April 3, 2015

Harry Angier Hoffner, Jr., John A. Wilson Professor Emeritus of Hittitology at the University of Chicago, passed away on March 10, 2015. He was 80 years old. Dr. Hoffner co-founded the Chicago Hittite Dictionary in 1976 with Hans Gustav Güterbock. He had received his BA from Princeton University in 1956, a Mastery of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1960, and a PhD from Brandeis University in 1963 where he studied under Cyrus Gordon. He taught Hittite studies at the Oriental Institute since 1974 and was well-known for his work on Hittite myths, legal codes, letters, and lexicography. He remained active in the field, having published in 2008 an important grammar of the Hittite language with H. Craig Melchert. Services were held on Tuesday, March 17 at College Church in Wheaton, IL. Dr. Hoffner is survived by his wife of 57 years Winifred, their three children David, Karen, and Lee, and two grandchildren, Samantha and Maija.

A Festschrift in Dr. Hoffner's honor was published in 2003:

Hittite studies in honor of Harry A. Hoffner Jr.: On the occasion of his 65th birthday. Edited by Gary Beckman, Richard H. Beal, and Gregory McMahon. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2003.

A select list of Dr. Hoffner's important monogrpahs:

Harry A. Hoffner Jr. Alimenta Hethaeorum: Food Production in Hittite Asia Minor. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1974.
Harry A. Hoffner Jr. The Laws of the Hittites: A Critical Edition. Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui (DMOA): Studies in Near Eastern Archaeology and Civilization 23. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997.
Harry A. Hoffner Jr. Hittite Myths. Writings from the Ancient World 2. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998.
Harry A. Hoffner Jr. and H. Craig Melchert. A Grammar of the Hittite Language. Languages of the Ancient Near East 1. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2008.
Harry A. Hoffner Jr. Letters from the Hittite Kingdom. Writings from the Ancient World 15. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.


Harry Hoffner, scholar of ancient Near East, 1934-2015
By Susie Allen
April 1, 2015
UChicago News