Charles W. Steitler
Studies in texts of the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM Festival. Genesis, development and structure of an itinerant state celebration
The Hittite AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival, perhaps the most extensive itinerant festival of the state cult calendar, was organized in the early Empire Period. The events of the festival are described in so-called outline tablets providing a brief sequential itinerary for all the individual days of the festival. The day tablets, on the other hand, give a more detailed description of the ritual and cultic activities carried out within a particular section of the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival, e.g. on a particular day, in a particular location, and for a particular deity or deities. The known outline tablets of the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival differ from one another to varying degrees in the events reported for and in the number and sequence of days of the festival celebrations. Furthermore, the day tablets attributed to the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival cannot always be classified according to the days described in the outline tablets. In addition, a number of festivals were celebrated in the spring in local cult contexts; many of these may have been integrated at some point into the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival.
The proposed study will attempt a synchronic reconstruction of the events of the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival, utilizing both outline and day tablets, but also the numerous fragments that could not yet be attributed to a particular day of AN.DAḪ.ŠUM. In addition to these, other festival fragments (CTH 670 especially) could also potentially belong to the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM; these will requires a systematic and targeted check through (e.g. searches for particular deities, functionaries, rites, etc. or combinations thereof). A few portions of the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival have already been the subject of extensive studies, the results of which will also be critically considered in the proposed comprehensive study. Special attention will of course be paid to those portions of the festival that have received little or no attention to date. The synchronic study will be complemented by a diachronic approach to the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival, which attempts to trace its genesis from multiple independent (local) spring festivals into a centrally planned and executed itinerant festival celebrated principally by the Hittite king.
The study is situated within the research infrastructure of the project Corpus der hethitischen Festrituale (HFR – Mainz/Marburg/Würzburg). The critical online text editions prepared by the author for HFR will present the exhaustive material of all texts belonging to the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival, which are in turn evaluated in the study described above. Critical editions of all other festivals or the preliminary material thereof will also be utilized within HFR for the study of the AN.DAḪ.ŠUM festival. Thematic treatments of selected specific elements of the festival (deities, rites, functionaries, local cults, etc.) as well as a comparative analyses utilizing other relevant text sources from the ancient Near East will round off the study.