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Chapter Summary

An important feature of the Babatha and Salome Komaise archives is their bi- or even trilingualism. The documents are written in several languages, as could already be observed from the treatment of the documents in the different volumes of their editions. This chapter deals with the language issue. Three lines of argument are followed to show that Aramaic was valid as a legal language: (1) examining the exact role of Aramaic as shown in these specific documents; (2) examining the role of Greek versus an indigenous language in general, by comparing the situation in the Judaean Desert material with that in documents from Roman Egypt; (3) examining the juridical consequences of denying validity of Aramaic deeds in the context of Greek deeds that refer to these Aramaic deeds.

Keywords: Babatha; language; Roman law; Salome Komaise archive



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