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Woman

(7,947 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Feucht, Erika (Heidelberg) | Brosius, Maria (Oxford) | Macuch, Maria (Berlin) | RU.PA. | Et al.
I. Ancient Orient, Egypt and Iran [German version] A. Introduction Knowledge of the status of women is largely based on texts of a legal nature (legal documents, law books, royal decrees). Accordingly, research to date emphasizes primarily the legal aspects of the position of women in family and society. Non-legal texts from a variety of genres contain information on the activities of women from the families of the elite, particularly those of the royal clan. Thus, the Hittite royal wife Puduḫepa (13th cent. BC) had a personal influence on the foreign relations of the Hittite empire with Egypt (Ramesses II) -- she sealed, among other things, the treaty between the two states with her own seal. Marriage alliances among the ruling elite served to legitimate and retain power, such as those between the ruling houses of the An…