The first comprehensive survey of the world's oldest known legal systems, this collaborative work of twenty-two scholars covers over 3,000 years of legal history of the Ancient Near East. Each of the book's chapters represents a review of the law of a particular period and region, e.g. the Egyptian Old Kingdom, by a specialist in that area. Within each chapter, the material is organized under standardized legal categories (e.g. constitutional law, family law) that make for easy cross-referencing. The chapters are arranged chronologically by millennium and within each millennium by the three major politico-cultural spheres of the region: Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia and the Levant. An introduction by the editor discusses the general character of Ancient Near Eastern Law.
Raymond Westbrook, Ph.D. (1982) in Assyriology, Yale University, is Professor of Ancient Law at the Johns Hopkins University. Also trained as a lawyer, he has published extensively on the legal systems of the ancient world, from Sumer to Rome.
A basic reference work for academic libraries, for the use especially of students and scholars of ancient history, Near Eastern studies, and the history of law.