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The Judean Desert Documents As A Regional Sub-Tradition In Aramaic Common Law

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Chapter Summary

The Aramaic legal tradition is remarkable in both its coherence and its diversity. Aramaic deeds of sale from antiquity share a common basic structure, but in their details, they differ radically from corpus to corpus. These differences reflect the multiple layers within this tradition and the diverse sources and influences that it absorbed over the centuries. This chapter is concerned with one layer in particular, Aramaic deeds of sale from the Judean Desert. These corpora from the Judean Desert, though hardly homogenous, share distinct features that set them apart from other Aramaic legal materials and unify them into a discrete regional sub-tradition. The chapter concerns five principal corpora of Aramaic materials, three of which were discovered in the Judean Desert. It focuses on the "full price" element in the statement of sale, the orientation of the investiture clause, and the structure of the apodosis of the warranty clause.

Keywords: antiquity; Aramaic legal tradition; full price element; investiture clause; Judean Desert documents; warranty clause



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