Assuwa league

Assuwa league

The Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites under an earlier Tudhaliya I around 1400 BC. The league formed to oppose the Hittite empire. The list of its members contains 22 names, including " [...] uqqa", "Warsiya", "Taruisa", "Wilusiya" and "Karkija" (Caria).

Some of the identifications of these names are disputed. "Wilusiya" is commonly identified with Ilion, and "Taruisa" with the surrounding Troad, and "Warsiya" may be associated with "Lukka" (Lycia). However, identification of " [..] uqqa" with later-attested "Lukka" (Lycia) is problematic, because that would put the Assuwa league both north and south of Arzawa in southwestern Anatolia. Assuwa appears to lie north of Arzawa, covering the northwestern corner of Anatolia. Homer in the Iliad seems to refer to two Lycias (in 2.876-77, 5.479; Sarpedon is a leader of "distant Lycia" while in 2.824ff. 5.105 Pandarus is another leader of Lycians from around Mount Ida near Troy, so that "Lukka" vs. " [...] uqqa" may find its explanation in these terms.

This confederacy is mentioned only in the fragmentary tablets making up Laroche's CTH 142/85. Since the later Tudhaliya IV was known to have had frontier trouble between 1250 and 1200 BC, and since the text lists rebel nations in much the way Ramesses II does, the first consensus dated this text - and so Assuwa - to Tudhaliyas IV. This dating appears in all older literature on the fall of the Hatti, and crops up every now and then to this day. However the consensus has since then come around to dating Assuwa to an earlier Tudhaliyas, which means prior to Suppiluliumas and so prior to 1350 BC.

"Assuwa" has been suggested as the origin for the name of the continent "Asia" (Bossert, 1946).


*Bossert, Helmut T., "Asia", Istanbul, 1946.

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