Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Suppiluliuma I (also rendered as Shuppiluliuma) was king of the Hittites (1390 BC – 1354 BC). He achieved fame as a great warrior and statesman, successfully challenging the then-dominant Egyptian empire for control of the lands between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates.
He took advantage of the tumultuous reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaton, and seized control of Egyptian territory in Syria, inciting many Egyptian vassals to revolt. His success encouraged the widow of the Egyptian king Nibhuruyiras (identified with either Akhenaton or Tutankhamun) to write to him, asking him to send one of his sons to be her husband, and rule Egypt. Suppliluliuma sent an ambassador to investigate, who reported that the situation was accurately described, and the king decided to take advantage of this windfall; unfortunately, Prince Zannanza died on the way, and the marriage alliance never was consummated.
The Annals of Suppiluliuma, compiled after his death by his son Mursili, is an important primary source for the 14th century BC. One of Suppiluliumas' letters, addressed to King Huriya (most likely Smenkhkare, but also identified with Tutankhamun and Akenaton) was preserved in the Amarna letters (EA 41).
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