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Breach of Treaties in the Ancient Near East

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image of Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international

The history of the breach of treaties can be traced back to the ancient Near East. The relative abundance and diversity of contemporary sources attest that the breaking of treaty obligations must have been a rather persistent problem, and that such occurrences were regarded as events of utmost importance throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. The present study strives to demonstrate how peoples of old may have perceived and reacted to the breach of treaties on the basis of selected writings—the Legend of Etana, the Indictment of Madduwatta, the Indictment of Mita, the plague prayers of Mursili and the Old Testament—that provide, beyond the exposition of actual or alleged facts, a deeper insight into the psychological and procedural aspects of the subject.

Affiliations: 1: Senior research fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies BudapestHungary


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