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Bilingual inscriptions

(1,899 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] A. Definition Bilingual inscriptions (or ‘bilingues’) are inscriptions that present the same text in two languages so as to be comprehensible to different readerships. Thus, bilingual inscriptions (BI), with closely corresponding texts, are distinguished from others in which one of the texts only summarizes the other. -- ‘Quasi-BI’ do indeed differ in their text format but treat the same subject matter or the same personalities. BI are only such texts as are composed contemporaneou…

Work

(2,798 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | von Reden, Sitta (Bristol)
[German version] [1] The Ancient Near East Work in the Ancient Near East was normally identified with physical labour in the agricultural and craft sectors, as well as in construction and haulage. Free labour was the province of self-employed producers and wage workers in institutional households (palace and temple). In the latter contexts, unfree labour was performed by dependents of many kinds, and also existed in the form of a state-decreed obligation of service. Slave labour was present to a varyin…

Loan

(1,744 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient As a contractual service, in which the recipient of money or other negotiable items undertakes to return them and/or provide a service in recompence, lending is attested in Mesopotamia [4. 189-203] from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC [1. 141-145] into the Hellenistic period [2. 43-45; 3. 119]. As well as private individuals, (representatives of) institutions (temple, palace) are recorded as creditors. The loans involved comprised for the most part silver and ba…

Letter

(2,221 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] A. Types of letter In addition to the few texts on letter theory and letter writers ( Epistolography), the ancient genre of ‘letters’ comprises the following: 1. official letters (edicts) comparable to laws, 2. everyday official correspondence, 3. ‘open’ letters akin to oratory a) with one or several senders and multiple addressees (e.g. letters to the Christian community) or b) letters sent to a specific addressee that had a potentially broad public, and finally 4. letters of a priva…

Killing, crimes involving

(407 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In judging crimes involving killing, no distinction was made in the ancient Middle East between homicide and manslaughter. Killing, inciting a killing, and having knowledge of a killing were all treated as capital offences and punishable with capital punishment ( Death penalty). In addition, the perpetrator's property and (enslaved) family members could, along with other forms of compensation, be handed over to the victim's family. As the collections of laws show, …

Renting and hiring

(1,070 words)

Author(s): Forgó, Nikolaus (Vienna) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] I. General Renting and hiring today are contracts concerning transfer of the use of a property or an object in return for payment and hence an enduring relationship of continuing obligation. The objects of the contract can be physical, non-consumable objects as well as rights. Such contracts are equally suited to the transfer for payment of movable and unmovable objects. Forgó, Nikolaus (Vienna) [German version] II. Ancient Orient and Egypt There is evidence of hiring, i.e. temporary use of persons and of movable objects (primarily ship and animal h…

Communications

(2,916 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Kolb, Anne (Frankfurt/Main)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the ancient Orient, oral and written messages ( Letter) were transmitted by messengers. Messengers handled the supra-regional diplomatic traffic (e.g. the  Amarna letters between Egypt and Palaestine, Cyprus ( Alaschia), Syria, the Hittite kingdom, Mittani, Assyria, Babylonia and Elam), forwarded political or military news (at times gained through espionage), handled interior administrative communication, and transmitted (private) information in the area of comme…

Purchase

(1,351 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] I. Introduction After the supersession of the concept that the ideal economic form was an autarkic entity of production and consumption not depending upon trade (e.g. the Homeric oîkos), and after the invention of means of payment - whether in the form of unstamped precious metals or coins - purchase, i.e. the exchange of goods for money, was a self-evident element of ancient societies. In spite of its presumably general distribution, however, purchase was underdeveloped in terms of legal provision. Laws and…

Leasehold

(919 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia, Egypt Leasehold in the sense of the limited taking over of the use of land used for agricultural or gardening purposes against payment of a rent, was attested in Mesopotamia from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. Both institutional households ( Palace; Temple) as well as private individuals could function as lessors. The rent was set either at an absolute value in kind or silver, or as a part of the harvest. The one third leasehold, which meant that the lessor received 1/3 of the harvest and the leaseholder received 2/3, was typical above all for the ea…

Beer

(444 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the ancient Orient, beer was a well-known and popular drink that had been brewed in Mesopotamia and Egypt since the end of the 4th millennium BC at the latest. The basic ingredient in manufacture was above all barley malt [1. 322-329], other ingredients were emmer and sesame. In the 1st millennium BC a type of date beer became important in Babylon [2.155-183]. In Egypt texts from the older period mention not just date beer but also carob tree beer and poppy beer.…

Death penalty

(661 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The death penalty as a sanction for capital offences is attested in the ancient Near East from the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC as a penalty in varying frequency in the respective statute books and (less often) as a sentence in  documents of  procedural law. Capital offences were, in particular, homicide/killing ( Killing, crimes involving),  robbery, abduction, adultery, various cases of sodomy and incest and other statutory definitions of offences, princip…

Brief

(1,894 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Konstanz) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[English version] A. Arten des Briefes Bei der ant. Gattung “B.” geht es - neben den wenigen Texten zur Brieftheorie und den Briefstellern (Epistolographie) - um 1. Gesetzen vergleichbare, offizielle B. (Erlasse), 2. amtliche Schreiben des Alltags, 3. der Rede verwandte “offene” B. a) mit einem oder mehreren Absendern und einer Pluralität von Adressaten (etwa christl. Gemeinde-B.) oder b) einem über einen direkten Adressaten hinausgehenden, potentiell weiteren Publikum, schließlich 4. Schreiben von In…

Eid

(726 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[English version] I. Alter Orient In Mesopotamien unterschied man seit der 2. Hälfte des 3. Jt.v.Chr. [1. 63-98; 2. 345-365] zwischen dem im Vertragsrecht angesiedelten promissorischen (zusichernden) und dem im Prozeßrecht zum Tragen kommenden assertorischen (bestätigenden) E. Der promissor. E. diente der unverbrüchlichen Zusicherung eines Verzichts bzw. einer vorzunehmenden Handlung und wurde unter Anrufung des Königs bzw. einer Gottheit oder beider geleistet. Der assertor. E. hatte als Zeugen- oder…

Kauf

(1,140 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[English version] I. Einleitung Seit der Überwindung von Vorstellungen, daß die ideale Wirtschaftsform eine autarke, auf keinen Handel angewiesene Produktions- und Konsumeinheit (etwa der homer. oíkos) sei, und seit der Erfindung von Zahlungsmitteln - sei es als ungeprägtes Edelmetall, sei es als Münzgeld - ist der K., also der Tausch von Waren gegen Geld, ein selbstverständliches Element ant. Gesellschaften. Trotz seiner vermutlich allg. Verbreitung ist der K. jedoch rechtstechnisch vielfach unterentwickelt: Gesetze un…

Miete

(885 words)

Author(s): Forgó, Nikolaus (Wien) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[English version] I. Allgemein M. ist heute ein Vertrag über die entgeltliche Überlassung einer Sache zum Gebrauch und daher ein Dauerschuldverhältnis. Vertragsgegenstand können körperliche unverbrauchbare Sachen ebenso wie Rechte sein. Der Vertrag eignet sich für die entgeltliche Überlassung von beweglichen und unbeweglichen Sachen gleichermaßen. Forgó, Nikolaus (Wien) [English version] II. Alter Orient und Ägypten Die M., d.h. die befristete Inanspruchnahme von Personen sowie von beweglichen Sachen (v.a. Schiffs- und Tier-M.) gegen Entgelt ist fü…

Berufsvereine

(1,050 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Burford-Cooper, Alison (Ann Arbor)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Zwar ist gemeinschaftliches Auftreten und Handeln von Vertretern spezifischer Berufszweige, etwa von Kaufleuten, Handwerkern und Priestern, im Alten Orient bezeugt, jedoch lassen sich B. im Sinne freiwilliger Zusammenschlüsse zur Wahrung und Verteidigung polit. und wirtschaftlicher Interessen nicht nachweisen [1. 79-82; 2. 161f.]. Neumann, Hans (Berlin) Bibliography 1 A.L. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, 1964 2 H.M. Kümmel, Familie, Beruf und Amt im spätbabylon. Uruk, 1979. [English version] II. Griechenland und Rom Es können drei…

Banken

(1,853 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Banken als Institutionen, deren spezifische Aufgabe darin besteht, den Zahlungsverkehr zu vermitteln, Einlagen anzunehmen und Kredite zu gewähren, hat es im Alten Orient nicht gegeben. Zwar sind Deposit- und Kreditgeschäfte in den altoriental. Gesellschaften in unterschiedlicher Quantität und Intensität sowohl im Bereich der Palast- und Tempelwirtschaft als auch im individuellen privaten Rechts- und Wirtschaftsverkehr bezeugt, doch waren sie stets den jeweils dominie…

Mord

(386 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[English version] I. Allgemein M. wird in der Ant. vielfach noch nicht von anderen Tötungsdelikten unterschieden. Die bes. Verwerflichkeit oder Gefährlichkeit eines Verhaltens, das zum Tode eines anderen Menschen geführt hat, wird in vielen ant. Rechten noch nicht zum Anlaß einer gerade darauf abstellenden Sanktion genommen. So wäre es für die altoriental. Rechte sowohl begrifflich als auch sachlich unangemessen, von einem bes. Tatbestand des Mordes innerhalb der Tötungsdelikte zu sprechen. Neumann, Hans (Berlin) [English version] II. Griechenland Auch in Griechenland gi…

Punishment, Criminal law

(1,758 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Römer, Malte (Berlin) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East The Sumerian-Akkadian terminology regarding punishment and criminal law implies that in Mesopotamia, this was already understood to be a consequence of mischief [1. 77 with note 35], directed either against the divine order [2] or the (state-sanctioned) political and social structures [3]. The same is true of Egypt [4. 68]. There was no distinction between civil and criminal law in the modern sense. The relationship between private law and so-called public law (an…

State

(1,994 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Müller-Wollermann, Renate
[German version] I. General Neither the states of the ancient Near East nor those of classical antiquity had a word corresponding to the modern, impersonal concept of the state. There was no abstract idea of state separate from the ruler or distinguished by law. In particular, the state did not appear as a perpetrator of action. The use of the term 'state' for these pre-modern societies is none the less justified, because, on the one hand, they did fulfil the minimum formal criteria: permanent state…
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