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A member of an ancient people of Asia Minor who gained control of central Anatolia c. 1800–1200 bc. The Hittite empire reached its zenith under the totalitarian rule of Suppiluliuma I (c.1380 bc), whose political influence extended from the capital, Hattusas, situated at Boǧazköy (about 35 km (22 miles) east of Ankara in modern Turkey) west to the Mediterranean coast and south-east into northern Syria. In their struggle for power over Syria and Palestine the Hittites clashed with the troops of Rameses II of Egypt in a battle (1285 bc) at Kadesh on the River Orontes which seems to have ended indecisively. The subsequent decline and demise of Hittite power by 700 bc resulted from internal and external dissension, probably following an outbreak of famine.

Subjects: History

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