The law collections presented in this volume are compilations, varying in legal and literary sophistication, recorded by scribes in the schools and the royal centers of ancient Mesopotamia and Asia Minor from the end of the third millennium through the middle of the first millennium B.C.E. Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Hittite texts, with accompanying English translations, are included. Some of the collections, such as the famous Laws of Hammurabi, achieved a wide audience; others, such as the Laws about Rented Oxen, were scribal exercises limited to a local school center. All, however, reflected contemporary legal practice in the scribes’ recordings of contracts, administrative documents, and court cases and also provide historians with evidence of abstractions of legal rules from specific cases. In addition to the texts and translations, the volume includes a list of sources, bibliography, glossary, and numerous indexes.
The standard reference tool on its subject. Biblical scholars will often refer to it.
—International Review of Biblical Studies
Highly recommended to every student of the Bible and the ancient Near East.
—Journal of Semitic Studies
Martha Roth is Dean of Humanities and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979 and has been teaching at Chicago since 1980. The Editor-in-charge of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, some of her special interests include Mesopotamian family and social history. Among her dozens of articles, she has also written several books, including Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor.