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“Modern” Features in Old Assyrian Trade

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This contribution presents evidence for “modern” features in Old Assyrian trade (ca. 19th century B.C.), i.e. features not attested in earlier commercial records from ancient Mesopotamia or elsewhere and/or usually considered innovations of classical or early medieval times. It focuses on contractual and legal rules for long-term partnerships (a first step towards company law) and for coping with insolvent, absent or unwilling debtors. It also analyses the implications of bonds in the name of “the (anonymous) creditor,” occasionally designated as “the bearer of the bond,” the earliest evidence of and the first step towards the creation of commercial “bearerâ–™s cheques.”

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University


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