Troy and the Hittite Kingdom

As noted in a previous post, The Iliad reveals that an independent dynasty in Hatti was not a factor in the succession battle associated with the decline and death of Ramses II. In other words, the Hittite kings were actually part of the royal family of Ramses II. The following inscription of Hittite king Hattusilus III is further indication of this:

Hattusilis speaks of himself and his brother Muwatallis taking troops into Egypt and then returning. This is the same Muwatallis that signed an "eternal peace treaty" with Ramses II. It doesn't seem likely that such an agreement would be made with anyone other than a member of his immediate family.

Hattusilis claims to be the youngest of three "sons" of Mursilis II, a contemporary (and likely an alter ego) of Seti in Egypt (and who is called Illos for short in the Iliad). The oldest/most senior "son" of Mursilis is Halpa-sulupi, whose name resembles Peleus/Pelops (and is associated with Ramses II). The leading sons of Ramses II were Khaemwaset/Sheshonq V and Amenhirkhepeshef/Osorkon III. The leading son of Khaemwaset were in turn Ramses/Tefnakhte and Hori/Kashta, who seems to best fit the description of Hattusilis III both in name (Kashta ~ Khattus) and context.

Hori/Kashta was in fact the half-brother of Amenhirkhepeshef/Osorkon III. They were both the sons of Nefertari. When Muwatallis "became a god" (not literally died, but accepted a higher throne, such as that of Assyria under the name Assurdan III), conflict ensued between Uhri-Teshub, a son of Muwatallis, and Hattusilis. Hattusilis captured Uhri-Teshub, who was later placed back in Egypt at the court of Ramses II. (Only one son of Amenhirkhepeshef is known, that being a prince called Sety C. He is perhaps also Uhri-Teshub. The leading son of Osorkon III was Takelot III, but he is perhaps a younger son by a different wife.) Hattusilis and Ramses II made a pact, which culminated in a "Hittite" princess being presented as bride to Ramses II in his Year 33. The princess was acknowledged as a queen in Egypt and was referred to by an Egyptian name rather than Hittite.

There are no known children of Ramses II and his Hittite bride Maat-hor-neferure (the daughter of Hattusilis and Queen Pudu-hepa), nor with a second Hittite princess given to Ramses II seven years later. However, one leading daughter of Hori/Kashta (Qalhata daugher of Tentsai/Pebatjma daughter of Khaemwaset) did become the mother of Ihtes-amun/Tanuatamon (Odysseus), and evidently by Ramses II. The name Ihtes also sounds a bit like Hattus. Another leading prince and prospective heir, Ramses-Siptah, was also born to Ramses II in his old age.

In all liklihood, the kings of the Hittite Empire were all members of the Egyptian New Kingdom family. Hatusilis III claimed descent from his namesake Hatusilis I. Hori/Kashta, as a Jacob-figure, was perhaps connecting with an earlier Jacob, Amenhotep II of the 18th Dynasty. At the end of the 18th Dynasty, when Ankhesenamun snubbed pharaoh Aye and appealed to the Hittite king Suppiluliumas to give her one of his sons in marriage, she would not have been going outside the family. Suppiluliumas would have been a Hittite alias of either Aye himself, Horemheb, or of Ramses I. Horemheb and Ramses had already been designated by treaty as successors to Aye in the Great Throne. The name Suppiluliumas is close in form to Halpa-sulupi (Ramses II), so he perhaps corresponds to the first pharaoh Ramses.