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II. The Treatment

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Chapter Summary

To be able to address the question of what law was behind these legal documents a few points require clarification, namely, what should be understood by the term legal system or law and how we can know what the law of a group of people was at a given moment. This chapter compares the evidence the documents provide as to the applicable law with the rules of Jewish law found in the Mishnah to see whether the applicable law the documents refer to can be identified as Jewish. It emphasizes that in the case of Roman law there could be the same doubts as to the normative status of certain rules as in the case of Jewish law. The treatment has been divided into two parts, the first discussing issues of a more general nature, while the second part is devoted to three case studies of specific legal themes.

Keywords: Jewish law; legal documents; Mishnah; Roman law

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