Creditors have always sought the protection of the law to secure themselves against loss if the debtor cannot or will not pay the debt. This volume examines the legal instruments of security available to creditors in the earliest known legal systems, their use and abuse, and the ways in which the law sought to satisfy the differing interests of creditors, debtors, and society in general, with varying degrees of success.
The book covers all the major legal systems of the ancient Near East, from Sumer to Ptolemaic Egypt, as well as comparative historical developments up to the present day. Twelve scholars have each contributed a study of their special period of expertise, while the general issues that arise from their research are discussed in a concluding chapter.
Raymond Westbrook, Ph.D. (1982) in Assyriology, Yale University, is Professor of Ancient Law at the Johns Hopkins University. He has published extensively on biblical, cuneiform, and Roman law.
Richard Jasnow, Ph.D. (1988) in Egyptology, University of Chicago, is Associate Professor of Egyptology at the Johns Hopkins University. His latest publication is Oriental Institute Hawara Papyri (with George Hughes).
'…this is an interesting and thought-provoking compendium of studies…'
Meir Malul, Orientalia, 2003.
Assyriologists, Biblicists,and Egyptologists with an interest in socio-economic history. A reference work for research libraries in these fields.