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The Warranty Clause

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Chapter Summary

Warranty clauses are as old as the deed of sale itself and are certainly not an innovation of Aramaic scribes. This chapter considers whether there are any properties either in form or function that are distinctive of the Aramaic warranty clause. In order to deal with circumstances that arise once a transaction is completed, all deeds of sale include a set of contingency clauses. The chapter discusses all three attestations of the warranty clause among the Elephantine papyri, only one of which is from a deed of sale. It presents the warranty clause from the three Nabatean Aramaic deeds of sale discovered at Naḥal ḥever. The first element, according to which the seller promises to "arise" in court, appears inconsistently in the Elephantine papyri and then only appears again several centuries later in the Syriac slave sale.

Keywords: Aramaic scribes; deeds of sale; Elephantine papyri; Naḥal ḥever; Nabatean Aramaic; Syriac slave sale; warranty clause



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