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  • Sumerian Territorial States
    vegetable gardening tree farming cattle raising and the processing of animal products fishing and the payment in merchandise of workers and employees The conclusion from this analogy proved to be dangerous because the archives of the temple of Baba provide information about only a portion of the total temple administration and that portion furthermore is limited in time Understandably enough the private sector which of course was not controlled by the temple is scarcely mentioned at all in these archives The existence of such a sector is nevertheless documented by bills of sale for land purchases of the pre Sargonic period and from various localities Written in Sumerian as well as in Akkadian they prove the existence of private land ownership or in the opinion of some scholars of lands predominantly held as undivided family property Although a substantial part of the population was forced to work for the temple and drew its pay and board from it it is not yet known whether it was year round work It is probable if unfortunate that there will never exist a detailed and numerically accurate picture of the demographic structure of a Sumerian city It is assumed that in the oldest cities the government was in a position to summon sections of the populace for the performance of public works The construction of monumental buildings or the excavation of long and deep canals could be carried out only by means of such a levy The large scale employment of indentured persons and of slaves is of no concern in this context Evidence of male slavery is fairly rare before Ur III and even in Ur III and in the Old Babylonian period slave labour was never an economically relevant factor It was different with female slaves According to one document the temple of Baba employed 188 such women the temple of the goddess Nanshe employed 180 chiefly in grinding flour and in the textile industry and this continued to be the case in later times For accuracy s sake it should be added that the terms male slave and female slave are used here in the significance they possessed about 2000 and later designating persons in bondage who were bought and sold and who could not acquire personal property through their labour A distinction is made between captured slaves prisoners of war and kidnapped persons and others who had been sold In one inscription Entemena of Lagash boasts of having allowed the sons of Uruk Larsa and Bad tibira to return to their mothers and of having restored them into the hands of the respective city god or goddess Read in the light of similar but more explicit statements of later date this laconic formula represents the oldest known evidence of the fact that the ruler occasionally endeavoured to mitigate social injustices by means of a decree Such decrees might refer to the suspension or complete cancellation of debts or to exemption from public works Whereas a set of inscriptions of

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  • Sumeria and Ebla
    the 3rd millennium Bc Discovered virtually intact in the order in which they had once been stored on their now collapsed shelves were more than 17 000 clay cuneiform tablets and fragments offering a rich source of information about Ebla Part of Ebla s prosperity stemmed from its agricultural hinterland in the rich plain of northern Syria where barley wheat olives figs grapes pomegranates and flax were grown and cattle sheep goats and pigs were raised Beyond Ebla controlled a group of 17 city states probably in what is now Lebanon and southeastern Turkey areas rich in silver and timber The city proper was a manufacturing and distribution center Linen and wool including damask cloth were the main products Metalworking including the smelting and alloying of gold silver copper tin and lead was the second most important activity Woodworking and the production of olive oil wine and beer also were important Trade was the third support of Ebla s economy Cloth manufactured goods and olive oil were its main exports imports included gold silver copper tin precious stones and sheep Because of its geographic location Ebla grew wealthy on transit trade Materials from Iran Anatolia and Cyprus were transshipped to states as distant as Sumer and Egypt The Egyptian trade passed through Byblos Diplomacy and limited warfare supported Ebla s commercial activities Emar a city strategically located at the confluence of the Euphrates and Galikh rivers was tied to Ebla by dynastic marriage Khammazi was Ebla s commercial and diplomatic ally in Iran Commercial treaties were drawn up with other cities Mari on the Euphrates River to the southeast was Ebla s great commercial rival Twice an Eblaite army marched against it and for a time Ebla ruled Mari through a military governor Nonhereditary kings governed Ebla for limited terms

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  • Sumeria and Larsa
    Non Profit Organization and the cost of continuing is becoming more than we can handle Therefore we are asking you to please donate anything you can to help keep us on the web Please Help Click Here Care to express an opinion on a current or past historical event Need to ask a question from our many visitors Just visit our Message Board and leave your message Message Board Weekly Poll Larsa Larsa modern Tall Sankarah was one of the ancient capital cities of Babylonia located about 20 miles 32 km southeast of Uruk Erech Arabic Tall al Warka in southern Iraq Larsa was probably founded in prehistoric times but the most prosperous period of the city coincided with an independent dynasty inaugurated by a king named Naplanum c 2025 c 2005 BC he was a contemporary of Ishbi Erra who founded a dynasty at the rival city of Isin Naplanum was succeeded by a line of 13 kings many of whom exercised great authority in Babylonia and represented the new hegemony of Semitic Akkadian elements that superseded the Sumerians Isin and Larsa seem to have existed in a state of armed neutrality for more than a century during the time when each city was consolidating its rule Isin was initially recognized as dominant at Ur but business records on clay tablets found in the latter city show that by the time of the fifth and sixth kings of Larsa Gungunum c 1932 c 1906 BC and Abisare 1905 1895 Larsa was already on the road to dominance The 12th king of the dynasty Silli Adad c 1835 reigned for only a year and was then deposed by a powerful Elamite Kutur Mabuk who installed his son Warad Sin 1834 23 as king This act apparently caused little disruption in

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  • Sumeria, The City Of Ur
    Ur of the Chaldees ancient city of Mesopotamia Its ruins are approximately midway between the modern city of Baghdâd Iraq and the head of the Persian Gulf south of the Euphrates River on the edge of the Al ajarah Desert The site of Ur is known today as Tall al Muqayyar Iraq In antiquity the Euphrates River flowed near the city walls Controlling this outlet to the sea Ur was favorably located for the development of commerce and for attaining political dominance Ur was the principal center of worship of the Sumerian moon god Nanna and of his Babylonian equivalent Sin The massive ziggurat of this deity one of the best preserved in Iraq stands about 21 m about 70 ft above the desert The biblical name Ur of the Chaldees refers to the Chaldeans who settled in the area about 900 BC The Book of Genesis see 11 27 32 describes Ur as the starting point of the migration westward to Palestine of the family of Abraham about 1900 BC Ur was one of the first village settlements founded circa 4000 BC by the so called Ubaidian inhabitants of Sumer Before 2800 BC Ur became one of the most prosperous Sumerian city states According to ancient records Ur had three dynasties of rulers who at various times extended their control over all of Sumer The founder of the 1st Dynasty of Ur was the conqueror and temple builder Mesanepada reigned about 2670 BC the earliest Mesopotamian ruler described in extant contemporary documents His son Aanepadda reigned about 2650 BC built the temple of the goddess Ninhursag which was excavated in modern times at Tell al Obeid about 8 km about 5 mi northeast of the site of Ur Of the 2nd Dynasty of Ur little is known Ur Nammu reigned 2113 2095 BC the first king of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur who revived the empire of Sumer and Akkad won control of the outlet to the sea about 2100 BC and made Ur the wealthiest city in Mesopotamia His reign marked the beginning of the so called renaissance of Sumerian art and literature at Ur Ur Nammu and his son and successor Shulgi reigned 2095 2047 BC built the ziggurat of Nanna about 2100 BC and magnificent temples at Ur and in other Mesopotamian cities The descendants of Ur Nammu continued in power for more than a century or until shortly before 2000 BC when the Elamites captured Ibbi Sin reigned 2029 2004 BC king of Ur and destroyed the city Rebuilt shortly thereafter Ur became part of the kingdom of Isin later of the kingdom of Larsa and finally was incorporated into Babylonia During the period when Babylonia was ruled by the Kassites Ur remained an important religious center It was a provincial capital with hereditary governors during the period of Assyrian rule in Babylonia After the Chaldean dynasty was established in Babylonia King Nebuchadnezzar II initiated a new period of building activity at Ur The last

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  • Sumerian Timeline
    King List Sumerian Proverbs The Art of Sumeria Sumerian Art Harpist from Ur by Liliana Osses Adams Other Mesopotamian Peoples Akkad Amorites Assyrians Babylonians Chaldeans Hittites Kassites Mesopotamia Map Ziggurat Ziggurat Please Help Keep Us On the Web We are a Non Profit Organization and the cost of continuing is becoming more than we can handle Therefore we are asking you to please donate anything you can to help keep us on the web Please Help Click Here Care to express an opinion on a current or past historical event Need to ask a question from our many visitors Just visit our Message Board and leave your message Message Board Weekly Poll Sumerian Timeline Fifth millennium Early developments in Sumer Fourth millennium Protoliterate period Third millennium Rival kings periods of unification includes Early Dynastic Sargonic Ur III periods Second millennium s first half Ascendancy of Amorite dynasties of Isin then Larsa then Babylon This period ends with devastating Hittite raid around 1600 B C 5000 Early development of Sumer 4000 High civilization developing 3000 Political military rivalries 2750 Legendary Gilgamesh rules Uruk Enmebaragesi Agga rule Kish 2550 Mesalim rules Kish 2475 Ur Nanshe rules Lagash Meskalamdug rules Ur military conflict

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  • Sumerian Wheel
    Legal Epic of Gilgamesh Enki and Ninursag Enki The God Hymn to Ishtar Lament for Ur Poem Of The Sufferer Prayer to Shamash Prayer to Every God Reforms of Urukagina Sumerian Creation Sumerian Inscription Sumerian King List Sumerian Proverbs The Art of Sumeria Sumerian Art Harpist from Ur by Liliana Osses Adams Other Mesopotamian Peoples Akkad Amorites Assyrians Babylonians Chaldeans Hittites Kassites Mesopotamia Map Ziggurat Ziggurat Please Help Keep Us

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  • Ud
    ha but if you build the implement at 144 iku approx 52 ha the work will be pleasantly performed for you 180 sila of grain approx 180 litres will be spent on each 18 iku area approx 6 1 2 ha After working one plough s area with a bardil plough and after working the bardil plough s area with a tugsig plough till it with the tuggur plough Harrow once twice three times When you flatten the stubborn spots with a heavy maul the handle of your maul should be securely attached otherwise it will not perform as needed When your field work becomes excessive you should not neglect your work no one should have to tell anyone else Do your field work When the constellations in the sky are right do not be reluctant to take the oxen force to the field many times The hoe should work everything When you have to work the field with the seeder plough your plough should be properly adjusted Put a leather sealing on the kacu of your plough Provide your beam with narrow pegs Your boards should be spread Make your furrows Make eight furrows per ninda of width approx 6 m the barley will lodge in more closely spaced furrows When you have to work the field with the seeder plough keep your eye on the man who drops the seed The grain should fall two fingers deep approx 3 1 2 cm You should put one gij of seed per ninda approx 3 ml m If the barley seed is not being inserted into the hollow of the furrow change the wedge of your plough share If the bindings become loose tighten them Where you have made vertical furrows make slanted furrows and where you have made slanted furrows make vertical furrows Straight furrows will give you edges that are wide enough and nice Your crooked furrows should be straightened out Make the furrows clear Plough your portion of field The clods should be picked out The furrows should be made wide where the soil is open and the furrows should be narrower where the soil is clogged it is good for the seedlings After the seedlings break open the ground perform the rites against mice Turn away the beaks of small birds When the plants overflow the narrow bottoms of the furrows water them with the water of the first seed When the plants resemble a reed mat water them Water the plants when they are heading When the plants are fully leafed out do not water them or they will become infected by leaf rust When the barley is right for husking water it It will provide a yield increase of one sila per ban approx 1 litre in 10 When you have to reap the barley do not let the plants become overripe Harvest at the right time One man is to cut the barley and one to tie the sheaves and one before him

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  • Contract for the Sale of a Slave
    talent of silver to Bel shum iddin for the work which he shall have done on it and the orchard which he shall have planted In case any claim should arise against that field Baga miri shall settle it and pay instead of Bel shum iddin From the month Nisan of the thirty seventh year of Artaxerxes the king that field for use and for planting shall be in the possession of Bel shum iddin son of Murashu for sixty years The names of thirty witnesses and a scribe follow eleven of whom left the impressions of their seals on the edges of the tablet L 34 states that the print of the thumb nail of Baga miri was placed on the tablet instead of his seal L 37 contains the information that the tablet was written in the presence of Ekur belit daughter of Bel balatu ittannu mother of Baga miri The date is Nippur Tishri second thirty sixth year of Artaxerxes III Labor Contracts Contract for Hire of Laborer Reign of Shamshu Iluna c 2200 B C This is a contract from the reign of Shamshu iluna of the Akkadian dynasty c 2200 B C It is of many of like character MAR SIPPAR has hired for one year Marduk nasir son of Alabbana from Munapirtu his mother He will pay as wages for one year two and a half shekels of silver She has received one half shekel of silver one se 1 180th of a shekel out of a year s wages Contract for Production of a Coat of Mail Thirty Fourth year of Darius 488 B C This tablet is dated in the thirty fourth year Darius I 488 B C and was regarded as an imporant transaction since it is signed by four witnesses and a scribe One coat of mail insignum of power which will protect is to be made by the woman Mupagalgagitum daughter of Qarikhiya for Shamash iddin son of Rimut She will deliver in the month Shebat one coat of mail which is to be made and which will protect Contract of Warranty for Setting of a Gold Ring Thirty fifth year of Artaxerxes 429 B C The transaction needs no comment The wealthy representative of the house of Murashu obtained from the firm of jewellers which sold him the ring a guarantee that the setting would last for twenty years if it does not they are to forfeit ten manas Bel akha iddin and Bel shunu sons of Bel and Khatin son of Bazuzu spoke unto Bel shum iddin son of Murashu saying As to the ring in which an emerald has been set in gold we guarantee that for twenty years the emerald will not fall from the gold ring If the emerald falls from the gold ring before the expiration of twenty years Bel akha iddin Bel shunu and Khatin will pay to Bel shum iddin ten manas of silver The names of seven witnesses and a scribe are appended The date is Nippur Elul eighth the thirty fifth year of Artaxerxes IV Co Partnerships Contract for Partners to Borrow Money against Harvest c 2000 B C The two farmers who borrow the money on their crop are partners SIN KALAMA IDI son of Ulamasha and Apil ilu shu Son of Khayamdidu have borrowed from Arad Sin sixteen shekels of money for the garnering of the harvest On the festival of Ab they will pay the wheat Names of three witnesses and a scribe follow and the tablet is dated in the year of a certain flood It is not stated in the reign of what king it was written but it clearly is from either the dynasty of Ur III or that of Akkad Contract for a Partnership Thirty sixth year of Nebuchadnezzar II 568 B C Nabu akhi iddin was an investor a member of the great Egibi family He contributed four manas of capital to this enterprise while Bel shunu who was to carry on the business contributed one half mana and seven shekels whatever property he might have and his time His expenses in the conduct of the business up to four shekels may be paid from the common funds Two manas of money belonging to Nabu akhi iddin son of Shula son of Egibi and one half mana seven shekels of money belonging to Bel shunu son of Bel akhi iddin Son of Sin emuq they have put into a copartnership with one another Whatever remains to Bel shunu in town or country over and above becomes their common property Whatever Bel shunu spends for expenses in excess of four shekels of money shall be considered extravagant The contract is witnessed by three men and a scribe and is dated at Babylon first of Ab in the thirty sixth year of Nebuchadnezzar Contract for a Partnership Fortieth year of Nebuchadnezzar II 564 B C From this document we learn that Iddin Marduk and Nabu ukin formed a copartnership in the month Tebet of Nebuchadnezzar s fortieth year A year from that date each of the partners drew out twenty shekels In the month Ulul of the next year a number of small amounts were delivered to Iddin Marduk for various specific purposes and a larger amount perhaps in payment of an obligation of the firm was paid to two other men Memorandum of the shares of Iddin Marduk and Nabu ukin from the month Tebet of the fortieth year of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon unto the month Markheswan of the forty second year One third mana of money Iddin Marduk drew on his account in the month Tebet of the forty first year One third mana of money Nabu ukin drew on his account in the month Tebet of the forty first year Fifteen shekels of Nabu ukin s money coined in shekel pieces from was given to Iddin Marduk for the house of Limniya on the fifteenth of Ulul of the forty second year a fourth shekel of coined money which was for a nutu skin given into the same hands One half shekel of money was given for palipi naskhapu one third of a shekel of money was given into the same hands for beef two giri of money was given for meat one shekel of money was given for Lisi nuri two shekels of money which was for Karia was given into the same hands City of Markheswan One mana fifty shekels are counted into the possession of Lishiru and Bunini epish V Loans and Mortgages Contract for Loan of Money Fourteenth year of Nabopolassar 611 B C This is a mortgage on real estate in security for a loan The interest was at the rate of eleven and one third per cent ONE mana of money a sum belonging to Iqisha Marduk son of Kalab Sin is loaned unto Nabu etir son of son of Yearly the amount of the mana shall increase its sum by seven shekels of money His field near the gate of Bel is Iqisha Marduk s pledge This document bears the name of four witnesses and is dated at Babylon Tammuz twenty seventh in the fourteenth year of Nabopolassar the father of Nebuchadnezzar Contract for Loan of Money Sixth year of Nebuchadnezzar II 598 B C The rate of interest in this case was thirteen and one third per cent One mana of money a sum belonging to Dan Marduk son of Apla son of the Dagger wearer is loaned unto Kudurru son of Iqisha apla son of Egibi Yearly the amount of the mana shall increase its sum by eight shekels of money Whatever he has in city or country as much as it may be is pledged to Dan Marduk The date is Babylon Adar fourth in Nebuchadnezzar s sixth year Contract for Loan of Money Fifth year of Nabonidus 550 B C This loan was made Aru third in the fifth year of Nabonidus No security was given the creditor but he received an interest of twenty per cent One and a half manas of money belonging to Iddin Marduk son of Iqisha apla son of Nur Sin is loaned unto Ben Hadad natan son of Addiya and Bunanit his wife Monthly the amount of a mana shall increase its sum by a shekel of money From the first of the month Siman of the fifth year of Nabonidus King of Babylon they shall pay the sum on the money The call shall be made for the interest money at the house which belongs to Iba Monthly shall the sum be paid VI Bankruptcy Contract for Purchase of Mortgage Second year of Evil Merodach 560 B C It exhibits how in a case of bankruptcy the interests of the creditor were conserved in the sale of the mortgaged property It also proves that in Babylonian law the value of the estate was not in such cases sacrificed to the creditor but that the debtor could obtain the equity in his property which actually belonged to him Two thirds of a mana of money a loan from Bel zir epish son of Shapik zir son of the smith to Nabu apla iddin son of Balatu son of the a loan upon the Gin of land which was delivered unto the creditor and on the house of Nabu apla iddin which Nergal sharra usur son of Bel shum ishkun has bought for money One third mana of money for the payment wherewith the creditor to be paid Marduk apla iddin son of Bel zir epish son of the smith has received as agent for Nergal sharra usur from Nabu akhi iddin son of Shula son of Egibi The receipt for two thirds manas which Bel zir epish loaned to Nabu apla iddin Marduk apla usur his son gave to Nergal sharra usur Until Marduk apla usur unto the scribes of the king shall speak and shall receive the seal of possession Nabu akhi iddin son of Nabu shum iddins son of Bel shuktanu shall hold the certificate of the receipt of the two thirds manas of money This instrument is dated Babylon Nisan twenty sixth of the second year of Evil Merodach Contract Purchase of Mortgage First year of Neriglissar 559 B C This document is dated the ninth day of the intercalary month of Neriglissar s accession year The place is Babylon The scribe who wrote it Iqisha apli s son A mortgage on the house of Nabu apla iddin which a tablet dated in the reign of Evil Merodach shows was then held by two persons had been transferred to the hands of Iqisha apla It appears from the present transaction that half of the mortgage had been paid off Apparently the remaining half could not be paid and the house was sold The purchaser was in this case the king Neriglissar who had but recently ascended the throne Like many other regal purchasers he was short of funds and was compelled to borrow the money from the head of the Egibi firm The king appears to have taken the house for the sum of twenty six and a quarter shekels the half of the loan which remained unpaid and to have compelled the holder of the mortgage to surrender to the banker all further claim to the property Might made right in this case and the equity was lost Fifty two and a half shekels of money belonging to Iqisha apla son of Gilua son of Sin shadunu are received from Nabu apla iddin son of Balatu son of the upon the price of the house of Nabu apla iddin which he purchased for cash for the palace The balance remaining twenty six and a quarter shekels of money Iqisha apla son of Gilua son of Sin shadunu has received from the hand of Nabu akhi iddin son of Shula son of Egibi and has given the receipt for fifty two and a half shekels from Nabu apla iddin unto Nabu akhi iddin VII Power of Attorney Contract for Power of Attorney First year of Evil Merodach 561 B C It clearly empowers one brother to act in business for another ITTI NABU BALATU the son of Shula the son of Egil acts in place of Bel kishir his brother who has not gone into business With reference to their securities and whatever property belonged to Shula their father which they have shared with one another in so far as it belongs to Bel kishir it shall go into the business and whatever profit arises from traffic literally the street however much he may gain in this way he shall bring all unto and to Bel kishir deliver His hand for this he raised This document is attested in the usual manner and dated Markheswan thirteenth of Evil Merodach s first year Contract for Power of Attorney Twelfth year of Artaxerxes 452 B C This document is dated in the twelfth year of Artaxerxes It appears that the two brothers mentioned in it wished to make provision for a slave of one of them who was perhaps being cared for at the Temple of Sharru One man perhaps their tenant was empowered to pay to another the rent of a house of theirs he in turn was to take it to the temple and see that certain men receive it Eighteen shekels of money rent belonging to Arad Anu ilu la ilu iprus and Shapi sons of Arad belanu of From the month Tebet of the twelfth year of Artaxerxes Bel akhi iddin son of Bel abu akhi shall receive eighteen shekels of money from the empowered attorney Imsa sharru arda son of Bel iddin on behalf of Arad Anu ilu la ilu iprus and Shapi He shall enter in the Temple of Sharru into the little temple the shrine and shall deposit in the treasury the money and the singer and the scribe shall receive it for the exalted divinity from the hand of Bel akhi iddin son of Bel abu akhi on behalf of Khuru the slave of Arad Anu ilu la ilu iprus and Sharru shu son of Dan ila VIII Marriage Contract for Marriage Reign of Shamshu ilu na c 2200 B C This marriage took place about 2200 B C The bride was a slave and gained her freedom by marriage and hence the penalty imposed upon her in case she divorced her husband is greater than that imposed on him in case he divorced her RIMUM son of Shamkhatum has taken as a wife and spouse Bashtum the daughter of Belizunu the priestess of Shamash daughter of Uzibitum Her bridal present shall be shekels of money When she receives it she shall be free If Bashtum to Rimum her husband shall say You are not my husband they shall strangle her and cast her into the river If Rimum to Bashtum his wife shall say You are not my wife he shall pay ten shekels of money as her alimony They swore by Shamash Marduk their king Shamshu ilu na and Sippar Contract for Marriage Thirteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar II 591 B C This contract is dated at Babylon in the thirteenth year of the Biblical Nebuchadnezzar and is an example of marriage by purchase a form of marriage which had practically fallen into disuse at this time Dagil ili son of Zambubu spoke to Khamma daughter of Nergal iddin son of Babutu saying Give me Latubashinni your daughter let her be my wife Khamma heard and gave him Latubashinni her daughter as a wife and Dagil ili of his own free will gave Ana eli Bel amur a slave which he had bought for half a mana of money and half a mana therewith to Khamma instead of Latubashinni her daughter On the day that Dagil ili another wife shall take Dagil ili shall give one mana of money unto Latubashinni and she shall return to her place her former one Done at the dwelling of Shum iddin son of Ishi etir son of Sin damaqu Contract of Marriage Sixth year of Nabonidus 549 B C This document is dated in the sixth year of Nabonidus and is a good example of marriage with a dowry Nabu nadin akhi son of Bel akhi iddin son of Arad Nergal spoke to Shum ukin son of Mushallimu saying Give as a wife Ina Esaggil banat your daughter the virgin to Uballit su Gula my son Shum ukin hearkened to him and gave Ina Esaggil banat his virgin daughter to Uballit su Gula his son He gave to Nabu nadin akhi one mana of money Latubashinni Ina silli biti nakhat Tasli mu and the outfit for a house with Ina Esaggil banat his daughter as her dowry Shum ukin has given to Nabu nadin akhi Nana kishirat his slave toward the one mana of money of the dowry instead of two thirds of a mana of money at the full price Shum ukin will pay to Nabu nadin akhi one third of a mana of money the balance of one mana and he shall receive his dowry completed to one mana in what it lacks IX Divorce Contract for Divorce Third year of Nabonidus 552 B C This document which bears the date of the third year of Nabonidus is apparently a legal divorce in which the wife is granted alimony The marriage contracts given above under VIII make it unnecessary further to illustrate the workings of Babylonian divorce laws In VIII I the bride was a slave and at her marriage was given apparently by her husband a small sum of money and her freedom He might therefore divorce her by giving her a small alimony of ten shekels but if she divorces him she was to be put to death This contract was not peculiar to the early period of its date but

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