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Text-Types Ensuring An Individual’s Presence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers two text-types that are meant to ensure the presence of another individual: the abāku summonses and the guarantees for an individual's presence. Before turning to a description of the two text-types themselves, the chapter addresses some issues that arise from their wording. The formulation of both text-types closely resembles the formulation of guarantees for regular debts. In the Neo-Babylonian period, guarantees for regular debts may be formulated in one of two ways. The first, known by the German term Gestellungsbürgschaft ("presentation-guarantee"), requires the guarantors to "bring" (abāku) the debtors and "give" (nadānu) them to the creditors. The second formulation of the guarantee for debts, known as Stillesitzbürgschaft ("guarantee of sitting still"), requires the guarantors to ensure that the debtors remain available to repay the debt and do not go anywhere. The abāku-summonses and the guarantees for an individual's presence closely resemble the Gestellungsbürgschaft guarantees.

Keywords: abāku summonses; Gestellungsbürgschaft; Neo-Babylonian period; Stillesitzbürgschaft; summoned individual; text-types



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