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Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia$
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Dominique Charpin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226101583

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226101590.001.0001

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Old Babylonian Law: Gesture, Speech, and Writing

Old Babylonian Law: Gesture, Speech, and Writing

(p.43) Chapter 3 Old Babylonian Law: Gesture, Speech, and Writing
Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia
University of Chicago Press

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

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