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ANAHITA  April 1999

ANAHITA April 1999

Subject:

New book on WOMEN, LAW AND JUSTICE in the ANE

From:

Christoph Uehlinger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 29 Apr 1999 11:44:07 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (88 lines)

Dear colleagues,

the editors of ORBIS BIBLICUS ET ORIENTALIS are glad to announce the
publication of the following new book which will be of interest to ANE and
Anahita subscribers:
________________________________________________________________________________

OBO 165
Sophie Lafont
FEMMES, DROIT ET JUSTICE DANS L'ANTIQUITE ORIENTALE
Contribution à l'étude du droit pénal dans le Proche-Orient ancien
1999. XVI-576 pp. ISBN 3-7278-1226-5. SFr. 148.-, DM 178.-

This book offers a critical synthesis on criminal law regarding women in
the ancient Near East. Based on inspection of Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite,
and biblical documents, it attempts to answer two fundamental questions.
The first deals with the nature of the offenses committed or sustained by
women. As compiled, the pertinent infractions are seen to belong mainly to
family and private spheres. Because ancient Near Eastern legislative
sources apply to free women almost exclusively, legal deeds and narratives
pertaining to women are also consulted for information on the legal
condition of slaves and to complement information provided by the codes.
A second issue is the nature of criminal legislation that is specific to
women. This study shows how the law conventionally evolved from cultural
mores that assign women a standing in the social structure of the
community. Apart from offenses commonly treated as feminine because of
their very nature (such as abortion or uncontracted wet-nursing), all other
provisions about women are dependent on their particular social status. As
a wife, a mother, or a daughter, a woman must submit to rigorous social
obligations; but she can profit also from legal stipulations that are often
caring and protective. While prostitutes or innkeepers are not expected to
lead exemplary lives, they pay the price of escaping male control by their
inferior social standing.
The image we therefore have of women in antiquity turns out to be at once
original and banal. Original, because the autonomy of women in civil or
commercial matters contrasts with their dependence on men in criminal
matters (especially as it concerns the honor and dignity of their status).
Banal, because in such matters as adultery or rape, the legislators of
antiquity anticipated their modern counterpart, crafting laws that
reflected permanent and universal legal concerns rather than historical
connections.
________________________________________________________________________________

A complete list of available OBO volumes may be consulted at
http://www.unifr.ch/bif/obo/obolist.html

Orders by letter/fax to Fribourg University Press
                        Perolles 42
                        CH-1705 Fribourg Switzerland
                        +41-(0)26-426 4300

        by e-mail       [log in to unmask] (University Press Fribourg)
                        or to the sender of this message

Thank you for your attention.

Christoph Uehlinger



_______________________________________________________________________

Dr. Christoph Uehlinger
Biblical Institute              Tel. +41-26-300 7384
University, Misericorde         Fax  +41-26-300 9754
CH-1700 Fribourg Switzerland    E-mail [log in to unmask]

Swiss Society for Ancient Near Eastern Studies       same address and
                                http://www-sagw.unine.ch/members/sgoa
Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis    http://www.unifr.ch/bif/obo/obo.html

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