna letters (EA 41).
Suppiluliumas, King of the Hittites, brought to his defeated country the power of an empire and dominated the history of the Middle East for four decades, ruling from 1368 to 1328 BCE.
At first suspicious, Suppiluliumas sent emissaries to determine the authenticity of the request, and when he sent his son Zannanza some months later, he was killed en route and a war began between the Hittites and the Egyptians which is evidently undocumented in Egyptian records.
Suppiluliumas could not have achieved much in the way of revenge, as he died soon afterwards, victim of the plague brought to Anatolia by Egyptian prisoners of war.
In the biography of Suppiluliumas, compiled by his son Mursilis, there is quoted a letter from a queen of Egypt named Dakhamun: My husband died, she wrote, and I have no son.
A request of this kind was unheard of, and Suppiluliumas sought the advice of his consellors, exclaiming: Since of old such a thing has never happened before me! They advised caution: He should first assure himself that no deception was being planned.
At this, Suppiluliumas complied with the ladys wishes, and sent her a prince.
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