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This book investigates how the clay tablet record of the Hittite festival tradition interfaced with the reality of Hittite festival performance. Previous studies of Hittite festival texts have assumed that the main festival action was recorded in a more or less neutral, objective fashion, i.e. recording what was essential to the festival as a whole.
Through an examination of the so-called ‘outline’ festival texts, as well as a new study of the four Old Hittite manuscripts of the KI.LAM Great Assembly – one of the spectactular highpoints of the Hittite festival calendar – it is argued instead that the Hittite festival texts recorded the multiple perspectives, based on their specialized needs, of the cultic actors tasked with correct performance of the rites. The multi-perspective hypothesis of Hittite festival texts leads to a reassessment of the Hittite festival corpus as it is preserved. Instead of interpreting Hittite festival texts as products of scholastic learning or documentation, the texts are shown to be, at least in origin, the working documents of expert practitioners produced in the planning and production of festival performances. This interpretation of multiple, functionally-specialized perspectives for the Hittite festival texts carries implications for the festival corpus as a whole.