Continuity and Innovation in the Aramaic Legal Tradition


Author: Andrew Gross
Ever since the Elephantine papyri were first published over a century ago, scholars have speculated on the origins of the well-developed legal formularies used in these documents. Since then, many more Aramaic deeds of conveyance both from Elephantine and from elsewhere have been published, especially within the last decade or so. With this expanded text base now available, the time is ripe for a comprehensive re-assessment of these legal formularies. This book endeavors to show that these disparate Aramaic documents, whose chronological scope spans several centuries, form a discrete and coherent tradition. It isolates and identifies the distinctive elements that form the core of this tradition and traces the histories of these elements back through the cuneiform record.

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Andrew D. Gross, Ph.D. (2006) in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, is Assistant Professor in Semitic Languages at the Catholic University of America.
In this well-written and well-argued work, Gross has provided a valuable contribution to our understanding of the development of the Aramaic legal formulary.
Alejandro F. Botta in Aramaic Studies
All those interested in Aramaic, Semitic philology, Near Eastern papyrology, and legal traditions of the ancient Near East and of Late Antiquity.