Queen Henti

Written by: Julia Richardson

Mother nursing a child by a palm tree, Karatepe

Mother nursing a child by a palm tree, Karatepe

Henti was the wife of King Suppiluliuma I. She was the second Queen of his reign as Suppiluliuma’s mother Dadu-hepa maintained her title, Tawananna, after her husband’s death. It was not until Dadu-hepa, the king’s mother died, that Henti became Tawananna. It is known that Henti bore five sons to Suppiluliuma: Arnuwanda, Telipinu, Piyassili, Zannanza and Mursili. We know of Henti for her name appears alongside that of her husband on a decree appointing Telipinu Priest of Kizzuwanda.[1] There is however a mystery surrounding Henti because she, by all accounts, disappears and is replaced by a new queen, Mal-Nikal, a Babylonian princess. It is commonly assumed that Henti was banished in order for her husband to be able to make a diplomatically beneficial marriage and an alliance with King Niqmadddu II, father of Mal-Nikal. We know also that Suppiluluma was a ruthless man, as he did away with his own brother who was the rightful heir to the throne.


[1] Bryce, Trevor. The Kingdom of the Hittites, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, pp159-160.