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Arzawa in the second half of the second millenium BC (roughly from late 15th century until the beginning of the 12th century) was the name of a region and a kingdom in Western Anatoliamarker, likely to have extended alongside a belt from the Lakes Region in southwestern Anatolia until the Aegeanmarker coast and central part of which was later to become known as Lydia.

Arzawa was the western neighbor and sometimes vassal of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdom, and possibly bordered on the much more obscure Assuwa league to the north.

The kingdom

According to Hittite sources, the capital of the Kingdom of Arzawa was Apasa (or Abasa), which may correspond to later Ephesusmarker.

The language spoken in Arzawa during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age was Luwian, a member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family. This common language was characteristic of Arzawa Kingdom and region and in the oldest texts such as the Hittite Code, the land of Arzawa, together with Kizzuwatna (later Cilicia in southern Anatolia) were named Luwia.

The zenith of the kingdom was during the 15th and 14th centuries BC. The Hittites were then weakened, and Arzawa was an ally of Egypt, as recorded in the Amarna letters. The Hittite kings Suppiluliuma I and Mursili II, however, finally managed to defeat Arzawa, which was split into vassal kingdoms called Mira, Hapalla (transcriptions vary) , "land of the River Seha" (present-day Gedizmarker or Bakırçay rivers or both) and Wilusa (probably later Ilion). These kingdoms could have formed part of the Arzawa complex already during the existence of Arzawa kingdom.

after the collapse of the Hittite Empire from the 12th century, while Neo-Hittite states partially pursued Hittite history in southern Anatolia and Syria, the chain seems to have broken as far as Arzawa lands in western Anatolia were concerned and these could have pursued their own cultural path until unification came with the emergence of Lydia as a state under the Mermnad dynasty in the 7th century BC.

There has been evidence from a British expedition in 1954 to Beycesultan in inner western Anatolia which suggests that the king of Arzawa had central heating in his home. Nothing more was heard from this invention until Gaius Sergius Orata reinvented it in Ancient Rome around 80 B.C.E.

Kings of Arzawa in the 14th century

See also


  1. Camp, L. Sprague De. The Ancient Engineers. Pages 171-172. Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963.


  • Melchert, H. Craig (ed.) (2003). The Luwians. Leiden: Brill

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