The three co-authors provide the Hittite text (and for the cinekoy inscription, the Luwian) with English translations of all the known documents relating to Ahhiyawa (Beckman), with a brief discussion of the historical context of each text (Bryce), and opening and closing essays on the Ahhiyawa "problem" and on Mycenaean-Hittite interconnections (Cline).
It is in fact an interesting point that only three of the thirty Ahhiyawa texts date unequivocally to a period prior to the thirteenth century.
Cline's introduction opens with a rather perplexingly negative statement: "The Ahhiyawa Prob-lem--or Ahhiyawa Question, as it is sometimes called--still remains unsolved and unanswered almost a century after it was first introduced" (p.
Cline is on firmer ground with his comment that "the obvious analogy" for a political coalition of the Ahhiyawan kingdoms is to the Assuwan confederacy, known from Hittite texts, and indeed the Ahhiyawa coalition may have undergone the same kinds of "kaleidoscopic shifts in allegiance" (Hawkins 1998: 19) that we see in the western Anatolian kingdoms in the Late Bronze Age, particularly in the Arzawa group.
The orthodox view that we do not know the name of any Ahhiyawan king, reaffirmed by Bryce ("Neither here [the Annals of Mursili II, AhT 1A-B] nor in any of the texts which refer to Ahhiyawa is the name of any Ahhiyawan king preserved," p.
Overall, the tone of the book is one of a summary, and though it is a useful summary of a complicated issue, it is more suited to a newcomer to the Ahhiyawa question than to a scholar who is already familiar with the problem.
Hawkins' pivotal article on the Mira border inscription ("Tarkasnawa King of Mira: 'Tarkondemos,' Bogazkoy Scalings and Karabel," Anatolian Studies 48 119981: 1-31, not included in Fischer's bibliography), which resolves many of those same problems and addresses the Ahhiyawa question directly.
However, Bryce's interpretation of the Tawagalawa letter as a piece of conciliatory diplomacy intended to gain the support of the king of Ahhiyawa
ignores the often satirical, even sarcastic, tone of the letter, (6) that the letter deals entirely with the fact that the Ahhiyawan king was supporting a great thorn in the Hittite flesh, Piyamaradu, and, perhaps more importantly, the fact that the letter itself was written from Millawanda, an Ahhiyawan outpost which Hattusili had recently occupied, a fact unlikely to have greatly pleased the king of Ahhiyawa