Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ten Ancient Mistakes X

The last of our ten modern mistakes that were also made anciently is:

#10 Wrong Workers

One of the best examples of this is the mistake made by Urhi-Teshup in keeping his uncle Hattusilis around in his post as administrator of the Upper Land after the death of his father Muwattallis.

Muwattaillis had appointed his younger brother Hattusilis as Chief of the Royal Bodyguard and then as administrator of the Upper Land (Apology of Hattusilis 4). Already under Muwattallis, Arma-Tarhunta brought accusations against Hattusilis, but Hattusilis escaped unpunished (Apology of Hattusilis 4), he was even promoted to be in charge of the army (Apology of Hattusilis 5). Muwattallis even made Hattusilis king of Hakpish (Apology of Hattusilis 8).

Hattusilis made out that he was a successful administrator, and had divine favor, but the city of Hakpish revolted against him (Apology of Hattusilis 9) and he ruled it with an iron hand. In the meantime, Arma-Tarhunta and his son Shippaziti brought charges against Hattusilis again, but they were unsuccessful because Muwattallis would not listen to them (Apology of Hattusilis 10).

When Urhi-Teshup became the king in place of Muwattallis, he kept Hattusilis but demoted him (Apology of Hattusilis 11). After seven years, Hattusilis revolted and and overthrew Urhi-Teshup using Kashkans, who were previously enemies of the Hittites, to depose Urhi-Teshup. In all of this Hattusilis depicts himself as a good and pious Hittite even though he was a traitor.

So Urhi-Teshup kept a power-hungry, ambitious, administrator who was only too willing to ally himself with enemies to betray and overthrow his own kinsman. Urhi-Teshup definitely kept the wrong employee around.