Download Flight and Freedom in the Ancient Near East (Culture and by Daniel C. Snell PDF

By Daniel C. Snell

Freedom as a price is older than Greece, as facts from the traditional close to East exhibits us via this paintings. Snell first appears at phrases for freedom within the historical close to East. Then he examines archival texts to determine how runaways expressed their curiosity in freedom in Mesopotamian heritage. He subsequent examines what elites acknowledged approximately flight and freedom in edicts, felony collections, and treaties. He devotes a bankruptcy to flight in literature and tale. He reports freedom in Israel through Biblical terminology after which perform in narratives and criminal collections. In a last bankruptcy Snell lines the descent of principles approximately freedom between Jews, Greeks and Christians, and Muslims, concluding that the devotion to freedom will be approximately a human common.

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J. Hinrichs, 19 I4), especially the end of column 3 and middle of column 5. " This letter shows that such a pass system was not usual and could not be counted on to control the flight of other persons. Renger notes that except for slaves the Old Babylonian period lacks mention of attempts to catch runaways, and he says that in legal texts the actual consequences of flight seem small, as in Hammurapi paragraphs 30 and 31, where a free man who owed service to the state was gone a year without explanation and was reinstated.

9 The actual decree ofrelease must have stood in the now broken section column I: 13-16. The next column addresses instances where releases would not be allowed including land that had been pledged (11:1-2) and blood ransom (II: 3-6). Punishments for theft were not to be affected by the edict (II:8-10). But a slave who had been punished for theft by blinding would be released to his master (11:11-15). Later passages related to royal granaries that had been unlawfully opened (III: 3-11). Naturally having only one such decree from this language area makes it hard to judge the reality of the measure.

On the other hand most who fled were simply workmen. The issue ofthe fleeing "policemen" raises the question of whether we are correctly defining the apparently military term a g a - us. In some other cultures enforcers ofnorms, ifthat is what these were, could be expected to keep their places and to support the system. ' One sort oftext indicates that there was some sort ofsystem for patrolling for runaways and for retrieving them. Texts like Sigrist, Syracuse 259, show that a porter had been returned (literally: "completed") by the guard or watch.

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