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Babylonian Royal Land Grants, Memorials of Financial Interest, and Invocation of the Divine

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From the fourteenth to the seventh centuries B.C., Babylonian royal land grants and related documents were often engraved on stone stelae, which were decorated with divine symbols, inscribed with elaborate curses against offenders, and placed in a temple. These stone memorials (traditionally called kudurrus) throw light on contemporary legal and economic practices with individual cases involving property rights, royal patronage, family disputes, overzealous functionaries, temple offices and income, and taxation woes. This article assesses a new book which discusses the form and function of these stelae. Du XIVe au VIIe s. av. J.-C., les textes d'attribution de terrain par les rois babyloniens et certains documents similaires étaient gravés sur des stèles en pierre, décorées de symboles divins, munies de malédictions contre ceux qui ne les respecteraient pas, et installées dans un temple. Ces mémoriaux en pierre (appelés traditionellement kudurrus) éclairent les systèmes juridiques et économiques contemporains en citant des cas particuliers: ceux-ci documentent le droit de la propriété foncière, la faveur royale, les fonctionnaires trop exigeants, les disputes familiales, les bénéfices et revenus du temple, et les problèmes fiscaux. Dans cet article, on rend compte d'un livre récemment publié concernant la forme et la fonction de ces stèles.


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