views updated


QUE , the Assyrian (Quwe) and biblical Hebrew (קְוֵא, קְוֵה), name of Cilicia, the classical name of the Mediterranean littoral south of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey, from Paphlagonia in the west to the Amanos Mountains in the east. At its eastern end, this littoral broadens into a fertile valley watered by the rivers Pyramus (Ceyhan), Sarus (Seyhan), and Cydnus (Tarsus); this portion was known in classical times as Cilicia Pedias or Campestris, or simply Cilicia proper, to the Egyptians as Kode or Qedi, to the Hittites as Kizzuwatna (Kizwatna), and to the neo-Babylonians as Ḥume. According to some Egyptologists, the western portion of Cilicia (Cilicia Aspera or Tracheia) was called Keftiu (the biblical Caphtor), though this name is more generally held to designate Crete and perhaps the Aegean coasts as well. The name Cilicia is probably derived from that of the Ḫlakkû people who were the dominant ethnic group in the neo-Assyrian period (as identified by Herodotus). Like much of the surrounding littoral, Que was an important link in the trade routes of the ancient Near East and subject to influences, by land and sea, from all its neighboring cultures (see below).

Political History

The political history of Que begins in about 1650 b.c.e. Kizzuwatna, eastern Que, was clearly under Hittite control, for Ḥattušili i and Muršili i, the outstanding Old Hittite kings, seem to have moved freely down the Pyramus River (Hittite Purna) on their campaigns into Syria. However, with the death of Muršili about 1590 b.c.e., the Hurrians asserted themselves in Que, as elsewhere, and Que enjoyed two precarious centuries of independence. The first attested king of Que, Išputaḥšu, son of Paria-watri, is known both from his own inscription and from a Hittite record. His bilingual bull from Tarsus proclaims him a "great king." In the time of Arnuwanda i (c. 1440–1420 b.c.e.), Kizzuwatna even expanded beyond the borders of Que as far east as Uršu and Wašukanni (see *Hittites). However, the increasing power of the new Hittite Empire and the rise of rival Hurrian states, particularly Mitanni, soon put an end to these pretensions.

An interesting light is thrown on western Que at this time. Texts from *Ugarit in the 14th and 13th centuries mention a number of merchants from Ura, the capital of the later Pirindu (see below). One in particular regulated their status at Ugarit, where they apparently enjoyed "extra-territorial" rights under Hittite protection.

Que After Hittite Times

With the collapse of the Hittite Empire under the onslaught of the Sea Peoples (c. 1200 b.c.e.), Que too was plunged into obscurity. It is conceivable that as the remnants of Hittite culture and population sought refuge in northern Syria, those of Kizzuwatna migrated into Anatolia, and that the later name Katpat-uka (Cappadocia) preserves the ancient tribal name of Kizwatna. Que-Cilicia (or better, a part of it) reemerged into history at first through biblical sources. i Kings 10:28 and ii Chronicles 1:16 state that royal merchants imported, and perhaps even transported and resold, horses from Que and Miẓrayim (= Muṣri, a neighbor of Que) for the king's personal use and for the other northern kings of Aram and of the Hittites (the petty successors of the Hittite Empire; cf. ii Kings 7:6). The word mi-qweh ("from Que") in these passages was generally misunderstood. From the ninth century on, Que and the other parts of Cilicia are taking part in northern coalitions against Assyria. At this period, Que appears to have been settled by new ethnic elements, known to the Assyrians collectively as Ḥilakkû, though many individuals, including particularly the petty princes who ruled various parts of the area, still bore Luwian names comparable to those of the second millennium. The name of Kizzuwatna survived in the name of the city Kisuatni, but the principal site of Que in this period is Karatepe at Ceyhan (classical Pyramus in the Amanus mountains). According to the monumental bilingual inscriptions of Azittawdda, the contemporary king, in Phoenician and Hittite hieroglyphics, this site was the capital of Awar(a)ku king of the Danunites (Homer's Dannaeans?) of Que (identical with the Urikki king of Que in Tiglath-Pileser iii's annals). The growing involvement of Que with Assyria began in Shalmaneser iii's time, when the northern coalition was crushed by him. On the other hand, Que did not participate in the southern coalition (see *Karkar where the corrected lines of the inscription are cited). Que's connections with Assyria continued through *Esarhaddon's time down to that of Neriglissar.


E.D. Forrer, in: Klio, 30 (1937), 135–86; H. Goldman, in: R.W. Ehrich (ed.), Relative Chronologies in Old World Archeology (1954), 69–82; C.H. Gordon, in: jnes, 17 (1958), 28–31; A. Goetze, in: jcs, 16 (1962), 48; M.J. Mellink, in: Bibliotheca Orientalis, 19 (1962), 219–26; H. Tadmor, in: jej, 11 (1961), 143–50.