Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hittites, an extinct civilised people, who appear to have flourished about 1200 B.C., when their empire extended from the Upper Euphrates westwards to the AEgean Sea and southwards to Syria, where they were conterminous with the Arameean Semites. Their capital was at Karkhemish, on the Euphrates, and other centres of their culture were Jerablus and Hama (Hamath), near the present Aleppo, in all of which places certain presumably Hittite stone inscriptions have been discovered in recent years. The attempts hitherto made to decipher these inscriptions have led to no certain results. The letters, which strongly resemble those found in 1879 by Professor Sayce oa the so-called "False Raraesis" near Smyrna, seem to be partly ideographic, partly syllabic, or intermediate between hieroglyphics and phonetic writing. But their true character, as well as the language ill which they are written, is still matter of conjecture. The term "Hittite," applied to this unknown people, is purely conventional, and has reference to the Kittim (Cetthim) of Genesis x. 4, son of Javan, from whom they are supposed to be descended. (Rev. A. H. Sayce, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1882.)