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SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CREATIVE JURISPRUDENCE IN LATE BRONZE AGE SYRIA

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

The private legal documents from Emar and its vicinity (late 14th to early 12th centuries B.C.E.) show evidence of creative jurisprudence in their attempts to reconcile the wishes of the parties with the norms of general law imposed by the courts, in particular the principles of social justice. Two areas are examined: i) contracts of sale and their relationship with the right of redemption by an impoverished seller; ii) testaments and their relationship with the customary status of women within the family.

Les actes de droit privé provenants de la ville d'Emar et de ses environs (fin 14ème siècle jusqu'au commencement du 12ème siècle av.n.ère) font état d'une jurisprudence créative qui permet de réconcilier le volonté des contractants avec les normes du droit général imposés par les tribunaux, et en particulier avec les principes de la justice sociale. L'enquête porte sur deux domaines: i) les contrats de vente et leur relation au droit de rachat d'un vendeur appauvri; ii) les testaments et leur relation au statut coutûmier de la femme au sein de la famille.

Affiliations: 1: Johns Hopkins University

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/content/journals/10.1163/156852001300079139
2001-03-01
2016-12-10

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