Hittite Women as Reflected in the Laws of Marriage, Adultery and Rape

The Hittite law codes offer more protection for a woman than, if I’m remembering correctly, Victorian England, in the sense that a Hittite woman could both initiate a divorce and keep her inheritance and half her husband’s estate if she divorced. On the other hand, the expressions used in Hittite for marriage—there is no one abstract word for “to marry”—reflect the control men exercised over women, “to take a wife” “to take as his own wife” “to make her your wife.” (Imparati, 572) A woman is never described as “taking a husband.” The laws of adultery and rape present a similarly mixed bag.

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The Hittite hasawa: priestess, therapist, healer, diviner, and midwife

In the Hittite world the hasawa served many essential roles. Using the sacred stories of myth, she brought the human and divine worlds back into harmony. She performed rites to “cure” family quarrels, disease, and injury. She made divinations to read the will of the gods and she delivered babies.

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Trojan Women: Women’s Roles in Ancient Anatolia and Mycenaean Greece

This is the introduction to a series of articles about women in the time period and geographical area that is traditionally ascribed to the Trojan War—that is western Anatolia (modern Turkey) in the Late Bronze Age and the Mycenaean kingdoms on the Greek mainland from which the invading army came.

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