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The Investiture Clause

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Chapter Summary

The key element of any deed of conveyance is the transfer of ownership, and in Aramaic deeds of conveyance, this is expressed through the investiture clause. Within Aramaic deeds of conveyance overall, we can discern two different types of investiture clause. The first is a simple declaration in which the alienor says to the alienee, "It (object of sale) is yours" or something similar thereto. The second type of investiture clause uses a much more precise formulation. The transfer clause is also noteworthy for its active nature. Muffs identifies the active nature of "non-Old Babylonian" legal traditions as one of the key features that distinguish them from the Old Babylonian legal tradition. For ease of reference, this chapter lists all known examples of the investiture clause attested in the Elephantine papyri. The Wadi ed-Daliyeh materials are almost all slave sales, whereas most of the Elephantine materials deal with real estate.

Keywords: Aramaic; Elephantine papyri; investiture clause; Old Babylonian legal tradition; transfer clause; Wadi ed-Daliyeh papyri

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