Due to the Corona virus education methods or examination can deviate. For the latest news please check the course page in Brightspace.

Prospectus

nl en

Ancient Near Eastern Law

Course
2020-2021

Admission requirements

Description

The legal tradition of the ancient Near East is not only the oldest but the best attested legal
tradition from antiquity. Tens of thousands of legal texts have come down to us from the third to
the first millennium B.C. In this course we will examine the key features of this evolving tradition
using a range of sources including the royal law “codes” (including Hammurabi’s laws) as well as
practice texts and lawsuits covering topics such as sale, loans, marriage and divorce, and
inheritance. Translation of these sources – almost all of which were written on clay tablets in
cuneiform script – will be provided prior to each class. Students who take Ancient Egyptian Law
in Semester 1 will be able to compare common elements and differences between the two major
pre-classical legal traditions. However, no prior knowledge is assumed and this course can be
taken on a stand alone basis.

Course objectives

Knowledge

  • learning key aspects of the legal tradition(s) of the ancient Near East (i.e.
    modern Iraq) during the 3-1 millennium B.C. and their pertinent scholarship.
    Insight

  • demonstrated understanding of the key aspects of the legal tradition(s) of the
    ancient Near East based on the use of translations of legal documents from the
    third to first millennium B.C.

Skills

  • aibility to present the results of research to peers.

Timetable

Mode of instruction

Seminar

  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10
    Following an introduction by the lecturer students will each give a 20
    minute peer-reviewed presentation on a specific subject.

  • Required preparation by students: Students are expected to study the
    translated texts that will be issued prior to each class as well as the
    additional literature.

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Attendance, preparation and participation in class discussion (10%)

  • Presentation (20%)

  • Final written exam (70%)
    Only the written exam can be retaken (100%). Partial grades only remain valid
    during the current academic year.
    Areas to be tested within the exam The examination syllabus consists of the
    required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the
    subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are
    part of the course.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized. NB: The information in the e-prospectus is binding and cannot be changed after August 31, 2020.

Reading list

Literature:

  • Charpin, D. Writing, Law and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia.
    Translated by Jane Marie Todd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
    2010 (especially chapters 3-5).

  • "Mesopotamia". In A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, 361-617.
    Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003.

  • Roth, M.T. Law Collection from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. Writings
    from the Ancient World, no. 6. Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1995.
    Course information guide:

  • Digital copies will be provided prior to each class.
    Reader:

  • Digital copies will be provided prior to each class.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact

Dr. J.G. Dercksen

Remarks