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Christiansen, Birgit (1. July 2016): Liturgische Agenda, Unterweisungsmaterial und rituelles Traditionsgut. Die hethitischen Festritualtexte in kulturvergleichender Perspektive. In: Müller, Gerfrid (ed.) : Liturgie oder Literatur? Die Kultrituale der Hethiter im transkulturellen Vergleich. Akten eines Werkstattgesprächs an der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur. Mainz, 2.-3. Dezember 2010. Studien zu den Boğazköy-Texten, Vol. 60. Wiesbaden: pp. 31-65 [PDF, 435kB]


The article discusses the function and the “Sitz im Leben” of the Hittite festival texts, which are still a matter of debate. To examine the arguments’ cogency the festival texts are analysed in form and content. Further, similar texts from present-day culture (such as the Missale Romanum of the Roman Catholic church and the agenda of the coronation ceremonies of Queen Elisabeth II) are compared to the Hittite sources. Based on this it is argued that the Hittite festival texts served more than one purpose. In order to ensure the proper conduct of the festivals and the rites pertaining to it the Hittite festival texts most probably were designed as liturgical agenda and teaching material of the festival’s main agents. Thus, they also ensured efficient control over the various cult practices and their underlying organisational and administrative processes. Since several copies of them were kept in the archives for long periods of time which the scribes recopied by and then, they also guaranteed the perpetuation of the festivals and the handing down of their tradition from generation to generation.

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