Chicago Hittite Dictionary

Hittite is the oldest written Indo-European language and an ancestor to modern English. Located in ancient Anatolia or modern Turkey, the Hittite Empire was one of the superpowers in the ancient Middle East—along with Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt—in the second millennium BC. By understanding and interpreting Hittite, we can begin to understand the foundation of Western civilization and languages. The Oriental Institute is home to the most comprehensive program for the study of Hittitology in the world. Through a painstaking process of cultural, historical, and lexical research that began in 1975, OI scholars are working to translate this ancient language into English and produce the Chicago Hittite Dictionary, the only project of its kind in the English-speaking world.

As language plays an essential role in any culture, the Oriental Institute has been committed since its inception to the preservation of ancient languages. Publication of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary and the Chicago Demotic Dictionary established the OI and the University of Chicago as the preeminent resource for the international scholarly community, who use these important reference materials to interpret a wide variety of ancient texts and heighten understanding of the ancient world. To undertake any one of these dictionaries is a daunting task; completing these dictionaries is a remarkable intellectual achievement made possible by the long-term commitment and resources of the Oriental Institute.

The Chicago Hittite Dictionary goes beyond mere lists of words to detail the history and range of uses of each word and has already become an essential cultural encyclopedia of a fascinating civilization. Published in both print and electronic forms, the Chicago Hittite Dictionary will continue in perpetuity as a digital resource for scholars worldwide.

A gift to support the Chicago Hittite Dictionary will ensure its completion, publication, and dissemination to scholars worldwide.