Le Traité égypto-hittite de paix et d’alliance entre les rois Ramsès II et Khattouchili III (d’après l’inscription hiéroglyphique au temple de Karnak)*

Journal of Egyptian History


With the conquests of Tuthmosis III in Syria, Egypt entered into the international scene of the Near Eastern world. Thereafter, the Hittites were extending their frontiers across northern Mesopotamia and Syria. This led to conflict with Egypt, since each was aspiring to control the routes of international commerce. Inevitably, the two super-powers clashed at Qadesh, and the relationship between them remained full of hostility and distrust. True peace came only upon the conclusion of a treaty between Ramesses II and Khattouchili III, through which an extreme alliance was finally agreed. The treaty was an implicit recognition by both partners of a territorial status quo. Its conclusion was probably enhanced by the rising of the Assyrians and the infiltration of the Sea Peoples. Furthermore, the Hittite king was worried about his right to rule; his seizure of the throne left him concerned about the succession to his own family line. In this situation an accommodation with Ramesses II left Khattouchili in a more secure position. The treaty in the form of a pact between two powers of equal status is the oldest known one in history. Although previously translated and commented upon, this is the first such treatment in French.


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