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Hittite

Hittite is the language of a large corpus of clay tablets in cuneiform script (over 30,000) found at Hattusa (modern Boğazköy, currently Boğazkale), the capital of the Hittite kingdom in central Anatolia (modern Turkey).  One can now add the newly discovered tablets from Ortaköy (over 3,000).  The entire corpus of Hittite tablets was written down during a period of almost four centuries (ca. 1570–1220).

Hittite is the earliest attested Indo-European language, so it belongs to the same family as Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and English. Thus, Hittite is of paramount importance in Indo-European studies. Moreover, the Hittite corpus includes a variety of literary and mythological compositions, a law collection (the Hittite Laws), letters, and historical annals, as well as ritual and magical texts.

Our department has offered Hittite as a special course on demand (e.g., as CAMS 597; it may also be offered as CAMS 490).

 

Student Testimonial

“The day I changed my major to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies was one of the happiest of my college career.  Even before switching to CAMS,  I was interested in what the department had to offer. (...)
An undergraduate advisor suggested LATIN 003 as a way of easing into college life, as I had taken Latin classes throughout high school and had performed well on the Advanced Placement exams.  The beginning was rough, but I enjoyed the challenge of translating Latin prose and the information that the texts conveyed.  Although I pursued an Advertising degree during my first two years of college, I continued to sign up for Latin courses, and by the end of my sophomore year, I had realized that Classics, not Advertising, was the right major for me. In addition to the Latin courses, I also studied the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, and Egypt in the CAMS major.  All of these classes were interesting, educational, and taught by knowledgeable faculty members.   The CAMS faculty is always helpful; they provide insight into the class material and make suggestions for outside reading during office hours and after class.  When I wrote my senior thesis for the Honors College, I received much help from the CAMS faculty while researching and writing the thesis.  Now that I have received my diplomas from Penn State, both in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Spanish, I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Education.  I have been accepted at the Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in Europe, to study secondary education, specializing in classical languages.  I am confident that the education I received at Penn State, notably in the CAMS department, will aid me greatly in my postgraduate studies and in securing a teaching job, whether in the United States, Spain, or elsewhere.”

Celia Meehan
2010 CAMS graduate

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