We cannot at present, even with the utmost taxing of our imaginations, form any picture that has any approach to historical reality of a Hittite kingdom at a date further back than 1500 B.C. From that date we have a few scraps of information, II rugged names" of kings, such as Hattushilish I., Murshilish I., HantiIish, Huzziash, and Telibunush, and, coupled with some of the names, a few claims to conquests, some of which are obviously impossible; and this period has been glorified by the title of "the proto-Hattic imperial period." It is not until 1400 B.C. that Hatti definitely comes into view as an historic reality, under its able and unlovely king Shubbiluliuma, "the Hittite Bismarck," as he has been well named; by 1272 B.C. the Hittite bolt is really shot, and the glory of the kingdom begins to fade j by 1200 B.C. the Hittite Empire vanishes in the whirlpool of conflicting peoples, whose final effort was repelled by Ramses II I. During these two centuries, the period in which Hatti really counts as an efficient factor in the shaping of the course of history is one of little more than a century, from the rise of Shubbiluliuma to the signing of the treaty of peace between Ramses I I. and Hattushilish I I I., which closed the long strife between the two great powers. Shubbiluliuma's policy was all through definitely anti-Egyptian; but a pretence of friendship was kept up till some time after the accession of Akhenaten, so that it may be said that the actual wrestle of the two nations
lasted almost exactly a century. Seldom has a century of strife been fraught with more momentous results, not only for the powers actually engaged in the conflict, but for the world at large.