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Chapter Summary

The textual legacy of southern Mesopotamia during the seventh, sixth and fifth centuries BCE stands out for its abundance. The vast majority of these texts pertain to legal and administrative, rather than literary, matters. From the point-of-view of political history, the term 'Neo-Babylonian' refers to a specific historical period, which begins with the rise of the Babylonian king Nabopolassar in 626 BCE, and lasts until the end of the reign of Nabonidus, when Cyrus and the Achaemenid Persians conquered Babylonia in 539 BCE. The classification of Neo-Babylonian texts into archives poses numerous challenges. The main purpose of text-editions is, as has been stated, to make the Neo-Babylonian texts available. Thus, text-editions do not usually include broader discussions of legal matters. The proposed reconstruction of the 'tablet trail' of adjudicated cases faces a number of obstacles.

Keywords: Mesopotamia; Nabonidus; Nabopolassar; Neo-Babylonian; tablet trail



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