Women, gender and law at the dawn of history

The evidence of the cuneiform sources 1

Authored by: Josué J. Justel

Women in Antiquity

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138808362
eBook ISBN: 9781315621425
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219910


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This contribution focuses on “real women”—those who participated in daily life—in the law codes and legal practices of the Ancient Near East. The principal sources used are the indigenous legal texts, inscribed in cuneiform. Within this larger group exist two main sub-categories: the designated “law codes” and the texts pertaining to day-to-day legal actions. Their natures and origins are different, and therefore the data they provide—in this case concerning women—are likewise distinct, and at times contradictory.

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