The Hittite nunstarrijashas -festival (CTH 626)


  • Sivin Košak



The Hittite nunstarrijashas -festival (CTH 626)


Although the mmtarrijashas-festival is one of the most elaborate and extensive Hittite religious celebrations, its purpose still remains unclear. The first prob­ lem lies with the title itself. The word nuntarrijashas itself is faintly clear; it is a -aha-formation (Čop 1971, 62-81) from the adverb nuntaraš "quickly, swiftly"; a derivation from a verb meaning "to hurry, to hasten" ( Güterbock 1970, 178) is also possible, although a verb *nuntarrija- is not yet known from Hittite texts. The title should thus be rendered as "Festival of Speed" which bears little or no relation to the activities described during this festival. It was earlier thought that the title related to the speed with which the king travelled from one place to another (Goetze 1957, 165) but the same would apply e.g. for the AN. TAH. ŠUM-festival performed in spring (Cornelius 1970, 171 ff. ). Another possibility could be cultic racing, but again, for this activity the verb pittai- "to race, to run" is used (Otten 1951, 228 and n. 38), while here the functionaries are "rushing forwards" for which the verb piran huwai- is employed (KUB XXV 12 VI 5). The matter is further complicated with the statement referring to the fifth day of the festival which alone is stressed as being the nuntarrijashas-festival. Perhaps this activity is the essential part which lent its name to the whole festival. Here the "depositing" of recently harvested grain, honey and wine is "re­ leased" for common use (Hoffner 1974, 49).


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1. 12. 1976




How to Cite

Košak, S. (1976). The Hittite nunstarrijashas -festival (CTH 626). Linguistica, 16(2), 55-64.