A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law - Vol. 2

By Raymond Westbrook; Gary Beckman et al. | Go to book overview

EGYPT
THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD1
Richard Jasnow

1. SOURCES OF LAW

Relatively few legal texts are preserved from the historically complicated and obscure Third Intermediate period proper. This is particularly the case for the Libyan Dynasties (Twenty-second through Twentyfourth);2 the Nubian Dynasty (Twenty-fifth) is more productive of juridical documents and economic contracts.3 The surviving sources for law from the Third Intermediate period and especially the Late period (Saite Dynasty onwards) do tend, however, to be more explicit than their predecessors.4 A distinguishing feature of the later New Kingdom and earlier Third Intermediate period is the prominence given to oracular or divine decrees. One has recourse to the divine for confirmation of legal, economic, and political decisions.

Malinine suggested that the relative scarcity of legal texts, specifically contracts, until about the time of Shabako (ca. 700) may reflect an actual change in Egyptian legal practice.5 The popular tradition reflected in Diodorus Siculus held that there was a legislative reform instituted by King Bocchoris (Twenty-fourth Dynasty: ca. 720–715).6

____________________
1
Ca. 1000–650. The temporal boundaries covered by this designation are disputed. Some would not include the Nubian Dynasty as part of the Third Intermediate period, e.g., Strudwick and Strudwick, Thebes in Egypt…, 40. The basic work is still Kitchen, Third Intermediate Period…
2
Cf. Vleeming, Papyrus Reinhardt…, 1. See also Menu, “Women and Business Life…, ” 193–95, and “Questions relatives ā la détention des terres…, ” 135.
3
Malinine, “Jugement…, ” 171. Private individuals seem to employ documents more widely. In Louvre C 258 = E 3336, for example, a priest cites a certificate (h) apparently confirming his right to enter the temple of Amun as a priest (Jansen-Winkeln, “Zu einigen religiösen…, ” 252–53).
4
But see Johnson, “Legal Status…, ” 182. See further Menu, “Business…, ” 197, and “Un document juridique 'Kouchite'…, ” 332.
5
Choix…, v–vi. On the law-giving activity of Shabako, see Leclant, “Kuschitenherr schaft, ” col. 894 [= Herodotus II, 137, 139; Diodorus Siculus I, 65].
6
Malinine, Choix…, vi.

-777-

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A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents of Volume Two *
  • Part Three - First Millennium 775
  • Egypt - Third Intermediate Period 777
  • Bibliography 813
  • Egypt - Demotic Law 819
  • Bibliography 855
  • Egypt - Elephantine 863
  • Mesopotamia - Neo-Assyrian Period 883
  • Bibliography 907
  • Mesopotamia - Neo-Babylonian Period 911
  • Bibliography 968
  • Anatolia and the Levant - Israel 975
  • Bibliography 1042
  • International Law - International Law in the First Millennium 1047
  • Bibliography 1064
  • Indices 1067
  • Subject Index 1069
  • Index of Ancient Terms 1141
  • Index of Texts Cited 1161
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