Old Babylonian Law: Gesture, Speech, and Writing

in Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226101583
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226101590 | DOI:
Old Babylonian Law: Gesture, Speech, and Writing

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This chapter examines the evolution of symbolic gestures, speech and writing in relation to law in Mesopotamia during the Old Babylonian period. The diachronic analysis reveals the increasing place occupied by the written text, along with the decline or abandonment of certain symbolic practices and suggests that this evolution is linked to the realm of law. This chapter also explains that when collective memory proved to be inadequate for guaranteeing the rights of individuals, the recourse to the written document became increasingly indispensable as time passed.

Keywords: symbolic gestures; speech; writing; Mesopotamia; Old Babylonian period; written text; symbolic practices; realm of law; rights of individuals; collective memory

Chapter.  4389 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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