The most recommended books about the Hittites

Who picked these books? Meet our 8 experts.

8 authors created a book list connected to the Hittites, and here are their favorite Hittites books.
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Book cover of Hand of Fire

Amalia Carosella Author Of Helen of Sparta

From my list on retelling Greek myths.

Who am I?

I’ve been playing in the sandbox of Greek myth as a writer for two decades, and passionately absorbed by it for even longer. My mother raised us all to love ancient history, and I was further encouraged by my brother at age 7, who brought home a copy of Bulfinch and taught me the difference between Heracles and Hercules, cementing my delight and inspiring me to pursue a BA in Classical Studies. The result was not only my Helen of Sparta duology, by a plethora of other works exploring our relationships to the divine in the retelling of historically-grounded myths, some well-known, and some half-forgotten.

Amalia's book list on retelling Greek myths

Amalia Carosella Why did Amalia love this book?

Hand of Fire was one of the first books to truly win me over on Achilles as a real hero worthy of romanticism and admiration. Starkston’s exploration of Briseis’s character and her relationship to and with Achilles is so well-wrought, pulling both from the Hittites (the empire in which Briseis was born) and the Greek mythology and archeology. The way she weaves the two cultures together to create this story, priming Briseis for Achilles’s arrival to create a narrative that gives Briseis both power and agency is absolutely masterful. I loved that Starkston didn’t shy away from the supernatural hallmarks of the Iliad, either, allowing the gods and their direct influence to breathe inside her retelling of the Trojan War.

By Judith Starkston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hand of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Briseis steps out from the handful of lines she gets in Homer's epic, and fearlessly tells her own story as healer, war prize, and partner to the famous Achilles—here a godlike hero who manages to be all too human. Recommended! –Kate Quinn, NYT Times Bestselling author of The Alice Network

A legendary war, an invincible warrior, a woman forced to defend her family and realm—and her independent spirit. Will she become the captive or the captor?

Briseis struggles to protect her city, an ally of Troy, from marauding Greeks and her husband’s arrogant violence. She finds strength in visions of…


Book cover of Encyclopaedia Biblica

Henry Davis Author Of Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome

From my list on ancient history that challenge assumptions.

Who am I?

Henry Davis is an independent historical researcher who has been studying ancient history for over 20 years. Even though he wanted to embark on a formal education studying the Classics, he suffered from extreme anxiety and felt he could not do so. He resorted to self-study, with help from family and friends, who had degrees in Classical studies, and began reading the work of respected historians/scholars/classicists, Dame Mary Beard, Tom Holland, Sir Ronald Syme, Gavin Townend, and Anthony Birley, to name only a few.

Henry's book list on ancient history that challenge assumptions

Henry Davis Why did Henry love this book?

The official title of the book is ‘Encyclopedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography, and Natural History of the Bible.' This work was produced by various professors of Oxford University and was a continual work from 1899-1903. It seems to be rarely mentioned by historians and Biblical scholars today, and I am recommending this work because there is a considerable wealth of information in it, and any student of history would find it incredibly useful. The Oxford professors critically examined ancient folklore and legends, without being swayed by traditional opinions of the time. For example, the origins of the people of Israel, and Egyptian and Hittite history are thoroughly examined, as is the Biblical literature. Interestingly, in this work, the professors doubted the existence of Nazareth, stating: ‘Was Nazareth originally the name of a town (or village) at all? There…

By Thomas Kelly Cheyne, John Sutherland Black,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Encyclopaedia Biblica as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Ancient Turkey: A Traveller's History

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Who am I?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

This is the vicarious traveler’s delight. ‘Sensory’ doesn’t quite cover the delightful descriptives in Lloyd’s ‘Ancient Turkey’. He takes you on a journey across the varied and beautiful landscape of Anatolia and though time as well - from prehistory through the Bronze Age when the Hittite Empire dominated and the legend of Troy was born, on to the time of King Midas and right up to the Greek and Roman periods.

By Seton Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ancient Turkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An elegantly written account of Turkey's history by one of the greatest living authorities on the subject. . . . The historically minded visitor would be well advised to pack this beguiling book."―British Archaeological News

Seton Lloyd's lively account of Turkey's early history is for the increasing number of people visiting the ancient sites of this fabled land. Written by an archaeologist who spent much of his life in the Near East, the book is not a conventional "guide" to the antiquities of Anatolia. It is instead Lloyd's attempt to share his profound interest in an antique land, its inhabitants,…


Book cover of 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Who am I?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age. What caused this epochal shift? Eric Cline outlines just how cataclysmic the 12th and 13th centuries BC really were. Be prepared for fire, earthquakes, and a tide of war!

By Eric Cline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the…


Book cover of Lord of the Silver Bow

Luciana Cavallaro Author Of Search for the Golden Serpent

From my list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary.

Who am I?

In my teens, I read a book by Charles Berlitz titled Atlantis: the lost continent. I was enthralled and fascinated about this lost race of people, who were technically and sophisticated advance society and on one fateful day, vanished. My appetite for Greek mythology and ancient history grew from there, and I wanted to learn more about various ancient cultures and their mythologies. I eventually studied ancient history and continue my education as new archaeological discoveries and advancements are made. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe and seeing the Roman Forum and Colosseum, that I was inspired to write and combine my love for mythology and ancient history into historical fiction fantasy.

Luciana's book list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary

Luciana Cavallaro Why did Luciana love this book?

I’m cheating a little here by recommending a trilogy but this was one of the best historical fiction I’ve read.

The series is about Prince Aeneas and the legendary story of the war between the Trojans and the Greeks. David Gemmell sets the scene prior to war from the POV of Aeneas, who was regarded as pirate but as the story progresses you learn more about his actions and why he keeps roaming the sea.

It is full of action and stays true to the unfolding drama of the Trojan War. For me, the historical backdrop and the research the author included was one of the main reasons this series wins.

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Lord of the Silver Bow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three lives will change the destiny of nations. Hellkaon, the young prince of Dardania, haunted by a scarred and traumatic childhood. The priestess Andromache, whose fiery spirit and fierce Independence threatens the might of kings. And the legendary warrior Argurios, cloaked in loneliness and driven only by thoughts of revenge. In Troy they find a city torn apart by destructive rivalries - a maelstrom of jealousy, deceit and murderous treachery. And beyond its fabled walls blood-hungry enemies eye its riches and plot its downfall. It is a time of bravery and betrayal; a time of bloodshed and fear. A time…


Book cover of The Encyclopedia of Empire

John Rennie Short Author Of The Urban Now: Living in an Age of Urban Globalism

From John's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor emeritus Urbanist Geographer Maphead Geopolitician

John's 3 favorite reads in 2023

John Rennie Short Why did John love this book?

I have long had a plan to write a book on the geopolitics of empire, and so I read lots of books on empire and imperialism. I came across this one some years ago, but I continue to read it. Some books are best dipped it over time.

This 4-volume encyclopedia is a great one for dipping into. The entries are arranged alphabetically and written by experts with a useful guide to further reading. The superb scholarship is matched by clear writing.

There are the usual suspects, such as the Aztec, British, and Chinese empires, as well the less known, at least to me, of the Bulgarian Medieval Empire, the Hittites, and the Nogai Horde. There are also thematic entries ranging from cartography and cities to race and sex.

It is my go-to text for general browsing that I return to again and again. Enlightening and entertaining.

By John Mackenzie (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Encyclopedia of Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Available online or as a four-volume print set, The Encyclopedia of Empire provides exceptional in-depth, comparative coverage of empires throughout human history and across the globe.

Features over 400 peer-reviewed entries, including both short definitional entries as well as discursive, essay-style articles on major topics and themes Coverage includes individual empires, people, events and ideas that shaped the imperial experience as well as comparative themes such as environment, slavery, law, and weaponry Reflects the recent resurgence of interest in this interdisciplinary and dynamic field of study, with newer approaches included alongside traditional topics 4 Volumes

www.encyclopediaofempire.com


Book cover of The Kingdom of the Hittites

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Who am I?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

Every historical period needs a seminal work to set the scene and give a solid grounding in the era. Bryce's 'The Kingdom of the Hittites' does that and manages to entertain along the way, with stories of outlandish Hittite customs - such as spitting in a sheep's mouth to cure marital strife! - adding colour and character to the foundational principles of their ancient societal system.

By Trevor Bryce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kingdom of the Hittites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 14th century BC the Hittites became the supreme political and military power in the Near East. How did they achieve their supremacy? How successful were they in maintaining it? What brought about their collapse and disappearance? This comprehensive history of the Hittite kingdom seeks to answer these questions. It takes account of important recent advances in Hittite scholarship, including some major archaeological discoveries made in the last few years. It
also features numerous translations from the original texts, so that on many issues the ancient Hittites are given the opportunity to speak to the modern reader for themselves.…


Book cover of Wrath Goddess Sing

Lianyu Tan Author Of Captive in the Underworld: A Dark Lesbian Romance Novel

From my list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics.

Who am I?

I loved books as a kid, especially fantasy books, but could never find anyone like me within their pages. I’m a lesbian Chinese writer who adores stories about messed-up, complicated queer people. I’m thrilled by the range of books available now that feature queer, messy characters. We all deserve representation, and to me that means representation that’s complex, that encompasses the ugly and the beautiful. One of my goals as an author is to make you fall in love with monsters—brutal, flawed women who may not deserve love, but who demand it all the same.

Lianyu's book list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics

Lianyu Tan Why did Lianyu love this book?

Wrath Goddess Sing reimagines Achilles as a trans woman and rewrites her journey through the myths of the Iliad. It’s the debut novel of trans author Maya Deane.

Achilles takes several lovers, but this book is not an Achilles/Patroclus shipping vehicle, so don’t go in with that expectation. She’s delightfully complicated: brave, of course, and passionate, but also prickly at times, and hard to love. Her story casts Helen in a villainous, active role for once, and also considers how the gods function beyond Greek society; it feels extremely dense and well-researched, with a diverse cast of characters. There’s some controversy about the book, but I urge you to make up your own mind, and to reflect on the historical context that Deane is drawing upon.

By Maya Deane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wrath Goddess Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Deane's tour de force debut ...brings the familiar story to fresh, vivid, and unforgettable new life." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman's story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane's Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles' vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles, The Witch's Heart, and the Inheritance trilogy.

The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.

Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses…


Book cover of Dawn of Empire

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Who am I?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

I read it some 15 years ago… yet when I close my eyes I can still see Eskkar and Trella and their small band, smell the heat and dust of Mesopotamia. Surrounded by marauding raiders, they must use their wits and will to survive in order to build the earliest of walled cities. Tense and beautifully immersive, Barone’s ‘Dawn of Empire’ is unique and memorable – perfect escapism!

By Sam Barone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dawn of Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three thousand years before the birth of Christ. An epic conflict is about to begin. The price of victory? Civilization. The price of defeat, a return to the dark ages.

The hopes of civilization rest on one man's shoulders: Eskkar, once a barbarian, nowa warrior in charge of defending a small town which lies in the path of a vastbarbarian war party. The last time the invaders came to Orak, they spared no one and the tiny candle of trade and agriculture that had begun there, the first in all of human history, was extinguished.

But Eskkar and Trella, the…