The Contribution of the Amarna Letters towards a Study of Syro-Palestinian Social Structure (2). Terminology for Military Personnel and Diplomats

Lukas M. Muntingh


Egyptian domination under the 18th and 19th Dynasties deeply influenced political and social life in Syria and Palestine. The correspondence between Egypt and her vassals in Syria and Palestine in the Amarna age, first half of the fourteenth century B.C., preserved for us in the Amarna letters, written in cuneiform on clay tablets discovered in 1887, offer several terms that can shed light on the social structure during the Late Bronze Age. In the social stratification of Syria and Palestine under Egyptian rule according to the Amarna letters, three classes are discernible:1) government officials and military personnel, 2) free people, and 3) half-free people and slaves. In this study, I shall limit myself to the first, the upper class. This article deals with terminology for military personnel and diplomats.


Amarna Letters; Syro-Palestinian Social Structure; ancient military personnel; ancient diplomats

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