Neo-Babylonian Court Procedure

Brill’s Series in Jewish Studies
General Editor
David S. Katz (Tel Aviv)
VOLUME 40
Cuneiform Monographs
Editors
t. abusch – m. j. geller
s. m. maul – f. a. m. wiggermann
VOLUME 38
Neo-Babylonian
Court Procedure
by
Shalom E. Holtz
LEIDEN • BOSTON
2009
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Neo-Babylonian court procedure / edited by Shalom Holtz.
p. cm. — (Cuneiform monographs, ISSN 0929-0052 ; v. 38)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-17496-2 (hbk. : alk. paper) 1. Civil procedure (Assyro-Babylonian
law) I. Holtz, Shalom.
KL2447.N46 2009
347.35’05—dc22
2009007851
ISSN 0929-0052
ISBN 978 9004 174962
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,יתבוהאל
הצפח שפנבו םלש בלב
To Leebie
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments ....................................................................... xi
List of Tables .............................................................................. xv
Abbreviation and Transliteration Conventions .......................... xvii
Introduction ................................................................................ 1
A. Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Texts: Their
Contents and Provenance ................................................. 1
B. Litigation Records: The Study of the “Tablet Trail” ...... 3
C. Studies of Litigation Records from Earlier Periods ......... 5
D. Need for the Present Study .............................................. 10
E. Methods ............................................................................. 17
PART I: FUNCTIONAL TYPOLOGY OF TEXTS
Chapter One Decision Records .............................................. 23
1.A The Legal Function of the Decision Record ............... 23
1.B The “Royal Judges” Styles of Decision Records ......... 27
1.C The “Eanna” Styles of Decision Records ................... 47
1.D Comparison of the “Royal Judges” and the “Eanna”
Styles .............................................................................. 55
1.E Non-Stylized Decision Records .................................... 63
Chapter Two Other Text-Types Including the Resolution of
Disputes ................................................................................... 69
2.A Conclusions of Disputes ............................................... 69
2.B Memoranda Including Decisions .................................. 74
2.C Settlements .................................................................... 78
Chapter Three Preliminary Protocols and Records of
Statements in Court ................................................................ 85
3.A Preliminary Protocols .................................................... 85
3.B Memoranda of Proceedings ......................................... 99
3.C Records of Statements in Court ................................... 100
3.C.1 Accusatory Depositions .................................... 103
3.C.2 Depositions of Testimony ................................ 107
3.C.3 Memoranda of Depositions ............................. 110
3.C.4 Sworn Depositions ........................................... 113
Chapter Four The dabābu- and quttû -Type Summonses .......... 117
4.A Summonses to Argue (dabābu) a Case ........................... 117
4.B Summonses to End (quttû) a Case ................................. 128
Chapter Five Text-Types Calling for Evidence ...................... 133
5.A Summonses to Establish a Case (kunnu) ........................ 133
5.B Guarantees for Testimony ............................................. 143
5.C Penalties Pending Evidence .......................................... 151
5.D Summary Discussion of Texts-Types Calling for
Evidence ........................................................................ 162
Chapter Six Text-Types Ensuring an Individual’s Presence .. 167
6.A Summonses to Present (abāku) an Individual ................ 169
6.B Guarantees for an Individual’s Presence ...................... 177
Chapter Seven Other Text-Types ........................................... 197
7.A Other Summonses ......................................................... 197
7.B Promissory Oaths .......................................................... 199
7.C Injunctions ..................................................................... 209
PART II: NEO BABYLONIAN ADJUDICATORY
PROCEDURE
Chapter Eight The Adjudication of Private Disputes:
The “Royal Judges” Decision Records and Other Texts ...... 223
8.A The Scene ..................................................................... 223
8.B The Initiation of the Case: dīna gerû and Similar
Terms ............................................................................. 224
8.C Summoning the Defendant .......................................... 232
8.D Oral Arguments: dīna dabābu ......................................... 235
8.E The Presentation of Evidence: “Establishing the Case”
(kunnu) and the Means of Evidence .............................. 239
8.F The “Hearing” of Oral Statements: šemû .................... 243
8.G Obtaining Evidence ...................................................... 245
viii contents
contents ix
8.H Questioning the Litigants: šaālu ................................. 247
8.I Oaths ........................................................................... 250
8.J The Conclusion of the Trial: Deliberation (mitluku)
and Decision ( purussû) ................................................. 252
8.K Adjudicating Authorities: Royal Judges ...................... 254
8.K.1 Judges of Neriglissar and Nabonidus in
Babylon ......................................................... 254
8.K.2 Judges of Neriglissar and Nabonidus
outside Babylon ............................................. 255
8.K.3 Royal Judges during the Reign of Cyrus
and Cambyses ............................................... 257
8.K.4 Royal Judges after the Reign of
Cambyses ....................................................... 258
8.K.5 Royal Judges under Nebuchadnezzar II ...... 261
Chapter Nine The Adjudicatory Process in the Eanna ......... 267
9.A The Scene ................................................................... 268
9.B The Initiation of the Case: Accusations .................... 269
9.C Investigative Procedures in the Eanna ....................... 270
9.D Summoning in the Eanna ........................................... 275
9.E The Answer of the Accused Individual: Confession
and Counter-Accusation ............................................. 278
9.F “Establishing the Case”: kunnu .................................... 282
9.G Questioning and Interrogation: šaālu and
mašaltu ......................................................................... 284
9.H Oaths ........................................................................... 290
9.I The Decision ............................................................... 295
9.J The Adjudicating Authorities in the Eanna ............... 296
Chapter Ten The Neo-Babylonian Tablet Trail in
Comparative Perspective ........................................................ 301
10.A The Decision Record .................................................. 302
10.A.1 The Legal Function of the Decision
Record ........................................................... 302
10.A.2 The Form of the Decision Record ............... 306
10.B Settlements .................................................................. 309
10.C Preliminary Protocols and Records of Statements in
Court ........................................................................... 310
10.D Memoranda ................................................................. 312
x contents
10.E dabābu-Type Summonses ............................................. 313
10.F Text-Types Calling for Evidence ................................ 317
Bibliography ................................................................................ 321
Index of Cuneiform Texts Cited ............................................... 329
Index and Glossary of Akkadian Terms Discussed ................... 334

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This book began as a 2006 University of Pennsylvania doctoral dis-
sertation in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, entitled Neo-
Babylonian Decision Records and Related Documents: Structural, Procedural and
Comparative Aspects. The dissertation was written under the supervision
of Professor Barry Eichler, now an esteemed colleague and cherished
guide at Yeshiva University. His sensitive readings and careful eye
contributed much to the coherence of the original work, and I hope
the present monograph meets the high standards he has always set.
Professors Erle Leichty and Jeffrey Tigay, as readers of the original
dissertation, also gave freely of their time as the work took shape. I
thank them, as well as my other teachers in the departments of Near
Eastern Languages and Civilizations at both Penn and Harvard, for
all I have learned from them.
The original research for this work was supported by the University
of Pennsylvania’s William Penn, Ellis and University Dissertation Fel-
lowships. Most of my research was conducted in the Weigle Judaica
and Ancient Near East Seminar Room in Van Pelt Library, home to
books marked with notes by Professor E.A. Speiser, their previous owner.
Reading copies of cuneiform texts in the seminar room was, therefore,
an experience that spanned not only millennia of history, but several
academic generations, as well. I am grateful to Dr. Arthur Kiron, who
kept the room up to current research standards, and to the dedicated
staff at Van Pelt, who made the research possible. Books that were
not available at Van Pelt were usually available from the University of
Pennsylvania Museum library, the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies,
or from Professor Erle Leichty’s own research collection at the University
Museum’s tablet room.
Towards the end of my work on the original dissertation, I had the
fortunate opportunity to meet Bruce Wells of St. Joseph’s University in
Philadelphia. At the suggestion of Cornelia Wunsch, he and F. Rachel
Magdalene have included me in the NEH-funded Neo-Babylonian Trial
Proceedings Project. In addition to sharing their time and materials,
it was they who first suggested that this book should have a corollary
anthology of actual texts. With their encouragement and support,
I have begun work on this anthology, provisionally entitled Neo-Babylonian
Adjudicatory Records, which will be published by the Society of Biblical
Literature’s Writings from the Ancient World series.
While revising the dissertation for publication, I have served as an
assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva University. I am extremely grateful
to Yeshiva for the time and space in which I do my work, and especially
for my colleagues, junior and senior, who have taken interest in my
research and have provided invigorating intellectual stimulation. The
librarians at the Mendel Gottesman Library of Hebraica/Judaica and
its interlibrary loan service have been most attentive to my requests. I
thank Mr. Avi Kelin, a former student, for his proofreading assistance.
Our work together has, I hope, eliminated most errors, and I accept
full responsibility for any that remain.
My many friends have contributed to this work, by reading parts of
chapters, furnishing helpful references, or simply providing much-needed
diversion. Special thanks go to Spencer Allen and Karen Sonik, two
fellow students at Penn, for their on-the-spot consultations and for our
conversations over lunch. I wish them much success as they complete
their doctorates. I have known two fellow Penn alumni, Shawn Zelig
Aster and Moshe Simon-Shoshan, since before I was an undergradu-
ate student. I hope that they treasure our long-lasting friendship as
much as I do and that they have benefited from it as much as I have.
Since Zelig is also at Yeshiva, I am confident that I shall continue to
reap the rewards of being his colleague. In the category of longtime-
friends-turned-colleagues, I must also acknowledge two other former
Penn students, Debra Kaplan, whom I have known since high school
(and who knows my wife since before that), and Aaron Koller. Both are
now my neighbors on the fifth floor of Belfer Hall. May we continue
to share the joys of each others’ successes!
It was in the home of my parents, Drs. Avraham and Toby Berger
Holtz, that I was first introduced to the world of scholars and scholar-
ship, in general, and to the specific area of the study of the ancient
Near East. I thank them for contributing to my academic progress
longer than anyone else and pray that they may continue to do so for
many years to come. I especially thank my father for patiently read-
ing the dissertation and suggesting improvements in anticipation of its
publication as a book.
Like the original dissertation, this book is dedicated to my wife, Lee-
bie Mallin. Since my graduation, we have been blessed by the births
of a son, Zev Barukh Boaz (“Billy”), and a daughter, Avigayil Sara.
xii acknowledgments
Their arrivals have made me all the more grateful for all Leebie has
given me.
544 Belfer Hall
New York, NY
January 13, 2009
"ךיפ םﬠ היהא יכנאו" תשרפל 'ג
ט"סשת תבטב זי
acknowledgments xiii
LIST OF TABLES
Summary Table 1.1 “Royal Judges Style A” Decision
Records .................................................................................... 41
Summary Table 1.2 “Royal Judges Style B” Decision
Records .................................................................................... 45
Summary Table 1.3 “Eanna Style A” Decision Records ........ 60
Summary Table 1.4 “Eanna Style B” Decision Records ....... 62
Summary Table 1.5 Non-Stylized Decision Records ............. 66
Summary Table 2.1 Conclusions ............................................ 72
Summary Table 2.2 Memoranda Including Decisions ........... 79
Summary Table 2.3 Settlements ............................................. 83
Summary Table 3.1 Preliminary Protocols ............................. 91
Summary Table 3.2 Memoranda of Proceedings .................. 101
Summary Table 3.3 Accusatory Depositions .......................... 108
Summary Table 3.4 Depositions of Testimony ...................... 111
Summary Table 3.5 Memoranda of Depositions ................... 113
Summary Table 3.6 Sworn Depositions ................................. 116
Summary Table 4.1 dabābu-Type Summonses ........................ 126
Summary Table 4.2 quttû-Type Summonses ........................... 132
Summary Table 5.1 Summonses to Establish a Case
(kunnu) ...................................................................................... 144
Summary Table 5.2 Guarantees for Testimony ...................... 150
Summary Table 5.3 Penalties Pending Evidence .................... 160
Summary Table 6.1 abāku-Summonses ................................... 178
Summary Table 6.2 Guarantees for Individuals’ Presence .... 194
Summary Table 7.1 Other Summonses .................................. 200
Summary Table 7.2 Promissory Oaths ................................... 210
Summary Table 7.3 Injunctions .............................................. 216
Table 8.1 Directory of Individuals Designated
lu2
DI.KU
5
...... 263
ABBREVIATION AND TRANSLITERATION CONVENTIONS
The abbreviation of references follows Erica Reiner and Martha Roth,
eds., The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago, vol. P. (Chicago,
2005), pp. vii–xxvii. In addition, the following abbreviations are used:
Abraham, Business Kathleen Abraham, Business and Politics under the
Persian Empire: The Financial Dealings of Marduk-
nāir-apli of the House of Egibi (521–487 B.C.E.)
(Bethesda, 2004).
AuOr Aula Orientalis
Bongenaar, Ebabbar A.C.V.M. Bongenaar, The Neo Babylonian Ebabbar
Temple at Sippar: Its Administration and Its Pro-
sopography (Istanbul, 1997).
Moore, Documents Ellen Whitley Moore, Neo-Babylonian Business and
Administrative Documents (Ann Arbor, Michigan,
1935).
Sack, CuDoc Ronald H. Sack, Cuneiform Documents from the
Chaldean and Persian Periods (London, 1993).
Stolper, Entrepreneurs Matthew W. Stolper, Entrepreneurs and Empires:
The Murašû Archive, the Murašû Firm and Persian
Rule in Babylonia (Leiden, 1985).
Wunsch, BA 2 Cornelia Wunsch, Urkunden zum Ehe-, Vermögens-,
und Erbrecht aus verschiedenen neubaby lonischen
Archiven (Babylonische Archive 2) (Dresden, 2003).
Wunsch, CM 3 Cornelia Wunsch, Die Urkunden des babylonischen
Gesschäftsmannes Iddin-Marduk. Zum Handel mit
Naturalien im 6. Jarhundert v. Chr. (Cuneiform
Monographs 3) (Groningen, 1993). [3a = volume
a, 3b = volume b]
Wunsch, CM 20 Cornelia Wunsch, Das Egibi Archiv: Die Felder und
Gärten (Cuneiform Monographs 20) (Groningen,
2000). [20a = volume a, 20b = volume b]
In the footnotes, articles and books are cited fully in the first reference
to them. Subsequent citations of articles are by author’s last name and
journal title. Subsequent citations of books are by author’s last name
and abbreviated title. Akkadian texts first published in journals are cited
by the author’s last name, followed by the journal title.
Because of the erratic nature of Neo-Babylonian orthography, Akka-
dian and Sumerian forms are normalized following the grammatical
conventions of Old Babylonian. The transliteration of personal names
follows the indices at the ends of Kümmel, Familie, Wunsch, CM 3 and
Wunsch, CM 20.
xviii abbreviation and transliteration conventions
INTRODUCTION
A. Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Texts: Their Contents
and Provenance
The textual legacy of southern Mesopotamia during the seventh,
sixth and fifth centuries BCE stands out for its abundance. The vast
majority of these texts pertain to legal and administrative, rather than
literary, matters. Loans, contracts, sales, marriages, adoptions and other
day-to-day affairs were recorded on clay tablets by scribes writing in
cuneiform script. Thousands of these tablets are known to today’s
scholars, while many more are believed to exist and await discovery or
publication.
1
Modern Assyriological scholarship refers to these texts as
Neo-Babylonian legal and administrative texts. They offer pictures of
many aspects of Mesopotamian socio-economic and legal institutions
in the centuries immediately preceding the Common Era.
From the point-of-view of political history, the term ‘Neo-Babylonian’
refers to a specific historical period, which begins with the rise of the
Babylonian king Nabopolassar in 626 BCE,
2
and lasts until the end of
the reign of Nabonidus, when Cyrus and the Achaemenid Persians con-
quered Babylonia in 539 BCE. However, because the cuneiform textual
record continues unchanged for a considerable time after the Achaeme-
nid conquest, for the purposes of studying cuneiform law there is no
reason to distinguish between texts written before and after Babylonia
came under Persian control. Thus, when the term ‘Neo-Babylonian’ is
used to describe cuneiform texts, rather than a specific historical period,
it can refer to texts written during the Achaemenid period and even
to texts written later, during the Hellenistic period (after 330 BCE).
3

1
For estimates of the actual numbers, see Michael Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and
Administrative Documents: Typology, Contents and Archives (Guides to the Mesopotamian
Textual Record, 1) (Münster, 2005), p. 1.
2
All dates follow R.A. Parker and W.H. Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C.–
75 A.D. (Providence, 1956).
3
See Olof Pedersén, Archives and Libraries in the Ancient Near East 1500–300 B.C.
(Bethesda, 1998), pp. 181–182 and Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Docu-
ments, pp. 1–2. Note that both Pedersén and Jursa include texts from Babylonia before
the rise of Nabopolassar in the discussion of ‘Neo-Babylonian’ texts.
2 introduction
This book adopts the broader use of the term ‘Neo-Babylonian.’ It
considers texts that date to the reigns of the Babylonian kings from
Nebuchadnezzar II (son of Nabopolassar) through Nabonidus, as well
as texts dating to the Achaemenid emperors as late as Darius II.
Despite their abundance, most Neo-Babylonian legal and administra-
tive texts come from just five cities in southern Mesopotamia: Babylon,
Borsippa (modern Birs Nimrud and Tell Ibrahim al-Khalil), Nippur
(Nuffar), Sippar (Abu Habba) and Uruk (Warka).
4
For the most part,
they stem either from private archives or temple archives.
5
The private
archives contain texts pertaining to the property and business dealings
of individuals or families. Among the more famous examples of Neo-
Babylonian private archives are the Egibi archive from Babylon, the
Ea-Ilūta-bāni archive from Borsippa, and the Murašû archive from
Nippur.
6
These are only three of the more extensive private archives
among numerous others.
7
There are far fewer temple archives; less
than ten are known.
8
Nevertheless, temple archives were much larger
than private archives. Thus, texts from temple archives, particularly the
Ebabbar temple at Sippar and the Eanna temple at Uruk, dominate
the Neo-Babylonian text corpus.
9
These texts pertain to administra-
tive aspects of these institutions, such as the delivery of goods to the
temple, the organization of temple workers and the redistribution of
resources by the temple.
The classification of Neo-Babylonian texts into archives poses numerous
challenges. First, because most of the Neo-Babylonian legal and admin-
istrative texts do not come from well-documented excavations, exact
details about find-spots are often missing. Thus, the assignment of a
4
Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, p. 2. Other sites, also discussed
by Jursa, have not yielded nearly as many texts as these five.
5
For discussion of the published Neo-Babylonian texts from the palace archives
at Babylon (the so-called “Kasr” texts) see Pedersén, Archives, pp. 183–184 and Jursa,
Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, pp. 60–61. On the somewhat anach-
ronistic use of the term “archives,” see G. van Driel, “The ‘Eanna Archive,’ ” BiOr
55 (1998), pp. 61–62.
6
For a survey of these and other private archives, including the numbers of tab-
lets included in each, see Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, pp.
60–152.
7
Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents enumerates some 90 known
private archives.
8
Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, p. 59 n. 359.
9
For an estimate of the size of the Ebabbar archives, see Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal
and Administrative Documents, pp. 117–118. For the Eanna archive, see Jursa, Neo-Babylonian
Legal and Administrative Documents, p. 138.
introduction 3
particular text to a particular archive usually cannot be based on where
the text was discovered. Instead, archives must be reconstructed by
considering internal factors of each text, such as the prosopography of
the protagonists.
10
This painstaking process of reconstruction is further
impeded by the fact that although the ancient archives originate from
a relatively limited geographical area, modern discovery has scattered
their contents throughout the world. To cite just one typical example,
the texts from the Eanna temple archive, which were probably kept in
a single location in antiquity, are now in at least five different collections
in Europe and the United States.
11
The general disarray is reflected
in many of the first modern editions of Neo-Babylonian texts, which
do not present them as part of ancient archives but rather as part of
the collections of a particular museum or university. This approach to
publication makes texts available quickly, but allows the randomness
of modern collection to limit the study of antiquity. Students today
must sift through all the material in order to relate texts in different
museums to each other.
12

B. Litigation Records: The Study of the “Tablet Trail”
The documents that survive from the Neo-Babylonian period attest
to a wide variety of legal transactions pertaining to the property of
the individuals or institutions that kept them.
13
This book focuses on
litigation records: texts that attest to the adjudication of legal cases for
the most part by Neo-Babylonian authorities.
Litigation records, like other Neo-Babylonian legal and administrative
texts, come from both private and temple archives. In private archives,
litigation records pertain to cases surrounding the property of the
archive owner. For example, a slaveholder whose ownership of a slave
was disputed and then reconfirmed by a court might retain a record of
10
Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, p. 57. For discussion of
the archaeological data pertaining to the archives from particular cities, see Pedersén,
Archives, pp. 181–212.
11
Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, p. 138.
12
For a convenient schematic summary of the problems surrounding the reconstruc-
tion of ancient archives, see Heather D. Baker, The Archive of the Nappāu Family (AfO
Beiheft 30) (Vienna, 2004), pp. 5–6.
13
For a survey of the different categories of texts included in Neo-Babylonian archives
see Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, pp. 9–54.
4 introduction
the decision as proof of ownership.
14
Temple archives provide records
of hearings conducted by temple authorities, such as the šatammu of
the Eanna, as part of the prosecution of the mishandling of temple
property.
15
All of these litigation records, from both private and temple
archives, offer insights into the main question this book hopes to answer:
How was a case adjudicated in the Neo-Babylonian period?
The discussion in the following chapters will demonstrate that the
adjudication of cases in the Neo-Babylonian period generated a con-
siderable quantity of written records. Some records provide complete
descriptions of proceedings in court, from the initiation of a case
through its decision. Others record only one stage in the proceedings
that eventually led to a decision. Therefore, addressing the question of
how a case was adjudicated requires the study of what might best be
called the ‘tablet trail’ left behind when cases were brought to justice
in the Neo-Babylonian period.
The ideal situation for the study of Neo-Babylonian adjudicatory
procedure would be the discovery of all the texts pertaining to one
particular case (the case’s ‘tablet trail’) in a single location. Having all
the relevant litigation records together would allow one to follow the
progress of the case in the texts it generated. Unfortunately, only in rare
instances has more than one record from any Neo-Babylonian legal case
survived.
16
Instead, the numerous litigation records that have survived
pertain to different cases. Thus, for the most part, these records cannot
be studied within the context of a particular case. Rather, in order to
make the best use of the available evidence, one must group litigation
records together into text-types based on similarity of legal function.
When this is done, the litigation records offer insight into the different
14
See the discussion of decision records in the following chapter.
15
For a general overview of litigation records, see the discussion of “records of court
proceedings” in Jursa, Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, pp. 15–17. For a
description of the administrative structure of Neo-Babylonian temples, see Jursa, Neo-
Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, pp. 49–51 and Ronald H. Sack, “Royal and
Temple Officials in Eanna and Uruk in the Chaldean Period,” in Manfried Dietrich
and Oswald Loretz, eds., Vom Alten Orient Zum Alten Testament (AOAT 240) (Neukirchen,
1995), pp. 425–432. For discussions of the relationship of the royal establishment and
the temples, see Grant Frame, “Nabonidus, Nabû-šarra-uur, and the Eanna Temple,”
ZA 81 (1991), pp. 37–86 and John MacGinnis, “The Royal Establishment at Sippar in
the 6th Century BC,” ZA 84 (1994), pp. 198–219.
16
Examples are collected in Cornelia Wunsch, “Und die Richter ins. berieten: Stre-
itfälle in Babylon aus der Zeit Neriglissars und Nabonids,” AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), pp.
59–100. See also M. San Nicolò, “Parerga Babylonica VII: Der §8 des Gesetzbuches
ammurapis in den neubabylonischen Urkunden,” ArOr 4 (1932), pp. 341–342.
introduction 5
text-types that might have been included in any particular case’s ‘tab-
let trail.’ By identifying these different text-types, one can reconstruct
a hypothetical ‘tablet trail,’ even if one cannot find all the litigation
records pertaining to any one particular case.
17
C. Studies of Litigation Records from Earlier Periods
Litigation records written in cuneiform are attested beginning in the Ur
III period and continue to be attested throughout the over 1,000 years
of Mesopotamian history that preceded the Neo-Babylonian period.
Modern scholars have applied typological methods to these earlier texts
as a means of reconstructing court procedure. This book draws on the
methods pursued in the following studies of court procedure in four
earlier periods of Mesopotamian history:
• Adam Falkenstein’s Die Neusumerischen Gerichtsurkunden (1956);
• Two studies of the Old Babylonian litigation records: Eva Dom-
bradi’s Die Darstellung des Rechtsaustrags in den altbabylonischen Prozeßur-
kunden (1996) and John D. Fortner’s Adjudicating Entities and Levels of
Legal Authority in Lawsuit Records of the Old Babylonian Era (1997);
18
• Roy Hayden’s Court Procedure at Nuzu (1962);
• Remko Jas’s Neo-Assyrian Judicial Procedures (1996).
All of these studies attempt to describe the adjudicatory process, or at
least some aspect of it. To achieve this goal, all address the need for
typological classification of the litigation records. In all of these works,
classification of the texts and attention to legal terminology are the basis
for a description of the adjudicatory process. In order to illustrate this
connection between text-typology, the study of legal terminology and
the reconstruction of the adjudicatory process, the relevant aspects of
each of these works should be considered.
17
For a similar characterization of this aspect of the textual records, see F. Rachel
Magdalene, On the Scales of Righteousness: Neo-Babylonian Trial Law and the Book of Job
(Brown Judaic Studies 348) (Providence, 2007), p. 43.
18
For discussion and bibliography of earlier works on the Old Babylonian texts,
see Eva Dombradi, Die Darstellung des Rechtsaustrags in den altbabylonischen Prozeßurkunden
(FAOS 20) (Stuttgart, 1996), Vol. 1, pp. 1–2.
6 introduction
Falkenstein’s work is based on Sumerian court records from the Ur
III period (2112–2004 BCE), mainly those texts that carry the Sume-
rian designation d i. t i l. l a (“completed legal matter”). Falkenstein
begins with a discussion of the different text-types (“Textgattungen”) that
carry this designation, in which he distinguishes between texts that
record “judicial certification” ( gerichtliche Beurkundung) of transactions,
and those that record aspects of proceedings in court, which he labels
“protocols” (“Prozeßprotokollen”). Falkenstein also discusses “combined-
documents” (“Sammelurkunden”), which record more than one case, and
the “pisandubba (tablet-basket) labels (“pisandubba-Etiketten”), which
are labels for the baskets that held the court records.
19
Falkenstein then
uses the information in the Sumerian court documents to describe
various aspects of law during the Ur III period. Most importantly,
his discussion opens with descriptions of court organization and legal
procedure.
20
The discussion of legal procedure is divided into four main
sections which correspond to the main phases of a trial: the initiation
of proceedings, evidentiary actions, the decision, and the renunciation
of future claims (Verzichterklärung).
21
This discussion includes a study of
the legal terminology associated with each of the phases, such as the
terms i n i m- g a r (literally “to set forth a matter”) for the asser-
tion of a claim
22
and t u g
2
- u r
3
(literally “to drag the cloak”) for the
renunciation of a claim.
23
Both Dombradi and Fortner, who treat the Old Babylonian (2000–
1595 BCE) material, make extensive use of typological methods.
24

Both distinguish between texts that describe entire trials and texts that
describe only part of the proceedings. The main differences between the
typologies that Dombradi and Fortner present appear in their further
classification of the documents. Dombradi, after making the distinc-
tion between “documents regarding trial proceedings” (“Urkunden über
19
Falkenstein, Gerichtsurkunden, Vol. 1, pp. 7–17. In his presentation of the texts
themselves, Falkenstein further classifies the texts based on subject matter. See the table
of contents in Falkenstein, Gerichtsurkunden, Vol. 2, p. V.
20
Falkenstein, Gerichtsurkunden, Vol. 1, pp. 18–80.
21
Falkenstein, Gerichtsurkunden, Vol. 1, pp. 59–80.
22
Falkenstein, Gerichtsurkunden, Vol. 1, pp. 59–60.
23
Falkenstein, Gerichtsurkunden, Vol. 1, p. 79.
24
For Dombradi’s text-typology, see Dombradi, Darstellung, pp. 161–204, especially
the outline on p. 168. Fortner’s typology appears in John D. Fortner, Adjudicating Enti-
ties and Levels of Legal Authority in Lawsuit Records of the Old Babylonian Era (Ph.D. Thesis,
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 1997), pp. 29–81. See Table 4,
pp. 73–81 for Fortner’s classification of all the texts his dissertation considers.
introduction 7
Prozeßverfahren”) and “documents regarding trial actions” (“Urkunden über
Prozeßhandlungen”), subdivides each of these sets based on categories of
law (civil or criminal), legal formulations employed in the texts and pro-
cedures described. Fortner, on the other hand, specifically rejects the use
of legal terminology as the basis for classification.
25
Instead, his typology
is based primarily on the legal function of the texts. Thus, because all
of the “lawsuit records” have the same legal function, Fortner does
not classify them any further. He does, however, divide the “associated
documents” into six types, each with a different legal function.
In addition to proposing typologies of the Old Babylonian litigation
records, both Dombradi and Fortner pay considerable attention to
the legal terminology used in the documents. Fortner’s terminological
discussion is devoted to three terms that describe the judges’ activities:
dīnam šūuzum, dīnam dânum, and awātam amārum.
26
Dombradi considers
these terms, as well,
27
but also studies other terms that pertain to other
aspects of the proceedings. She places special emphasis on terms for
the initiation of the lawsuit, such as ragāmum, baqārum,
28
and abātum,
29

as well as the various terms that describe the different decisions that
would bring the case to a conclusion.
30

Apart from studying and defining the terms themselves, Dombradi’s
work also considers legal terms within the context of the phraseological
structure (Klauselnbestand) of the litigation records.
31
She then identifies
the legal terms associated with each part of the adjudicatory process.
In this manner, Dombradi’s description and classification of the Old
Babylonian material goes beyond Fortner’s. Whereas Fortner limits his
discussion to functional aspects of the texts, Dombradi demonstrates
25
Fortner, Adjudicating Entities, p. 35. Fortner’s system cannot, of course, ignore
the terminology used in the different texts. Thus, the register of lawsuit records and
associated documents (Fortner, Adjudicating Entities, pp. 73–81) also indicates certain
terminological aspects of the texts.
26
Fortner, Adjudicating Entities, pp. 82–168.
27
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 312–318 (dīnam šūuzum, dīnam dânum); pp.
327–329 (awātam amārum).
28
Both ragāmum and baqārum are discussed in Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1,
pp. 262–294. The two verbs are discussed together because Dombradi concludes that
they are geographic variants with the same meaning. For a critique of this conclu-
sion, see Raymond Westbrook’s review of Dombradi, Darstellung in Or. 68 (1999), pp.
125–127.
29
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 295–302.
30
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 342–346.
31
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 33–160.
8 introduction
that these texts also had formal compositional aspects that must be
taken into account.
For both Fortner and Dombradi, the study of typology and legal
terminology is the basis for an inquiry into other aspects of the Old
Babylonian legal system. This part of Fortner’s study concerns itself
with the Old Babylonian “adjudicating entities and institutions.”
32
In
particular, it is devoted to identifying these different adjudicating enti-
ties and institutions and to understanding the relationship between the
“levels of legal authority” and the “interplay which existed between the
crown administrative organization and the local judicial and administra-
tive infrastructure.”
33
Dombradi’s typological and terminological studies
have a much broader goal. They form the basis for a comprehensive
description of Old Babylonian civil procedure.
34
Like Fortner, Dombradi
also gives attention to understanding the adjudicating agencies (die Organe
der Rechtsprechung).
35
In addition, however, Dombradi’s work also traces
the course of legal proceedings (Rechtsgang) from the assertion of the
claim (die Geltendmachung von Rechten) to the conclusion of the case.
36

Hayden’s study of court procedure at Nuzi (c. 1500–c. 1350 BCE)
begins with the identification of adjudicating authorities and a descrip-
tion of court organization.
37
It then continues with a thorough survey
of court procedure, which begins with the “initiation of the suit,” and
continues with descriptions of “the trial,” “the evidence,” “investiga-
tions,” “the ordeal,” “decisions,” “appeals,” “penalties,” and “enforce-
ment.”
38
Although the main purpose of Hayden’s work is “to attempt
a reconstruction of the court procedure at Nuzu,”
39
Hayden recognizes
that this reconstruction is dependent on understanding the different
types of documents in which court procedures are recorded. In his
own words:
Several types of documents furnish evidence for the reconstruction of the
court procedure at Nuzu. While the lawsuits are the main source, there
are also letters, memorandum tablets, and declarations in court. Often
32
Fortner, Adjudicating Entities, pp. 170–570.
33
Fortner, Adjudicating Entities, pp. 171–172.
34
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 207–378.
35
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 211–257.
36
Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 262–365.
37
Roy Edmund Hayden, Court Procedure at Nuzu (Ph.D. Thesis, Brandeis University,
1962), pp. 6–21.
38
Hayden, Court Procedure, pp. 22–72.
39
Hayden, Court Procedure, p. 7.
introduction 9
a contract, with or without a penalty clause, helps us to understand the
reasoning behind a decision.
40
As a result of this observation, Hayden devotes the latter part of his
work to presenting a selection of these different types of documents.
Hayden’s presentation begins with the most abundant text-type, which
he calls the “lawsuit.” These documents record the proceedings in court
up to and including the authorities’ decision. Typically, they begin
with the statement that “PN
1
appeared with PN
2
in court before the
judges” (“PN
1
itti PN
2
ina dīni ana pāni dayyānē ītelûma”),
41
and end with
the statement that one of the parties “prevailed in the case” (ina dīni
iltēma).
42
Hayden further classifies these texts based on subject matter, by
devoting separate sections to “civil lawsuits,” that pertain either to real
estate or to “personal” matters, and to “criminal lawsuits.”
43
Besides the
“lawsuits,” Hayden’s typology of texts includes three other types that
specifically do not record the entire course of legal proceedings lead-
ing to a decision. Hayden calls these three types “declaration tablets,”
“memorandum tablets” and “letters.”
44

Remko Jas studies the Neo-Assyrian (8th–7th centuries BCE) litigation
records. Jas states the goals and methods of his study as follows:
The main object of this study . . . is to gain some insight into the course of
the proceedings. This will be done by dividing the court documents into
groups based on strictly formal criteria in the belief that these formally
distinct groups of texts represent different stages in a trial. Every text will
then be analysed in detail which will . . . lead to a better understanding
not just of their background but also of their function.
45
40
Hayden, Court Procedure, p. 72.
41
Hayden, Court Procedure, p. 25. The translation quoted is Hayden’s. Given the
adversarial meaning of the conjunction itti, especially in the context of lawsuits, a
better translation might be “PN
1
came to court against PN
2
before the judges.” See
AHw. dabābu 3b (p. 147) and AHw. itti 5 (p. 405). This translation also accords with
Hayden’s observation that the person mentioned first is generally the plaintiff (Hayden,
Court Procedure, p. 25).
42
Hayden, Court Procedure, p. 50.
43
Hayden, Court Procedure, pp. 73–171.
44
The main description of these types occurs in the sections devoted to each type
in Hayden, Court Procedure, pp. 172–181. Note, however, that the sections devoted to
the “lawsuits” also include some texts of other types. For discussion, see below.
45
Remko Jas, Neo-Assyrian Judicial Procedures (SAAS 5) (Helsinki, 1996), pp. 2–3. For
a similar use of individual documents to reconstruct the stages of the Neo-Assyrian
procedure for homicide, see Martha Roth, “Homicide in the Neo-Assyrian Period,” in
Francesca Rochberg-Halton, ed., Language, Literature, and History: Philological and Historical
Studies Presented to Erica Reiner (AOS 67) (New Haven, 1987), pp. 351–365, especially
10 introduction
Jas’s first classification of the Neo-Assyrian texts is based on formal
criteria. Using these criteria, Jas divides the texts into the following
groups: 1) texts that begin with the word dēnu (“lawsuit” or “judgment”);
2) texts in which the word sartu (“crime” or “fine”) occurs; 3) “murder
texts,” in which a murderer must pay blood money to the family of
the victim; 4) “theft texts,” in which a thief must make a payment for
stolen goods; 5) debt texts, which reflect the payment of a debt as the
result of a dispute; 6) texts that mention the uršān ordeal; 7) texts that
begin with the word šumma; 8) texts headed by a date; and 9) abātu-
summons. Recognizing that formally-similar texts may in fact have
different functions, Jas attempts to identify the purpose for which each
text was issued. Jas’s analysis demonstrates that different texts, even
within the same group, may have been composed at different stages in
the adjudication of disputes. For example, some sartu texts record the
imposition of a penalty that remains to be paid, while others record
the actual payment.
46
Similarly, with regard to the “texts headed by
a date,” Jas writes that “some of the texts belong to the preparatory
stages of a lawsuit, while others represent attempts at solving a conflict
outside the courtroom.”
47

D. Need for the Present Study
In contrast with the abundance of studies of legal procedure in ear-
lier periods of Mesopotamian history, no comprehensive study of the
Neo-Babylonian material has ever been undertaken. Writing in the
late 1990s, Cornelia Wunsch expressed the need for such a study in
a footnote to an article on records of legal cases from the time of
Neriglissar and Nabonidus. In her note, Wunsch writes: “Eine zusam-
menfassende Darstellung zum Gerichtswesen und Prozeßrecht in neubabylonischer und
achämenidischer Zeit fehlt bislang” (“a comprehensive description of court
practices and procedural law in the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid
period has been lacking to date”).
48
A survey of scholarship on Neo-
p. 362, and Pamela Barmash, Homicide in the Biblical World (Cambridge, 2005), pp.
56–70.
46
Jas, SAAS 5, p. 51.
47
Jas, SAAS 5, p. 81.
48
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), p. 59 n. 1. For a similar sentiment, see Mag-
dalene, Scales of Righteousness, p. 39.
introduction 11
Babylonian legal proceedings before Wunsch’s comment and of some
of the research subsequent to it demonstrates that the lack observed
by Wunsch still remains.
Before turning to the survey itself, however, it is important to note
that existing discussions of Neo-Babylonian litigation records occur only
in broader discussions of related topics. In other words, there has not
yet been any separate discussion that addresses the specific subject of
litigation records on their own. Therefore, the present survey cannot
limit itself to previous studies of Neo-Babylonian litigation records.
Instead, it must consider the broader range of studies that include
Neo-Babylonian litigation records.
In general, the studies that include Neo-Babylonian litigation records
may be divided into three main categories: 1) text editions, whose main
purpose is the publication of cuneiform texts themselves, in hand copy
or transliteration, sometimes accompanied by translation and commen-
tary; 2) archival studies, whose main purpose is the reconstruction of
Neo-Babylonian archives or the study of one aspect of these archives;
and 3) legal studies, whose main purpose is the description of Neo-
Babylonian law. These categories are not, of course, exclusive. For
instance, an archival or legal study may include editions of relevant
texts. Nevertheless, these categories provide a useful framework for the
discussion of earlier studies.
Text editions are the earliest publications concerning Neo-Babylo-
nian legal and administrative texts. These early publications present
the texts as part of the collections of specific museums. Joachim N.
Strassmaier published hand copies of texts in the British Museum,
beginning in 1889 with texts from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (Nbk)
and Nabonidus (Nbn), with a separate volume of copies for texts from
each king. These were followed by texts from the reign of Cambyses
(Camb) and Cyrus (Cyr) in 1890, and Darius (Dar) in 1892. Similarly
extensive early museum publications of hand copies include editions
of texts from the University Museum published by H. V. Hilprecht in
BE 9 (1898) and by Albert Clay in BE 10 (1904) and PBS 2/1 (1912),
Arthur Ungnad’s copies of texts from the Vorderasiatisches Museum
in Berlin in VAS 3–6 (1907–8), copies of texts from Yale by Raymond
P. Dougherty and Arch Tremayne in YOS 6 and 7 (1920 and 1925),
and Georges Contenau’s copies of texts from the Louvre in TCL 12
and TCL 13 (1927 and 1929). Transliterations and English translations
of the texts from the Louvre are published in Moore, Documents (1935).
Some more recent museum publications, such as McEwan, LB Tablets,
12 introduction
G. J. P. McEwan’s edition of the texts in the Royal Ontario Museum
(1982) and OIP 122, David B. Weisberg’s edition of texts at the Uni-
versity of Chicago’s Oriental Institute (2003), present more than hand
copies. They include transliterations and translations, as well as some
commentary to the texts.
The main purpose of text-editions is, as has been stated, to make
the Neo-Babylonian texts available. Thus, text-editions do not usually
include broader discussions of legal matters. However, text-editions
rarely consist solely of copies of the texts. Usually, text-editions include
indices of personal and geographic names, as well as a catalogue of
the texts contained in the edition. These catalogues list all the texts
in the edition and sometimes include a very brief description of the
contents of each text. Similar brief descriptions of Neo-Babylonian
texts are found in Erle Leichty’s Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the
British Museum (1986–1988). They are also strewn throughout scholarly
discussions of the texts. These descriptions, however brief, often reflect
the editors’ attempts to classify the texts. In other words, they are the
result of a concern for text-typology.
Given the existence of brief descriptions in catalogues and elsewhere,
one might imagine that the need for a text-typology has largely been
addressed. However, this is not so for several reasons. First, because these
descriptions are so brief, they do not state the criteria by which a par-
ticular text is given a particular description. This poses problems for the
classification of newly discovered texts. Furthermore, these descriptions
are often quite general, and do not reflect a precise picture of a text’s
legal function. Terms like “court record,” “protocol” or “Prozeßurkunde”
might be used without attention to the different functions court records
might have. Finally, perhaps the most vexing problem is that different
authors use different brief descriptions to describe similar texts. For
example, one might be left to wonder whether a text formulated in
a particular way is a summons or a contract.
49
Thus, although brief
descriptions of texts, in catalogues and elsewhere, clearly reflect attempts
at text-typology, no rigorous text-typology has yet been presented.
The problems of brief catalogue descriptions are, however, ancillary
to the main problem of text-editions based on museum holdings. As
has already been noted, these editions are limited by modern collection
49
For example, see the discussion in section 4.A below of the different descriptions
of dabābu-summonses (summonses to argue a case).
introduction 13
practices. It is true that the text-edition of a museum’s collection might
sometimes coincide with an ancient archive. This is the case with many
of the University Museum’s Murašû texts, which appeared under the
title Business Documents of the Murashû sons of Nippur already when they
were first published by H. V. Hilprecht in BE 9 (1898) and by Albert
Clay in BE 10 (1904) and PBS 2/1 (1912). Yet even the University
Museum’s early publications of the Murašû texts do not include all the
texts in the archive, and so do not provide a complete picture. Proper
understanding of the Murašû archive, as well as others, requires archival
studies that “break the museum barrier” to assemble all the texts that
were held together in antiquity. Thus, for the Murašû archive, there
are two main archival studies: Guillaume Cardascia’s Les Archives des
Murašû (1951) and, more recently, Matthew Stolper’s Entrepreneurs and
Empires (1985).
50

Other ancient private archives have also been the subjects of archival
studies, as well. Numerous archival studies have examined the Egibi
archive, which is the largest Neo-Babylonian private archive from
Babylon. Among the more recent monographs are Cornelia Wunsch’s
on the documents of Iddin-Marduk in CM 3 (1993) and on the fields
and gardens in CM 20 (2000), as well as Kathleen Abraham’s Business
and Politics under the Persian Empire (2004).
51
The Nappāu family archive,
the second largest Neo-Babylonian private archive from Babylon, is
the subject of Heather Baker’s The Archive of the Nappāu Family (2004).
Examples of archival studies of private archives from outside Babylon
include Francis Joannès’s Archives de Borsippa (1989), devoted to the
Ea-ilūta-bāni archive, and Michael Jursa’s Das Archiv des Bēl-Rēmanni
(1999), about the archive of one family from Sippar.
The two major temple archives, the Ebabbar archives from Sip-
par and the Eanna archives from Uruk, have benefited from archival
studies, as well. Examples of book-length works include Cocquerillat,
Palmeraies (1968) a study of date farming as organized by the Eanna,
and Michael Jursa’s Die Landwirtschaft in Sippar in neubabylonischer Zeit
(1995), a study on the organization of agriculture on lands administered
by the Ebabbar at Sippar. The study of the temple archives has also
50
For the history of the discovery of the Murašû archives, see Matthew Stolper,
Entrepreneurs and Empires: The Murašû Archive, the Murašû Firm and Persian Rule in Babylonia
(Leiden, 1985), p. 1; 157–161.
51
For a summary of earlier studies of the Egibi archive, see Wunsch, CM 20a,
pp. 1–19.
14 introduction
benefited from prosopographical monographs, which are indispensable
to gaining a hold on the material. For the Eanna at Uruk, Kümmel,
Familie has updated and replaced Mariano San Nicolò’s earlier Beiträge
zu einer Prosopographie neubabylonischer Beamten der Zivil- und Tempelverwal-
tung (1941). Bongenaar, Ebabbar (1997) has made serious study of the
Ebabbar archive possible.
The archival approach is of inestimable value for the proper under-
standing of the Neo-Babylonian texts, and, more generally, for the
understanding of numerous aspects of ancient society and culture.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the elucidation of questions of law, the
archival approach is of only limited use. In order to describe the adju-
dication of legal cases, one cannot simply look at one archive, since any
one archive may or may not contain litigation records.
52
Furthermore,
not every litigation record can be securely assigned to a specific ancient
archive. To be sure, the results of the archival approach are necessary;
situating a litigation record within an archive, when possible, often illu-
minates the legal question at hand.
53
A comprehensive understanding
of legal procedure, however, requires cross-archival and extra-archival
research in order to select the relevant litigation records.
Legal studies approach the Neo-Babylonian legal and administrative
texts in just this manner. They bring together numerous texts from
different archival and extra-archival sources, among them litigation
records, in order to address one particular legal subject or to arrive at
a general description of Neo-Babylonian law. Studies of particular legal
subjects, such as Herbert Petschow’s Neubabylonische Pfandrecht (1956) or
Wunsch, BA 2 (2003), a collection of texts on marriage, property and
inheritance law, include litigation records that bear on these subjects.
54

However, because they focus on other, distinct legal questions, these
works do not describe the adjudicatory process, per se. Similarly, San
Nicolò addresses some questions of legal procedure in his editions and
52
For example, litigation records in the Murašû archive are relatively rare. See San
Nicolò’s review of Cardascia, Murašû in Or. 23 (1954), p. 278 and Matthew W. Stolper,
“The Genealogy of the Murašû Family,” JCS 28 (1976), p. 195. For a general com-
parison between the contents of the Murašû archives and other archives, see Veysel
Donbaz and Matthew W. Stolper, Istanbul Murašû Texts (Istanbul, 1997), pp. 12–15.
53
For example, see the discussion of Wunsch, CM 20, No. 84 in Wunsch, CM 20a,
pp. 110–113 and of Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112 in Wunsch, CM 20a, pp. 124–125.
54
See, for example, Petschow, Pfandrecht, p. 127 and Wunsch, BA 2, Nos. 42, 44,
45, 46, 47 and 48.
introduction 15
studies of texts from the Eanna archives.
55
However, his work on this
subject never reaches beyond the level of comments on particular texts
in the course of discussing other issues.
Two early works that attempt a more comprehensive description of
Neo-Babylonian law are Aus dem babylonischen Rechtsleben by Josef Köhler
and Felix Ernst Peiser (1890–1898) and Neubabylonische Rechts- und Verwal-
tungsurkunden by Mariano San Nicolò and Arthur Ungnad (1935). Both
discuss litigation records in sections on procedural law.
56
The work by
San Nicolò and Ungnad, however, is limited because it considers only
texts in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin.
57
The work by Köhler
and Peiser considers texts from numerous collections, but not many of
the texts actually come from outside the British Museum.
58
Further-
more, neither Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben nor San Nicolò-Ungnad,
NRV considers the wealth of adjudicatory material available from the
Eanna archives. And, of course, neither work takes into account the
numerous texts that have seen light in the nearly 100 years since these
two works were published.
Despite these shortcomings, however, Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben and
San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV remain important because of their use of
text typology. In both works, the description of procedural law is based
on the authors’ classification of different litigation records. In fact, one
might argue that in both works, the heavy reliance on text typology
results in a somewhat atomized picture of procedural law. Because the
typological method requires close scrutiny of the texts, it prevents, to
some extent, a more general, descriptive synthesis of the material.
Throughout the twentieth century, Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben and
San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV remained the most comprehensive descrip-
tions of the Neo-Babylonian adjudicatory process. The early twenty-first
55
San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), pp. 327–348; “Parerga Babylonica IX: Der Mon-
streprozeß des Gimillu, eines širku von Eanna,” ArOr 5 (1933), pp. 61–77; “Parerga
Babylonica XI: Die mašaltu-Urkunden im neubabylonischen Strafverfahren,” ArOr 5
(1933), pp. 287–302; Symbolae Koschaker, pp. 219–234; “Eine Kleine Gefängnismeuterei
zur Zeit des Kambyses,” in Wenger AV, pp. 1–10. See also Sibylle von Bolla, “Drei
Diebstahlsfälle von Tempeleigentum in Uruk,” ArOr 12 (1944), pp. 113–120.
56
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 1, pp. 30–33; 2, pp. 63–79; 3, pp. 50–62; 4, pp. 80–89.
San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV, pp. 600–618.
57
Note that even at the time of its publication, San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV did not
include all the Neo-Babylonian texts known to have been in the Vorderasiatisches
Museum; texts from Uruk are not included. See San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV, p. III
(Vorwort).
58
See the indices at the end of each volume of Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben.
16 introduction
century has already seen an apparently renewed interest in the subject.
As of the current writing, there are four contemporary examinations
of Neo-Babylonian adjudicatory procedure. These may be divided into
two categories: two studies that focus primarily on describing Neo-
Babylonian law and two studies that use Neo-Babylonian adjudicatory
law to inform discussions of the Hebrew Bible.
The two studies that focus primarily on Neo-Babylonian law are
found in broader works that take the first steps towards a history of
ancient Near Eastern law: Rendre la justice en Mésopotamie, edited by
Francis Joannès (2000) and A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, edited
by Raymond Westbrook (2003). In the first work, the Neo-Babylonian
period is represented by Francis Joannès’s own selection and transla-
tion of litigation records.
59
This is the first such collection to combine
texts from both temple and private archives. However, because the
Neo-Babylonian section is just one part among several, the number of
texts it surveys is limited. Apart from the French translations, Joannès’s
discussion of the texts consists only of a brief general overview and a
separate introductory summary of each text. Joannès does not attempt
to classify the texts into text-types, nor does he attempt a general
description of Neo-Babylonian adjudicatory procedure. In the work
edited by Westbrook, Neo-Babylonian law is described in a chapter by
Joachim Oelsner, Bruce Wells and Cornelia Wunsch.
60
“Litigation” is
one of the numerous subjects that this chapter addresses.
61
However,
the general synthesis that this chapter provides is quite brief and does
not engage in a more detailed description of litigation records or legal
terminology.
In addition to the two discussions focused primarily on Neo-Baby-
lonian law, two studies have been undertaken that examine Neo-Baby-
lonian procedural law in the context of comparison with law in the
Hebrew Bible. These two works are: The Law of Testimony in the Penta-
teuchal Codes by Bruce Wells (2004) and On the Scales of Righteousness Neo-
Babylonian Trial Law and the Book of Job by F. Rachel Magdalene (2007).
In Wells’s book, the discussion of Neo-Babylonian litigation records
is limited to those texts that inform an understanding of Biblical laws
59
Francis Joannès, “Les textes judiciaires néo-babyloniens,” in Francis Joannès, ed.
Rendre la justice en Mésopotamie (Saint-Denis, 2000), pp. 201–239.
60
Joachim Oelsner, et. al., “Neo-Babylonian Period,” in Raymond Westbrook, ed.
A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law (Leiden, 2003), pp. 911–973.
61
Oelsner et. al., in Westbrook, ed. History, pp. 921–923.
introduction 17
pertaining to the testimony of witnesses. Wells uses the litigation records
to “show witnesses in action and the court’s treatment of those witnesses
and their testimony” in a “working legal system in the ancient Near
East.”
62
The primary goal of Wells’s work is, however, an understand-
ing of the laws of testimony, not a comprehensive understanding of
court procedure.
Magdalene seeks to understand the Book of Job in light of Neo-
Babylonian court procedure. One of her explicit goals is to uncover
“the machinery of justice in the Neo-Babylonian period—that is, those
formal steps that gave shape to a legal action.”
63
To achieve this goal,
Magdalene devotes an entire chapter to “trial procedure in the Neo-
Babylonian courts,” in which she identifies and describes the “basic
phases of litigation.”
64
Magdalene characterizes her own methodology
as “legal-historical.”
65
This method is intended as a corrective to ear-
lier “philological” studies of the material, which, in Magdalene’s own
estimation, can lead one to “lose sight of the legal-historical forest for
[one’s] study of the philological trees.”
66
In keeping with her stated
methodology, Magdalene does not engage in typological discussion of
the texts themselves, nor does she devote intensive study to the legal
terminology associated with the adjudicatory process. Thus, the need
remains for a thorough understanding of the legal texts themselves
and the terms they use.
E. Methods
The proposed reconstruction of the ‘tablet trail’ of adjudicated cases
faces a number of obstacles. Foremost among these challenges is one
common to any study of Neo-Babylonian legal and administrative texts:
assembling the texts. Just as modern collection and publication practices
have often not kept ancient archives together, they have not kept all the
texts in a particular text-type together, either. Thus, one must begin by
sorting through the numerous published texts in order to select those
62
Bruce Wells, The Law of Testimony in the Pentateuchal Codes (Wiesbaden, 2004), p. 9.
63
Magdalene, Scales of Righteousness, p. 39.
64
Magdalene, Scales of Righteousness, pp. 55–94. The “phases” are outlined on
p. 66.
65
Magdalene, Scales of Righteousness, p. 39.
66
Magdalene, Scales of Righteousness, p. 39 n. 42.
18 introduction
that are relevant to the adjudicatory process. Some texts, like those that
explicitly describe the adjudication of a dispute by judges or those that
record a particular procedure in court, are obviously relevant. Other
texts, however, do not give explicit descriptions of court activities but
do suggest that they were written as part of the adjudicatory process
because they contain references to procedures like summoning witnesses.
Before one can place any such text within the ‘tablet trail’ of adjudicated
cases, one must ask whether such a text belongs in the ‘tablet trail’ at
all. Only once one has addressed this fundamental problem can one
consider the question of any text’s legal function and determine the
stage in the adjudicatory process that the text represents.
Part I addresses these challenges in order to arrive at a typologi-
cal classification of the different Neo-Babylonian litigation records
that make up the ‘tablet trail’ of adjudicated cases. It is the result of
a survey of the numerous publications
67
containing Neo-Babylonian
legal and administrative texts in order to select those texts that inform
the discussion of the adjudicatory process. By studying the contents
of the various text-types pertaining to court litigation, the typological
discussion attempts to characterize the different legal functions that
these texts served. Based on this, the discussion classifies the texts into
text-types. When the adjudicatory setting of these texts is not obvious,
those features of the different text-types that indicate that they were
composed as litigation records are identified.
The typology presented in Part I classifies the texts into text-types
based on legal function. This criterion for classification requires the
identification of the reason for which particular texts might have been
composed. As the typological discussion will show, the texts themselves
often furnish the information necessary to identify why they were com-
posed. Texts that show that they were composed for the same reason will
be said to have the same legal function and will, therefore, be classified
together into a text-type. Thus, the resulting text typology will illustrate
the different functions for which the adjudicating authorities might have
composed the different texts that make up the ‘tablet trail.’
In addition to the main criterion of legal function, Part I will also
consider the formal aspects of some of the texts. Thus, within text-
67
This book focuses only on published texts. This includes texts that have been
published in editions complete with transliteration and translation as well as those that
are known only in cuneiform copy. Numerous unpublished texts are known to exist in
museum collections, but these are not considered here.
introduction 19
types, the discussion will also distinguish between different compositional
styles. Each style exhibits consistent composition. One style differs
from another in terms of its formal characteristics, such as specific
phrasing or the order of compositional elements. However, despite the
compositional differences, different styles of the same text-type share
the same legal function.
Although the typology will consider formal aspects of the Neo-Baby-
lonian texts, it should be emphasized that the main basis of classification
is function, not form. The choice of function over form stems from a
concern that similarly-worded texts may actually have served different
legal functions.
68
Thus, a functional typology is better suited to achieving
the goal of describing the process of adjudication. Only by identifying
legal function can one attempt to situate the different text-types within
the framework of the adjudicatory process.
One important consequence of the functional method of typology
pertains to the archival context to which the different texts belong. As
has already been noted, the texts considered in this book come from
two main sources: temple archives and private archives. Despite their
different origins, however, the needs of the adjudicatory process are the
same, regardless of the subjects to which it pertains. Thus, the ‘tablet
trail’ for both temple and private cases consists of the same text-types.
Because all of the texts pertain to the adjudicatory process in some
way, it is not surprising to find that texts from both temple and private
archives serve similar legal functions. In fact, to a large extent, texts
of the same text-types are found among the texts from both temple
archives and private archives. In some cases, the documentation is
predominantly from one context, but the existence of one or two texts
of the same text-type from the other context suggests that both the
temple and private contexts used the same text-type. In keeping with
the functional emphasis of the typology, texts of the same text-type are
all discussed at the same time. When the archival context is significant,
it will be mentioned, but the main distinctions between private and
temple archives will only be addressed in the discussion of adjudica-
tory procedure (Part II).
68
Jas, SAAS 5 is an example of a typology that is based primarily on form, and only
secondarily on function. This is based on Jas’s belief, stated in Jas, SAAS 5, pp. 2–3,
that “formally distinct groups of texts represent different stages in a trial.” However,
the discussion of the sartu-texts in Jas, SAAS 5, p. 51 shows that even Jas recognizes
that these formally-similar texts may actually reflect more than one stage in the trial.
20 introduction
Apart from achieving a comprehensive text typology, the typological
discussion has two additional results, one pertaining to legal procedure
and the other to legal terminology. In terms of legal procedure, the
typological discussion sets the different text-types within the framework
of the adjudication of cases and hence results in a textual record of
the different procedures involved. In addition, the close scrutiny of the
contents of the litigation records leads to the identification of important
legal terminology associated with adjudication. Both the procedural and
terminological results of the typological discussion are the basis of Part
II, which traces the progress of a case in the Neo-Babylonian period
from its initiation to its final adjudication. In doing so, Part II uses the
different text-types to outline the progress of the case. Furthermore, it
attempts to understand the adjudicatory process by defining the legal
terminology associated with each of its stages.
PART I
FUNCTIONAL TYPOLOGY OF TEXTS
CHAPTER ONE
DECISION RECORDS
1.A The Legal Function of the Decision Record
On 26 Šebāu, year 2 of Nabonidus, king of Babylon, Rēmanni-Bēl
came to court in an attempt to free his sister,

Bābunu, and her children
from their enslavement to
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli. The case was heard
by the judges of Nabonidus in Tapšuu. Two copies of the decision
record survive and are published as Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 58
and Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 59. The proceedings and the judges’
decision are recorded as follows:
1

2
1. di-i-ni ša
2

m
re-man-ni-
d
EN A-šu
2

ša
2

m
te-rik-LUGAL-ut-su
2. a-na mu-i
f
ba-bu-nu u
3
DUMU.
MEŠ-šu
2
UN.MEŠ E
2
3. ša
2

md
NA
3
-<mu>-ki-in-IBILA
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
KUR.GAL-
MU-id-di-nam
4. it-ti
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA a-na
ma-ar
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
5. ša
2

md
NA
3
-na--id LUGAL TIN.
TIR
ki
id-bu-bu um-ma
f
ba-bu-nu
(1–5) The case which
m
Rēmanni-
Bēl son of
m
Tērik-šarrūssu
argued against
m
Nabû-mukīn-
apli, regarding
f
Bābunu and
her children, members of the
household of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli
son of
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam,
before the judges of Nabonidus,
king of Babylon, thus:
6. ša
2
i-na E
2
-ku-nu
2
a-a-ta-a ši-i
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
(5–6) “
f
Bābunu, who is in your
household, is my sister!”
7.
m
re-man-ni-
d
EN iš-ta--a-lu um-ma
f
ba-bu-nu
(6–7) The judges questioned
m
Rēmanni-Bēl thus:
8. NIN-ka ul-tu im-ma-ti ki-i
E
2
md
KUR.GAL-MU-MU
(7–9) “Since when has
f
Bābunu,
your sister, been part of the
household of
m
Amurru-šuma-
iddinam, father of
m
Nabû-mukīn-
apli?”
1
Text follows Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 59.
2
According to the opening lines, only one person,
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam, is being
addressed. Therefore, the use of the plural possessive -kunu is difficult to explain.
24 chapter one
9. AD ša
2

md
NA
3
–DU-IBILA ši-i
m
re-man-ni-
d
EN iq-bi
(9–10)
m
Rēmanni-Bēl said thus:
10. um-ma 40 MU.AN.NA.MEŠ
an-na-a-ti
f
ba-bu-nu
11. NIN-a
md
KUR.GAL-MU-MU
ta-pal-la di-i-ni a-na mu-i-šu
2
12. it-ti
md
KUR.GAL-MU-MU
AD ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
ad-di-bu-ub
13. u
3
a-di i-na-an-na iš-tu E
2
-šu
2
la
u
2
-še-i-iš
(10–13) “For these past 40 years,
f
Bābunu, my sister has served
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam. I argued
a case regarding her against
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam, father of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, but he has not
let her go from his household until
now!”
14.
m
re-ma-an-ni-
d
EN mim-ma
i-da-tu ša
2
di-i-ni a-na UGU
15.
f
ba-bu-nu it-ti
md
KUR.GAL-
MU-MU AD ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU-A
16. id-bu-bu a-na
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ la
u
2
-kal-li-im
(14–16)
m
Rēmanni-Bēl did not
show the judges any evidence
of the case regarding
f
Bābunu
which he argued against
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam, father
of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli.
17.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-nu-ti
iš-mu-ma mim-ma i-da-tu
4
18. ša
2
di-i-ni la i-mu-ru-u iš-ta-lu-
mu 40 MU.AN.NA.MEŠ
(17–18) The judges heard their
arguments. They did not see
any evidence of the case. They
conferred.
19. an-na-a-ti
f
ba-bu-nu
md
KUR.
GAL-MU-MU AD ša
2

md
NA
3
-
DU-IBILA
20. tu
3
-pal-la man-ma di-i-ni u
3
pa-
qa-ri
21. ina mu-i-šu
2
la ir-ši
(18–21) For these 40 years,
f
Bābunu served
m
Amurru-šuma-
iddinam, father of
m
Bēl-mukīn-
apli. He did not have any case
or claimant against him.
22.
f
ba-bu-nu u
3
DUMU.MEŠ-šu
2

UN.MEŠ E
2
ša
2

md
KUR.GAL-
MU-MU
23. a-na
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
id-di-nu
(22–23) They assigned
f
Bābunu
and her children, the members of
the household of
m
Amurru-šuma-
iddinam to
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli.
m
Rēmanni-Bēl claims that the family of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli is in wrongful
possession of
f
Bābunu. Upon questioning,
m
Rēmanni-Bēl reveals that
f
Bābunu has been in the service of the family of
m
Amurru-šuma-iddi-
nam, father of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, for forty years.
m
Rēmanni-Bēl claims
to have tried to obtain her release by bringing suit against
m
Amurru-
šuma-iddinam.
m
Rēmanni-Bēl is unable to produce any record of the
lawsuit which he claims to have brought. Seeing no evidence of any
legitimate claim against
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam or his son,
m
Nabû-
mukīn-apli, the judges decide that
f
Bābunu and her children should
stay in the possession of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli.
decision records 25
The need to prove that a lawsuit had actually been brought lies at the
heart of this case.
m
Rēmanni-Bēl is unable to produce “evidence of the
case” (i-da-tu ša
2
di-i-ni ) that he claims to have argued (and presumably
won), so he loses his present claim. His opponent,
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli,
on the other hand, will never have to face that problem.
m
Nabû-mukīn-
apli will have a copy of the decision record to prove his ownership of
f
Bābunu and her children. The text itself continues with the following
lines, which state that this is its purpose:
23. . . . u
3
a-na la e-ne-e
24. up-pi iš-u-ru-mu ina
na4
KIŠIB.
MEŠ-šu
2
-nu
25. ib-ru-mu-ma a-na
md
NA
3
-DU-
IBILA id-di-nu
(23–25) And so that (the decision)
would not be changed they wrote a
tablet and sealed it with their seals
and gave it to
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli.
The judges’ actual seal marks, which appear at the end of the text, prove
that these lines refer to the very text on which they appear. The decision
record was written “so that (the decision) would not be changed,” that
is, to prevent any claim against
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli’s ownership.
Notices like the one just quoted appear at the end of a number of
other decision records.
3
They illustrate explicitly that the legal function
of this type of text is to serve as proof that a case has been settled
and thereby to prevent any future claims. Those in possession of the
decision tablet would have a clear record of the case and of the ruling
in their favor.
An additional illustration of this purpose of the decision records
comes from two texts pertaining to the disputed property of
f
Tašmētu-
damqat and her daughters. These women sold a field to
m
Nabû-aē-
iddin, a well-known descendant of the Egibi family from Babylon.
Another woman,
f
ibuu, and her son,
m
Mušēzib-Marduk, question the
validity of the sale and bring their case before the judges of Nabonidus
in Babylon. The beginning of the case is recorded in Wunsch, CM 20,
No. 112, a fragmentary decision record. Both Roth and Wunsch recon-
struct the lost decision as follows.
4
The judges allow
f
Tašmētu-damqat
3
Other, similar expressions are found in: Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:34–36;
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 6:32–35; Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69:44; Nbn
1128:26–28, all “royal judges decision records” (see the discussion in section 1.B
below). Other non-stylized decision records including similar notices are: Wunsch, BA
2, No. 9:9–12; Joannès, Archives de Borsippa, p. 251:10–12.
4
Martha Roth, “Tašmētu-damqat and Daughters,” in J. Marzahn and H. Neumann,
eds., Assyriologica et Semitica, Festschrift für J. Oelsner (AOAT 252) (Münster, 2000), p. 397
and Wunsch, CM 20a, pp. 124–125.
26 chapter one
and her daughters to sell the land to
m
Nabû-aē-iddin.
m
Nabû-aē-
iddin, however, must make some compensation to
f
ibuu and her son.
This requirement is recorded in Nbn 355, a debt note composed in the
presence of judges of Nabonidus. This later text includes the following
notice, found in lines 11–13:
11.
f
i-bu-u u
m
KAR-
d
AMAR.
UTU DUMU-šu
2
12. up-pi di-i-ni ina ma-ar
lu2
DI.
KU
5
.MEŠ
13. a-na
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
id-dan-na
(11–13)
f
ibuu and
m
Mušēzib-
Marduk, her son, will give the
tablet of legal proceedings to
m
Nabû-aē-iddin before the
judges.
Once they are paid,
f
ibuu and her son must give “the tablet of legal
proceedings” (up-pi di-i-ni ) to
m
Nabû-aē-iddin. Originally, this tablet
would have been in the possession of
f
ibuu and her son, as a record
of their claim to the compensation. Once
m
Nabû-aē-iddin has com-
pleted his payments to them, they demonstrate that their claim has been
satisfied by transferring the tablet of legal proceedings to him.
As Roth suggests, the decision record Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112 is
the very uppi dīni to which these lines refer.
5
From Roth’s correlation,
it seems that the Babylonians themselves recognized a specific text-type
whose purpose was to record the decision. This purpose is reflected in
the Akkadian designation uppi dīni. Thus, by identifying the decision
records, the present discussion arrives at the definition of a natively-
recognized text-type, the uppi dīni.
Because decision records must reflect the details of the particular
case which they describe, differences between one text and another are
to be expected. Nevertheless, the decision records may be classified
into several different styles. Each style is characterized by a consistent
use of compositional elements, such as the terminology describing the
legal proceedings and the ordering of elements within the text. The
different styles of decision records can be associated with the particular
venues in which the decisions were made and recorded. The following
discussion presents and describes four different styles of decision records:
two styles associated with the royal judges, which will be known as
the “Royal Judges” styles, and two styles of decision records from the
Eanna at Uruk, which will be known as the “Eanna” styles. A number
5
Roth, AOAT 252, p. 397. The term uppi dīni occurs in a similar context in TCL
12, 122:14, although the actual uppi dīni to which the text refers has not survived.
decision records 27
of decision records will be presented after the discussion of the “Royal
Judges” and the “Eanna” styles. These are texts whose formulation does
not easily fit into a particular style of decision record, but whose legal
function is nevertheless to record the decision in a legal case.
1.B The “Royal Judges” Styles of Decision Records
Twenty-eight decision records fall into two distinct styles based on their
compositional elements. Because most of these decision records involve
the royal judges,
6
the two styles in which they are written will be des-
ignated “Royal Judges style A” and “Royal Judges style B.” Although
some of these texts do not actually involve the royal judges, they are
included in the present discussion because they share the characteristic
elements of these two styles.
7
Of the twenty-eight “Royal Judges” style decision records, twenty
are written in “Royal Judges style A.” They come from Babylon, Sip-
par, Tapšuu and Uruk and date from as early as the regnal year of
Neriglissar to as late as year 9 of Cyrus. They all have the following
general outline:
I. Plaintiff ’s Statement
A. Opening (includes mention of plaintiff and adjudicating
authority)
B. Quotation of plaintiff ’s statement
C. Imperative to authority
6
In the decision records written in the “Royal Judges” styles, the name of the king
is included in the term designating these judges,
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ (= dayyānū) ša
2
RN
(“the judges of RN”). The more general term dayyānū ša šarri (
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2

LUGAL; “judges of the king”) is attested in addition to the term dayyānū ša RN in
Nbn 13:5 and in Wunsch, AuOr 17 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254:15’, 20’, 26’. The des-
ignation
lu2
DI.KU
5
ša LUGAL also follows the names of both judges recorded in Cyr
301:12–13. For more on the office of judges of the king, see the discussion at the end
of chapter 8 and Cornelia Wunsch, “Die Richter des Nabonid,” in J. Marzahn and
H. Neumann, eds., Assyriologica et Semitica, Festschrift für J. Oelsner (AOAT 252) (Münster,
2000), pp. 557–597.
7
The texts written in both styles are listed in summary tables 1.1 and 1.2 at the end
of this section. These tables also list the different adjudicating authorities mentioned
in these texts.
28 chapter one
II. Judicial Actions
A. šemû-clause
B. Judicial review of evidence
C. mitluku-clause
D. Decision
III. Conclusion
A. Introduction of authorities
B. Names of authorities
C. Scribe(s)
D. Place of composition
E. Date
Seals of authorities
All the “Royal Judges style A” decision records follow this general outline.
In order to illustrate this style, YOS 19, 101, a decision record from a
case that apparently pertains to a misappropriated shipment of dates,
will be quoted in full, divided according to the outline just presented:
I. Plaintiff ’s Statement (lines 1–25)
A. Opening (includes mention of plaintiff and adjudicating authority)
8

1.
md
U.GUR-re-u-u
2
-a
lu2
qal-la ša
2

m
MU-
d
AMAR.UTU
2. a-na
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2

md
NA
3
-
IM.TUK LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
3. iq-bi um-ma
(1–3)
m
Nergal-rēūa the slave of

m
Iddin-Marduk said thus to the
judges of Nabonidus, king of
Babylon:
B. Quotation of plaintiff ’s statement
3.
m
MU-
d
AMAR.UTU EN-a
4. 4 ME 80 GUR ZU
2
.LUM.MA
e-pi-ru-tu
5. ul-tu EDIN a-na
giš
MA
2
.MEŠ ša
2

md
KUR.GAL-na-tan
6.
lu2
MA
2
.LA
5
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
am-ma-a
u
2
-še-li-ma
(3–6) “
m
Iddin-Marduk, my master,
loaded a shipment of 480 kur of
dates for transport (?)
8
from the
hinterland on the boats belonging
to

m
Amurru-natan, the boatman,
son of
m
Ammaya.”
8
The Akkadian word epirūtu is not known as a qualification of dates. Both AHw.
decision records 29
7. pu-ut EN.NUN-tim ša
2
ZU
2
.
LUM.MA u
2
-ša
2
-aš
2
-ši-iš
(7) “He had him bear the
responsibility for keeping the
dates.”
8.
giš
MA
2
.MEŠ a-na TIN.TIR
ki

u
2
-še-la-am-ma
9. ši-pir-tu
4
ša
2

m
MU-
d
AMAR.
UTU id-di-nam-ma
10. 4 ME 80 GUR ZU
2
.LUM.
MA ina lib
3
-[bi-šu
2
] ša
2
-i-ir
(8–10) “He brought the boats
to Babylon and he gave me
m
Iddin-Marduk’s message. 480
Gur of dates was written i[n it].”
11. re-eš ZU
2
.LUM.MA aš
2
-ši-ma
47 GUR 1 PI
12. ina lib
3
-bi ma-u-¢u
2
Ü a-na UGU
(11–12) “I took account of the
dates, and 47gur 1pi were missing.”
13. mi-i-tu
4
ša
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA it-ti
md
KUR.GAL-na-tan
(12–14) I raised a claim against
m
Amurru-natan concerning the
missing amount of the dates
and . . . thus:
14. ar-gum
2
-ma u
2
-ŠAR-X-RI
um-ma ZU
2
.¢LUM.MAÜ-ka
15. ul aš
2
-ši ar
2
?
-ki ba-ti-qu
X X X . . .
(14–15) “ ‘I did not take your
dates.’ ”
(15) “Afterwards, an informer . . .
16. 4
!
GUR 1 PI ¢ZU
2
.Ü[LUM.
MA]
(16) “ ‘4 Gur 1 Pi of dates . . .
17. u
3
ku-tal-la ša
2
¢
giš
MA
2
-niÜ
X-X u
2
(17) “ ‘and behind my boat . . .
18. ZU
2
.LUM.MA šu
2
-nu-tu
2
i-na
X-šu
2
-[
(18) “ ‘those dates in. . .
19. rik-su it-ti-šu
2
ni-iš-ku-us
20. um-ma 7 GUR 1 PI ZU
2
.LUM.
MA
21.
md
KUR.GAL-na-tan ina sar-tu
iš-šu-u
2
(19–20) “We contracted a
contract stating thus:


m
Amurru-
natan illegally took 7 gur 1 pi of
dates.’ ”
epēru II (p. 223) and CAD epēru (E, p 191) list the verb epēru as a variant of the verb
ebēru, “to cross” (AHw., p. 182; CAD E, p. 10). Note especially the /p/ variant in the
NB letter TCL 9, 102:91 listed by CAD). This verb is used in connection with rivers
and other bodies of water, which fits the present context. Therefore it seems that the
word in question is an adjective meaning “for transport.” Note, however, that it is the
Š-stem form of the verb which usually has this meaning.
30 chapter one
22. ar
2
-ki ri-ik-su šu-a-tu
2

md
KUR.
GAL-[na-tan]
23. šu-ur-ma a-di u
4
-mu an-ni-i X
(22–23) “After
m
Amurru-[natan]
wrote this contract until today . . .
24. i-na-an-na i-na ma-ri-ku-nu
ub-la-aš
2
(24) Now, I have brought him
before you.”
C. Imperative to authority
25. EŠ.BAR-a-ni šuk-na (25) “Establish our decision!”
II. Judicial Actions (lines 25–35)
A. šemû-clause
25.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-nu
26. iš-mu-u
2
(25–26) The judges heard their
arguments.
B. Judicial review of evidence
26. rik-su šu-a-tu
2
u ši-pir-tu
4
27. ša
2

m
MU-
d
AMAR.UTU ša
2
4
ME 80 GUR ZU
2
.LUM.MA
28. ina lib
3
-bi ša-ru ša
2

md
U.GUR-
re-u-u
2
-a ub-la
29. ma-ar-šu-nu iš-tas-su-u
2

md
KUR.GAL-na-tan
(26–29) They read before them
that contract and
m
Iddin-Marduk’s
message in which 480 Gur of
dates was written which
m
Nergal-
rēūa brought.
30. i-ša
2
-lu-ma na-šu-u
2
ša
2
ZU
2
.
LUM.MA ša
2
ina sar-tu
4
(29–30) They questioned

m
Amurru-natan.
31. na-šu-u
2
e-li

ra-ma-ni-šu
2

u
2
-kin-ma
(30–31) (Regarding) the taking
of the dates, he established about
himself that they were taken
illegally.
C. mitluku-clause
This clause is absent in YOS 19, 101, but is present in several other
“Royal Judges style A” texts. It is, therefore, considered a formulaic
component of “Royal Judges style A.” See the subsequent discussion
for more details.
decision records 31
D. Decision
32. 40 GUR ZU
2
.LUM.MA mi-i-tu
4

ša
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA šu
2
-nu-šu
2

33. e-li [
m
]
d
KUR.GAL-na-tan ip-ru-
su-ma
34. a-na
md
U.GUR-re-u-u
2
-a
lu2
[qal-la
ša
2
]
m
MU-
d
AMAR.UTU
35. id-di-nu
(32–35) They decided that
m
Amurru-natan must pay 40 gur
of dates, the missing amount of
those dates, and assigned them
to
m
Iddin-Marduk, [slave] of
m
Nergal-rēua.
III. Conclusion (lines 35–43)
A. Introduction of authorities
35. ina EŠ.BAR ¢di-i-niÜ šu-a-tim At the decision of this case:
B. Names of authorities
36.
md
U.GUR-[GI
lu2
DI.KU
5
]
DUMU ši-gu-u
2
-a
(36)
m
Nergal-[ušallim, the judge,]
descendant of Šigûa;
37.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
lu2
DI.
KU
5
[DUMU]¢e-gi-biÜ
(37)
m
Nabû-aē-iddin, the judge,
[descendant of] Egibi;
38.
md
NA
3
-[MU-GI].NA
lu2
DI.KU
5

DUMU ir-a-[ni ]
(38)
m
Nabû-[šuma-ukī]n, the
judge, descendant of Iran[ni];
39.
md
EN-[ŠEŠ.MEŠ]-¢MUÜ

lu2
DI.KU
5
DUMU
md
ZALAG-
d
30
(39)
m
Bēl-[aē]-iddin, the judge,
descendant of Nūr-Sîn;
40.
md
EN-[KAR]-¢irÜ
lu2
DI.KU
5

DUMU
md
30-tab-ni
(40)
m
Bēl-ēir, the judge,
descendant of Sîn-tabni;
C. Scribe(s)
41.
md
NA
3
-MU-GAR-un DUB.
SAR DUMU
lu2
GAL-DU
3
(41)
m
Nabû-šuma-iškun, the
scribe, descendant of Rāb-bānê.
D. Place of composition
E. Date
42. TIN.TIR
ki
ITI ŠE U
4
4-kam
2
43. MU 10-kam
2

md
NA
3
-IM.TUK
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(42–43) Babylon. 4 Addaru,
year 10 of Nabonidus, king of
Babylon.
32 chapter one
Seals of authorities
Left edge:
na4
KIŠIB
md
U.GUR-GI
lu2
DI.KU
5
na4
KIŠIB
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
[
lu2
DI].KU
5

na4
KIŠIB
md
NA
3
-MU-GI.NA
lu2
DI.
KU
5
Seal of
m
Nergal-ušallim, the judge;
Seal of
m
Nabû-aē-iddin [the
jud]ge;
Seal of
m
Nabû-šuma-ukīn, the
judge;
Right edge:
na4
KIŠIB
md
EN-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU

lu2
DI.KU
5

na4
[KIŠIB]
md
EN-KAR-[ir]
lu2
DI.KU
5
Seal of
m
Bēl-aē-iddin, the judge;
[Seal] of
m
Bēl-ē[ir], the judge.
In terms of its formulaic elements, that is those elements that do not
pertain to the specifics of the case, YOS 19, 101 closely resembles three
other texts: Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), No. 6; Wunsch, AfO 44/45
(1997/1998), No. 21; and Nbn 356. All four texts were written by the
same court scribes, Nabû-šuma-iškun descendant of Rāb-banê (who
wrote YOS 19, 101) or Nādinu descendant of Paāru, either together
or alone. These two men were, apparently, scribes of the court of the
royal judges of Nabonidus in Babylon, where all four cases were heard.
These texts exhibit the same formulaic components in their entirety or
with only minor variations. They will, therefore, serve as the basis for a
more general discussion of the formulaic components of “Royal Judges
Style A,” which are attested in sixteen other documents.
The following outline presents the formulaic components of the four
paradigmatic texts in terms of the general outline of “Royal Judges
style A” decision records:
I. Plaintiff ’s Statement
A. Opening
PN ana
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
md
NA
3
-IM.TUK LUGAL TIN.
TIR
ki
iqbi umma
“PN said thus to the judges of Nabonidus, king of Babylon:”
9
B. Quotation of plaintiff ’s statement
C. Imperative to authority
EŠ.BAR-a-ni šuk-na
“Establish our decision!”
9
Because the plaintiff in Nbn 356 is female, the verb is taqbi rather than iqbi.
decision records 33
II. Judicial Actions
A. šemû-clause
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-nu iš-mu-u
2
10
“The judges heard their arguments.”
B. Judicial review of evidence
C. mitluku-clause
im-tal-ku-u
2
“They deliberated.”
11
D. Decision
III. Conclusion
A. Introduction of authorities
ina EŠ.BAR di-i-ni šu-a-tim
“At the decision of this case”
B. Names of authorities
(Names of judges of Nabonidus)
C. Scribe(s)
m
Nādinu descendant of Paāru
(and/or)
m
Nabû-šuma-iškun descendant of Rāb-banê
D. Place of Composition
Babylon
E. Date
Seals of authorities
The discussion will now turn to a more detailed presentation of the
variations that are attested within the formulaic components of the
“Royal Judges style A” decision records. The formulaic components of
the four paradigmatic texts will serve as the basis for this presentation.
Each component of the outline above will be described separately,
including the discussion of its variant forms. For ease of reference,
these variants are also presented in summary table 1.1 at the end of
the discussion of the “Royal Judges” styles.
10
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), No. 21:3’, as restored by Wunsch, AfO 44–45
(1997–1998), pp. 90–91, reads
lu2
DI.¢KU
5
Ü.[MEŠ] [1–en]-TA-AM
3
dib-bi-šu
2
-nu iš-mu-
[u
2
-ma].
11
This clause is present only in Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), No. 21. Based
on its presence in other “Royal Judges style A” texts, it is considered to be a formulaic
component of the style.
34 chapter one
As the outlines show, decision records written in “Royal Judges style
A” begin with the plaintiff ’s direct address to the adjudicating authorities
(section I). In the four paradigmatic texts, as well as in most others, this
address is introduced with an opening sentence (element IA), includ-
ing the phrase iqbi umma (“said thus”). Two texts replace the verb qabû
with the verb maāru
12
(“to approach”). In these cases, only the particle
umma serves to introduce the plaintiff ’s direct address. Durand, Textes
babyloniens, No. 60 and Cyr 312 retain the verb qabû, but include the
verb abālu (“to bring”) before it. This additional verb indicates that the
plaintiff “brought” the defendant before (ana mari ) the judges.
Following the opening (IA), decision records in the “Royal Judges
style A” quote the plaintiff ’s particular statement to the judges (IB).
The formulation of this element varies to reflect the particulars of the
case at hand. The conclusion of the quotation, however, is a formulaic
imperative to the judges (IC). In the four paradigmatic texts, the plain-
tiff ’s statement ends with the sentence EŠ.BAR-a-ni ( purussâni ) šuk-na
(“Establish our decision!”). This imperative also exhibits variations. The
plaintiffs’ opening statement in BIN 2, 134, addressed to the šākin māti
alone, mentions the defendants in the concluding imperative.
13
Another
version of the imperative employs the verbal construction dīna epēšu (“to
judge a case”) instead of purussâ šakānu (“to establish a decision”). The
imperative phrase is it-ti DEFENDANT ep
2
-šu
2
di-i-ni (“Judge my case
against the defendant!”).
14
Other decision records whose composition
otherwise closely resembles the four paradigmatic “Royal Judges style
A” texts omit this imperative.
15
Before turning to other elements of the “Royal Judges style A”
decision records, the plaintiff ’s statement (section I) in Durand, Textes
babyloniens Nos. 58/59 should be considered. This text has a heading-
like opening (IA) that reads:
di-i-ni ša
2

m
PN
1
a-na mu-i
f
PN
2
u
3
DUMU.MEŠ-šu
2
UN.MEŠ E
2
ša
2

m
PN
3

it-ti
m
PN
4
ana ma-ar
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2

md
NA
3
-na--id LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki

id-bu-bu um-ma
12
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:1–3; YOS 6, 92:1–3.
13
it-ti
lu2
qi-pa-a-nu ša
2
E
2
.AN.NA EŠ.BAR-a-ni šu-kun (BIN 2, 134:11–12).
14
OIP 122, 38:27–28. See also Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:8–9 (it-ti
f
PN

ip-ša
2
-
in-ni di-i-ni ). This imperative may be reconstructed in Cyr 332:17.
15
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), No. 5; Nbn 13; TCL 12, 86; Durand, Textes
babyloniens, No. 60; Cyr 301; Cyr 312.
decision records 35
The case regarding PN
2

and her children, members of the household
of PN
3
, which PN
1

argued against PN
4
before the judges of Nabonidus,
king of Babylon, thus . . .
This opening is followed by a statement addressed by the plaintiff
directly to the defendant, instead of by a statement addressed to the
judges. Because of this change, the address does not conclude with an
imperative to the judges (IC). This text is considered to be written in
“Royal Judges Style A” because it opens with a direct quotation of the
plaintiff ’s statement in the presence of the judges of Nabonidus.
16
Nbn
1128, on the other hand, whose opening is very similar to Durand,
Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59, is classified as a “Royal Judges style B”
document because it does not include any quotation of the plaintiff ’s
statement.
Following the plaintiff ’s statement, texts written in “Royal Judges style
A” record the actions of the judges (section II). In the four paradigmatic
texts, this section begins with the sentence
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-
nu iš-mu-u
2
(“The judges heard their arguments”). Instead of the noun
dibbu (“case”), some texts use the noun amātu (“words, statements”) in
the formulation of this element (IIA).
17
In Nbn 13:6, there is no noun
preceding the verb šemû. Other texts omit the clause altogether.
18

In the paradigmatic form of the šemû clause (IIA), the noun dibbu
ends with the plural possessive suffix (-šunu). The plural form is used
despite the fact that in all four of the paradigmatic texts only one per-
son is presented as the plaintiff. Thus, it is clear that the word dibbīšunu
(“their arguments”) also refers to the defendant named in the preceding
statement of the plaintiff (section I).
19
There are, however, also vari-
ant texts in which a singular possessive suffix is used in grammatical
agreement with the single plaintiff who makes a claim in the text.
20

16
The structure of Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), No. 5 is similar. The plaintiff ’s
statement is addressed directly to the defendant and does not end with an imperative
to the judges.
17
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:9; Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60:20; Wunsch,
CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219:23; OIP 122, 38:29.
18
YOS 6, 92; Cyr 312; Cyr 332.
19
Apart from the actual mention of the defendant in the plaintiff ’s statement, the
involvement of the defendant is similarly implied in the first-person common plural
possessive (-ni ) in the word purussâni in the imperative to the judges (IC).
20
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:9–10; OIP 122, 38:28–29. Note that in both
these texts, the noun in the imperative to the judges (IC) is dinī, which has a singular
possessive suffix, as well.
36 chapter one
This formulation must refer only to the plaintiff and does not refer to
the defendant, against whom the claim has been made.
In its position in the four paradigmatic texts, the šemû-clause (IIA)
marks the transition between the plaintiff ’s presentation of the claim
and the judges’ examination of the evidence. In a number of texts,
however, the šemû-clause appears only in the middle of the second sec-
tion, following the description of some judicial actions involving the
defendant.
21
The defendant, therefore, has already been mentioned
outside the context of the plaintiff ’s statement. In these texts, the plural
suffix on the word dibbīšunu (“their arguments”) clearly refers not only
to the plaintiff, but to the defendants as well. The appearance of the
plural possessive pronoun following the involvement of the defendant
makes it clear that the plural refers not only to the plaintiffs, but to all
those involved in the dispute.
22

In most “Royal Judges style A” decision records, the judicial review
of the evidence (IIB) is followed immediately by the decision (IID). In
six decision records, including one of the four paradigmatic texts, a
phrase with the verb mitluku (“to deliberate”) indicates that the judges
deliberated after hearing all the evidence (IIC).
23
This phrase marks the
transition from the judicial review of the evidence (IIB) to the record-
ing of the decision (IID). It is omitted in most of the “Royal Judges
style A” decision records. The fact that in those texts in which it does
occur, the mitluku-clause occurs in the same position at the conclusion
of the review of evidence suggests that it should be considered as one
of the formulaic components of the style.
The “Royal Judges style A” decision records conclude with the names
of the adjudicating authorities (IIIB) and the scribes who wrote the
decision record (IIIC), followed by the place of composition (IIID) and
the date (IIIE). In the four paradigmatic texts, the concluding section
21
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), No. 5; Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59;
Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219; BIN 2,
134.
22
This is the case even though these texts also happen to be those in which there
is more than one plaintiff. Based on the typical position of the šemû-clause, the coin-
cidence of more than one plaintiff and the appearance of the šemû-clause at a point
not immediately after the imperative to the judges is probably nothing more than
circumstance.
23
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:28; Nbn 13:10; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998),
No. 21:20’; Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60:38; Cyr 332:24; OIP 122, 38:42. A
seventh text, Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 58/59:18 has the verbal form iš-ta-lu-mu
(“they conferred”) instead of imtalkū.
decision records 37
(section III) begins with the introductory phrase ina EŠ.BAR (= purussê )
di-i-ni šu-a-tim (“At the decision of this case”). There are two variant
introductory phrases: ina šaāri uppi šuāti (“at the writing of this tablet”)
24

and ina šemê dīni šuātu (“at the hearing of this case”).
25
Apart from these
introductions, two texts present the names of the judges as part of a
complete sentence. This sentence begins with the prepositional phrase
ina maar (“before”), followed by the names of the judges, and ends with
the words šaāri (or uppi ) šair (“the tablet was written”).
26
Most of the decision records written in the “Royal Judges style” are
written in “Royal Judges style A.” There are, however, eight decision
records involving the royal judges that have a different outline, called
the “Royal Judges style B.” The general outline of “Royal Judges style
B” is presented below, alongside the general outline of “Royal Judges
Style A,” for purposes of comparison between the two styles.
“Royal Judges Style B” “Royal Judges Style A”
I. Presentation of t he Case I. Plaintiff ’s Statement
A. Confrontation between
parties (sometimes including
subject of case)
A. Opening (includes mention
of plaintiff and adjudicating
authority)
B. Appearance before
authorities
B. Quotation of plaintiff ’s
statement
C. Statements before authorities C. Imperative to authority
II. Judicial Actions II. Judicial Actions
A. šemû-clause A. šemû-clause
B. Judicial review of evidence B. Judicial review of evidence
C. mitluku-clause C. mitluku-clause
D. Decision D. Decision
III. Conclusion III. Conclusion
A Introduction of authorities A. Introduction of authorities
B. Names of authorities B. Names of authorities
C. Scribe(s) C. Scribe(s)
D Place of composition D. Place of composition
E. Date E. Date
Seals of authorities Seals of authorities
24
Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219:33 and Durand, Textes babyloniens,
No. 60:42.
25
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:37.
26
Cyr 312:29–34 (šaāri ) and OIP 122, 38:46–50 (uppi ).
38 chapter one
The comparison between the general outlines of the two “Royal Judges”
styles reveals several points of contact. The structure of the section in
which the judicial actions are presented (II) is the same in both styles,
as is the structure of the conclusion (III). These structural similarities
are reinforced by the use of similar terminology: the šemû
27
and mitluku
28

clauses are attested in both styles of decision records in the same posi-
tion in the outlines (elements IIA and IIC). The phrases introducing
the authorities (element IIIA) in style B—ina purussê dīni šuāti or ina šaāri
uppi šuāti—are both known from style A. These specific terminological
similarities, along with the fact that texts in both styles are sealed by
the adjudicating authorities, reinforce the general situational similarities
between the two styles of decision records.
29

The main difference between the two styles occurs in the initial
presentation of the case (section I). Whereas “Royal Judges style A”
decision records begin with the plaintiff ’s statement, “Royal Judges style
B” decision records begin by mentioning a confrontation between both
parties (element IA). The following example, from Dalley, Edinburgh,
No. 69, will illustrate the typical beginning of a “Royal Judges style
B” text:
1. ¢
f
buÜ-na-ni-tu
4
DUMU.SAL-
su ša
2

m
GAR-MU DUMU
m
DU
3
-eš-DINGIR
2. a-na
md
EN-IBILA-MU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2
md
NA
3
-MU-SI.
SA
2
DUMU
m
KAL-
d
IM
3. di-i-nu tag-re-e-ma a-na
ma-ar
m
mu-še-zib-
d
EN
lu2
GAR-UMUŠ TIN.TIR
ki
(1–3)
f
Bunanītu daughter of
m
Šākin-šumi descendant of Eppeš-ilī
brought suit against
m
Bēl-apla-iddin
son of
m
Nabû-šumu-līšir descendant
of Mudammiq-Adad.
4. DUMU
m
UGU-DINGIR-
GAL-
d
AMAR.UTU
lu2
DI.
KU
5
.MEŠ u ši-bu-tu
4
URU
ik-šu-du-ma
(3–4) They arrived before
m
Mušēzib-Bēl, the šākin-ēmi of
Babylon son of
m
Eli-ili-rabi-
Marduk, the judges and the elders
of the city.
27
Wunsch BA 2, No. 42:5–6; Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254:26’–27’;
Nbn 1113:8; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112:9’; Roth, AfO 36/37 (1989–1990), No. 1:9’–10’.
See the accompanying summary table.
28
Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69:31; Nbn 1128:12.
29
Also note the following similarity between the phrasing of two texts recording
cases heard by the judges of Neriglissar. Near the conclusion of the case, Scheil, RA
12 (1915), pp. 1–13:34 (style A) reads di-in-šu
2
-nu di-i-ni a-mat-su-nu gam-rat. Dalley,
Edinburgh, No. 69:43 (style B) reads di-in-šu
2
-nu di-i-nu EŠ.BAR-ši-na pa-ri-is.
decision records 39
5. dib-bi-šu-nu u
2
-ša
2
-an-nu-ma
f
bu-na-ni-tu
4
taq-bi
6. um-ma
(5–6) They related their arguments.
f
Bunanītu said thus:
In this text, the verbal phrase di-i-nu tag-re-e-ma (“brought suit”) denotes
the initial confrontation between the parties. Another text uses the verb
ragāmu
30
(“to raise a claim”). One “Royal Judges style B” decision record
indicates that two brothers and their uncle “fought each other” (aa
aa imtaū) over division of property before “they had a legal case”
(iršû dīni ).
31

The description of the confrontation (IA) in “Royal Judges style B”
decision records describing cases heard by the judges of Nabonidus
is somewhat more complex. The opening lines of Roth, AfO 36/37
(1989–1990), No. 1 will serve as an example:
1’ . . .
md
NA
3
-tul-tab-ši-[li-šir]
2’. [DUMU-šu
2
ša
2
]
md
EN-
NUMUN-DU
3
DUMU LU
2
.
SIMUG a-na
3’. 2 1/3 MA.NA KU
3
.BABBAR
ŠAM
2
gam-ru-tu i-ša
2
-mu-ma
4’. a-mi-lut-tum ta-pal-la-u-šu i-na-
an-na
(1’–4’) (. . . the slavegirl) which
m
Nabû-tultabši-[līšir, son of ]
m
Bēl-zēra-ibni descendant of
Nappāu purchased at full price
for 2 1/3 mina of silver, so that
the slavegirl would work for
him—
5’.
f
ina-E
2
.SAG.IL
2
-ra-mat al-ti
md
NA
3
-tul-tab-ši-SI.SA
2

6’. ¢u
3

f
Ü
d
taš-me-tu
4
-dam-ŠU.2 AMA-
šu
2
7’. [a-na] UGU LU
2
-tu
2
šu-a-tu
2

ir-gu-mu
(4’–7’) Now,
f
Ina-Esagil-ramât,
wife of
m
Nabû-tultabši-līšir, and
f
Tašmētu-damqat, her mother,
raised a claim [con]cerning that
slave.
As these opening lines illustrate, this element begins with a description
of the subject of the case, a slavegirl purchased by
m
Nabû-tultabši-līšir.
The actual description of the confrontation comes in the following
sentence, which usually begins with the conjunction inanna (“now”). It
indicates that the plaintiff has raised a claim (ragāmu).
32

After the description of the confrontation (IA), the next element in
the outline of “Royal Judges style B” describes the parties’ appearance
before the adjudicating authority (IB). This deliberate mention of the
30
Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254:5’.
31
Wunsch, BA 2, No. 42:1–3.
32
Nbn 1113:1–4 is a similar example. Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112:1’–4’ follows this
pattern without including the word inanna. In Nbn 495:10–12 the verbal phrase is
paqāri šubšû instead of ragāmu.
40 chapter one
appearance before the authority is another characteristic unique to
“Royal Judges style B” decision records. While “Royal Judges style A”
decision records simply imply that the parties have appeared before the
judges, “Royal Judges style B” decision records include a specific men-
tion of their appearance. Most of the texts use the prepositional phrase
ina maar or ana maar to indicate that the parties arrived “before” the
authorities named following the preposition, although two texts use the
synonymous prepositional phrase ina pāni. The verb used is usually kašādu
(“to arrive”), although some “Royal Judges style B” decision records use
the verbal construction dīna dabābu (“to argue a case”).
33

The discussion thus far has defined the two “Royal Judges” styles of
decision records. The discussion will conclude by attempting to explain
when each of the two different styles was used. The two styles cannot
be attributed to the writing styles of different scribes, because the same
scribes are known to have written decision records in both styles. The
court scribes
m
Nādinu descendant of Paāru and
m
Nabû-šuma-iškun
descendant of Rāb-banê, who wrote the four paradigmatic “Royal
Judges style A” decision records, also wrote Nbn 495, a “Royal Judges
style B” decision record. Similarly, the scribe
m
Nergal-bānûnu descen-
dant of Rāb-bānê wrote both Nbn 13, a “Royal Judges style A” decision
record, and Nbn 1128, a “Royal Judges style B” decision record.
Instead, the key to understanding when each style was used lies in
the formulaic distinctions between the two styles. To recall, there are
two elements in the outline of “Royal Judges style B” which distinguish
it from “Royal Judges style A”: the notice of the confrontation between
the parties (element IA above) and the mention of the parties’ appear-
ance before the judges (IB). From these elements, it seems that the cases
described using “Royal Judges style B” appeared before the judges only
after an initial confrontation somewhere else, either in an informal
setting or in a lower court.
34
In contrast, decision records written in
“Royal Judges style A” begin with a statement to the authorities. This
suggests that the initial attempt to resolve the case took place in the
court, rather than outside of it.
33
For occurrences of the different constructions, see summary table 1.2 at the end
of this section.
34
BIN 2, 134 is a “Royal Judges style A” decision record in a case that begins
before the šākin māti, who transfers the case to the šākin ēmi and the judges of the
šākin māti. From this text, it seems then, that if a case was initially heard in an official
setting (rather than informally), the entire case might have been recorded in “Royal
Judges style A.”
decision records 41
S
u
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m
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b
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B
a
b
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l
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a
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2

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4

a
n
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m
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.

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d
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b
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2
-
n
u
-
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i

i
š
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m
u
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m
a
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a
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l
u
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m
u
i
-
n
a

E
Š
.
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A
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d
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-
i
-
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i

š
u
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a
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t
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J
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d
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N
b
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Š
a
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a
š
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š
a
r
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a
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u

u
r
/

m
B
ē
l
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š
u
m
a
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P
a

ā
r
u
T
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p
š
u

u
2
6
.
X
I
.
2

N
b
n
42 chapter one
T
E
X
T
O
p
e
n
i
n
g

l
i
n
e
A
d
d
r
e
s
s

t
o

J
u
d
g
e
s
š
e
m
û
m
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u
k
u
I
n
t
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o
.

o
f

a
u
t
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s
A
u
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i
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s
*
*
S
c
r
i
b
e
P
l
a
c
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f

C
o
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p
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s
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t
i
o
n
D
A
T
E
W
u
n
s
c
h
,

A
f
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4
4
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(
1
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9
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/
1
9
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)
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2
1
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a
n
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A
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.

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b
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m
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2
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2
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d
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š
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N
b
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N
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d
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/
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a

ā
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a
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N
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1
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8
6
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N

a
n
a

A
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.

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2
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2

[
i
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]
a

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Š
.
B
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d
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š
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N
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N
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d
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/
/
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a

ā
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m
N
a
b
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u
m
a
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š
k
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/

R
ā
b
-
b
ā
n
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B
a
b
y
l
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n
6

N
b
n
W
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s
c
h
,

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O

4
4
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4
5

(
1
9
9
7
/
1
9
9
8
)
,

N
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.

2
0
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N

a
n
a

A
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.

i
q
b
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u
m
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a
?
?
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[
i
n
a
]

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Š
.
B
A
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d
i
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[
n
i

š
u
-
a
-
t
i
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]
s
a
r
t
e
n
n
u
;

J
u
d
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s

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f

N
b
n
m
N
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d
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/
/
P
a

ā
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m
N
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š
k
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/

R
ā
b
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b
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B
a
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6

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b
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6
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2
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A
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.

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m
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2

d
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a

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d
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n
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M
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]
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M
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Š
a
d
m
i
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i
s
t
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a
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o
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E
a
n
n
a
;

š
ā
k
i
n

ē
m
i

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f

U
r
u
k
;

q
ī
p
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-
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f


c
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a
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E
a
n
n
a
;

(
a
s
s
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m
b
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,

j
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d
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s

(
?
)
)
m
N
ā
d
i
n
/

m
N
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a
l
-
i
n
a
-
t
ē
š
ê
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ē

i
r
/
/

S
î
n
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q
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n
n
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U
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1
7
.
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7

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3
5
6
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a
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A
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.

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2
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2

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Š
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d
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i
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n
i

š
u
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a
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t
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m
J
u
d
g
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s

o
f

N
b
n
m
N
ā
d
i
n
u

/
/
P
a

ā
r
u
m
N
a
b
û
-
š
u
m
a
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i
š
k
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n
/
/

R
ā
b
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b
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n
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B
a
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l
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n
2
6
.
V
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.
9

N
b
n
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

1
.
1

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
decision records 43
T
E
X
T
O
p
e
n
i
n
g

l
i
n
e
A
d
d
r
e
s
s

t
o

J
u
d
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e
s
š
e
m
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m
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k
u
I
n
t
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o
.

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f

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s
A
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t
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i
t
i
e
s
*
*
S
c
r
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b
e
P
l
a
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f

C
o
m
p
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1

(
c
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44 chapter one
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(
c
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.
)



*

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.
decision records 45
S
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m
m
a
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y

T
a
b
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1
.
2


R
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Š
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a
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2
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1

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u
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]
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u
p
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]

š
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-
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g
r
e
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n
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,


j
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b
n
[
m
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e

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p
p
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ī
t
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1
7
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b
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1
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b
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]

š
a
2

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t
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d
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b
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m
N
e
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g
a
l
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b
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n
u

/
/

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ā
b
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b
a
n
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m
N
a
b
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-
a

ē
-
i
d
d
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g
i
b
i
B
a
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y
l
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n
1
1
.
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I
.
1

N
b
n
46 chapter one
T
E
X
T
C
o
n
f
r
o
n
t
a
t
i
o
n
A
p
p
e
a
r
a
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c
e
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m
û
O
t
h
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m
i
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I
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o
.

o
f

A
u
t
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s
A
u
t
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o
r
i
t
i
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s
*
*
S
c
r
i
b
e
P
l
a
c
e

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f

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
D
a
t
e
W
u
n
s
c
h
,

C
M

2
0
,

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o
.

1
1
2
S
U
B
J
.

+

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N
1

u

P
N
2

a
n
a

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U

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B
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.

s
u
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2

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m
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k
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O

3
6
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(
1
9
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9

1
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9
0
)
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ā
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*

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h
e

š
e
m
u

c
l
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n
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m
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y

f
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p
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s
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d

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t
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b
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t
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a
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p
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y

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a
b
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1
.
2

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
decision records 47
1.C The “Eanna” Styles of Decision Records
In addition to the two “Royal Judges” styles there are two styles of
decision records from cases heard at the Eanna temple at Uruk, which
will be called “Eanna style A” and “Eanna style B.” “Eanna style A”
has the following general outline:
I. Subject of case
II. Judicial Actions
A. Evaluation of evidence
B. Decision
III. Conclusion
A. Names of authorities
B. Names of witnesses
C. Scribe
D. Place of composition
E. Date
In order to illustrate the features of the “Eanna style A” decision record,
the present discussion will take Figulla, Iraq 13 (1951), pp. 95–101 as
an example. This text records the decision in the case of two ducks
belonging to the Lady of Uruk that were stolen, killed and buried in
mud. The decision record will be divided according to the sections
presented in the outline above. A discussion of the particular features
of each section precedes the presentation of each separate section.
For ease of comparison, the different features are presented in graphic
format in summary table 1.3 at the end of this section.
I. Subject of Case (lines 1–4)
In the example below, as in several other examples, the subject of the
case is described in a third-person summary.
35
In other “Eanna style
35
TCL 12, 119:1–5; TCL 13, 147:1–8; YOS 7, 161:1–6. YOS 7, 7 is a composite
decision record of the decisions in numerous charges against
m
Gimillu. The entire
text reads as a series of “Eanna style A” decision records. The subject of each case
is presented in a summary form. The entire decision record begins with a summary
statement in lines 1–5.
48 chapter one
A” decision records, the subject of the case includes quotations of the
statements of parties to the case, such as an accusation.
36
1. 2 UZ.TUR
mušen
ša
2
¢
d
GAŠANÜ
UNUG
ki
u
3

d
na-na-[ a ša
2
qa-pu-
ut-tu
4
]
2. ša
2

m
ni-din-tu
4
u
3

m
gu-za-nu
DUMU.MEŠ ša
2

md
na-na-a -
[MU . . . U
4
11-kam
2
ša
2
ITI AB]
3. MU 2-kam
2

m
kam-bu-zi-ia
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
[KUR.KUR. . .
4. ša
2
KA
2
.GAL
d
15 di-i-ku-ma i-na
i-u
3
[qit-bu-ru . . . ]
(1–4) 2 ducks, property of the
Lady-of-Uruk and Nanaya [from
the pen of ]
m
Nidintu and
m
Guzānu,
sons of
m
Nanaya-iddin [ . . . on 11
Tebētu] year 2 of Cambyses king
of Babylon king [of the lands] at
the Ištar Gate, killed and [buried]
in mud.
II. Judicial Actions (lines 5–27)
A. Evaluation of Evidence (lines 5–18)
In the sample decision record, the evidence consists of the testimony of
the criminals themselves, as well as the corpses of the two dead ducks.
The testimony is presented to the šatammu and the ša rēš šarri admin-
istrator “in the assembly.” The corpses are inspected “in the assembly
of the qīpi officials and the mār banî.” These and other adjudicating
authorities, such as the scribes of the Eanna, play similar roles in the
evaluation of evidence in “Eanna style A” decision records.
37
36
YOS 6, 123:1–6; YOS 6, 225:1–7; YOS 6, 231:1–9; YOS 7, 66:1–8; TCL 13,
170:1–7.
37
See the column labeled “Authorities in Body of Text” in summary table 1.3 at
the end of this section.
decision records 49
5.
m
ŠEŠ-SUM.NA u
3

md
a-nu-ŠEŠ.
MEŠ-TIN-¢iÜ [DUMU.MEŠ
ša
2

md
NA
3
-KAD
2

md
na-na-a-
ŠEŠ-MU]
6. DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
na-na-a-
KAM
2
u
3

m
ŠEŠ-SUM.NA
[DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
ki-na-a. . . ]
ID
2
7. ša
2
MUŠEN.MEŠ i-na meš-i-
šu
2
-nu di-i-ku-ma i-[na i-u
3
iq-
te-bi-ru]
8. a-na ma-ar
md
NA
3
-DU-
IBILA
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.
NA DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
[na-di-nu
DUMU da-bi-bi ]
9. u
3

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG.
LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
4
E
2
.AN.
NA [ . . .]
10. ina UKKIN iq-bu-u
2
um-ma U
4

11-kam
2
ša
2
ITI AB MU 2-kam
2

ni-i-ni u
3

md
na-na-a-MU
(5–10)
m
Aa-iddin and
m
Anu-
aē-bulli, [sons of
m
Nabû-kāir,
m
Nanaya-aa-iddin] son of
m
Nanaya-ēreš and
m
Aa-iddin
[son of Kīnaya . . .] in whose
working-area the birds were killed
[and buried in mud], said thus
before
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, šatammu
of the Eanna, son of
m
[Nādinu
descendant of Dābibī], and
m
Nabû-aa-iddin the ša rēš šarri,
the administrator of the Eanna
[. . .], in the assembly:
11. DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
in-nin-
NUMUN-DU
3
it-ti a-a-meš
ina ku-tal BAD
3
ID
2
ni-i-¢irÜ-ru
(10–11) “On 11 ebētu, year 2,
we were digging below the canal
wall, together with
m
Nanaya-iddin
son of
m
Innin-zēra-ibni.”
12. 2 UZ.TUR
mušen
.ME NIG
2
.GA
d
GAŠAN UNUG
ki
ša
2
qa-pu-ut-
tu
4
ša
2

m
ni-din-tu
4
u
3

m
gu-za-nu
13. DUMU.MEŠ ša
2

md
na-na-a-
MU ki-i ni-du-ku i-na i-u
3
ni-iq-
te-bir
(12–13) “When we killed 2 ducks,
property of the Lady-of-Uruk,
from the pen of
m
Nidintu and
m
Guzānu, sons of
m
Nanaya-iddin,
we buried them in mud.”
14. ¢pagÜ-ra-nu ša
2
UZ.TUR
mušen
-a
2 ša
2

m
ŠEŠ-MU u
3

md
DIŠ-ŠEŠ.
MEŠ-TIN-i DUMU.MEŠ
15. ša
2

md
NA
3
-KEŠDA-ir
md
na-na-
a-ŠEŠ-MU DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
na-na-a-APIN-eš
16.
m
ŠEŠ-SUM.NA DUMU-šu
2

ša
2

m
ki-na-a u
md
na-na-a-MU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
in-nin-
NUMUN-DU
3
17. i-du-ku-ma ina i-u
3
iq-bi-ri
i-na UKKIN
lu2
qi-pa-a-nu u
lu2
DUMU DU
3
-i.[MEŠ]
18. in-nam-ru-ma
(14–18) The corpses of these
2 birds that
m
Aa-iddin and
m
Anu-aē-bulli sons of
m
Nabû-
kāir,
m
Nanaya-aa-iddin son of
m
Nanaya-ēreš,
m
Aa-iddina son
of
m
Kīnaya, and
m
Nanaya-iddin
son of
m
Innin-zēra-ibni killed and
buried in mud were inspected in
the assembly of the qīpu officials
and the mār banî.
50 chapter one
B. Decision (lines 18–27)
The judicial actions end with the actual decision. In the sample deci-
sion record, the decision is clearly marked with a sentence with the
verb parāsu (“to decide”). This is true of most “Eanna style A” decision
records. In other “Eanna style A” decision records, the conclusion of the
case with a decision is implicit in the end of the text. Thus, for example,
the judicial actions section in YOS 7, 66 ends with the notice that the
Eanna authorities returned the slave in question to its owners.
38

18. ki-i pi-i
lu2
mu-kin-nu-tu ša
2

m
ŠEŠ-SUM.NA
19.
md
a-nu-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-TIN-i
md
na-na-a-ŠEŠ-MU u
3

m
ŠEŠ-
MU i-na UKKIN qi
2
-pa-a-nu
20. u
3

lu2
DUMU DU
3
-i.ME e-li
ram-ni-šu
2
-nu ¢u
3
Ü [ma-ar]
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
21.
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.NA
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG-
LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
4

E
2
.AN.NA UKKIN
22.
lu2
TIN.TIR
ki
.ME u
3

lu2
UNUG
ki
-
a-a ki UZ.TUR
mušen
1-en a-di
30 ku-um UZ.TUR
mušen
.ME-a
23. 2 e-li
m
ŠEŠ-MU u
3

md
DIŠ-PAP.
ME-TIN-i DUMU.MEŠ
ša
2

md
NA
3
-KAD
2

md
na-na-a-
ŠEŠ-MU
24. DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
na-na-a-KAM
m
ŠEŠ-MU DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
ki-na-a u
md
na-na-a-MU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
INNIN.NA-
NUMUN-DU
3
25.
lu2
EN ar
!
-<ni> šu
2
-nu ša
2
la
in-nam-ru a-na e-e-ru a-na NIG
2
.
GA E
2
.AN.NA šul-lu-un-du
26. e-li-šu
2
-nu ip-ru-su UZ.TUR.
MEŠ-a 60-šu ib-ba-ku-nim-ma
a-na NIG
2
.GA E
2
.AN.NA
(18–26) In accordance with
the testimony of
m
Aa-iddin,
m
Anu-aē-bulli,
m
Nanaya-
aa-iddin and
m
Aa-iddin against
themselves in the assembly of the
qīpu officials and the mār banî, and
[before]
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, the
šatammu of the Eanna,
m
Nabû-
aa-iddin, the ša rēš šarri,
administrator of the Eanna, the
assembly of Babylonians and
Urukians—they decided that
m
Aa-iddin and
m
Anu-aē-bulli
sons of
m
Nabû-kāir,
m
Nanaya-
aa-iddin son of
m
Nanaya-ēreš,
m
Aa-iddin son of
m
Kīnaya, and
m
Nanaya-iddin son of
m
Innin-
zēra-ibni, their accomplice in
crime who was not seen, must pay
a thirty-fold restitution for the
2 ducks to the property of the
Eanna.
27. i-nam-di-nu (26–27) They shall bring and pay
these 60 ducks to the property of
the Eanna.
38
For other examples in which the verb parāsu is not used in the decision, see sum-
mary table 1.3 at the end of this section.
decision records 51
III. Conclusion
A. Personal Names of Authorities (lines 27–28)
In addition to mentioning the authorities in the judicial actions sec-
tion, the “Eanna style A” decision records also record the names of
overseeing authorities at the end of the text. Their role as authorities
is indicated by the prepositional phrase ina DU.ZU (= ušuzzu) ša

(“in
the presence of ”). As Eva von Dassow notes, this phrase is used “to
introduce officials in . . . records of procedures overseen or authorized by
them.”
39
In the sample decision record, only the names of the šatammu
and the administrator follow this phrase. In other texts, a number of
other names appear in addition to the names of authorities mentioned
in the body of the text. These are probably the names of the members
of the “assembly.”
40
27. ina u
2
-šu-uz-zu ša
2

md
NA
3
-
DU-IBILA
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM
E
2
.AN.NA DUMU
m
da-bi-bi
(27) In the presence of
m
Nabû-
mukīn-apli, the šatammu of the
Eanna, descendant of Dābibī.
28.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG-
LUGAL
lu2
EN SIG
5

E
2
.AN.NA
(28)
m
Nabû-aa-iddin, the ša rēš
šarri, administrator of the Eanna.
B. Names of Witnesses
In addition to the designation ina DU.ZU (= ušuzzu) ša, the sample
text also records names of individuals designated as
lu2
mu-kin-nu (“wit-
nesses”). Whereas the individuals whose names follow the designation
ina DU.ZU ša are the authorities, the individuals designated as
lu2
mu-
kin-nu serve as witnesses to the proceedings. Their precise role will be
considered in the procedural discussion (section 9.J). Unlike the sample
decision record, most “Eanna style A” decision records do not include
separate groups of names with both designations. Usually, there is only
one group of names following either the designation ina DU.ZU ša or
lu2
mu-kin-nu, but not both.
39
Eva von Dassow, “Introducing the Witnesses in Neo-Babylonian Documents,” in
R. Chazan, et al., eds., Ki Baruch Hu: Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Judaic Studies in
Honor of Baruch A. Levine (Winona Lake, Indiana, 1999), p. 13.
40
Kümmel, Familie, p. 162.
52 chapter one
28.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
30-KAM
2

DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-
SI.SA
(28) Witnesses:
m
Sîn-ēreš son of
m
Nabû-šumu-līšir descendant of
Ibni-ilī;
29. DUMU
m
ib-ni-DINGIR
md
UTU-DU-IBILA DUMU-
šu
2
ša
2

md
DI.KU
5
-PAP.ME-MU
DUMU
m
ši-gu-u
2
-a
(29)
m
Šamaš-mukīn-apli son of
m
Madānu-aē-iddin descendant
of Šigûa;
30.
m
la-a-ba-ši-
d
AMAR.UTU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
IR
3
-
d
EN
DUMU
m
e-gi-bi
md
AMAR.
UTU-MU-ŠEŠ DUMU-šu
2

ša
2

md
EN-TIN-i
31. DUMU
m
bu-u
2
-u
m<d>
EN-
KAR-
d
NA
3
lu2
SAG
md
a-nu-MU-
DU
3
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
SUR DUMU
md
[PN]
(30–31)
m
Lâbāši-Marduk son of
m
Arad-Bēl descendant of Egibi;
m
Marduk-šuma-uur son of
m
Bēl-
uballi descendant of
m
Būu;
(31)
m
Bēl-eēri-Nabû, ša rēši;
m
Anu-
šuma-ibni son of
m
Nabû-ušēzib
descendant of [PN];
32.
md
INNIN-ŠEŠ-MU DUMU-
šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU
3
-ŠEŠ
DUMU
m
KUR-i
m
lu-a-ana-
ZALAG
2
-
d
UTU DUMU-šu
2

ša
2

m
šu-la-a
33. DUMU
lu2
E
2
.MAŠ-
d
MAŠ
md
DIŠ-ŠEŠ-MU DUMU-šu
2

ša
2

m
ŠU DUMU
m
KUR-i
(32–33)
m
Innin-aa-iddin son of
m
Nabû-bāni-ai descendant of
Kurī;
m
Lūa-ana-nūr-Šamaš son
of
m
Šulaya descendant of Šangû-
Ninurta;
(33)
m
Anu-aa-iddin son of
m
Gimillu descendant of Kurī;
C. Scribe
The sample decision record includes the names of two scribes, as does
YOS 7, 161. Other texts were written by only one scribe.
33–34.
m
na-di-nu DUB.SAR
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-ŠEŠ.
MEŠ-BA-ša
2
DUMU
m
e-gi-bi
m
IR
3
-
d
AMAR.
UTU DUB.SAR
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
[
d
AMAR.
UTU-MU-MU DUMU
md
EN-A-URI
3
]
(33–34)
m
Nādinu, the scribe, son
of
m
Bēl-aē-iqīša descendant of
Egibi;
m
Arad-Marduk, the scribe,
son of [
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin
descendant of Bēl-apla-uur]
D. Place of composition
E. Date
35. UNUG
ki
ITI AB U
4
12-kam
2

MU 2-kam
2

m
kam-bu-zi-[ia
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR]
(35) Uruk. 12 ebētu, year 2 of
Cambyses, king of Babylon, king
of the lands.
decision records 53
The sample text includes the seals of the šatammu, the administrator
and the first three people listed as witnesses. As far as can be seen from
published drawings, most decision records from the Eanna at Uruk are
not sealed. Explaining why some Eanna decision records are sealed
and others are not requires a more complete exploration of the sealing
practices in the Eanna archives. Such an exploration goes beyond the
scope of the present inquiry.
Three decision records from the Eanna follow a different general
outline. This outline is designated “Eanna style B.” It is presented
below alongside the outline of “Eanna style A” decision records, for
comparison purposes:
Style B Style A
I. Opening
A. Personal names
B. Transition
I. Subject of case
II. Subject of Case II. Judicial Actions
A. Evaluation of evidence
B. Decision
III. Judicial Actions
A. Evaluation of
Evidence
B. Decision
III. Conclusion
A. Personal names of authorities
B. Personal names of witnesses
C. Scribe
D. Place of composition
E. Date
IV. Conclusion
A. Scribe
B. Place of
composition
C. Date
Comparison between the outlines of the two “Eanna” styles of decision
records reveals that both styles record the same information. There
does not seem to be a difference between the cases that led to decisions
recorded in “Eanna style A” and those that are recorded in “Eanna style
B.” The difference between the two styles occurs only in the placement
of the personal names. “Eanna style A” decision records place these
names after the narration of the subject of the case and the judicial
actions. “Eanna style B” decision records, on the other hand, place the
personal names at the beginning, before the subject of the case and
54 chapter one
the judicial actions. In both styles, however, the name of the scribe, the
place of composition, and the date appear at the end of the text.
The “Eanna style B” decision records do not use the prepositional
phrase ina DU.ZU to designate the names of individuals in whose pres-
ence the decision was made. Instead, two of these decision records use
the transitional phrase
lu2
mukinnū ša ina pānišunu (“the witnesses before
whom . . .”) or an equivalent phrase
lu2
DUMU.DU
3
.MEŠ ša
2
ina pānišunu
(“the mār banî before whom . . .”).
41
This phrase appears in section I, after
the names that begin the decision record, while in style A, the names
appear in section III. The names at the beginning of the text, therefore,
are “witnesses.” The decision that is recorded in the remainder of the
text is made “before” them. The precise role of the witnesses in these
texts will be discussed in section 9.J below.
It now remains to explain the different situations in which the two
“Eanna” styles were used. As has been seen, both “Eanna” styles of
decision records involve the same adjudicating bodies, so that a dif-
ference in venue does not seem to explain the existence of the two
styles. However, a possible explanation for the two styles emerges from
examination of the names of the scribes who wrote the two different
styles of decision records. Most of the “Eanna style A” decision records
were written by the scribe
m
Nādin son of
m
Bēl-aē-iqīša, descendant of
Egibi, either alone or together with other scribes.
42

m
Šamaš-mukīn-apli,
his son, wrote one “Eanna style A” decision record (YOS 7, 66) during
m
Nādin’s lifetime, and the scribe
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli son of
m
Marduk-
šuma-iddin descendant of Balāu wrote another. On the other hand,
m
Nādin did not write any of the “Eanna style B” decision records. One
explanation, then, for the “Eanna style A” decision records might be
that this style is particular to the scribe
m
Nādin and those scribes who
imitated him.
Another possible explanation is based on the status of these scribes.
The scribes who composed the “Eanna style A” decision records seem
to have been of especially high rank. In a number of texts,
m
Nādin is
designated upšar Eanna (“scribe of Eanna”).
43
The three other scribes
named in YOS 7, 7 together with
m
Nādin are all designated upšarrū
41
On the equivalence of these two phrases and for a discussion of the term mār
banî (usually translated “citizens” or “freemen”), see von Dassow, “Witnesses,” p. 11
n. 24 and Oelsner, et al., in Westbrook, ed., History, p. 919.
42
See summary table 1.3 at the end of this section.
43
Kümmel, Familie, p. 144.
decision records 55
Eanna (“scribes of Eanna”) in the text itself.
44
The scribe
m
Arad-Marduk
son of
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin, descendant of Balāu, who wrote Figulla,
Iraq 13 (1951), pp. 95–101 and YOS 7, 161 together with
m
Nādin is
also known to have been a “scribe of the Eanna,” although only after
the composition of these texts.
45

m
Nādin’s son,
m
Šamaš-mukīn-apli, who
wrote YOS 7, 66 is not known with this title, although he is known to
have served as the šatammu of the Eanna after serving as a scribe.
46
It
might be suggested, then, that the “Eanna style A” was used for cases
that required high-ranking scribes, perhaps because of the severity of
the crimes commmitted. This suggestion remains speculative, however,
because both the “Eanna style A” and the “Eanna style B” decision
records involve the same adjudicating authorities deciding cases of
crimes against the Eanna. Thus, it is difficult to determine what kinds of
cases would have required the presence of the higher-ranking scribes.
1.D Comparison of the “Royal Judges” and the “Eanna” Styles
The discussion of the “Eanna” styles has been limited until now to
the comparison between one Eanna style and the other. Similarly, the
discussion of the “Royal Judges” styles above focused only on the dif-
ferent situations in which the “Royal Judges style A” and the “Royal
Judges style B” documents were composed. One final question which
should be addressed is which cases were recorded in the Eanna styles
and which were recorded in the “Royal Judges” style.
One possibility that should be ruled out is the correlation between
authorities and style of decision record. It has already been noted above
(section 1.B) that the authorities deciding the cases in “Royal Judges”
decision records are not always the royal judges. In fact, the Eanna
authorities, who regularly appear in the “Eanna” style decision records,
are attested in “Royal Judges” decision records, as well. YOS 6, 92 is
a “Royal Judges” style decision record in which the plaintiff addresses
his statement to the šākin ēmi of Uruk, the ša rēš šarri administrator of
the Eanna and the qīpi official of the Eanna. These three officials seal
the document, as well. Whereas the “Royal Judges” documents may
44
YOS 7, 7:28.
45
Kümmel, Familie, p. 144.
46
Kümmel, Familie, p. 143.
56 chapter one
not always include royal judges, the “Eanna” style decision records do
always include the Eanna authorities. This does not mean, however,
that only these authorities are present. YOS 7, 161 is an “Eanna”
style decision record written in the presence of the šatammu and the
administrator of the Eanna. The judges who make the decision in this
case,
m
Rīmūt and
m
Bau-ēreš, are known to have been “judges of the
king” from other texts.
47
The use of an “Eanna” style decision record or a “Royal Judges”
decision record does not, therefore, depend on the adjudicating author-
ity. Cases recorded in the “Royal Judges” style may be adjudicated by
Eanna authorities and cases recorded in the “Eanna” style may be
adjudicated by royal judges. The question of which authorities decided
which cases will not be addressed here. The question at hand pertains
only to the style of record. Is there a factor that determines whether a
case is written in the Eanna or the “Royal Judges” style?
Examination of the internal evidence of the different decision records
indicates that the style of decision record corresponds to the party
who would retain the record. Decision records written in the “Royal
Judges” styles were kept by private individuals, while those written in
the “Eanna” style were kept in the Eanna’s internal records. The earlier
discussion of the decision records indicated that they were retained by
the prevailing party. Therefore, one might expect all decision records in
which the Eanna prevails to be written in the “Eanna” style. Thus, for
example, in YOS 7, 161, the royal judges rule in favor of the Eanna
that one
m
Bēl-iqīša must pay thirty-fold for branded sheep belonging to
Ištar of Uruk. The Eanna is the prevailing party, and so it would retain
the text as proof of
m
Bēl-iqīša’s obligation. The text is written in the
“Eanna” style, even though royal judges make the decision. Similarly,
in YOS 6, 92, members of the Eanna administration rule in favor of
one of two litigants in a dispute pertaining to a plot of land. Because
the prevailing party is a private individual, and not the Eanna, the
47
See the discussion of
m
Rīmūt and
m
Bau-ēreš in Kümmel, Familie, p. 136 n. 198.
The present transliteration of the name
m
Bau-ēreš follows Kümmel’s. Erle Leichty, in
personal communication, has suggested that the theophoric element Bau should be
read Baba, based on the regularly attested spelling of this divine name with the KA
2
(= bābu) sign. The reading of this divine name poses difficulties in earlier periods, as
well. For a recent discussion and survey of the evidence, see Gianni Marchesi, “On
the Divine Name
d
BA.U
2
,” Or. 71 (2002), pp. 161–172. I am grateful to Philip Jones
for this reference.
decision records 57
private individual would retain the decision record, which is written in
the “Royal Judges” style.
One “Royal Judges” decision record, Durand, Textes babyloniens,
No. 60, however, undermines this direct correlation between the prevail-
ing party and the style. This text comes from a dispute over the posses-
sion of a slave branded as property of Ištar-of-Uruk and of Nanaya and
her son. The chief brewer of Ištar-of-Uruk and a scribe of the Eanna
present the case before the judges of Nabonidus in Babylon against
m
Nūrea, who is found to be in unlawful possession of the slave. The
proceedings, which end with the decision, are described as follows:
1.
md
DI.KU
5
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
gi-mil-lu A
m
ši-gu-u
2
-a
2.
lu2
UGULA
<lu2>
SIRAŠ.MEŠ ša
2

d
INANNA UNUG
ki
u
3

m
ba-la-u
DUMU-šu
2
3. ša
2

md
30-ib-ni DUB.SAR E
2
.AN.
NA
fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni
4. GEME
2
ša
2
kak-kab-ti rit-ta-šu
2

še-en-di-ti u
3
5. a-na
d
na-na-a ša-ra-tu
4
u
m
ta-ad-
dan-nu DUMU
6. ša
2

fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni it-ti
m
ZALAG
2
-e-a
7. DUMU-šu
2
ša
2
DUGUD-ia a-na
ma-ri
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
8. ša
2

md
NA
3
-IM.TUK LUGAL
TIN.TIR
ki
u
2
-bil-lu-nim-ma
(1–8)
m
Madānu-aē-iddin, son
of
m
Gimillu descendant of Šigûa,
chief of the brewers of Ištar-of-
Uruk and
m
Balāu, son of
m
Sîn-
ibni, scribe of Eanna, brought
f
Nanaya-ussinni, a slavegirl
whose hand was marked with a
star and inscribed ‘of Nanaya’,
and
m
Taddannu, son of
f
Nanaya-
ussinni, with
m
Nūrea, son of
m
Kabtiya, before the judges of
Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
9. iq-bu-u
2
um-ma GEME
2
an-ni-tu
4

za-ki-tu
4
(9–10) They said thus: “This
slavegirl, oblate of Nanaya, serves
m
Nūrea.”
10. ša
2

d
na-na-a
m
ZALAG
2
-e-a ta-
pal-la
3

m
ZALAG
2
-e-a i-pul
(10–11)
m
Nūrea answered thus:
11. um-ma
fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni
a-na KU
3
.BABBAR
(11–12) “I purchased
f
Nanaya-
ussinni for silver.”
12. a-ta-bak u
3
ina BAL-e
m
LU
2
-
d
AMAR.UTU LUGAL
TIN.TIR
ki
13. ul-tu E
2
-ia ki-i ta-li-qu kak-kab-ti
14. rit-ta-šu
2
tal-te-mi-it u
3
ša
2
-a-ri ina
UGU
15. rit-ti-šu
2
a-na
d
na-na-a-a tal-ta-ar
2

lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
(12–15) “During the reign of
Amēl-Marduk, king of Babylon,
when she escaped from my house,
she marked her hand with a star
and wrote the inscription ‘of
Nanaya’ on her hand.”
58 chapter one
16.
fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni i-ša
2
-lu-ma (15–16) The judges questioned
f
Nanaya-hussinni.
17. taq-bi um-ma a-di la
m
ZALAG
2
-e-a
a-na KU
3
.BABBAR ib-ba-kan-ni
18.
md
DUMU-SAG.IL
2
-lu-mur EN-a
ma-ra-a a-na
19.
d
na-na-a uz-sak-ka-an-ni
lu2
DI.
KU
5
.MEŠ
(17–19) She said thus: “Before
m
Nūrea purchased me for silver,
m
Mār-Esagil-lūmur, my previous
master, dedicated me to Nanaya.”
20. a-ma-a-ti-šu
2
-nu iš-tim-mu-ma
se-pi-ri u
2
-bil-lu-nim-ma
21. rit-ti ša
2

fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni
22. u
2
-ad-di-ma iq-bi um-ma ša
2
-a-ri
la-bi-ri
(19–22) The judges heard their
statements. They brought a sēpiru
48

before them and he informed
them of
f
Nanaya-ussinni’s hand.
He said thus:
23. ša
2
u
4
-mu ru-qu-tu
4
a-na
d
na-na-a-a (22–24) “Her hand is inscribed
with an old inscription, from a
long time ago: ‘of Nanaya.’
24. rit-ta-šu
2
ša-ra-at
25. u
3
ša
2
-a-ru ša
2
-na-a ina ša
2
-pal
ša
2
-a-ri
26. ma-ra-a a-na
d
INANNA
UNUG
ki
ša
2
-i-ir
(25–26) “And another inscription
is written under the earlier
inscription: ‘for Ištar of Uruk.’ ”
27.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ a-na
md
ZALAG
2
-
e-a iq-bu-u
2
um-ma mi-nam-ma
(27) The judges said thus to
m
Nūrea:
28. GEME
2
ša
2
a-na
d
INANNA
UNUG
ki
za-ka-a-ti kak-kab-tu
4
29. še-en-di-it-tu
4
u
3
rit-ta-šu
2
a-na
d
INANNA UNUG
ki
30. u
d
na-na-a ša-ra-tu
4
a-na KU
3
.
BABBAR tab-ba-ak
(27–30) “Why did you purchase
for silver a slavegirl dedicated to
Ištar of Uruk, marked with a star,
and inscribed for Ištar of Uruk
and Nanaya?”
31. u
3
at-ta taq-bi um-ma i-na BAL-e
m
LU
2
-
d
AMAR.UTU
32. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
GEME
2

ul-tu E
2
-ia ta-liq-ma
33. kak-kab-tu
4
rit-ta-šu
2
taš-mi-it
mi-nam-ma
(31–33) “And you say thus:
‘During the reign of Amēl-
Marduk, king of Babylon, the
slavegirl escaped from my house
and marked her hand with a
star.’ ”
48
The sēpiru was the alphabetic scribe, who wrote on parchment (CAD S, pp. 225–
226). According to Daniel Arnaud, “Un document juridique concernant les oblats,”
RA 67 (1973), p. 156, this scribe was called because the mark on the slavegirl’s arm
was in alphabetic characters, used for ease of branding.
decision records 59
34. ina U
4
-me-šu
2
a-na ma-ri
lu2
DI.
KU
5
.MEŠ ul tu-bil-šu-ma
35. ar
2
-kat-su ul ip-ru-us-ma it-ti LU
2

ša
2
rit-ta-šu
2
36. iš-u
2
-ru ul i-di-in-ka e-li
(33–36) “Why did you not bring
her before the judges on that
day? Why did they not investigate
her circumstances? Why didn’t
anybody judge your case against
the man who inscribed her wrist?”
37.
fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni u
m
ta-ad-dan-nu DUMU-šu
2

(36–38) “You have no claim over
f
Nanaya-ussinni and
m
Taddannu
her son!”
38. ul ra-ša
2
-a-ti
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
im-tal-ku-ma
(38) The judges deliberated.
39.
fd
na-na-a-u-us-si-in-ni u
m
ta-ad-dan-nu DUMU-šu
2

40. it-ti um-man-ni za-bil tup-sik-ku
ša
2
E
2
.AN.NA
41. im-nu-u
2

m
ZALAG
2
-e-a it-ti
ar
2
-ki-šu
2
ša
2
LU
2
-ta id-di-nu-šu
2

id-dab-bu-ub
(39–41) They considered
f
Nanaya-ussinni and
m
Taddannu
her son among the gangs of
corvée laborers of Eanna.
m
Nūrea may argue a case with the
guarantor of (the one) who sold
him the slave.
The decision in this case is in favor of the Eanna authorities; the slavegirl
and her son belong to the Eanna, and not to
m
Nūrea. Given the evi-
dence of YOS 7, 161, one would expect this decision to be recorded
in the Eanna style, as well, even though the royal judges hear the case.
Nevertheless, the decision is clearly written in the “Royal Judges” style.
The notice in line 41 seems to hold the key to an explanation. This
line allows
m
Nūrea to reclaim his losses by bringing a case against the
person who had guaranteed clear title to the slaves. Based on this line,
it seems that this decision record was retained by
m
Nūrea in order to
justify his eventual claim against the guarantor, rather than by the Eanna
authorities. Thus, even though the Eanna authorities prevailed in this
case, because the decision record was written for someone outside the
Eanna administration, it is written in the “Royal Judges” style.
48
Based on the discussion above, one may conclude that the difference
between the “Eanna” and “Royal Judges” styles reflects the difference
between internal and public records. The “Royal Judges” decision
records, even in cases in which the Eanna prevails, were given to
someone outside the Eanna administration. Thus, one may say that the
“Royal Judges” styles are “public” styles, for use in texts which would
be held in personal archives. The “Eanna” styles, on the other hand,
are “internal,” for use in the Eanna’s own recordkeeping.
48
60 chapter one
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

1
.
3


E
a
n
n
a

S
t
y
l
e

A


D
e
c
i
s
i
o
n

R
e
c
o
r
d
s
T
e
x
t
A
u
t
h
o
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i
t
i
e
s

i
n

B
o
d
y

o
f

T
e
x
t
D
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c
i
s
i
o
n

T
e
r
m
i
n
o
l
o
g
y
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t
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o
d
u
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t
i
o
n

o
f

n
a
m
e
s

a
t

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n
d

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f

t
e
x
t
N
a
m
e
s

a
t

e
n
d

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f

t
e
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t
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c
r
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b
e
D
a
t
e
Y
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S

6
,

1
2
3
a
s
s
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m
b
l
y
;
a
d
m
i
n
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t
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a
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s

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f

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a
n
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p
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u
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n
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D
U
.
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U
š
a
n
û

o
f

U
r
u
k
;
7

P
N
s
;

1

s
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m
N
ā
d
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n
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B
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a

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q
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g
i
b
i
5
.
V
I
I
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.
9

N
b
n
Y
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6
,

2
2
5

š
a
t
a
m
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u
;

s
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f

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a
n
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a
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a
s
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b
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š
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1

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n
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B
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g
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6
.
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I
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1
2

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n
Y
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š
a
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a
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m
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;

a
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r
;

2

š
a

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s
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1
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1
9
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a
t
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u
;

a
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f

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a
;

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a

r
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a
d
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3

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1
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7
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q
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f

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a
n
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a
;

š
a
t
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m
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u

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f

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a
n
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a
;


a
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;

s
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a
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;

a
s
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b
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a

D
U
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Z
U

š
ā
k
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n

ē
m
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f

U
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u
k
;
q
ī
p
u
-
o
f


c
i
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l

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f

E
a
n
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a
;

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

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f

E
a
n
n
a
;

a
d
m
i
n
i
s
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a
t
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r

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f

E
a
n
n
a
;

š
a

m
u

i

q
u
p
p
i
;

1
6

P
N
s
;

4

s
c
r
i
b
e
s
m
N
ā
d
i
n
u
,

m
K
ī
n
a
y
a
,

m
M
ū
r
ā
n
u
,

m
B
a
l
ā

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(
s
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b
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a
n
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a
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3
.
V
I
.
1

C
y
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Y
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S

7
,

6
6
q
ī
p
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f


c
i
a
l

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f

E
a
n
n
a
;

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

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f

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a
n
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a
;

a
d
m
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p
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w
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l
u
2
M
U
]
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3

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N
s
;

1

s
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m
Š
a
m
a
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m
u
k
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n
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p
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m
N
ā
d
i
n
/
/

E
g
i
b
i
2
3
.
I
I
I
.
7

C
y
r
decision records 61
T
e
x
t
A
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t
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t
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s

i
n

B
o
d
y

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f

T
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x
t
D
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c
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s
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n

T
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m
i
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N
a
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a
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t
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S
c
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D
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T
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L

1
3
,

1
4
7
š
ā
k
i
n

ē
m
i

o
f

U
r
u
k
;

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

o
f

E
a
n
n
a
;

a
s
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m
b
l
y

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f

B
a
b
y
l
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U
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u
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2
m
u
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k
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u
š
u
š
ā
n
u

o
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t
h
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k
i
n
g
;

3

P
N
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;

1

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b
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3
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1

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p
p
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5

1
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t
a
m
m
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E
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a
;

a
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q
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m
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+

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r
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9

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N
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2

s
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N
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d
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n
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m
B
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l
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a

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/
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g
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A
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S

7
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p
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s
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i
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u
2
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+

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u
2
m
u
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a
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a
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;

a
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3

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s
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a
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c
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;

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a

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š
a
r
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a
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m
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5

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T
a
b
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1
.
3

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
62 chapter one
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

1
.
4


E
a
n
n
a

S
t
y
l
e

B


D
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c
i
s
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n

R
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A
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c
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f

t
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c
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t
;

š
u
š
a
n
u
;

1
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P
N
s

(
1

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c
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m
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i
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a
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a
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k
i
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s
;

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o
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m

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E
a
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;

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f

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b
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p
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2
D
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M
U
.
D
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3
.
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Š

š
a
2

i
n
a

p
a
-
n
i
-
š
u
2
-
n
u
1
0
+

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N
s

(
1

s
c
r
i
b
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a
t

e
n
d
)
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Š
a
m
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š
-
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ē
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a
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i
d
d
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n

/

m
A

u
l
a
p
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t
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k
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r
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k
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3
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C
a
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b
decision records 63
1.E Non-Stylized Decision Records
The decision records discussed until this point show signs of having
been composed according to an identifiable style. The discussion turns
now to those decision records that are not composed in one of the four
styles outlined above. Although these decision records do not present a
clearly defined style, their legal function is the same as other decision
records: to record the decision in a case. Therefore, these texts are
considered to be of the same text-type as other decision records.
In order to be considered a non-stylized decision record, a text must
not follow the stylistic criteria of one of the styles presented above. It
must, however, indicate the following information: 1) the dispute being
decided; 2) the adjudicating authorities; and 3) the authorities’ decision.
49

The specifics of the different texts are presented in the summary table
at the end of this section.
The discussion of these texts will focus on two main issues: the inter-
pretation of the names at the end of the different texts and when the
texts were used. The non-stylized decision records all end with personal
names. In some, these names are presented in a manner that resembles
the end of the “Royal Judges” style texts in that the names are clearly
those of the adjudicating authorities. For example, Joannès, Archives de
Borsippa, p. 251 ends with the phrase ina maar (“before”) followed by
the names of the judges. Each name is followed by the designation
lu2
DI.KU
5
(“judge”). Similarly, the designation
lu2
DI.KU
5
follows four of
the names at the end of VAS 6, 171. The names at the end of Camb
412, apart from that of the scribe, do not carry any designation. The
text itself, however, does mention that the case appeared “before” (ina
maar)
m
Bēl-uballi who is the šangû of Sippar, the “temple enterers of
Šamaš,” and the elders of the city.
50

m
Bēl-uballi’s name can be restored
49
In Rutten, RA 41 (1947), pp. 99–103 the elders of the city, who review the evidence,
do not actually reach a decision. Instead, the case ends when the plaintiff “turns back”
(i-tur-[ru?]) in the face of the evidence against him. This text is considered a decision
record (rather than a settlement) because it is the presentation of the evidence before
the elders that leads to the conclusion of the case. AnOr 8, 79, as edited by San Nicolò,
SBAW 1937, Vol. 6, pp. 45–47, seems to be the record of a penalty imposed for not
fulfilling a sworn obligation. It does not include any details about the procedures that
led to the imposition of the penalty, but it is likely that the penalty was imposed at a
hearing before the Eanna officials.
50
Camb 412:6–7, 9–10, 11.
64 chapter one
at the end of the text, along with the names of two other individuals,
m
Iqīša-Marduk son of
m
Etel-[pî-Šamaš descendant of Šangû-Sippar]
and
m
Nabû-aē-šullim son of
m
Mušēzib-Marduk [descendant of
Šangû-Ištar]-Bābili.
m
Iqīša-Marduk is known, from other texts, as a
“temple enterer of Šamaš,” while
m
Nabû-aē-šullim is also known
to have been active in the Sippar temple administration.
51
Thus, it is
clear that Camb 412 ends with the names of authorities, even though
the manner in which the names are presented gives no clear indication
that they belong to the adjudicating authorities.
The names at the end of most of the non-stylized decision records,
however, are designated
lu2
mu-kin-nu (“witnesses”). In some texts, this
designation may, nevertheless, refer to the adjudicating authorities,
as it might in the “Eanna style B” decision records (see section 9.J).
Thus, both Rutten, RA 41 (1947), pp. 99–103 and Jursa, Das Archiv des
Bēl-Rēmanni, pp. 128–129 describe cases in which evidence is presented
“before the elders of the city”.
52
It is tempting to identify the names
at the end of these texts with those of the elders, although there is no
solid evidence for this. Caution is similarly in order in the interpreta-
tion of Stolper, Entrepreneurs, No. 110. This text mentions an “assembly”
(
lu2
UKKIN), whose members may be identical to those individuals
named at the end of the text.
In other non-stylized decision records, the designation
lu2
mu-kin-nu
apparently refers to actual witnesses. Wunsch, BA 2, No. 9:12–13
indicates that the decision record was “[wr]itten before
m
[Marduk]-
šuma-iddin the šangû of Sippar” (ina ma-ar
m
[
d
AMAR.UTU]-MU-
MU[
lu2
]SANGA sip-par
ki
ša-a-ru [ša]-ti-ir-ru). After this notice follow four
names designated as
lu2
mu-kin-nu. The text does not mention any other
adjudicating entities with which these four names might be identified.
This leads to the conclusion that these four people were witnesses to
the proceedings. Similarly, in Dar 410, the judge
m
Itti-Nabû-balāu
“and his colleagues, the judges” (u
3

lu2
ki-na-at-te-e-šu
2

lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ) are
mentioned in the body of the text.
53

m
Itti-Nabû-balāu’s name does not
51
For
m
Iqīša-Marduk as a “temple enterer” see Bongenaar, Ebabbar, p. 162. For
m
Nabû-aē-šullim’s activities see the different references listed in Bongenaar, Ebab-
bar, p. 527.
52
Rutten, RA 41 (1947), pp. 99–103:15 (a-na ma-ri ši-bu-ut URU); Jursa, Das Archiv
des Bēl-Rēmanni, pp. 128–129:28 (i-na ma-ar
lu2
ši-bu-tu URU).
53
Dar 410:5.
decision records 65
appear at the end of the text, and none of the names at the end of the
text has the title
lu2
DI.KU
5
. In this case, too, the individuals designated
as
lu2
mu-kin-nu witnessed the proceedings but were not judges.
Finally, some attention must be given to explaining why the non-
stylized decision records exist alongside the “Royal Judges” and the
“Eanna” styles. As can be seen from summary table 1.5 below, a
number of non-stylized decision records were written in Nippur, Dilbat
and Borsippa, where no “Royal Judges” decision records are attested.
These texts may, therefore, reflect variant regional scribal practices of
recording decisions. Similarly, the non-stylized decision records from
Babylon are not written by the same scribes as the “Royal Judges”
style decision records. Thus, they too may reflect the practices of the
different scribes.
The non-stylized decision records from Sippar present a unique
problem, which is best illustrated by comparing Camb 412, a non-styl-
ized decision record, with Cyr 332, a “Royal Judges style A” decision
record. The same scribe,
m
Arad-Bēl son of
m
Bēl-ušallim descendant
of Adad-šammê, composed both of these texts. Thus, the difference
in style cannot be attributed to the practices of different scribes. The
difference in style is not due to different authorities, either, since the
same authorities appear in both texts. Furthermore, it is impossible to
distinguish between the subjects of the two texts, since both texts pertain
to private property. Therefore, it would be incorrect to suggest that in
the Ebabbar at Sippar, like in the Eanna at Uruk, the “Royal Judges”
styles were used for cases pertaining to private property while another
style was used for cases pertaining to temple affairs. Nevertheless, the
existence of decision records written in different styles by the same
scribe suggests that the different styles were used in different situations.
Unfortunately, the evidence of the texts themselves does not offer any
clear indication of what these different situations might be.
66 chapter one
S
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p
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)
decision records 67
T
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T
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m
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1
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5

(
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CHAPTER TWO
OTHER TEXT
-
TYPES INCLUDING THE
RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
The previous chapter focused on one text-type—the decision record—
and on analyzing the different styles in which decision records were
composed. This text-type, however, is not the only one that provides
evidence for the final resolution of disputes. There are three other text-
types that provide similar evidence: conclusions, memoranda includ-
ing decisions, and settlements. Like the decision records, these three
text-types include some mention of a dispute and how it was resolved.
Unlike the decision records, however, they were not composed only for
the purpose of recording the decision. Although these text-types men-
tion that a dispute has ended by means of a decision, this decision is
secondary to their actual purpose.
2.A Conclusions of Disputes
Like the decision records, these texts also mention a legal dispute and
the decision reached by the adjudicators. Unlike the decision records,
however, conclusions do not end with the authorities’ decision. Instead,
they continue with some record pertaining to the subject of the case
after the ruling. In most cases, the texts conclude with the transfer of
the property in question to its rightful owner in compliance with the
outcome of the recorded dispute. The different conclusions, which
depend directly on the particulars of each case, are listed in summary
table 2.1 at the end of this section.
The formulation of conclusions does not follow an identifiable
outline. To be classified as a conclusion, a text must include evidence
of the following: a dispute adjudicated by a legal authority and actions
pertaining to the subject of the dispute subsequent to the decision.
The evidence of these different elements from the texts classified as
conclusions is presented in summary table 2.1 at the end of this sec-
tion, as well.
70 chapter two
In order to describe the specific legal function of the conclusion, Nbn
668 will serve as an example. This text is especially illustrative because
it can be situated within a “dossier” of texts pertaining to the same
case. The case surrounds
m
Bēl-rēmanni’s legal efforts to take possession
of four slaves as compensation for having repaid a debt on behalf of
m
Arad-Gula. As Wunsch has noted, Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998),
No. 13 and TCL 12, 122 are the two “Royal Judges” decision records
that indicate that
m
Bēl-rēmanni was entitled to receive the slaves as
payment.
1
Nbn 668 was composed one month after TCL 12, 122, the
second of the two decisions, by
m
Nādin and
m
Nabû-šuma-iškun, the
same court scribes who wrote TCL 12, 122. The conclusion begins by
presenting the basic history of the case. It then reads as follows:
9. ar
2
-ki
md
EN-re-man-ni
10.
f
a-na-
d
taš-me-tum-at-kal
f
GEME-ia
11.
fd
na-na-a-a-na-E
2
-šu
2
u
md
za-
ba
4
-ba
4
-SUM.NA
12. UN.MEŠ E
2
ša
2

m
IR
3
-
d
gu-la E
2

maš-ka-ni-šu
2
13. a-na ma-ar
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
LUGAL ub-lam-ma
(9–13) Afterwards,
m
Bēl-rēmanni
brought
f
Ana-Tašmētu-atkal,
f
Amtiya,
f
Nanaya-ana-bītīšu and
m
Zababa-iddin, the household
slaves of
m
Arad-Gula, which were
pledged to him, before the judges
of the king.
14. LU
2
-tu
2
ša a-na ku-mu 3
MA.NA 50 GIN
2
[KU
3
.
BABBAR]
15. ŠAM
2
gam
!
-ru-tu pa-ni
md
EN-re-
man-nu
16. ki-i pi-i up-pi-šu
2
u
2
-šad-gi-l[u]
(14–16) They gave the slaves
instead of the full price—3 mina
50 šeqel [of silver]—to
m
Bēl-
rēmannu, in accordance with his
tablet.
17. na-din ma-ir a-pil
2
ru-gum-ma-a
ul i-ši
(17) He is given, received, and
quit. He has no claim.
The mention that the judges transferred the slaves to
m
Bēl-rēmanni
is the aspect of Nbn 668 that characterizes the text as a conclusion,
rather than a decision record.
2
The decision in this case was reached
one month earlier, as is clear from the decision record TCL 12, 122.
Even with this decision record in hand, however, it took one month for
m
Bēl-rēmanni to gain possession of the slaves. Thus, although a ruling
had been reached, the matter was not closed until
m
Bēl-rēmanni has
1
Wunsch, AfO 44–45 (1997–1998), pp. 68–70.
2
For similar notices in conclusions see McEwan, LB Tablets, No. 38:8; Stolper, Entre-
preneurs, No. 106: 21–23; BE 9, 69: 8–9 and Stolper, Entrepreneurs, No. 109:15.
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 71
received the slaves. The notice in line 17 that “he is given, received,
and quit,” and that “he has no claim”, points directly to the purpose
for which the conclusion was written. The purpose of the conclusion
is to serve as record that the parties have actually complied with the
judges’ decision. It is at this point that the case is actually closed.
In addition to the notice that
m
Bel-rēmanni has received payment,
Nbn 668 also includes the following statement:
18. u
3

2
-šu
2
ma-ti-ma la sa-a-ri-
im-ma
19. a-na UGU LU
2
-tu
2
šu-a-tu
2
la
ra-ga-mu
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
20. up-pi iš-u-ru-ma ina
na4
<KIŠIB>.MEŠ-šu
2
-nu ib-ru-
mu-ma
21. a-na
md
EN-re-man-ni id-di-nu
(18–21) And so that there will be
no turning back and raising a claim
regarding these slaves, the judges
wrote a tablet and sealed it with their
<seals> and gave it to
m
Bēl-rēmanni.
This notice, and ones like it from other conclusions,
3
is similar to those
mentioned at the beginning of the typological discussion of the deci-
sion records (section 1.A above). These notices state that the decision
records were written as proof of the decision in order to prevent future
claims. The appearance of such notices in the conclusions indicates
that the conclusions are written to prevent future claims, as well. The
conclusions, then, have a dual legal purpose. Like the decision records,
they serve as a record of the decision itself, and thus prevent reopening
the case. But they also go beyond the decision records by recording
that the parties actually complied with the decision.
One feature common to all the text-types discussed thus far is the
presence of a clearly identifiable adjudicating authority, such as the
royal judges or the assembly of the Eanna at Uruk. The role that these
authorities play as adjudicators is obvious from the texts themselves.
In the “Royal Judges” style decision records, for example, the judges
appear not only when their names are recorded at the end of the texts;
their actions as judges are recorded within the text, as well. The same
may be said for the other styles of decision records and for the conclu-
sions of disputes.
The presence of adjudicators is not entirely apparent in the other two
text-types that mention the decision of legal disputes: the memoranda
3
McEwan, LB Tablets, No. 38:7; Stolper, Entrepreneurs, No. 106:23–26; BE 9, 69:9–14;
Stolper, Entrepreneurs, No. 109:15–17.
72 chapter two
S
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T
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2
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4
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7

[
C
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r
]
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 73
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

2
.
1

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
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t
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74 chapter two
including decisions and the settlements. Properly understanding these
two text-types requires attention to this additional ambiguity. More
specifically, in order to properly situate these text-types within the ‘tablet
trail’, one must determine not only what stage of adjudication they
reflect, but also how the cases they describe were adjudicated. Were
judges or other adjudicators present, or were the cases that these texts
describe settled without formal judicial intervention?
2.B Memoranda Including Decisions
The memoranda derive their name from the words tasistu lā mašê
(“Memorandum, not to be forgotten”) that occur at the end of most of
them.
4
One additional defining feature of this text-type is the absence
of the scribe’s name.
5
The phrase tasistu lā mašê commonly occurs in
Neo-Babylonian texts that do not include the name of the scribe.
6
The
absence of the scribe’s name and the designation of some of the texts
as tasistu point to the function of this text-type. The memoranda were
meant for the scribe’s own use, rather than as an official legal record
of how a case was decided. The scribe might have composed such a
document to remind himself of the actual proceedings. All the impor-
tant information would have been recorded, but the scribe’s own name
would not have been necessary. The memoranda might have served
the scribe in composing the more formal documents.
The memoranda may be divided into two styles, one from Babylon
and the other from outside Babylon. The memoranda written in Babylon
have the following basic outline:
I. Descriptive sentence(s)
A. Designation of names
B. Dispute
C. Decision
II. Names
III. Place of composition and date
IV. tasistu lā mašê
4
TCL 13, 212:15; BE 8/1, 29:32; VAS 6, 38:21; VAS 6, 89:17.
5
This absence is first noted by San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV p. 608.
6
This conclusion is based on examination of the Neo-Babylonian examples cited
in CAD mašû A 1d (M
1
, p. 400) and AHw. tasistu 4 (p. 1302).
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 75
The relevant parts of VAS 6, 89, a memorandum written in Babylon,
will serve to illustrate the different elements of this text-type. The text
will first be presented in its entirety. Then, the different components will
be presented in terms of the outline above. The specific details of
other memoranda are presented in summary table 2.2 at the end of
this section.
VAS 6, 89 pertains to a dispute between two descendants of the
Nappāu clan,
m
Šākin-šumi and
m
Balāu, over income from a cer-
tain prebend (isqu).
m
Šākin-šumi’s claim to the income is granted and
m
Balāu forfeits his claim to the income.
m
Balāu places the income at
the disposal of
m
Šākin-šumi, apart from 10 šeqels which
m
Balāu gave
on behalf of
m
Šākin-šumi in a payment of some kind.
7
The text itself
reads as follows:
8
1.
lu2
DUMU-DU
3
.MEŠ ša
2
ina
pa-ni-šu
2
-nu
m
GAR-MU
2. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
nad-na-a A
lu2
SIMUG u
m
TIN A-šu
2
ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-SU
3. A
lu2
SIMUG it-ti a-a-meš a-na
UGU is-qu
4. pa-ni
d
EN-URU-ia ša
2

uru
sar-ra-
ba-nu
5. id-bu-bu-<<ub>>-ma
m
TIN
a-na UGU is-qu
(1–5) The mār banî before whom
m
Šākin-šumi son of
m
Nadnaya
descendant of Nappāu and
m
Balāu son of
m
Marduk-erība
descendant of Nappāu argued
against each other regarding the
prebend-income from Bēl-āliya of
Šarrabanu.
6. la u
2
-šar-šu-u
2

m
TIN a-na
m
GAR-MU
(5–6) They did not allow
m
Balāu
possession of the prebend-income.
7. iq-bu-u
2
um-ma a-mur is-si-qi
2

ina pa-ni-ka
8. al-la 10 GIN
2
KU
3
.BABBAR
ša
2
a-na
m
su-za-a
9. a-na mu-i-ka ad-di-nu
10. i bi-in-nu
(6–7)
m
Balāu said thus to
m
Šākin-
šumi:
(7–10) “Look here! My prebend-
income is at your disposal, except
for the 10 šeqel which I gave to
m
Suzaya on your behalf. Give (that)
to me!”
11.
m
mu-ra-nu A-šu
2
ša
2

m
DI.KU
5
-
d
AMAR.UTU A
md
EN--u
2
(11)
m
Mūranu son of
m
Dayyān-
Marduk descendant of Bēliyau;
12.
m
na-din A-šu
2
ša
2

m
a-ta-mar-
d
A.NUN.SU
(12)
m
Nādin son of Atamar-
d
Nusku;
7
For the later history of this income, see San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV p. 615 and
Baker, AfO Beiheft 30 (2004), p. 37 and pp. 129–130.
8
Readings follow Baker, AfO Beiheft 30 (2004), No. 50 (pp. 129–130).
76 chapter two
13.
md
EN-u
2
-sep-pe A-šu
2
ša
2

m
EN-
šu
2
-nu A
m
ba-bu-tu
(13)
m
Bēl-useppe son of
m
Bēlšunu
descendant of Bābūtu;
14.
m
IR
3
-
d
gu-la A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ki-rib-tu
A
lu2
dul-lu-pu
(14)
m
Arad-Gula son of
m
Kiribtu
descedant of Dullupu;
15.
md
EN-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

md
AMAR.
UTU-SU A
lu2
SIMUG TIN.
TIR
ki
(15)
m
Bēl-iddin son of
m
Marduk-
erība descendant of Nappāu.
16. ITI ŠU U
4
25-kam
2
MU
17-kam
2

md
NA
3
-I
17. LUGAL E
ki
ta-sis-tu
4
la maš-
še-e
(16–17) Babylon. 25 Duūzu, year
17 of Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
(17) Memorandum not to be
forgotten.
In terms of the outline above, the components of VAS 6, 89 may be
presented as follows:
I. Descriptive sentence(s) (Lines 1–6)
A. Designation of personal names (1)
lu
2
DUMU-DU
3
.MEŠ ša
2
ina pa-ni-šu
2
-nu
B. Dispute (1–5)
m
PN
1
u
m
PN
2
it-ti a-a-meš a-na UGU is-qu . . . id-bu-bu-<<ub>>-
ma
C. Decision (5–6)
m
PN
2
a-na UGU is-qu la u
2
-šar-šu-u
2

“The mār banî before whom
m
PN
1
and
m
PN
2
argued against each
other regarding the prebend-income . . . They did not allow
m
PN
2

possession of the prebend-income.”
II. Names
5 PNs
III. Place of composition and Date
Babylon. 25 Duūzu, year 17 of Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
IV. ta-sis-tu
4
la maš-še-e
“Memorandum, not to be forgotten.”
The two extant memoranda not written in Babylon include all of the
same elements in a slightly different order. The names appear at the very
beginning. The following sentence identifies all the named individuals
as mār banî and mentions the dispute. For comparison purposes, the
outlines of the two different styles are presented here side-by-side.
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 77
Decision Memoranda from Babylon Decision Memoranda from outside
Babylon
I. Descriptive Sentence(s)
A. Designation of Names
B. Dispute
C. Decision
I. Names
II. Names II. Descriptive Sentence(s)
A. Designation of Names
B. Dispute
C. Decision
III. Place of composition and date III. Place of composition and date
IV. tasistu lā mašê IV. tasistu lā mašê
VAS 6, 89, the memorandum quoted above, demonstrates that the situa-
tion described in this text-type is very similar to the situations described
in the decision records. A case is “argued” (dabābu) “before” (ina pāni )
a group of people; in VAS 6, 89 they are designated as mār banî. The
use of the prepositional phrase ina pāni together with the verb dabābu
suggests that the group of mār banî are the adjudicators.
9
The same
idiom—dabābu ina pāni—or the semantically equivalent dabābu ina maar
occurs in a number of “Royal Judges style B” decision records, where
it describes the arguing of the case “before” the judges. In VAS 6, 89,
it is the mār banî who do not allow
m
Balāu

possession of the prebend
income. Thus, the memorandum itself shows that the mār banî play a
role in adjudicating the case argued before them.
In VAS 6, 89, the evidence for the adjudicatory role played by the
named individuals comes from the use of the idiom dabābu ina pāni
together with the actions described. Several other memoranda offer
evidence in addition to the use of dabābu ina pāni which underscores
the fact that the named individuals play an adjudicatory role. This
additional evidence includes the designation of the individuals named
in Nbk 109 as
lu
2
da-a-ne-e (“judges”) or, in BE 8/1, 29 as
lu
2
ši-bu-tu ša
2

EN.LIL
2
ki
(“the elders of Nippur”). The opening sentence of VAS 6,
38 reads:
lu
2
[mu-kin-nu ša
2
ina] pa-ni-šu
2
-nu
m
P[N
1
itti ]
m
PN
2
di-i-[ni-šu
2

ša
2
] ša-le-e a-na UGU pi-i-šu
2
-nu iš-ku-un (“[The witnesses] before whom
9
See the “Appearance” column in the summary table of the “Royal Judges style
B” decision records (summary table 1.2).
78 chapter two
m
P[N
1
] presented [his c]ase regarding the cress [against]
m
PN
2
for their
adjudication”).
10
The verb dabābu does not occur, but the case (dīnu) is
presented (šakānu) before (ina pāni ) the individuals for their judgment.
Furthermore, in the lines that follow this introduction, the litigants
swear that “we shall not change their judgment that they judge for us”
(mim-ma ma-la i-di-nu-na-šu
2
di-i-ni-šu
2
-nu nu-ul-ta-nu-u
2
).
11
In the memoranda discussed thus far, there is clear evidence that
the people “before whom” the case is argued are those who decide the
case. There are, however, memoranda that use the idiom dabābu ina pāni
without any additional evidence that the people “before whom” the
case is argued play an adjudicatory role. The question arises in YOS
17, 320, in which the individuals are designated as
lu2
mu-kin-nu (“wit-
nesses”) and in TCL 13, 212, where the text containing the designation
is broken. On the one hand, the use of the term dabābu ina pāni may
indeed indicate that, like the “witnesses” in the Eanna decision records,
the individuals named in these memoranda served in an adjudicatory
capacity. On the other hand, the individuals “before whom” the case
was argued may have served not as judges, but as witnesses. It may be
that the case was argued and settled between the two parties without
any need for adjudication.
2.C Settlements
The presentation of the document typology began by positing that
each text-type has its own legal function. The identification of the
settlements, the text-type to be discussed here, deviates from this meth-
odological axiom. Instead of a common legal function, the settlements
share a common setting. All of them record disputes resolved without
mentioning a ruling by an authority. Because they share a common set-
ting, rather than a common legal function, texts of this text-type may
share a purpose with one of the other text-types described above. Thus,
for example, at least one settlement resembles a conclusion. It records
10
Restored based on the translation of VAS 6, 38:1 as “(Diese sind) d[ie Zeugen v]or
welchen” in San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV p. 609. Their translation reflects the restoration
of the line as
lu2
[mu-kin-nu ša
2
ina] pa-ni-su
2
-nu. Whatever the missing noun, it is clear
from the remainder of the text that the people play an adjudicatory role.
11
For this interpretation of the oath, see CAD dânu b3’ (D, p. 103).
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 79
not only the ruling, but the compliance, as well.
12
It is considered a
settlement rather than a conclusion because it does not mention the
activities of authorities.
The fact that these settlements result from a dispute is apparent
from the verbs used, or from the situations described by the texts.
This evidence is presented in summary table 2.3 below. The use of
terms such as dīna dabābu or dīna gerû may offer some insight into the
setting in which these texts were composed. In order to illustrate this
point, it is best to present one of the settlements, Dar 260. In this text,
m
Karêa and his wife,
f
Nuptaya, initiate litigation against
m
Nergal-aa-
iddin,
f
Nuptaya’s son from a previous marriage.
m
Nergal-aa-iddin is
12
BIN 1, 141.
Summary Table 2.2 Memoranda Including Decisions
Text Designation
of Names
Dispute
Terminology
Decision Place of
Composition
Date
TCL
13, 212
? PN
1
di-i-nu . . . it-
ti [PN
2
] id-dab-
bu-ub-ma
(l. 12–14)
? — —
BE
8/1, 29
lu2
ši-bu-tu ša
2

EN.LIL
2
ki
+
5 PNs; ina
DU.ZU + 7
PNs
? ? [Nippur] 15.VII.?
Nbk
YOS
17, 320
lu2
mu-kin-nu PN
1
it-ti PN
2
di-
i-ni i-dab-bu-ub-
ma (l. 11–13)
return of
slave
Nippur 21.IX.10
Nbk
Nbk
109
lu2
da-a-ne-e [di]-i-ni . . . id-bu-
bu ( l. 5–6)
return of
property
to plaintiff
Babylon 6.I.17
Nbk
VAS 6,
38
? PN
1
[it-ti] PN
2

di-i-[ni-šu
2
] . . . a-
na UGU pi-i-
šu
2
-nu iš-ku-un (l.
1–7)
a-na PN
2

iq-bu-u
2

um-ma +
ruling
(l. 10–15)
Babylon 24.III.34
Nbk
VAS 6,
89
lu2
DUMU
DU
3
.MEŠ
PN
1
u PN
2
it-ti
a-a-meš . . . id-
bu-bu-ma (l. 1–5)
la u
2
-šar-šu-
u
2
(l. 6)
Babylon 25.IV.17
Nbn
80 chapter two
in possession of several slaves to whom
m
Karêa and
f
Nuptaya have a
claim, presumably through
f
Nuptaya. Fearing the pending litigation,
m
Nergal-aa-iddin returns the living slaves and swears that he will
compensate his mother and her new husband for the death of one of
the slaves. The litigants settle out of court. The text itself, before the
names of witnesses, reads as follows:
1. di-i-ni ša
2

m
ka-re-e-a A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-DA A
m
ŠEŠ-u
2
-tu
2. u
3

f
nu-up-ta-a DUMU.SAL-
su ša
2

md
NA
3
-TIN-su-iq-bi
¢DAMÜ-šu
2
3. a-na mu-i
f
ku-uz-ba-a u
3

DUMU.MEŠ-šu
2
u
md
NA
3
-ur-
šu
2
UN.MEŠ E
2
-šu
2
-nu
4. it-ti
md
U.GUR-ŠEŠ-MU A-šu
2

ša
2

m
ŠEŠ.MEŠ-e-a ir-gu-mu-
(1–4) The suit of
m
Karêa son of
m
Bēl-lēi descendant of Aūtu and
f
Nuptaya daughter of
m
Nabû-
balāssu-iqbi, his wife, regarding
f
Kuzbaya and her sons and
m
Nabû-
uuršu, the members of their
household, which they brought
against
m
Nergal-aa-iddin son of
m
Aêa.
5.
md
U.GUR-ŠEŠ-MU di-i-ni
i-dur
6
-ma it-ti
m
ka-re-e-a
6. u
f
nu-up-ta-a AMA-šu
2
a-na da-
ba-ba di-i-ni
7. la il-lik
f
ku-uz-ba-a u
3
DUMU.
MEŠ-šu
2
i
!
-ter-ri-ba
(5–7)
m
Nergal-aa-iddin feared
the suit and he did not come to
argue the case against
m
Karêa and
f
Nuptaya, his mother.
(7) He returned
f
Kuzbaya and her
sons.
8. a-na
m
ka-re-e-a u
3

f
nu-up-ta-a
AMA-šu
2
it-te-me
9. ki
!
-i
!
4 MA.NA KU
3
.BABBAR
ku-um
md
NA
3
-ur-šu
2
ša
2
ina E
2

md
U.GUR-ŠEŠ-MU
10. mi-ti a-na
m
ka-re-e-a
f
nu-up-ta-a
AMA-šu
2
[i-nam-din]
(8–10) He swore to
m
Karêa and
f
Nuptaya his mother that [he will
pay] 4 mina of silver in exchange
for
m
Nabû-uuršu, who died in
the house of
m
Nergal-aa-iddin to
m
Karêa (and)
f
Nuptaya, his mother.
11.
md
U.GUR-ŠEŠ-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ŠEŠ.MEŠ-e-a a-ŠIR-tu
4
it-ti
m
ka-[re-e-a]
12. u
3

f
nu-up-ta-a DUMU.SAL-su
ša
2

md
NA
3
-TIN-su-E AMA-šu
2

i-nam-[din]
(11–12)
m
Nergal-aa-iddin, son
of
m
Aêa s hall p[ ay] . . . with
m
Ka[rêa] and
f
Nuptaya, daughter
of
m
Nabû-balāssu-iqbi, his mother.
13. dib-bi ša
2

m
ka-re-e-a u
3

f
nu-up-ta-
a [a-na mu-i]
14. a-me-lut-tu
4
u
3
man-da-at-tu
4
.
MEŠ it-ti
m
[
d
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU]
15. qa-tu-u
2
(13–15) The case of
m
Karêa and
f
Nuptaya [regarding] the slaves and
the payments against
m
Nabû-aa-
iddin is settled.
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 81
16.
md
U.GUR-ŠEŠ-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ŠEŠ.MEŠ-a-a
m
[ka-re-e-a]
17. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-DA A
m
ŠEŠ-
u
2
-tu u
3

f
nu-up-ta-a
18. AMA-šu
2
[. . .] a-na mu-i a-
a-meš
19. ina
d
EN
d
NA
3
u a-de-e ša
2

m
da-
ri-u-šu
2
LUGAL [E
ki
u KUR.
KUR]
20. a-na a-a-meš it-te-mu-u
2
ki-i
a-na UGU
(16–20)
m
Nergal-aa-iddin son of

m
Aēa,
m
[Karêa] son of
m
Bēl-lēi
descendant of Aûtu and
f
Nuptaya
his mother . . . swore by Bēl, Nabû
and the oaths of Darius king [of
Babylon and the lands] to each
other:
(20–21) “Whatever we have agreed
we have received.”
21. ša
2
ni-pu-uš ni-te-e-si man-da-
at-tu
4
.MEŠ
22.
m
ka-re-e-a A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-DA
A
m
ŠEŠ-u
2
-tu
4
[u
3

f
nu-up-ta-a]
23. AMA-šu
2
ina ŠU.2
md
U.GUR-
ŠEŠ-MU
(21–23)
m
Karêa son of
m
Bēl-lēi
descendant of Aūtu, and
f
Nuptaya, his mother, have received
the payments (for the slaves) from
m
Nergal-aa-iddin.
As with all the texts of this text-type, judges or other officials are not
mentioned as part of the proceedings. In fact, the text specifically men-
tions that the case never reaches a court because “
m
Nergal-aa-iddin
feared the suit and he did not come to argue the case.” Thus, it is
possible that the entire text records a settlement reached between the
parties once
m
Nergal-aa-iddin concedes. The text does not mention
the names of authorities because no authorities were involved. On the
other hand, the opening of the text describes the situation as dīni ša
m
Karêa u
f
Nuptaya . . . itti
m
Nergal-aa-iddin irgumū (“The suit which
m
Karêa
and
f
Nuptaya raised against
m
Nergal-aa-iddin”). Similar phrases occur
in “Royal Judges style B” decision records, in which judges clearly have
a role. It is possible, therefore, that the opening phrase of Dar 260
indicates that judges were involved in an early stage of the process, but
that the settlement was reached before they had to decide the case.
Another settlement that raises similar ambiguities is VAS 6, 127. In
terms of form, this text closely resembles the memoranda from Baby-
lon described earlier (section 2.B). Before the names, the text reads as
follows:
13
13
Transliteration and translation follow Baker, AfO Beiheft 30 (2004), No. 9.
82 chapter two
1.
lu2
DUMU DU
3
-i.MEŠ ša
2
ina
IGI-šu
2
-nu
m
ni-din-tu A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-MU
2. a-na
m
MU-
d
NA
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU
3
-NUMUN A
lu2
SIMUG
3. iq-bu-u
2
um-ma ra-šu-ta-a ina
mu-i
4.
m
še-el-le-bi DUMU-ka ia-a-nu
(1–3) The mār banî before whom
m
Nidintu son of
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin
said thus to
m
Iddin-Nabû son of
m
Nabû-bāni-zēri descendant of
Nappāu:
(3–4) “There is no debt owed by
m
Šellebi, your son.”
5. u a-na mu-i-šu
2
ul a-kaš
2
-ša
2
-du (5) “And I will not proceed against
him.”
The situation may be reconstructed as follows.
m
Šellebi, son of
m
Id-
din-Nabû, has taken a loan from
m
Nidintu. Apparently faced with the
threat of impending legal proceedings against his son,
m
Iddin-Nabû
has repaid the debt. “Before” (ina pāni ) six mār banî,
m
Nidintu declares
that
m
Šellebi is no longer in his debt.
m
Nidintu also declares that he
will not undertake legal proceedings against
m
Šellebi.
14
The role of the
mār banî in this text may simply have been as witnesses to
m
Nidintu’s
declarations. It is also possible, however, that by their very presence
the mār banî constitute an adjudicating body.
m
Nidintu may have begun
proceedings by turning to these mār banî, perhaps with a demand for
repayment of the debt. The debt was paid before any further action
was required; the case was thus settled.
The defining feature of the settlements is the absence of adjudicating
authorities. The discussion above has offered several ways to under-
stand this absence. It is possible that no authorities were ever involved
in the case. It stands to reason that not all cases had to appear before
judges or any other officially sanctioned adjudicating body. Alterna-
tively, because all the settlements include the names of witnesses or
mār banî, it is possible that these individuals served as arbiters in these
cases. Finally, the inclusion of dispute terminology such as dīna gerû or
dabābu raises the possibility of some official initiation of proceedings.
These phrases may indeed reflect a formal procedure, and not simply
an informal confrontation between the parties. If so, then it is possible
that even though judges or other adjudicators are not mentioned in the
settlements, they are nonetheless involved, at least in the initial stages
of the case.
14
For the translation of the expression kašādu ana mui as “to proceed against” see
CAD kašādu 1d (K, p. 276) and AHw. kašādu 9 (p. 460).
other text-types including the resolution of disputes 83
Summary Table 2.3 Settlements
Text Dispute
Terminology
Decision Names Scribe Place of
Composition
Date
BIN 1,
141
di-i-ni ig-re-u
2
-
ma um-ma
(l. 3–4)
? (ul i-ta-tar-
ma . . . ul i -dab-
bu-ub)
— — — —
Evetts,
Ner. 36
PN
1
it-ti PN
2

i-dab-bu-ub um-
ma (l. 9–11)
?
lu2
mu-kin-nu
+ 6 PNs;
1 scribe
m
Šamaš-
zēra-iqīša/
m
Balāu//
Šigûa
Babylon 28.IV.2 Ngl
YOS 6,
18/ YOS
19, 100
PN
1
a-na PN
2

u
2
-paq-qi-ru
(l. 8–9)
claim rejected
lu2
mu-kin-nu
+ 5 PNs; 1
scribe
m
Nabû-šuma-
imbi/
m
Taqīš-
Gula//
anbu
Uruk 8.XI.1 Nbn
Wunsch,
CM 20,
No. 59
claim made in
lines 3’–4’
release of
property
lu2
mu-kin-nu
+ 5 PNs +
1 scribe
[
m
Itti-Nabû-
balāu]/
m
Marduk-
šuma-[uur//
Nappāu]
? [22.VI.5
Camb?]
Dar 260 di-i-ni ša
2
PN
1

u
3
PN
2
. . . it-ti
PN
4
ir-gu-mu-
(l. 1–4)
dib-bi ša
2
PN
1

u
3
PN
2
. . . qa-
tu-u
2
[
lu2
mu-kin-
nu] + 12
PNs; 1
scribe
m
Nabû-
apla-iddin/
m
Nabû-šuma-
iškun//
Šangû-Nin-
Eanna
Šarini 25.VIII.9
Dar
VAS 6,
127
— a-na mu-i-šu
2

ul a-kaš
2
-ša
2
-du
6 mār banî — Babylon 18.VI.11
Dar
BE 10, 9 charge made
in l. 1–4
DI.KU
5
u ra-
ga-mu . . . a-na
u
4
-mu a-a-tu
2
ia-a-nu
lu2
MU.DU
+ 9 PNs; 1
scribe
m
Šulaya/
m
Ninurta-
nāir
Nippur 16.I.1 Dar
II
CHAPTER THREE
PRELIMINARY PROTOCOLS AND RECORDS OF
STATEMENTS IN COURT
The text-types discussed until this point all include a record of the
outcome of a case. The discussion now turns to texts that end without
recording the case’s outcome. Instead, these texts reflect different stages
of the legal proceedings. The discussion will begin with preliminary
protocols (section 3.A) and memoranda of proceedings (section 3.B).
Like the decision records, both of these text-types include descriptions
of proceedings involving authorities. These descriptions provide the
necessary information to situate the texts within the context of a trial.
The discussion will then turn to the different text-types that record
only statements: accusatory depositions (section 3.C.1), depositions of
testimony (section 3.C.2), memoranda of depositions (sections 3.C.3) and
depositions under oath (section 3.C.4). These text-types do not explicitly
mention the activities of a court. Thus, identifying their place within
a trial and their legal function must depend on other factors, such as
the authorities involved or the content of the statements made. The
description of these two text-types will note these different factors.
3.A Preliminary Protocols
Texts of this text-type describe proceedings without recording the
outcome of the case. The absence of a record of the cases’ outcome
distinguishes the preliminary protocols from the decision records.
Because these texts include descriptions of procedures, and not only
records of statements, they are also to be distinguished from depositions
(discussed below in section 3.C).
The legal function of this text-type is to record the preliminary stages
of the trial.
1
The most direct evidence for this use of the preliminary
1
For remarks about the preliminary nature of the proceedings, in general, see San
Nicolò, ArOr 5 (1933), p. 76 and, about YOS 6, 223, in particular, San Nicolò, ArOr
5 (1933), p. 295. See also Cornelia Wunsch, “Neu- und spätbabylonische Urkunden
aus dem Museum von Montserrat,” AuOr 15 (1997), p. 163.
86 chapter three
protocols comes from the comparison between YOS 7, 140, a pre-
liminary protocol, and YOS 7, 161, a decision record, both of which
pertain to the same trial.
2
YOS 7, 140 reads as follows:
1. 1-en UDU pu-al u
3
4-ta UDU
U
8
.¢MEÜ [NIGIN 5-ta] ¢e-eÜ-
nu ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
2. še-en-du NIG
2
.GA
d
INNIN
UNUG
ki
[u
d
na-na-a ] ša
2

md
a-
nu-LUGAL-URI
3
3. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
LUGAL-DU
lu2
NA.GAD ša
2

d
¢INNINÜ
[UNUG
ki
. . .] ša
2
qa-pu-ut-tu
4
4. ša
2

md
EN-LUGAL-URI
3
A-
šu
2
ša
2

m
¢ŠEŠÜ-ia-a-[li-du ša
2

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG].
LUGAL
5.
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
4
E
2
.AN.NA u
3

[. . .] iq-bu-u
2
6. um-ma man-na e-e-nu-a ša
2
!

[kak-kab-tu
4
še-en-du . . .]
(1–6) 1 ram, 4 ewes, [total 5]
sheep, branded with a star,
property of Ištar of Uruk [and
Nanaya] belonging to
m
Anu-
šarra-usur son of
m
Šarru-kīn, a
herdsman of Ištar [of Uruk . . .],
from the pen of
m
Bēl-šarra-usur
son of
m
Ahiya-a[lidu, (regarding)
which
m
Nabû-ahā-iddin,

the ša
rēš ] šarri administrator of the
Eanna and [. . .] said thus:
(6) “Who . . . these sheep [branded
with a star . . .] ?”
7.
md
EN-LUGAL-URI
3
ina
UKKIN iq-bi ¢um-ma ina
MU 2Ü-[kam
2

m
kam-bu-zi ]-¢ia
LUGAL TIN.TIRÜ
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR
8. 1-en UDU pu-al u
3
4-ta UDU
[U
8
].ME [NIGIN] 5-[ta e-e-
nu ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
] ¢še-en-duÜ
9.
md
EN-BA-ša
2
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
il-la-a
ina ŠU.2
!
-ia [ip-qid
md
EN-BA-
ša
2
]
(7–9) In the assembly,
m
Bēl-šarra-
usur said thus: “In year 2 of
[Camby]ses king of Babylon, king
of the lands,
m
Bēl-iqīša son of
m
Sillaya [deposited] 1 ram and 4
[ewe]s, [total] 5 [sheep branded
with a star] with me.”
10. i-bu-ku-nim-ma iš-ša
2
-al-[lu-
šu . . . iq-bi ]
11. um-ma 1-en UDU pu-al 4-ta
[UDU U
8
.ME ša
2
kak-kab-tu
še-en-du] u
3
(9–11) They brought [
m
Bēl-iqīša]
and question[ed him . . . he said]
thus:
2
The connection between the two texts is first identified by San Nicolò, ArOr 4
(1932), p. 341.
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 87
12. 5-ta UDU la-rat.ME ta-mi-
¢im-ma-ta NIGIN 10 eÜ-[e-nu
ul-tu] ¢e-e-nuÜ
13. NIG
2
.GA
d
INNIN UNUG
ki

¢ša
2
qa-pu-ut-tuÜ ša
2

md
a-nu-
LUGAL-URI
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
[LUGAL]-ki
!
-i-ni
14.
lu2
NA.GAD ša
2

d
INNIN
UNUG
ki

d
a-nu-LUGAL-URI
3
[
15. ina ITI ŠU MU 2-kam
2
id-
dan-ni [
(11–15) “In Duūzu, year 2,
m
Anu-šarra-usur gave me . . .
1 ram, 4 [ewes branded with
a star] and 5 unbranded ewes,
total 10 sh[eep from the] sheep,
property of Ištar of Uruk, from
the pen of
m
Anu-šarra-usur son
of
m
Šarru-kīni, herdsman of Ištar
of Uruk.”
16. u [. . .] ina UKKIN it-te-¢meÜ
(16) and . . . swore in the assembly:
17. ki-i e-lat 1-en UDU pu-al 4-ta
UDU la-rat.ME ša
2
kak-kab-
tu
4
še-en-du
18. u
3
5-ta UDU la-rat.ME ta-
mi-im-ma-a-ta NIGIN 10-ta
e-e-nu
19. ku-um ra-šu-ti-ia
md
a-nu-
LUGAL-URI
3
id-di-ni ša
2
ina
lib
3
-bi 1-en UDU pu-al u
3
20. 4-ta UDU la-rat.ME NIGIN
5-ta e-e-nu ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
še-
en-du ina pa-ni
md
EN-LUGAL-
URI
3
21. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ŠES-ia-a-li-du
lu2
NA.
GAD ša
2

d
INNIN UNUG
ki

ap-te-qid
md
EN-LUGAL-URI
3
(17–21) “Indeed, I did deposit
with
m
Bēl-šarra-usur son of
m
Ahiya-alidu, the shepherd of
Ištar of Uruk, in addition to 1
ram, 4 ewes branded with a star,
5 unbranded ewes, total 10 sheep,
which
m
Anu-šarra-usur gave (me)
as (payment for) my claim, which
included 1 ram and 4 ewes, total
5 sheep, branded with a star.”
22. ina UKKIN niš DINGIR.
MEŠ u LUGAL iz-kur u a-na
md
EN-BA-ša
2
u-ki-in um-ma
1-en UDU pu-al
(21–22) In the assembly,
m
Bēl-
šarra-usur took an oath by the
gods and the king and established
(a case) against
m
Bēl-iqīša thus:
23. u
3
4
!
UDU U
8
.ME ša
2
kak-kab-
tu
4
ina ITI APIN MU 2-kam
2

ina pa-ni-ia ta-ap-te-qid
24. ina ITI ZIZ
2
MU 2-kam
2

UDU U
8
.ME-a 5-ta ina pa-ni-
ia it-tal-da-
(22–24) “In Arahšamna, year 2,
you did deposit with me 1 ram
and 4 ewes branded with a star.
These 5 ewes (however) were
born in my flock (later) in Šabātu,
year 2.”
25.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
m
si-lim-DINGIR
lu2
SAG.LUGAL
lu2
ša
2
mu-i
qu-up-pu ša
2
E
2
.AN.NA
(25) Witnesses:
m
Silim-ili the ša rēš
šarri in charge of the chest of the
Eanna;
88 chapter three
26.
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA A-šu
2
ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-MU-MU A
m
ba-la-u
md
NA
3
-na-din-ŠEŠ
A-šu
2

27. ša
2

m
IR
3
-
d
EN A
m
MU-
d
PAP.
SUKKAL
md
UTU-DU-A A-
šu
2
ša
2

md
DI.KU
5
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-
MU A
m
ši-gu-u
2
-a
(26–27)
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli son of
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin descendant
of Balātu;
m
Nabû-nādin-ahi son
of
m
Arad-Bēl descendant of
Iddin-Papsukkal;
(27)
m
Šamaš-mukīn-apli son of
m
Madānu-ahhē-iddin descendant
of Šigûa;
28.
md
EN-KAR-
d
NA
3

lu2
SAG.
LUGAL
m
lu-u-a-na-ZALAG
2
-
d
AMAR.UTU A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-TIN-i
29. A
m
da-bi-bi
m
ki-na-a A-šu
2
ša
2

md
in-nin-li-pi-u
2
-ur
(28–29)
m
Bēl-ētir-Nabû, the ša rēš
šarri;
m
Lūsi-ana-nūri-Marduk son
of
m
Nabû-ahhē-bullit descendant
of Dābibī;
(29)
m
Kīnaya son of
m
Innin-līpi-
usur;
30.
m
na-di-nu
m
IR
3
-
d
AMAR.UTU
u
m
KI-
d
AMAR.UTU-TIN
lu2
DUB.SAR.ME ša
2
E
2
.AN.
NA
(30)
m
Nādinu,
m
Arad-Marduk and
m
Itti-Marduk-balāti, scribes of the
Eanna.
31. UNUG
ki
ITI ZIZ
2
U
4
3-kam
2

MU 3-kam
2

m
kam
2
-bu-zi-ia
32. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR
(31–32) Uruk. 3 Šabātu, year 3 of
Cambyses, king of Babylon, king
of the lands.
This text, written on 3.XI.3 Camb, records that five sheep belong-
ing to
m
Anu-šarra-usur, branded for Ištar of Uruk, have been found
in the possession of
m
Bēl-šarra-usur. Upon questioning in the Eanna,
m
Bēl-šarra-usur blames
m
Bēl-iqcša for giving him the sheep.
m
Bēl-iqīša
is brought to the assembly for interrogation, where he claims that he
received the five branded sheep directly from
m
Anu-šarra-usur, the
original owner, along with five other unbranded sheep, as payment
for a debt owed by
m
Anu-šarra-usur. He then swears that he deposited
these ten sheep (including the five branded sheep in question) with
m
Bēl-
šarra-usur.
m
Bēl-šarra-usur then swears that
m
Bēl-iqīša did deposit the
five branded sheep in question with him, but that the five additional,
unbranded sheep, were born later to
m
Bēl-šarra-usur, with no con-
nection to
m
Bēl-iqīša’s claim. Thus,
m
Bēl-šarra-usur’s oath undermines
m
Bēl-iqīša’s claim that all ten sheep were given together, and originally
represented the payment of a debt from
m
Anu-šarra-usur. YOS 7, 140
ends with
m
Bēl-šarra-usur’s oath. The decision in this case is reached
more than one month later. It is recorded in YOS 7, 161, a decision
record dated 12.XII.3 Camb, in which two royal judges,
m
Rīmūt and
m
Bau-ēreš, rule that
m
Bēl-iqīša must pay thirty-fold for the branded sheep
as well as replace the five unbranded ewes. The purpose of YOS 7,
140, then, is simply to record the different claims made during a
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 89
preliminary hearing about the case. The royal judges probably used
this information in rendering the decision recorded in YOS 7, 161.
The preliminary protocols may also be divided into two styles
analogous to the two “Eanna” styles of decision records described
above (section 1.C). The two styles of preliminary protocols follow the
following outlines:
Style A Style B
I. Proceedings I. Opening
A. Personal names
B. Transition
II. Conclusion II. Proceedings
A. Names of authorities
(ina DU.ZU)
B. Names of witnesses
(
lu2
mu-kin-nu)
C. Scribe
D. Place of composition
E. Date
III. Conclusion
A. Scribe
B. Place of composition
C. Date
These two styles of preliminary protocols closely resemble the two
“Eanna” styles of decision records. Except for the fact that a decision
is not recorded, the outlines are identical. As is the case with the two
“Eanna” styles of decision records, both styles of preliminary protocol
record the same information. The difference between the two styles
occurs in the placement of the personal names. In style A preliminary
protocols, these names come after the narration of the specifics of the
case, while in style B preliminary protocols, they occur at the begin-
ning, before the details of the case. As in the “Eanna” style decision
records, the name of the scribe and the date appear at the end of both
styles of preliminary protocols.
It is difficult to determine when each of the two styles was used.
Geography does not seem to be a factor, since both styles are attested
in several locations. Furthermore, the same scribes are known to have
composed preliminary protocols in both style A and style B, so it is
difficult to associate one style with a particular scribe.
Most of the preliminary protocols come from cases pertaining to the
Eanna’s property. Officials of the Eanna, along with the “assembly,” are
mentioned as playing a part in the proceedings, especially in gathering
90 chapter three
evidence. Often, they are the ones who conduct the proceedings
described in the text. In addition, their names may be recorded together
with the prepositional phrase ina DU.ZU (“in the presence of ”). The
participation of these officials indicates that obtaining evidence involved
an official process, which was separate from the ultimate decision of
the case.
3
A number of preliminary protocols even use the Akkadian
term mašaltu (“interrogation”) to refer to one such evidence-gathering
process. Preliminary protocols from the Ebabbar at Sippar indicate
that the temple authorities were involved there, as well.
4

There are two Eanna texts, YOS 7, 78 and TCL 13, 132, that do not
mention the involvement of officials. Nevertheless, it stands to reason
that both texts describe processes conducted by temple officials. The
cases in both texts involve temple property. The scribes who wrote
them,
m
Piru son of
m
Eanna-cuma-ibni (YOS 7, 78) and
m
Gimillu son
of
m
Innin-zēra-iddin (TCL 13, 132) are otherwise known from the
Eanna archives.
5
In YOS 7, 78, the first individual to testify has been
“caught” (kal-du-ma),
6
and is probably being held in official custody. In
TCL 13, 132, the statement of each party is preceded by the notice,
PN i-bu-ku-nim-ma iq-bi um-ma (“they brought PN and he said thus”).
7

Presumably, the parties are brought before some official body. Thus,
although no officials are named in the texts, YOS 7, 78 and TCL 13,
132 belong to the category of preliminary protocols since they also
describe proceedings conducted by officials.
Although most of the preliminary protocols pertain to temple
property, two texts, Wunsch, AuOr 15 (1997), No. 12 and Camb 329,
demonstrate that this text-type was used in cases pertaining to private
property, as well. Wunsch, AuOr 15 (1997), No. 12 is a style A pre-
liminary protocol that describes a procedure overseen by the judges
of Nabonidus.
8
Camb 329 is a style B
9
preliminary protocol that does
3
See San Nicolò, ArOr 5 (1933), p. 292. For the different officials mentioned in these
texts, see summary table 3.1 at the end of this section.
4
MacGinnis, Iraq 60 (1998), No. 9 and Cyr 329 mention officials known to have
been involved in the management of the Ebabbar. See the references to the names
in Bongenaar, Ebabbar.
5
Kümmel, Familie, p. 123 (
m
Piru) and p. 113 (
m
Gimillu).
6
YOS 7, 78:3.
7
TCL 13, 132:4, 7.
8
For the interpretation of the text as a preliminary protocol rather than a decision
record, see Wunsch, AuOr 15 (1997), p. 163.
9
The names in Camb 329 come after an introductory sentence instead of preceding
a transitional sentence as in most style B preliminary proceedings. Thus, in terms of
composition, it closely resembles a memorandum. However, because it includes the
name of the scribe, it is included in the present discussion.
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 91
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

3
.
1

P
r
e
l
i
m
i
n
a
r
y

P
r
o
t
o
c
o
l
s
T
e
x
t
S
t
y
l
e
A
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
i
e
s

i
n

b
o
d
y

o
f

t
e
x
t
P
r
o
c
e
d
u
r
e
s

D
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
d
T
e
r
m
(
s
)

I
n
t
r
o
d
u
c
i
n
g

N
a
m
e
s
N
a
m
e
s

S
c
r
i
b
e
P
l
a
c
e

o
f

C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
D
a
t
e
M
a
c
G
i
n
n
i
s
,

I
r
a
q

6
0

(
1
9
9
8
)
,

N
o
.

9
A
m
ā
r

b
a
n
î

š
a
2

a
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d
i

<
l
u
2
>
G
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X

i
l
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l
a
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k
u
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n
t
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r
o
g
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t
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5

+

P
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s

(
m
ā
r

b
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?
)
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[
S
i
p
p
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[
1
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a
b
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4

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b
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(
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)
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o
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2
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j
u
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g
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(
o
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N
b
n
)
;

š
ā
k
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n

ē
m
i

o
f

B
a
b
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l
o
n
o
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t
h
;

t
e
s
t
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m
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m
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l
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h
e


t
e
m
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m

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d

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(
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8

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N
s
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e
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t
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M
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5
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4

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r

8
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.
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2

N
b
n
92 chapter three
T
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x
t
S
t
y
l
e
A
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
i
e
s

i
n

b
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d
y

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f

t
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t
P
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e
d
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s

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c
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b
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d
T
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m
(
s
)

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t
r
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d
u
c
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n
g

N
a
m
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s
N
a
m
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s

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P
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m
p
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n
D
a
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Y
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S

6
,

2
2
3
A
š
a
t
a
m
m
u
;

s
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s

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E
a
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a

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n
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r
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;


r
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p
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4
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b
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1
2

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6
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2
3
5
A

s
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m
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t
;

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g
;

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+

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3
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1
9
,

9
2
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m
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r

b
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;

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k
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ē
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k
;

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m
m
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2
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m
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;

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6
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1
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r
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b

r
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3
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3
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1

(
c
o
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t
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)
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 93
T
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s

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b
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s

D
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c
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b
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d
T
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m
(
s
)

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t
r
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d
u
c
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n
g

N
a
m
e
s
N
a
m
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s

S
c
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e
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a
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m
p
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D
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1
1
7
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a
;

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Š

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2
1
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6
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6
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n
a
;

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m
b
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s
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m
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t
;

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N
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B
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1
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0
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Š

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6

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m
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C
y
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7
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8
8
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d

a
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m
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a
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n
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a
;

a
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m
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t
e
m
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;

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M
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C
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1
2
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š
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a
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f

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n
a
,

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n
û

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f

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r
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k
;

8

(
+
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N
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(
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k
2
.
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I
b
.
2

C
y
r
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u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

3
.
1

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
94 chapter three
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

3
.
1

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
T
e
x
t
S
t
y
l
e
A
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
i
e
s

i
n

b
o
d
y

o
f

t
e
x
t
P
r
o
c
e
d
u
r
e
s

D
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
d
T
e
r
m
(
s
)

I
n
t
r
o
d
u
c
i
n
g

N
a
m
e
s
N
a
m
e
s

S
c
r
i
b
e
P
l
a
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e

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f

C
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m
p
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n
D
a
t
e
A
n
O
r

8
,

3
8
A
š
ā
k
i
n

ē
m
i

o
f

U
r
u
k
;

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

o
f

E
a
n
n
a
;

a
d
m
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n
i
s
t
r
a
t
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r

o
f

E
a
n
n
a
;

a
s
s
e
m
b
l
y

o
f

B
a
b
y
l
o
n
i
a
n
s

a
n
d

U
r
u
k
i
a
n
s
p
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s
e
n
t
a
t
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n

o
f

c
o
w

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n

q
u
e
s
t
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n
;

c
l
a
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m
s

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f

l
i
t
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g
a
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t
s
l
u
2
m
u
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k
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n
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u
1
0

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N
s

+
1

s
c
r
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b
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m
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C
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preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 95
T
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(
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3
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1

(
c
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n
t
.
)
96 chapter three
S
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y

T
a
b
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e

3
.
1

(
c
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t
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T
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A
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s

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y

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f

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t
P
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c
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d
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s

D
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s
c
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b
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T
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m
(
s
)

I
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d
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g

N
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s
N
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S
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P
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C
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D
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7
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1
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2
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d

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E
a
n
n
a
;

a
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m
b
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t
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t
e
m
e
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;

s
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m
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s
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,

c
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a
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r
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2
7
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0

C
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Y
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7
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6
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2
D
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.
D
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3
.
M
E
Š

š
a
2

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p
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2
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3

m
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+

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3
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1

C
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T

2
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N
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2
A
a
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b
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c
c
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n
;

r
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s
p
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a

D
U
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Z
U
š
a
t
a
m
m
u

+

4

P
N
s

+

1

s
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m
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a

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m
I
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U
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1
0
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I
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2

C
a
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C
L

1
3
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1
7
9
A
a
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m
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a
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o
f

E
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a
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m
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t
;

d
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m
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d

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f

e
v
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;

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2
m
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k
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5

(
+
?
)

w
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+

1

s
c
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[
m
G
i
m
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]
/

m
I
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n
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[
z
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r
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]
U
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3

C
a
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b
Y
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7
,

1
5
9
A
r
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a
l

j
u
d
g
e
;

s
c
r
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b
e
;

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

a
n
d

a
d
m
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n
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s
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r
a
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o
f

E
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n
n
a
a
c
c
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a
t
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n
;

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m
m
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;

t
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2
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5

w
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c
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m
M
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h
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/
/

Š
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U
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2
4
.
I
V
.
3

C
a
m
b
Y
O
S

7
,

1
5
8
A
š
a
t
a
m
m
u

a
n
d

a
d
m
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n
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s
t
r
a
t
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r

o
f

E
a
n
n
a
a
c
c
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a
t
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n
;

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r

t
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p
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t

s
t
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a
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A
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M
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k
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M
a
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k
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š
u
m
a
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d
d
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n

/
/

B
ē
l
-
a
p
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a
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u
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r
U
r
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k
?
.
V
I
.
3

C
a
m
b
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 97
T
e
x
t
S
t
y
l
e
A
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
i
e
s

i
n

b
o
d
y

o
f

t
e
x
t
P
r
o
c
e
d
u
r
e
s

D
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
d
T
e
r
m
(
s
)

I
n
t
r
o
d
u
c
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n
g

N
a
m
e
s
N
a
m
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s

S
c
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P
l
a
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f

C
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m
p
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D
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Y
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S

7
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1
4
9
A
o
f


c
i
a
l

i
n

c
h
a
r
g
e

o
f

o
u
t
s
t
a
n
d
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n
g

d
e
b
t
s
;

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

o
f

t
h
e

E
a
n
n
a
;

a
s
s
e
m
b
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f

B
a
b
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d

U
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preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 99
not mention any adjudicating authority. In this text,
m
Madānu-bēla-
usur detains (kullû)
m
Kalbi-Bau because of an unpaid debt of produce.
m
Kalbi-Bau responds that he has paid the debt to another individual.
10

m
Madānu-bēla-usur detains
m
Kalbi-Bau “before” (ina pāni ) the indi-
viduals who are designated both as
lu2
DUMU-DU
3
.MEŠ (mār banî ) and
lu2
mu-kin-nu.
11
Because no adjudicating authorities are mentioned, it is
possible that Camb 329 describes proceedings that took place without
the involvement of a court or any other formal body. On the other
hand, as was suggested with regard to the settlements discussed earlier,
it is also possible that the group of mār banî or witnesses, on their own,
may have constituted an official body of sorts.
Preliminary protocols describe a number of different procedures.
Most involve the collection of evidence, by obtaining oral statements,
by reading tablets, or by gathering actual physical evidence. Other texts
record the claims of two opposing parties or the holding of a suspect.
The specific procedures described in these texts are listed in summary
table 3.1. They will be analyzed in more detail in the discussion of
legal procedure in Part II.
3.B Memoranda of Proceedings
In addition to the preliminary protocols just described, there are three
memoranda that record proceedings without mention of a decision.
As discussed above (section 2.B), the defining feature of a memoran-
dum is the absence of the scribe’s name. This absence, together with
the fact that some of the memoranda include the label tasistu lā mašê
(“memorandum, not to be forgotten”), suggest that the memoranda
were meant for the scribe’s own use. The memoranda of proceedings
apparently served as the scribe’s own record of the proceedings that
took place. In terms of style, the memoranda of proceedings follow the
conventions identified in section 2.B above. Nbn 68 and CT 2, 2
are composed in the “Babylon” style, even though CT 2, 2 probably
comes from Sippar, not from Babylon. BIN 1, 142 is written in the
“Non-Babylon” style.
Because the details of BIN 1, 142 are lost in the breaks in the text,
the main discussion will focus on CT 2, 2 and Nbn 68. CT 2, 2 records
10
See Dandamaev, Slavery, p. 434.
11
Camb 329:1, 12. See von Dassow, “Witnesses,” pp. 10–11.
100 chapter three
an investigation into the whereabouts of a linen garment missing from
the Ebabbar temple. The procedures described in this text closely
resemble those mentioned in the preliminary protocols from the Eanna
at Uruk. The šangû of Sippar and “temple enterers” of Šamaš question
a number of different workers of the temple “before”(ina pāni ) a group
of mār banî.
Nbn 68 comes from the Nūr-Sîn archive and records the reading of
a debt-note before witnesses in order to demonstrate that the debtor’s
name has been incorrectly written.
12
As for the formality of the pro-
ceedings, it does not mention the involvement of any authorities. Nbn
68 does state, however, that the debt-note was “brought” (našû) before
(ina pāni ) the witnesses.
13
This formulation recalls the language of more
obviously formal proceedings, such as those described in YOS 6, 116,
a preliminary protocol “in the presence” (ina ušuzzu) of mār banî in
which an official “brings” (našû) the writing boards to be read in the
assembly.
14
This similarity may suggest that the text was composed as
part of a formal resolution of a dispute about the debt. The reading
of the debt-note may have served as evidence presented in a formal
process of resolving the question.
3.C Records of Statements in Court
From the preliminary protocols and the decision records, it is clear
that part of the decision process involved the hearing of testimony and
other statements. When such statements are recorded in the context of
a decision record or a preliminary protocol, then the context explains
the purpose of the statement. The next four text-types, however, record
only a statement or several different statements made by an individual
or individuals. Therefore, one must rely on additional factors to deter-
mine the context in which the statements were made. Only once this
determination is made can the texts be classified into text-types based
on their legal function.
12
See Laurence Brian Shiff, The Nūr-Sîn Archive: Private Entrepreneurship in Babylon
(603–507 B.C.) (University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. Thesis, 1987), p. 343 and Wunsch,
CM 3a, p. 74.
13
Nbn 68:1–5. Note that the 3ms subject of the verb našû is not clearly indicated.
Shiff, Nūr-Sîn, p. 342 translates “he (the scribe) has brought.”
14
YOS 6, 116:6–10. See also YOS 19, 92:9–16; YOS 7, 91:1–7.
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 101
Taken together, these texts may be characterized as “depositions”
or “declarations.” This characterization, however, does not reflect the
different purposes that these declarations served. For this reason, texts
that record statements are classified into four text-types: accusatory
depositions, depositions of testimony, memoranda recording deposi-
tions, and sworn depositions. This classification emerges from a closer
examination of the actual contents of the statements.
Before proceeding with the specifics of the typology, however, a
general remark on the styles of these text-types is in order. The accusa-
tory depositions and depositions of testimony may be divided into three
styles. Two of these styles are analogous to the two styles of preliminary
protocols, and will be labeled style A and style B. The third style, style
C, closely resembles the “Babylon” memoranda, which begin with an
introductory sentence identifying the names that follow. The three
outlines are presented below:
Style A Style B Style C
I. Statement I. Opening I. Opening
A. PN iqbi umma A. Names A. Designation of
names
B. Statement B. Designation
of names
II. Conclusion II. Statement II. Statement
A. Names of authorities A. PN iqbi umma A. PN iqbi umma
(ina DU.ZU)
Summary Table 3.2 Memoranda of Proceedings
Text Style Procedures
described
Authorities Designation
of names
Place of
Composition
Date
BIN 1,
142
“Non-
Babylon”
presentation
of evidence (?)
— an-nu-tu
lu2
mu-kin-ne-
e ša
2
. . .
— —
Nbn 68 “Babylon” presentation
and reading of
tablet

lu2
mu-kin-
ne
2
-e ša
2
ina
IGI-šu
2
-nu
— 10.IV.2
Nbn
CT 2, 2 “Babylon” statement;
searching;
questioning;
response;
further
questioning;
testimony
šangû of
Sippar;
“temple
enterers”
of Šamaš
lu2
DUMU-
DU
3
.MEŠ
ša
2
ina IGI-
šu
2
-nu
(Sippar) ?.II.
18 Dar
102 chapter three
B. Names of witnesses B. Statement B. Statement
(
lu2
mu-kin-nu)
C. Scribe III. Names
D. Place of composition
E. Date
III. Conclusion IV. Conclusion
A. Scribe A. Scribe
B. Place of B. Place of
composition composition
C. Date C. Date
Comparison between the three different styles shows that they present
the same information but in different orders. Common to them all is
the phrase PN iqbi umma (“PN said thus”) which precedes the speaker’s
statement. The variation between the styles cannot be readily explained
based on subject, scribe or place of composition.
Although these texts do not describe the entire dispute and decision,
many of the statements seem to have been made as part of a larger
legal process that required the presence of official authorities. In most of
the texts, officials of a temple are among the people hearing the state-
ments, which indicates that the statements were made before a formal
adjudicating body. Several texts use the preposition ana to indicate
that the statements are addressed directly “to” these officials.
15
The
different authorities to whom these statements are addressed are listed
in the summary tables below in the columns labeled “ ‘To’ whom.” A
number of texts, from the Eanna and elsewhere, use the prepositional
phrase ina DU.ZU (“in the presence of”) to describe the presence of
individuals hearing the statement. In the Eanna decision records, this
prepositional phrase indicates that the named individuals oversee the
proceedings. The use of ina DU.ZU in the texts presently under discus-
sion suggests that the individuals in whose presence the statement was
made served in a similar capacity.
In addition to the prepositional phrase ina DU.ZU (“in the presence
of ”) or the indication that the statements were made directly “to”
(ana) an authority, many of the texts indicate that the statements were
made ina pāni (“before”) a group of people. In some texts, the names
of officials follow this preposition, which suggests that the statements
15
AnOr 8, 21; YOS 6, 88; YOS 6, 57; YOS 6, 131; YOS 7, 10; YOS 7, 23; TCL
13, 125; Cyr 328 and Dar 128.
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 103
are official declarations of some sort. In several texts, however, there
is no indication that the individuals named are anything but witnesses.
Such texts raise the possibility that the statements were made in settings
other than official proceedings.
3.C.1 Accusatory Depositions
Texts of this text-type record the speaker’s accusation that another
individual has committed some wrongdoing. In order to be considered
an accusatory deposition, the statement recorded in the text must
indicate the wrong that another individual has committed. In most
accusatory depositions, the wrong committed is stated clearly as part
of the declaration. For example, YOS 7, 10, an accusatory deposition
from Uruk, reads as follows:
1. [
m
]
d
NA
3
-re-u-u
2
-a
lu2
qal-la ša
2


m
la-a-ba-ši-
d
AMAR.UTU
2. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
IR
3
-
d
EN A
m
e-gi-bi
ša
2
la ma-ša
2
-a-a-al-tu
4
a-na
3.
md
NA
3
-DU-NUMUN
lu2
ŠA
3
.
TAM E
2
.AN.NA A-šu
2
ša
2


m
na-di-nu A
m
da-bi-bi
4. u
3

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG.
LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
4

E
2
.AN.NA iq-bi
5. um-ma U
4
28-kam
2
ša
2
ITI
GAN
na4
HAR a-ši-mur ša
2


md
15-ŠEŠ-MU
6. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
in-nin-MU-URI
3

A
md
NA
3
-šar-i-DINGIR ul-tu
mu-i ba-ab ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
7. ina sa-ar-tu
4
ina mu-ši
m
SUM-
na-a A-šu
2
ša
2

m
la-a-ba-ši-

d
AMAR.UTU
8. A
m
e-gi-bi it-ta-sa-a la il-ta-kan
(1–5)
m
Nabû-rēsua, slave of
m
Lâbāši-Marduk son of
m
Arad-
Bēl descendant of Egibi, without
interrogation said thus to
m
Nabû-
mukīn-zēri, šatammu of the Eanna,
son of
m
Nādinu descendant of
Dābibī and
m
Nabû-aha-iddin, the
ša rēš šarri, administrator of the
Eanna:
(5–8) “On 28 Kislīmu,
m
Iddinaya
son of
m
Lâbāši-Marduk
descendant of Egibi unlawfully
removed the cumin mill of
m
Ištar-
aha-iddin son of
m
Innin-šuma-
usur descendant of Nabû-šarhi-ilī
from the gate of the Lady-of-
Uruk at night and did not replace
(it).”
9. u
3

md
NA
3
-lu-u-da-a-ri
lu2
qal-la
ša
2

m
ba-ni-ia A-šu
2
10. ša
2

m
ta-ri-bi-ia-ti-im u
3

m
aš-da-a
ŠEŠ ša
2

m
SUM-na-a
11. ina UKKIN iq-bi um-ma
na4
HAR a-ši-mur ša
2
m
[PN]
(9–11) And
m
Nabû-lū-dāri, slave of
m
Bāniya son of
m
Taribiatim and
m
Hašdaya brother of
m
Iddinaya
said thus in the assembly:
104 chapter three
12. A
md
15-ŠEŠ-MU ina sa-ar-tu
4

na-ša
2
-a-ta
13. ina E
2

m
la-a-ba-ši-
d
AMAR.
UTU AD-ia a-ta-mar
(11–13) “I found the cumin mill
of
m
[PN] son of
m
Ištar-aha-iddin,
which was taken away unlawfully,
in the house of
m
Lâbāši-Marduk,
my father.”
16
14.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
m
ri-mut-
d
EN
lu2
ŠEŠ.
GAL E
2
.AN.NA A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-TIN-i
(14–15) Witnesses:
m
Rīmūt-Bēl, the
šešgallu of Eanna, son of
m
Bēl-uballit,
descendant of Gimil-Nanaya;
15. A
m
ŠU-
d
na-na-a
m
GAR-MU
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
DU
3
-
d
15 A
md
30-tab-ni
(15)
m
Šākin-šumi son of
m
Ibni-
Ištar descendant of Sîn-tabni;
16.
md
in-nin-MU-URI
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
MU-
d
NA
3
A
m
ki-din-
d
AMAR.
UTU
(16)
m
Innin-šuma-usur son of
m
Iddin-Nabû descendant of
Kidin-Marduk;
17.
md
NA
3
-TIN-su-iq-bi A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ib-na-a A
m
E
2
.KUR-za-kir
(17)
m
Nabû-balāssu-iqbi son of
m
Ibnaya descendant of Ekur-zākir;
18.
m
ze-ri-ia A-šu
2
ša
2

md
na-na-a-
KAM
2
A
m
ki-din-
d
AMAR.UTU
(18)
m
Zēriya son of
m
Nanaya-ēreš
descendant of Kidin-Marduk;
19.
m
IR
3
-ia A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ap-la-a A
md
NA
3
-šar-i-DINGIR
(19)
m
Ardiya son of
m
Aplaya
descendant of Nabû-šarhi-ilī;
20.
m
KAR-
d
AMAR.UTU A-šu
2

ša
2

m
kab-ti-ia A
m
ši-gu-u
2
-a
(20)
m
Mušēzib-Marduk son of
m
Kabtiya descendant of Šigûa;
21.
lu2
UMBISAG
m
gi-mil-lu A-
šu
2
ša
2

md
in-nin-NUMUN-MU
(21) Scribe:
m
Gimillu son of
m
Innin-zēra-iddin
22. UNUG
ki
ITI GU
4
U
4
1-
kam
2
MU 1-kam
2

m
ku-ra-aš
2

LUGAL KUR.KUR
(22) Uruk. 1 Ayaru, year 1 of
Cyrus, king of the lands.
This text records two statements. In the first statement,
m
Nabû-rēsua,
a slave, states that his master’s son,
m
Iddinaya, stole a cumin mill. In
the second statement,
m
Hašdaya, brother of
m
Iddinaya, confirms that
the mill was found in their father’s property. The two statements are
clearly accusations of theft against
m
Iddinaya. Both specifically mention
that the cumin mill was taken “unlawfully” (ina sarti ).
16
16
From lines 9–10 it seems that there are two speakers, the slave
m
Nabû-lū-dāri
and
m
Hašdaya, brother of the suspected thief. The statement in lines 11–12, however,
seems to have been made by
m
Hašdaya alone. The speaker refers to
m
Lâbāši-Marduk
as “my father” (AD-ia), which can only be true of
m
Hašdaya. Furthermore, the verbs
(including the verb iqbi following the names of both individuals) are all in the singular.
Thus, the role of the slave
m
Nabû-lū-dāri is unclear.
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 105
There are other texts, however, in which understanding the statement
as an accusation depends on contextual factors. One such example is
TCL 13, 125, which records the following statement of
m
Balāu to the
šatammu and the administrator of the Eanna:
5. 2 AB
2
.GAL.MEŠ ša
2
kak-kab-
tu
4
še-en-du
6. ša
2
qa-pu-ut-tu
4
ša
2
AB
2
.
GU
4
.HI.A ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
7. ša
2
ina pa-ni-ia
m
gi-mil-lu A-šu
2

ša
2

md
in-nin-MU-DU
3
8. ina ŠU.2-ia i-ta-ba-ku
(5–8) “
m
Gimillu son of
m
Innin-
šuma-ibni led away from my
hands 2 cows branded with a
star from the cattle-pen of the
Lady-of-Uruk at my disposal.”
Taken alone, this statement appears to be simply a declaration that two
cows were taken by
m
Gimillu. However, this
m
Gimillu was a notori-
ously corrupt official, known for misappropriating Eanna property.
17

It stands to reason, then, that this statement is actually an accusation
made against
m
Gimillu directly to the šatammu and the administrator.
The scribe
m
Gimillu son of
m
Innin-zēra-iddin, who is known to have
written a number of preliminary protocols, also wrote TCL 13, 125.
His presence, therefore, may further support the understanding of
this text as an accusation against
m
Gimillu made during the course
of proceedings similar to those that might have been recorded in a
preliminary protocol.
One way of placing the accusatory depositions within the different
stages of a trial is to understand the accusations as the initiation of the
dispute. This seems to be Peiser’s interpretation when he describes one
accusatory deposition (Cyr 328) as “Klageschrift des Civilklägers in einem
strafrechtlichen Processe” (“a plaintiff ’s charge in a criminal case”).
18
Simi-
larly, Cocquerillat refers to another accusatory deposition (YOS 7, 23) as
“la plainte . . . adressée aux autorités de l’Eanna” (“the complaint . . . addressed
to the Eanna authorities).
19
According to this interpretation, the accu-
satory depositions were composed as a record of the very beginning
stages of the cases to which they pertain. They reflect the point when
the charge is first brought against the person to be tried.
17
For more on
m
Gimillu, see San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), pp. 337–339; ArOr 5 (1933),
pp. 61–77; and von Bolla, ArOr 12 (1941), pp. 113–117.
18
KB 4, p. xvi.
19
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 85.
106 chapter three
A second understanding of the place of the accusatory depositions
emerges from examination of YOS 6, 131. Following the names of five
mār banî (including one designated as ša rēš šarri ), the text reads as follows:
5.
lu2
DUMU.MEŠ DU
3
-i-<a> ša
2

ina DU.ZU-šu
2
-nu
6.
md
a-nim-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-URI
3
lu2
A-
KIN ša
2
DUMU-LUGAL
7. a-na
md
NA
3
-LUGAL-URI
3
lu2
SAG-LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
4
8. E
2
.AN.NA iq-bu-u
2
um-ma 2
AB
2
.GAL
(5–8) The mār banî in whose
presence
m
Anim-ahhē-usur the
messenger of the crown prince
said thus to
m
Nabû-šarra-usur the
ša rēš šarri administrator of the
Eanna:
9. 1 AB
2
.TUR PAP 3 GU
4
.HI.A
ša
2
ina qa-pu-ut-tu
4
10. ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
ša
2

ina IGI
m
ba-ni-ia
11. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-SU
m
ba-u
2
-SUR <<A-šu
2
>>
12. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ba-ni-ia ki-i u
2
-kal-li-
man-nu
13. ina a-mat DUMU LUGAL ki-i
a-bu-ku a-na
14.
md
ba-u
2
-SUR ap-te-qi
2
-id
(8–14) “When
m
Bau-ētir son of
m
Bāniya showed me 2

cows and
1 small cow, total: 3 bovines from
the pen of the Lady-of-Uruk at
the disposal of
m
Bāniya son of
m
Marduk-erība, by the order of
the prince, when I led them away
I entrusted them to
m
Bau-ētir.”
15. u
m
ba-u
2
-SUR a-na
md
NA
3
-
LUGAL-URI
3
iq-bu-u
2
(15–16) And
m
Bau-ētir said thus
to
m
Nabû-šarra-usur:
16. um-ma AB.GAL-a 3-ta ša
2

md
a-
nim-ŠEŠ.ME-URI
3
17.
lu2
A KIN ša
2
DUMU LUGAL
ip-qi-du
m
ap-la-a
18. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-tab-ni-URI
3

a-na ši-gi-il-tu
2
19. ina ŠU.2-ia i-ta-bak
(16–19) “
m
Aplaya son of
m
Nabû-
tabni-usur unlawfully took away
from me the 3 cows which
m
Anim-ahhē-usur, the messenger
of the king, entrusted to me.”
20.
lu2
UMBISAG
m
na-din A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-BA-ša
2
21. A
m
e-gi-bi UNUG
ki
ITI APIN
(20–21) Scribe:
m
Nādin son of
m
Bēl-ahhē-iqīša descendant of
Egibi.
22. U
4
16-kam
2
MU 10-kam
2

d
NA
3
-I LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(21–22) Uruk. 16 Arahšamna, year
10 of Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
This text records two separate statements. In the first, the messenger
of the crown prince declares that
m
Bau-ētir was given three cows.
m
Bau-ētir then accuses
m
Aplaya of stealing those three cows. From
these two declarations, the following case may be reconstructed. Three
cows have gone missing from
m
Bau-ētir’s herd. The messenger of the
crown prince confirms that the cows in question were actually given to
m
Bau-ētir, which makes
m
Bau-ētir responsible for them.
m
Bau-ētir’s
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 107
accusation is actually an attempt to clear himself of guilt by placing
the blame on
m
Aplaya. Thus, the accusation in this text does not come
from the initial stages of the case. Instead, the accusation comes as part
of the original suspect’s own defense.
The accusatory depositions, then, come from two distinct stages in
the adjudicatory process. They serve as records of the initiation of the
dispute, in which a plaintiff states his charge against the defendant.
The accusatory depositions may also come from a stage after the trial
itself has begun. They record accusations made by an individual who
is originally suspected of some wrongdoing and who, in the course of
the trial, accuses another individual.
3.C.2 Depositions of Testimony
Like the accusatory depositions, this text-type also records an individ-
ual’s statement without any other explicit indication of the surround-
ing proceedings. Unlike the accusatory depositions, the depositions of
testimony are records of testimony rather than of a specific accusation.
Texts of this text-type serve as part of the evidence considered in the
adjudication of the case.
Not every statement made in the presence of witnesses is consid-
ered a deposition of testimony. In order to be included in the present
discussion, a text must indicate in some way that it emerges from an
adjudicatory context. The most direct evidence comes from Cyr 199,
which opens with the heading
lu2
mu-kin-nu-tu ša
2
m
PN (“testimony of
m
PN”), and includes names of officials of the Sippar temple among those
hearing the testimony itself. The use of this opening heading confirms
that this particular text was written as a record of testimony that the
speaker has provided. Unfortunately, the content of the testimony is
lost, but the heading preserves the purpose for which it was written.
Other texts do not provide the evidence of a label like that on Cyr
199. There are, however, other indications that a text belongs in an
adjudicatory context. This evidence may come from the content of the
statement itself, as in AnOr 8, 21, in which an individual provides the
names of the “criminals” (
lu2
sa-ar-ri-u
2
-tu) who committed a crime with
him. Similarly, the speaker in YOS 6, 183 declares that one individual
“has not committed a crime” (sa-aš
2
-ta ul i-pu-uš ).
20
The speaker then
names the criminal, and reminds the authorities that he had caught
20
YOS 6, 183:11–17.
108 chapter three
S
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m
m
a
r
y

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a
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3
.
3

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š
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p
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U
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;

š
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g
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2

C
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r
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 109
T
e
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l
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A
c
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n

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a
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l
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3
.
3

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
110 chapter three
him red-handed and had brought him before them. Other texts are
included because they name officials among those who hear the decla-
rations. In these cases, the contents of the declarations themselves do
not allude to any clear reason, such as a crime, for legal proceedings.
Nevertheless, the fact that officials hear the declarations suggests that
these texts were composed as part of the formal proceedings in which
the declarations were made.
3.C.3 Memoranda of Depositions
In addition to the two text-types described above, there are also memo-
randa that record an individual’s statement. Like other memoranda,
texts of this text-type are also characterized by the absence of the
scribe’s name. There are also two styles of this type of memoranda,
corresponding to the “Babylon” and “Non-Babylon” styles of other
memoranda. In memoranda written in the “Babylon” style, the designa-
tion of the names precedes the names themselves, while in memoranda
from outside Babylon, the designation follows the names (see outlines
in section 2.B above).
Most of the memoranda of this type record testimony. As with the
depositions of testimony, determining the adjudicatory context depends
on the content of the statement itself, or on the mention of adjudicating
authorities. VAS 6, 45 is a unique memorandum that corresponds, in
terms of statement recorded, to the accusatory depositions. The state-
ment itself is broken, but the opening sentence reads
lu2
mu-kin-ne
2
-e ša
2
ina
pa-ni-šu
2
-nu
m
PN
1
a-na
m
PN
2
u
2
-paq-qi-ru [um-ma] (“The witnesses before
whom
m
PN
1
claimed thus against
m
PN
2
”).
21
The use of the locution
puqquru ana
m
PN
2
indicates that the statement that follows is a claim
against
m
PN
2
, rather than simply testimony.
Most of the memoranda including statements do not mention adjudi-
cating authorities. Only Nbn 958 explicitly mentions that the statement
was made by an oblate of Šamaš ina pu-ur-ru (“in the assembly”).
22

Otherwise, the memoranda record statements that were apparently
made without the presence of adjudicating authorities. As with other
21
VAS 6, 45:1–5.
22
Nbn 958:3. Three of the individuals who hear the statement, [
m
Bēl-apla-iddin son
of
m
Bēl]-Balīhu descendant of Šangû-Sippar,
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin son of [
m
Šamaš-apla-
usur descendant of ]
m
Ilei-Marduk, and
m
Marduk-šuma-ibni son] of
m
Mušēzib-Marduk
[descendant of Šangû-Ištar-Bābili] can also be placed within the administration of the
Ebabbar at Sippar. See Bongenaar, Ebabbar, pp. 160–164.
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 111
S
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m
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N
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112 chapter three
T
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4

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 113
such situations, the witnesses or mār banî who hear these statements
may have served as an informally-constituted court.
Summary Table 3.5 Memoranda of Depositions
Text Style Contents Evidence of
adjudicatory
context
Designation
of names
Place of
Composition
Date
VAS 6,
253
“Babylon” Testimony escaped
slave
an-nu-tu
lu2
[mu-kin]-
¢ne
2
Ü-e ša
2
ina
pa-ni-šu
2
-nu
— —
GCCI
2, 195
“Non-
Babylon”
Testimony declaration
regarding
oblate
[an-nu-tu
2
]
lu2
DUMU.
DU
3
.ME
[ša
2
ina
IGI-šu
2
]-nu
Uruk 15.?.30
Nbk
VAS 6,
45
“Babylon” Accusation u
2
-paq-qi-ru
lu2
mu-kin-ne
2
-e
ša
2
ina pa-ni-
šu
2
-nu
— 25.III.38
Nbk
Nbn
69
“Babylon” Claims (?) oath
mentioned
lu2
mu-kin-ne
2
-e
ša
2
ina IGI-
šu
2
-nu
Babylon 10.IV.2
Nbn
Nbn
958
“Babylon” Testimony assembly [
lu2
DUMU
DU
3
].MEŠ
ša
2
ina IGI-
šu
2
-nu
Sippar ?.II.16
Nbn
3.C.4 Sworn Depositions
Like the accusatory depositions (see section 3.C.1), the depositions of
testimony (see section 3.C.2) and the memoranda of depositions (see
section 3.C.3), sworn depositions also record statements made during the
course of legal proceedings. The difference between the sworn deposi-
tions and the other types of depositions is that the sworn depositions
record statements made under oath. Thus, texts of this text-type use the
verbal construction temû kî (“to swear that”) instead of qabû umma (“to
say thus”) to introduce the recorded statement under oath.
23
In terms of
style, all of the sworn depositions follow “style A,” in which the names
of the witnesses follow the recording of the sworn statement.
23
Note that Cyr 293:7 uses the phrase MU
d
UTU iz-ku-ru-ma (“they spoke the
name of Šamaš”) instead of the usual itmû (“they swore”) to indicate that the speakers
made their deposition under oath. For more on these formulations, see the discussion
in sections 8.I and 9.H below.
114 chapter three
Sworn depositions, like the other text-types that only record state-
ments, do not include descriptions of the proceedings during which
the oaths were taken. Between this fact and the breaks in the texts, it
is often difficult to reconstruct the situations that led to the oaths. The
best-preserved examples record oaths taken in the context of the admin-
istration of the Eanna. One example, reconstructed by Cocquerillat, is
YOS 7, 165, in which
m
Nabû-ahhē-bulli‘ swears the following oath:
24
1.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-TIN-i A-šu
2

ša
2
[
2. ¢i-na
d
ENÜ
d
NA
3
u
3
a-¢de-e ša
2

m
kam
2
Ü-[bu]-zi-ia
2
3. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR it-te-me ¢ki-iÜ [a-di
ŠE.BAR]
(1–3)
m
Nabû-ahhē-bullit son of
m
PN swore by Bēl, Nabû and
the oaths of Cambyses, king of
Babylon, king of the lands:
4. ša
2
i-na ši-pir-tu
4
ša
2

m
KI-
d
NA
3
-
TIN
lu2
si-[pi-ri ša
2
]
5.
m
i-u-um-mu
lu2
ša
2
UGU
giš
BAN
2

m
PN
6. im-šu-u-mu a-na ZID
2
.DA a-
na [nap-ta-nu]
7. ša
2
LUGAL a-na
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-
MU
lu2
[SAG.LUGAL at-ta-din]
(3–7) “I [gave] the [barley] that
m
PN measured at the order of
m
Itti-Nabû-balātu, the parchment-
scribe of
m
T:hummu, the one
in charge of the measure, for
the flour for the king’s table
to
m
Nabû-aha-iddin [the ša rēš
šarri ]!”
8. [ki ]-ma a-na UGU al-tap-par
ŠE.BAR [. . .]
9. [it]-ta-u-u
2
ni-ik-lu a-na mu-i
10. [ul at-ta]-ki-$il
(8–10) “Since I sent word about
it, barley . . . that came out
(?). I have [not com]itted any
misdeed.”
The last words of the oath ni-ik-lu a-na mu-i [ul at-ta]-ki-il (“I have [not
com]itted any misdeed”) are the key to understanding the context of
this oath. It seems that
m
Nabû-ahhē-bulli‘ has been accused of misap-
propriating barley that he was supposed to give to the Eanna for flour.
In order to clear himself, he takes an exculpatory oath affirming that
he did indeed give this flour, which had been measured, to an official
in the Eanna and that he has not done any misdeed. Thus, Cocqueril-
lat is correct to consider this text among examples of “procès-verbaux de
défense” (“oral defense proceedings”).
25

24
Transliteration follows Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 133.
25
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, pp. 83–85. See also p. 60, where Cocquerillat offers a
similar interpretation of BIN 2, 108, another sworn deposition, and includes it among
“documents concernant les injustices dans l’estimation” (“documents relating to inconsistencies
in assessment”).
preliminary protocols & records of statements in court 115
A somewhat different purpose for the oath may be inferred from Cyr
293. The text begins with the heading
lu2
mu-kin-nu-tu (“testimony”) and
continues with the names of three witnesses who present their testimony
under oath in the assembly. In this case, it seems that the oath was
testimony presented as part of a hearing regarding the possession of
a certain contract. The precise details of the sworn testimony are not
entirely clear,
26
but the three people swearing are different from those
about whom they swear. In other words, the three people do not swear
about themselves, as is to be expected if the oath were exculpatory. It
seems, therefore, that the oath in this text is not exculpatory, but is,
instead, a means of ensuring the veracity of the testimony.
A more detailed account of the administration of oaths will be pre-
sented as part of the description of adjudicatory procedures in Part
II. For now, the discussion will focus on what can be said about the
formality of the proceedings in which the sworn depositions were made.
Officials of both the Eanna and the Ebabbar are included among those
who hear the oaths. In BIN 2, 108 and YOS 7, 153, the individuals
swear “to” (ana) officials of the Eanna.
27
BIN 2, 108 also concludes with
a list of individuals in whose presence (ina DU.ZU) the oath was sworn,
including the qīpu-official of the Ebabbar.
28
The oath in Cyr 318 is
pronounced “before” (ina maar) the šangû of Sippar, who is also present
in Camb 426. Even AnOr 8, 55 and YOS 7, 165, which do not specifi-
cally mention temple authorities, are written by the scribes
m
Gimillu son
of
m
Innin-zēra-ibni and
m
Nādinu son of
m
Bēl-ahhē-iqīša descendant of
Egibi, respectively. The presence of these scribes, who are known for
their involvement in recording other proceedings, suggests that these
texts were composed in similar contexts. All of the above indicates that
the sworn depositions were made in formal adjudicatory contexts.
29
26
The text records the oath as follows:
m
PN
1
ri-kis-su ša
2
KU
3
.BABBAR a-na
m
PN
2

la ip-qi
2
-du-ma
m
PN
2
ri-kis u
2
-er-ri-ma a-na
m
PN
1
id-din-nu (“
m
PN
1
has not deposited his
contract regarding the silver with
m
PN
2
;
m
PN
2
has given the contract which he repaid
to
m
PN
1
”).
27
BIN 2, 108:6; YOS 7, 153:5.
28
BIN 2, 108: 11.
29
Note, however, that there are texts, such as Dar 187 and BRM 1, 70, that
describe (promissory) oaths without any apparent official setting. See the discussion
in section 7.B below.
116 chapter three
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C
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b
CHAPTER FOUR
THE DABĀBU- AND QUTTÛ -TYPE SUMMONSES
The typological discussion until this point has focused on text-types
that narrate activities in court during the course of a trial. The deci-
sion records and the preliminary protocols describe the activities of the
various people in the court, including the adjudicating authorities, wit-
nesses and parties to the proceedings. Similarly, the depositions record
statements that are made during the course of such proceedings.
This chapter and the two that follow discuss text-types that do not
necessarily narrate courtroom activities or record litigants’ statements.
This lack of narrative context means that in order to situate these
text-types within the ‘tablet trail’ one must reconstruct the situations
that led to their promulgation. One must, therefore, use the available
evidence to determine whether or not these text-types were composed
as part of the adjudicatory process and, if they were, how they might
have functioned.
This chapter considers two of these text-types whose place in the
adjudication of disputes is easiest to determine. Both the dabābu- and
quttû -type summonses employ phrases that allude to a dispute. Thus, it
is clear that they belong in the ‘tablet trail’ of texts composed during
the adjudication of disputes. Therefore, the discussion in this chapter
will focus primarily on determining the legal function of these two
text-types.
4.A Summonses to Argue (dabābu) a Case
Summonses of this text-type have the following general outline:
I. Summons clause:
U
4
X-kam
2
ša
2
ITI MN MU X-kam
2
RN, PN
1
illakamma dīna
1
itti
PN
2
idabbub
1
For discussion of this transliteration, see the footnotes to section 8.D below.
118 chapter four
On day X of MN, year X of RN, PN
1
shall come and argue
the case against (the claim of ) PN
2
II. Penalty clause:
kî lā ittalka—
If he does not come > penalty against PN
1
III. Witnesses + Scribe
IV. Place of composition and date
In order to illustrate these different components, YOS 7, 31, a dabābu-
type summons from Uruk, will serve as an example. The summons
clause of this text reads as follows:
1. U
4
20-kam
2
ša
2
ITI GAN
MU 4-kam
2

m
ku-ra-aš
2
2. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki

LUGAL KUR.KUR
md
ASAR.LU.I-DI.KU
5
-
DU
3
-uš
3. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
i-ra-a-a a-na
TIN.TIR
ki
il-la-ka-ma
(1–3) On 20 Kislīmu, year 4 of
Cyrus, king of Babylon, king of the
lands,
m
Marduk-dīna-īpuš son of
m
iraa shall come to Babylon.
4. di-i-ni ša
2
2 UDU.NITA.
MEŠ ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
še-
en-du
5. ša
2

m
gi-mil-lu A-šu
2
ša
2

md
in-
nin-MU-ib-ni
6. ul-tu e-e-ni ša
2

md
ASAR.
LU
2
.I-DI.KU
5
-DU
3
-uš
7. i-bu-ku it-ti
m
ni-din-tu
4
-
d
EN
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.NA
8.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG-
LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
4

E
2
.AN.NA
9. u
3

lu2
UMBISAG.MEŠ ša
2

E
2
.AN.NA ina E
2
di-i-ni
10. ša
2
LUGAL i-dab-ub-bu
(4–10) He shall argue the case
regarding 2 male sheep branded with
a star that
m
Gimillu son of
m
Innin-
šuma-ibni led away from the flock
of
m
Marduk-dīna-īpuš, against (the
claim of )
m
Nidintu-Bēl the šatammu
of the Eanna,
m
Nabû-aa-iddin the
ša rēš šarri administrator of the Eanna
and the scribes of the Eanna, in the
king’s court of law.
The requirement in this type of summons is formulated using a com-
bination of two verbs: alāku and dabābu. The first verb indicates that
the summoned individual (PN
1
) must “come.”
2
As can be seen from
the sample text, the verb alāku is usually preceded by the prepositional
2
This nuance is implied by the use of the ventive -am on the verb alāku. Note that
the ventive is absent in VAS 6, 99:3.
the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 119
phrase “ana GN” (“to GN”) to specify the place to which the sum-
moned individual must come. In addition to specifying the location,
the summons clause above specifies that the case is to be argued ina bīt
dīni ša šarri (“in the king’s court of law”). Other summonses of this type
usually designate the authorities “before” (ina pāni ) whom the case is to
be argued. The different places and authorities specified in the different
texts are listed in summary table 4.1 at the end of this section.
In most of the dabābu-type summonses, as in the example above,
the requirement to argue the case is expressed using the verbal phrase
dīni . . . idabbub. Other texts use the synonymous phrase dibbu (followed
by a possessive suffix) idabbub.
3
In the example above, the subject of the
case is stated in the relative clause following the word dīna. The case is
to be argued itti another party. In legal contexts, the word itti has an
adversarial connotation and should be translated “against.”
4
Thus, a
simple translation of the verbal construction dīna itti PN
2
dabābu is “to
argue a case against PN
2
.”
The dabābu-type summonses, however, are not simply a means of
beginning a case by bringing two parties to court to argue their claims
against each other. Instead, the dabābu-type summonses were written
after one party has already made a claim against the summoned indi-
vidual. This understanding of the dabābu-type summonses emerges from
consideration of the penalty clauses, which indicate that the dabābu-type
summonses were not written as a means of initiating a legal case. The
penalties mentioned in dabābu-type summonses are not uniform, a fact
that indicates that they are not a standardized fine for failure to appear.
These penalties are imposed only upon the summoned individual (PN
1
)
even though another party (PN
2
) is involved in the dispute. Furthermore,
the penalties are obligations of the summoned individual to the oppos-
ing party or the institution the opposing party represents. Thus, the
3
See summary table 4.1 at the end of this section for the texts which use dīni and
those which use dibbu. The use of the different nouns may be related to the provenance
of the texts. The phrase using the word dibbu appears in the documents written in
Babylon during the reign of Nabonidus, while the phrase using the word dīnu appears
in documents written outside Babylon after the reign of Nabonidus. For documents
using only the verb dabābu, see the discussion of Abraham, Business, Nos. 17 and 45
below. For documents using the phrase dibba quttû see the discussion in section 4.B
below. The phrase dīna quttû is a hypothetically possible combination and is attested
in other Akkadian contexts. It is not, however, attested in the documents considered
in this section (see CAD qatû 4d [Q , p. 181]).
4
See AHw. dabābu 3b (p. 147). For a similar meaning, see the use of itti with verbs
denoting war listed in AHw. itti 5 (p. 405).
120 chapter four
varying penalties reflect different disputed obligations to the opposing
party. The opposing party is a plaintiff who has already made a claim
against the summoned individual. The dabābu-type summonses are a
means of obligating the summoned individual to answer the plaintiff ’s
claim. By not coming to argue the case, the summoned individual
implicitly accepts the obligation in question.
Given this information, the following general scenario emerges as
the background behind the texts in this text-type. The opposing party
(PN
2
) is a plaintiff who has already made a claim against PN
1
. The texts
in this text-type are a means of obligating PN
1
to answer the plaintiff ’s
claim. By not coming to argue the case, PN
1

implicitly accepts the
obligation in question. To properly reflect this scenario, the translation
of the phrase dīna itti PN
2
idabbub should not be simply “he shall argue
against PN
2
” but rather, “he shall argue against (the claim of ) PN
2
.”
This general scenario may be illustrated by returning to the sample
text, YOS 7, 31. The penalty clause in this text reads:
10. ki-i
11. la it-tal-ku UDU.NITA-a 2
12. 1-en 30 a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
i-nam-din
(10–12) If he does not go, he
shall pay 30-fold for these 2 sheep
to the Lady-of-Uruk.
When this penalty is taken together with the summons clause, the fol-
lowing situation may be reconstructed.
m
Marduk-dīna-īpuš is responsible
for two sheep that
m
Gimillu, known to have been a corrupt official,
led away from his flock.
5
The šatammu and scribes of the Eanna have
already accused
m
Marduk-dīna-īpuš of misappropriation, for which
he would have to pay the standard thirty-fold penalty.
6
Following the
accusation of the Eanna authorities,
m
Marduk-dīna-īpuš is summoned
to Babylon to make his defense (“argue the case”) against their claim.
If he does not appear, he incurs the penalty.
The earliest discussion of the legal function of this text-type occurs in
Köhler and Peiser’s description of Nbn 102. They describe this text as
“Fristenvertrag” (“a time-period contract”) and “eine vertragsmässige Klagfrist”
(“a contractual appointment-time for a trial”).
7
Their use of the Ger-
man word “Vertrag,” meaning “contract,” indicates that they take Nbn
5
Following the example of TCL 13, 134, one may speculate that these two sheep
were for the Lady-of-Uruk, but
m
Gimillu did not deliver them there.
6
For more on this subject, see San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), pp. 327–348.
7
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 4, p. 80.
the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 121
102 as a “contract” in which PN
1
agrees to appear in court to respond
to PN
2
’s charge on a particular date.

If PN
1
does not appear, then he
agrees to submit to PN
2
’s claim. Although Köhler and Peiser do not
explicitly discuss who composed this document, their description of it
as a contract suggests that it was drawn up between the two parties
without any prior involvement of the court. From this perspective,
it would be incorrect to see any intervention by a legal authority to
compel the parties to bring the case to a conclusion.
On the other hand, Arch Tremayne, in his catalogue of YOS 7, uses
the word “summons” to describe the relevant texts in that volume.
8

According to Tremayne, then, this text-type is not a contractual agree-
ment reached between parties. Rather it is a court order of sorts, a
summons, which requires PN
1
to appear in court to respond to PN
2
’s
claim.
The difference between these two interpretations of the text-type
apparently reflects the ambiguity of the durative tense of the verbs
illakamma and idabbub in the summons clause. The Akkadian duratives
can bear the simple future sense of “he will go” and “he will argue.”
Thus, the texts could simply be contracts, as Köhler and Peiser would
have them. On the other hand, the duratives could also bear the sense
of “he must go” and “he must argue.” This understanding would sup-
port Tremayne’s interpretation of the texts as “summonses.”
The strongest evidence against the interpretation of the dabābu -type
summonses as a contract comes from YOS 7, 189. This text completely
describes the legal proceedings that led to its promulgation. The text
begins with the statement of
m
Bau-ēreš, a shepherd of Ištar of Uruk,
who, in the assembly, accuses two slaves belonging to
m
Kīnaya of having
stolen sheep. The text concludes with a summons requiring
m
Kīnaya
to present the two slaves and argue his case against
m
Bau-ēreš’s claim
before the royal judges. Failure to appear results in
m
Kīnaya’s having
to compensate
m
Bau-ēreš. It is clear, then, that YOS 7, 189 was issued
not as a contract between the two parties, but as a summons by the
court in direct response to the plaintiff ’s initial complaint.
Apart from the very explicit evidence of YOS 7, 189, additional sup-
port for the involvement of an official body in the composition of the
documents comes from the mention of different legal authorities before
8
YOS 7, pp. 43–48.
122 chapter four
whom the defendant must appear.
9
In the case of Nbn 102, the text that
Köhler and Peiser describe as a contract, the individual must argue his
case before officials of the Esagil temple. The requirement to appear on
a specific date indicates that these officials will hear the case on the date
specified. It would seem, then, that the officials were notified before the
document was issued.
10
Similarly, VAS 6, 99:14–16 states clearly that
“the document was written in the (presence?) of
m
Šarru-lū-dār the qīpu
of the Ebabbar and
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin the scribe of Sippar.”
11
The
decision records and preliminary protocols provide further evidence
for understanding the texts at hand as summonses issued by a court.
Several of these texts describe the judges bringing a defendant before
them after the plaintiff has detailed his complaint.
12
The dabābu-type
summons, therefore, is a written record of the procedure by which the
judges bring the person before them for trial.
One complication in the interpretation of these documents as sum-
monses arises from the notices about where the documents were writ-
ten. Given that the summonses were written once the plaintiff had
approached the court, and that they express the authority of the court
to summon the defendant, one might expect the documents to have
been written in the court itself, or, at the very least, in the same city
as the court. This is the case in AnOr 8, 50, that summons
m
Ardiya to
argue a case in Uruk and that was written in Uruk.
13
In many cases,
9
See summary table 4.1 below.
10
Note that AnOr 8, 37 and YOS 7, 189 require the summoned individual to
appear before the judges of the king by (adi ), rather than on, a particular date. Based
on these two texts one might argue that a court might not have been involved initially
in these and in any other such texts. The evidence of the texts suggests otherwise. The
penalty clause in AnOr 8, 37:11–14 does not begin with the word adi, which suggests
that a specific date was intended, despite the word adi at the beginning of the text.
Even if the word adi is intended, the unspecified date does not necessarily mean that
these documents were written as agreements between the two parties rather than by
an official body. One might imagine that the court hearing the complaint could compel
the litigants to arrange a hearing by a particular time. This must have been the case
in YOS 7, 189, which describes the formal lodging of the complaint in the assembly
before recording the summons to appear by a particular date.
11
ina ¢ma
?
-ar
?
Ü
m
LUGAL-[lu]-¢u
2
Ü-[da-ar
lu2
]qi-i-pi E
2
.BABBAR.RA u
md
AMAR.UTU-
MU-MU
lu2
UMBISAG UD.KIB.NUN
ki
ša-a-ru ša
2
-i-ir-ru.
12
Examples include: Nbn 13:5–6; OIP 122, 38:28–30; and Wunsch, BA 2, No. 48:
10–12. In YOS 7, 159:7–8, the judges send a messenger to a particular defendant. See
the discussion in sections 8.C and 9.D below.
13
In Nbn 102, there is no specific mention of the city to which the individual is
summoned. However, the presence of the officials of the Esagil (Nbn 102:4) suggests
that the case was to be heard in Babylon. If so, then Nbn 102, which is also writ-
the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 123
however, the dabābu-type summonses were written in a different loca-
tion from the summoning court. It is also noteworthy that while these
other summonses were written in Uruk or Sippar,
14
all of them contain
summonses to Babylon. When these facts are taken together with the
understanding that the documents were composed only after the plaintiff
had lodged a formal complaint, one necessarily reaches the conclu-
sion that these summonses were written by local authorities acting on
behalf of the authorities in Babylon. Some support for this description
comes from VAS 6, 99, a summons to Babylon, which makes explicit
reference to the authorities in Sippar present at its composition. Thus,
it seems that the plaintiff first approached the local officials, who had
the authority to summon the defendant to Babylon on a later date, or
that the plaintiff had approached the authorities in Babylon who then
ordered the local authorities to issue the summons.
15
Recently, Abraham has published two documents that appear to be
a variant of the dabābu-type summons.
16
Both texts require an individual
to appear in Babylon and impose a penalty upon this individual if he
does not appear. The summons clauses in these two texts read:
1) Abraham, Business, No. 17:1–6
1. U
4
20-kam
2
ša
2
ITI DU
6
m
gu-za-
nu A-šu
2
ša
2
2.
md
NA
3
-NUMUN-GIŠ A
m
ga-al
il-la-kam
2
-<<am>>-ma
3. ina TIN.TIR
ki
it-ti
md
AMAR.
UTU-na-ir-IBILA
4. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
SUM.NA-a A
m
e-gi-
bi a-na mu-i
5. KU
3
.BABBAR ni-din-tu
4
ša
2

lu2
BAN

ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-na-
ir-A
6. a-na
m
gu-za-nu id-din-nu i-dab-bu-ub
(1–6) On 20 Tašrītu,
m
Guzānu
son of
m
Nabû-zēru-līšir
descendant of Gaal shall come,
and, in Babylon, argue against
(the claim of )
m
Marduk-nāir-
apli son of
m
Iddinaya descendant
of Egibi regarding the silver,
the “contribution of the archer”
that
m
Marduk-nāir-apli gave to
m
Guzānu.
ten in Babylon, is another example of a document composed in the same city as the
summoning court.
14
AnOr 8, 37 and YOS 7, 31 were written in Uruk. VAS 6, 99 was written in
Sippar.
15
For more on this possibility, see Matthew Stolper, “ ‘No-one Has Exact Information
Except for You:’ Communication Between Babylon and Uruk in the First Achaemenid
Reigns,” Achaemenid History 13 (2003), pp. 265–287.
16
Abraham, Business, No. 17 and No. 45.
124 chapter four
2) Abraham, Business, No. 45:1–13
1. [U
4
10-kam
2
ša
2
ITI AB MU
2]6-kam
2

2. [
m
da-ri-ia-muš ] ¢LUGALÜ [E
ki
u
KUR.KUR]
md
EN-NIGIN-ir
3. [A-šu
2
ša
2

m

d
U.GUR-MU a-
naÜ [TIN.T]IR
ki
a-na pa-ni
4.
md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-IBILA
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
KI-
d
AMAR.UTU-
TIN A
m
e-gi-bi
5. il-la-kam
2
-ma a-na mu-i u
2
-
il
3
-tim ša
2
1 MA.NA [KU
3
.
BABBAR]
(1–5) [On 10 ebētu, year 2]6
of [Darius king of Babylon and
the lands]
m
Bēl-upair [son
of ]
m
Nergal-iddin shall come to
[Baby]lon before
m
Marduk-nāir-
apli son of
m
Itti-Marduk-balāu
descendant of Egibi.
6. BABBAR-u
2
nu-u-u-tu ša
2
ina
¢1Ü GIN
2
bit-qa 3 GUR ZU
2
.
LUM.[MA] ¢u
3
Ü GU
4
?
7. ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-
IBILA ša
2
ina mu-i-šu
2
u
3

ša
2
-[a-ru.(MEŠ)]
8. ša
2
a-na mu-i u
2
-il
3
-tim.MEŠ
ša
2
KU
3
.BABBAR ŠE.BAR
ZU
2
.LUM.MA ¢u
3
GU
4
Ü
9. ša
2

md
DI.KU
5
-EN-URI
3

lu2
qal-
la ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-
IBILA
10. ša
2
ina mu-i
md
EN-NIGIN-ir
ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-
IBILA
11. ul-tu MU 20-kam
2

m
da-ri-ia-muš
it-ti
12.
md
EN -NIGIN-ir iš-u-ru it-ti
13.
md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-IBILA
i-dab-bu-ub
(5–13) He shall argue against
(the claim) of
m
Marduk-nāir-
apli regarding the debt-note of 1
mina of medium-quality [silver]
in which 1/8 is alloy, 3 kur of
date[s and an ox] belonging to
m
Marduk-nāir-apli that he owes,
and the [documents] regarding
the debt-notes of silver, barley,
dates and cattle belonging to
m
Madānu-bēla-uur, slave of
m
Marduk-nāir-apli, owed by
m
Bēl-upair, that
m
Marduk-nāir-
apli drew up against
m
Bēl-upair
from year 20 of Darius.
Both texts require the individual to go to Babylon and both use the
verb dabābu to indicate the action that he must perform there. Neither
text, however, includes the noun dibbu or dīnu as an object in the dabābu
expression. Apparently because of this absence, Abraham translates the
verb in both texts as “to reach an agreement,” based on the meaning
of the verb dabābu in Neo-Babylonian letters.
17
Furthermore, Abraham
17
Abraham gives her reasons in the discussion of No. 45 (Abraham, Business, p. 286).
Although she does not mention No. 17 in her discussion of No. 45, her translation of
No. 17 (Abraham, Business, p. 234) seems to reflect the same line of reasoning.
the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 125
points to the fact that neither text mentions judges or another authority
before whom the summoned individual must appear. Therefore, she spe-
cifically rejects the possibility that the summoned individual, the debtor,
is to appear in court to plead against his creditor.
18
Thus, according
to Abraham, these documents are not summonses to argue a case, but
“summons to settle payment”
19
or “summons to settle debts.”
20

Abraham’s interpretation is not convincing; there are still reasons
to understand these texts in the same way as the other dabābu-type
summonses. The absence of the noun dīna or dibba in the summons
clauses does not, of itself, indicate that the verb dabābu means anything
but “argue.” There are examples in which the verbal phrase itti PN
dabābu means “to argue against,” even without a preceding noun.
21

Both summons clauses mention disputed debts, so this translation is
not out of context. In both texts, the summons clauses imply that the
individual who is the object of the preposition itti has already raised a
claim. This is also indicated in the penalty clauses (in the continuation
of both texts), which state that the summoned individual must make a
payment if he does not appear. Thus, the verbal phrase itti PN dabābu
should retain its meaning “to argue against (the claim of ) PN,” even
though the noun dīna or dibba is absent.
In light of this interpretation of the verb dabābu, one must reconsider
the fact that these texts do not mention legal authorities. Contrary to
Abraham’s interpretation, these texts require an “argument” rather
than an “agreement,” but do not mention the authorities before whom
the argument is to be made. Abraham’s suggestion that these texts do
not require a court appearance may, in fact, be correct. It is possible
that these summonses respond to the plaintiff ’s claim by ordering the
defendant to make his arguments outside a court.
22
This possibility,
however, seems somewhat remote, given that the very issuance of a
summons might have already involved adjudicating authorities.
There is, however, room to challenge Abraham’s rejection of
the possibility that the summoned individual must appear in court.
18
Abraham, Business, p. 286.
19
Abraham, Business, p. 194 and p. 234.
20
Abraham, Business, p. 194 and p. 284.
21
See CAD dabābu 4b (D, p. 9). CAD translates “to litigate.”
22
Compare this possibility with the discussion of the quttû-summons below. This
possibility should be considered especially in the cases of Abraham, Business, No. 45
and Dar 189 in which the summoned individual is required to appear “before” (ana
pāni ) the plaintiff.
126 chapter four
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the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 127
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.

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e
n
g
t
h
s

o
f

t
i
m
e

d
o

n
o
t

i
n
c
l
u
d
e

d
a
t
e

o
f

c
o
m
p
o
s
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t
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o
n
.
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E
X
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N
o
u
n
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u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y

P
e
n
a
l
t
y
D
a
t
e

W
r
i
t
t
e
n
A
p
p
e
a
r
a
n
c
e

D
a
t
e
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e
n
g
t
h

o
f

T
i
m
e
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l
a
c
e

o
f

A
p
p
e
a
r
a
n
c
e
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l
a
c
e

o
f

C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
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n
S
c
r
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e
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u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

4
.
1

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
128 chapter four
The use of the verb dabābu alone, without the noun dīnu or dibbu does
not, of itself, preclude the possibility that the summoned individual
is to actually appear before adjudicating authorities.
23
The fact that
these texts specifically require the individual to come to Babylon on
a particular date suggests that, as is the case with other dabābu-type
summonses, a formal appearance is required. Furthermore, these
texts were composed in response to a plaintiff ’s claim, which implies
(as does Abraham’s own classification of the texts as summonses) that
some official body has already been involved in their issuance. Thus,
even though Abraham, Business, No. 17 and Abraham, Business, No. 45
do not mention an adjudicating authority, it is still possible that they
require the summoned individuals to actually appear in court. Like the
other dabābu- type summonses, these texts may require the defendant’s
appearance in court to argue a case against the plaintiff ’s claim.
In summary, the dabābu-type of summonses are composed by author-
ities in response to a plaintiff ’s claim. Their legal function is to require
a defendant to go and argue his case against the claim of a plaintiff.
The requirement to argue the case may be expressed by the verb dabābu
alone or in combination with the noun dīnu or dibbu. Most dabābu-type
summonses specify the authorities before whom the defendant must
argue his case. Those which do not may, nevertheless, require an
appearance in court.
4.B Summonses to End (quttû) a Case
The formulation of this type of summons resembles that of the dabābu-
type summons. Like the dabābu-summonses, the quttû-summonses include
varying penalties for failure to appear that are always the obligations
of the summoned individual to the opposing party.
24
If the summoned
23
This much is clear from another text which uses the verb dabābu without a noun:
MacGinnis, Iraq 60 (1998), No. 4:3–4. In this text, even though no noun is used, the
individual must appear “before the chief of the workers” (ina IGI
lu2
GAL um-ma-nu)
and “in the presence of ” (ina DU.ZU) the šangû of Sippar. Because the rest of the text
is unclear, the use of the verb dabābu here remains in question. MacGinnis actually
translates the verbal phrase itti PN idabbub in the summons clause as “will speak with
PN.”
24
This is true even in Joannès, Archives de Borsippa, p. 276/Joannès, Archives de Borsippa,
p. 243: 8–15, which includes obligations upon both the summoned individual and
the opposing party. Only the obligation upon the summoned individual is contingent
upon his failure to appear.
the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 129
individual does not come to end the case, then he implicitly accepts
the obligation in question. Thus, it seems that both the dabābu- and
quttû-type of summonses were composed as a response to a claim.
However, instead of the verb dabābu (“to argue”), documents of this
text-type use the verbal construction dibbišu quttû (“to end his case”)
to express the summoned individual’s obligation. The use of the verb
quttû rather than dabābu implies that the two types of summonses have
different functions.
An example of this type of summons is Nbk 379. According to
Wunsch’s collations,
25
the text reads as follows:
26
,
27
1. a-di U
4
X-kam
2
ša
2
ITI
KIN 2-kam
2

m
kal-ba-a
2. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
U.GUR-u
2
-še-zib
il-la-kam
2
-ma
3. dib-bi-šu ša
2
KU
3
.BABBAR
u ŠE.BAR it-ti
4.
f
lu-bal-a-at u
2
-qa-at-ta
(1–4) By X Ulūlu II,
m
Kalbaya son
of
m
Nergal-ušēzib shall come and
end his case against (the claim of )
f
Lū-balat concerning the silver and
the barley.
5. ki-i la it-tal-ka 6 G[IN
2
?
]
K[U
3
.BABBAR
?
]
26

(erasure)-a-at
6. ša
2
la ta-x -tu
4
a-na
f
lu-bal-
a-at
7. i-nam-din
(5–7) If he does not come, he shall
pay
f
Lū-balāt 6 š[eqel (?)] of s[ilver
(?)] of not . . .
8. mim-ma ma-la ina ŠU.2
f
lu-
bal-[a-at x x]-su
9. i-tur
f
ga-ga-a pu-ut
(8–9) Whatever, in total, he . . . from
f
Lū-balāt he shall return.
27
10. e-er ša
2
KU
3
.BABBAR u
ŠE.BAR na-ša
2
-ti
(9–10)
f
Gagaya bears responsibility
for the repayment of the silver and
the barley.
25
Wunsch, CM 3, No. 39.
26
Wunsch’s tentative restoration raises the following problem: the initial presentation
of the case (line 3) and the guarantee clause (line 10) include barley, but the penalty
for not appearing does not seem to include payment of the barley. Note, however,
that the words mim-ma ma-la in the penalty clause (line 8) represent the totality of the
disputed debt, and so, may reflect both barley and silver.
27
San Nicolò-Ungnad translate the G form of the verb târu as a transitive, “to pay
in return,” while noting this uncharacteristic usage (San Nicolò-Ungnad, NRV No. 34,
n. 10 [p. 48]). Wunsch and the present translation follow San Nicolò-Ungnad. For a similar
usage, see Nbk 52: 9 and the translation in Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben, p. 31.
130 chapter four
11.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
m
SUM.NA-
d
ŠU
2
A-šu
2
12. ša
2

m
BA-ša
2
-a A
m
ZALAG-
d
30
m
kal-ba-a
13. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
na-din A
m
EN.
NUN-KA
2
.GAL
(11–12) Witnesses: Iddin-Marduk,
son of
m
Iqīšaya descendant of Nūr-
Sîn;
(12–13)
m
Kalbaya, son of
m
Nādin
descendant of Maār-abulli;
14. u
lu2
UMBISAG
md
AMAR.
UTU-GI A-šu
2
ša
2

m
SU-
d
ŠU
2
15. A
m
man-di-di TIN.TIR
ki

ITI KIN u
4
25-kam
2
16. MU 41-kam
2

d
NA
3
-NIG
2
.
DU-PAP
17. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(14–15) And the scribe:
m
Marduk-
ušallim son of
m
Erība-Marduk
descendant of Mandidi.
(15–17) Babylon. 25 Ulūlu year
41 of Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon.
This text is the result of a dispute about a debt of barley and silver that
m
Kalbaya owes
f
Lū-balāt. Apparently,
f
Lū-balāt has claimed that
m
Kal-
baya has not paid his debt.
m
Kalbaya is summoned to “end his case”
(dibbišu quttû) against
f
Lū-balāt’s claim by (adi ) a particular date. If he does
not come, then
m
Kalbaya must pay
f
Lū-balāt. A guarantor named
f
Gagaya
assumes responsibility for the repayment of the silver and barley.
As stated, the difference between the dabābu- and quttû-type sum-
monses is apparent from the use of the different verbs. Unlike the
verb dabābu, the verb quttû (derived from the verb qatû, “to end”) does
not imply arguing a case, even in conjunction with the noun dibbu.
Furthermore, a number of other differences between the dabābu- and
quttû-summonses underscore the distinction between the two text-types.
Unlike the dabābu-type summonses, the quttû-type does not mention
any adjudicating authority before whom the summoned individual
must appear. Another difference between the two text-types relates to
the date of appearance. Because the dabābu-type summonses require
an appearance in court, they usually give a precise date on which the
summoned individual must come to argue the case. The quttû-type
summonses, on the other hand, begin with the word adi, indicating
that the summoned individual may come to “end his case” at any time
before the specific date. Furthermore, from the scant data available,
it also appears that the quttû-type documents usually allow for less time
than the dabābu-type summonses between the date of the writing of the
summons and the settlement.
28
28
See summary tables 4.1 and 4.2 for calculations of length of time. Note the excep-
the DABĀBU- and QUTTÛ-type summonses 131
These differences between the dabābu- and quttû-type summonses
suggest that the quttû-type summonses require an informal settling of
the case rather than a formal argument in the presence of adjudicat-
ing authorities. The case will “end” by, but not on, a particular date,
because there is no need to arrange a formal hearing. An informal
settlement might also require less time than arguing a case.
This interpretation raises the possibility that, unlike the dabābu-type
summonses, these texts were not written by a court. It is possible that
the plaintiffs made their claim directly to the summoned individuals,
and that the document was written to arrange the settling of the case.
Joannès describes Joannès, Archives de Borsippa, p. 276, a quttû-type text,
as an “accord ” (“agreement”) between the two parties.
29
This understand-
ing implies that there was no formal complaint before the document
was written. Instead, the two parties reached an agreement to settle
by a certain date without any official body compelling either of them.
According to Joannès, then, it would be incorrect to apply the label
“summons” to this text-type, since no authority issued the summons.
On the other hand, there are reasons to retain the label “summons”
and to consider the texts as coming from a court. The setting of a dead-
line, even if not a specific date, and the requirement that the summoned
individual “come” somewhere, even if the location is not specified,
suggest that there is a need to compel the summoned individual to act.
One might argue, then, that the plaintiffs have sought redress from a
court that issued the summons ordering the summoned individuals to
“end the case.” If this interpretation is correct, then both the dabābu-
and quttû-types of summons are issued by a court. The only difference
between the two text-types is how the case is to be concluded. The
dabābu-type summonses require the summoned individual to appear
before a court of law. The quttû-type summonses, on the other hand,
do not require an appearance in court, but nevertheless require that
the case come to an end. If the summoned individuals do not act to
end the case, then they face the penalty.
If, as has just been suggested, the quttû-summonses also originate in
a court, then they may be related to another text-type, the guarantees
tionally short span of time (1 day) in MacGinnis, Iraq 60 (1998), No. 4, which may be
a dabābu type of summons. Dar 229, in which an individual swears to “settle” within
2 days, provides additional support for the correlation between short time span and a
summons to informal settlement (rather than to formal proceedings).
29
Joannès, Archives de Borsippa, p. 56.
132 chapter four
for testimony (see section 5.B). In these texts, a guarantor assumes
responsibility for “establishing the case” (kunnu) against another indi-
vidual. Sometimes, as will be seen below, the guarantors are accused
individuals who have attempted to clear themselves by accusing another
individual. Therefore, the guarantors assume responsibilty for substan-
tiating the accusations. For the purposes of the present discussion, it is
important to note that this text-type does not specify a date on which
or by which the guarantors must provide the evidence. Thus, based
only on the guarantee for testimony, the case against the guarantors
would remain unsettled for an unlimited time. The quttû-summonses,
which do specify a terminus by which the case must be “ended,” might
address this problem. By issuing a quttû-summons, a court might indicate
that individuals who have assumed responsibility for substantiating an
accusation in order to clear themselves must provide the evidence by
a certain time or face a penalty.
Summary Table 4.2 quttû-Type Summonses
TEXT Penalty Date
Written
Appearance
Date
Length
of Time
Place of
Appearance
Place of
Composition
Scribe
TuM 2–3,
213
1 mina ?.VI.7 ? adi qīt ša ITI
[ MN ]
? — Borsippa
m
Itti-
Nabû-
balāu/
m
Nabû-x
Nbk 379 6 šeqel 25.VIb.
41 Nbk
(9/28)
a-di ?.VIb < 6
days
— Babylon
m
Marduk-
ušallim/
m
Erība-
Marduk
//
Mandidi
Joannès,
Archives de
Borsippa,
p. 276/
Joannès,
Archives de
Borsippa,
p. 243
payments 29.VII.2
Camb
(10/20)
adi 5.VIII
(10/30)
< 6
days
— Borsippa
m
Nabû-
ēir/
m
Mār-bīti-
iddin //
Raksu
Dar 159
(?)
— 8.III.5
Dar
(6/4)
? ? Babylon Babylon
m
Munatu-
Marduk/
m
Liblu //
Egibi
Dates are calculated according to Parker and Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology. Lengths of time do not include
date of composition.
CHAPTER FIVE
TEXT
-
TYPES CALLING FOR EVIDENCE
This chapter analyzes three text-types that call for the presentation of
evidence: the kunnu-type summonses, the guarantees for testimony and
the penalties pending evidence. Before discussing the three text-types
themselves, two terms should be clarified: summonses and guarantees.
Both terms refer to text-types that require a specific person to perform
a particular action, often on or by a certain date. Both summonses and
guarantees may impose a penalty for failure to perform the action. The
major difference between the two is that the guarantees explicitly use
the phrase pūta našû (“to assume responsibility”) while the summonses
do not use this phrase. This difference in formulation may imply a
difference in function.
5.A Summonses to Establish a Case (kunnu)
The summonses of this type require an individual to establish (kunnu)
a case against (ana) another individual. The use of the verb kunnu is
common to all the summons in this type. In its most basic form, the
summons clause of this type of summons reads as follows:
U
4
X-kam
2
ša ITI MN PN
1
ana PN
2
ukân
1
ša . . .
On day X of Month MN PN
1
shall establish (the case) against PN
2

that . . .
This basic summons clause is followed by the charge that the summoned
individual (PN
1
) must prove against an opposing party (PN
2
).
This summons clause may be modified in two ways: 1) a date may
not be specified or 2) witnesses may be stipulated as the means of proof.
1
The present normalization is to the Old Babylonian D durative, 3cs form of the
verb kânu. This normalization is for ease of reference, despite the fact that in all the
Neo-Babylonian texts the verb is written with a vowel at the end. Usually, the final sign
is /nu/, although in Nbk 183:6 and Nbk 366:5 the form ends in /ni/, and in YOS 7,
35:17, it ends in /na/. Note also that PBS 2/1, 126:7 apparently uses the verb kullumu
(“to show”) instead of kunnu (“to establish”). It is included in the present type because
it, too, requires PN
1
to prove his case.
134 chapter five
Summons clauses that do not specify a date on which (or by which)
2

PN
1
must establish the case use the open-ended terms ina ūmu (“on the
day that”)
3
or kî (“if ”).
4
The summons clauses that require the sum-
moned individual to present witnesses read as follows:
U
4
X-kam
2
5
ša
2
ITI MN PN
1
mukinnēšu
6
ibbakamma ana PN
2
ukân
7
ša
2

On day X of MN PN
1
shall bring his witnesses. He shall establish (the
case) against PN
2
that . . .
This version of the kunnu summons places two requirements on the
summoned individual. In order to meet the general requirement to
“establish the case,” the summoned individual is required to bring
(abāku)
8
his witnesses.
Following the summons clauses, the kunnu-summonses have penalty
clauses that govern two situations: the situation in which the summoned
individual establishes the case and the situation in which the summoned
individual does not establish the case. Based on the clause that governs
failure to establish the case, the kunnu-summonses may be divided into
2
OIP 122, 34 and Nbk 52 require the summoned individual to establish the case
in a certain month. Nbk 366 requires the summoned individual to establish the case
by (adi ) a certain date. The details of the different kunnu-summonses are presented in
summary table 5.1 at the end of this section.
3
Nbk 361:1; Nbn 679:1; YOS 7, 192:8; PBS 2/1, 126:7. BIN 1, 113:10 uses only
the word ūmu without the preposition ina.
4
Nbk 266:7.
5
Most summons clauses requiring witnesses specify the date. Nbk 361 and YOS 7,
192 are exceptional cases which require witnesses but do not specify the date.
6
The plural normalization is based on Nbk 366:3, where the form
lu2
mu-kin-ne-e-šu
2

appears. The additional e is written, apparently, to emphasize that more than one
witness is intended.
7
The present normalization is to the Old Babylonian D durative, 3cs form of
the verb kânu, as in the basic formulation. Because the verb is always written with a
vocalic ending, in the texts requiring witnesses, one may wish to take the final vowel,
especially u, as a marker of the plural. This would mean that the witnesses are the
subject of the verb, rather than PN
1
. The choice of the singular follows the translation
of Nbk 365:3 in Cornelia Wunsch, “ ‘Du hast meinen Sohn geschlagen!’ ”, in Cornelia
Wunsch, ed. Mining the Archives: Festschrift for Christopher Walker on the Occasion of His 60
Birthday (Babylonische Archive 1) (Dresden, 2002), p. 361 and of Nbk 183:6 in Köhler
u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 1, p. 31. This choice is borne out contextually by those texts which
do not specifically require witnesses to be brought. From these texts it is clear that the
subject of the verb kunnu can only be the summoned individual. Therefore, even in
texts which specifically require witnesses to be brought, it is the summoned individual
who “establishes the case,” not the witnesses.
8
Note that Nbk 183:4 uses a form of the verb paqādu (“to place”) rather than the
usual verb abāku. The use of the different verb still indicates that the first named indi-
vidual is to bring the witnesses to a specific location.
text-types calling for evidence 135
two subtypes. In one subtype, which will be known as the exculpatory
kunnu-summons, the summoned individuals face a penalty, explicitly or
implicitly, if they fail to establish the case. In the other subtype, which
will be called the general subtype of kunnu-summonses, the summoned
individuals do not face a penalty if they fail to establish the case. Because
both subtypes present the same ultimate requirement, establishing a
case, they all have the same legal function. They are, therefore, texts
of the same text-type. However, because each subtype was composed
under different circumstances, each will be discussed separately. The
exculpatory kunnu-summonses will be discussed first, followed by the
general kunnu-summonses.
In the exculpatory kunnu-summonses, the penalty clauses usually
read as follows:
(a) kî uktinnušu . . .
If he (PN
1
) establishes (the case) against him (PN
2
) > Penalty against PN
2
9
(b) kî lā uktinnušu . . .
If (PN
1
) does not establish (the case) against him (PN
2
) > Penalty against PN
1
These clauses indicate that if the summoned individual (PN
1
) establishes
the case, then the opposing party (PN
2
) will make a payment. If the
summoned individual (PN
1
) does not establish the case, then the sum-
moned individual (PN
1
) incurs the penalty in the case.
In order to illustrate this subtype, BIN 1, 113 will be presented in
its entirety. The text reads as follows:
10
1.
m
ri-mut-
d
EN A-šu
2
ša
2

md
ENŠADA-MU ša
2

lu2
NU.
giš
KIRI
6
.MEŠ
2. ša
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA ZAG A.ŠA
3
.
MEŠ NIG
2
.GA
d
INNIN
UNUG
ki
3. u
d
na-na-a ša
2
<<1>> MU 1-
kam
2

m
kam
2
-bu-zi-ia LUGAL
TIN.TIR
ki
4. LUGAL KUR.KUR ša
2

giš
BAN
ša
2

m
ba-ni-ia A-šu
2
ša
2

m
kal-ba-a
5. ik-ki-su ina UKKIN u
2
-kin-nu-uš
um-ma ZU
2
.LUM.MA
(1–5)
m
Rīmūt-Bēl son of
m
Nusku-
iddin, about whom the gardeners
who cut the dates constituting
the imittu-yield
10
of the fields
belonging to Ištar of Uruk and
Nanaya, of year 1 of Cambyses
king of Babylon king of the lands
the sūtu-tax of
m
Baniya son of
m
Kalbaya, established thus:
9
Nbk 266 and Nbk 366 state only that PN
1
is clear (zaki ), but do not impose a
penalty on PN
2
.
10
For the meaning of this term, see CAD imittu B (I/J, pp. 123–125).
136 chapter five 11
6. ina ZAG A.ŠA
3
.MEŠ ša
2
ina pa-
ni-ni
m
ri-mut-
d
EN ina ŠU.2-i-ni
7. iz-zi-bi-il u
3
m
ri-mut-
d
EN ina
UKKIN
(5–7) “
m
Rīmūt-Bēl took the dates
from the estimated yield of the
fields at our disposal from our
hands.”
8.
lu2
DUMU.DU
3
.MEŠ iq-bu-u
2

um-ma ZU
2
.LUM.MA ša
2
ina
ŠU.2-šu
2
-nu
9. aš
2
-šu-u
2
ina E
2

m
ba-ni-ia A-šu
2

ša
2

m
kal-ba-a
10. a-na KAŠ.SAG at-ta-di U
4
-mu
ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
(7–8) And
m
Rīmūt-Bēl said thus in
the assembly of the mār banî:
(9–10) “The dates that I took from
their hands I put in the house
of
m
Baniya son of
m
Kalbaya for
beer.”
11. [
lu2
]ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.NA
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
na-din A
m
da-bi-bi u
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
12. [
lu2
]SAG.LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-ti
E
2
.AN.NA re-eš
13. [
m
]ri-mut-
d
EN i-na-aš
2
-šu-u
2
il-
la-¢kam
2
Ü-ma
14. u
2
-ka-nu
(10–14) The day that
m
Nabû-
mukīn-apli šatammu of the Eanna
son of
m
Nādin descendant of
Dābibī and
m
Nabû-aa-iddin the
ša rēš šarri administrator of the
Eanna summon
m
Rīmūt-Bēl, he
shall come and establish (his case).
15. ki-i
m
ri-mut-
d
EN la qir-bi
11
ZU
2
.
LUM.MA ma-la
16.
lu2
NU.
giš
KIRI
6
.MEŠ a-na
m
ri-
mut-
d
EN u
2
-kin-nu-
17.
m
ri-mut-
d
EN a-na NIG
2
.GA
d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
i-nam-
din
(15–17) If
m
Rīmūt-Bēl does not
arrive,
m
Rīmūt-Bēl

shall pay the
property of the Lady-of-Uruk
whatever amount of dates that the
gardeners establish.
18.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
EN-su-pe-e-mu-ur
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
KI-
d
UTU-TIN
19. A
md
EN-A-URI
3

md
NA
3
-
NUMUN-DU A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-ka-ir
20. A
m
ar
2
-rab
3
-tu
4
<m>d
EN-A-MU
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-TIN-i
21. A
lu2
ša
2
-MUN.I.A-šu
2

m
ŠU-
d
UTU A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-SUR-
ZI.MEŠ
22. A
m
e-gi-bi
(18–19) Witnesses:
m
Bēl-supê-
muur son of
m
Itti-Šamaš-balāu
descendant of Bēl-apla-uur;
(19–20)
m
Nabû-zēra-ukīn son
of
m
Nabû-kāir descendant of
Arrabtu;
(20–21)
m
Bēl-apla-iddin son of
m
Bēl-uballi descendant of Ša-
ābušu;
(21–22)
m
Gimil-Šamaš son of
m
Nabû-ēir-napšāti descendant of
Egibi;
23.
lu2
UMBISAG
m
mu-še-zi-
ib-
d
UTU A-šu
2
ša
2

md
15-
NUMUN-DU
3
(23) Scribe:
m
Mušēzib-Šamaš son
of
m
Ištar-zēra-ibni.
11
Note that the penalty clause governs only failure to establish the case. YOS 7,
35 is similar. The use of la qir-bi to describe the failure to appear (and establish the
case) is unique to this text.
text-types calling for evidence 137
24. UNUG
ki
ITI BAR
2
U
4
30-
kam
2
MU 1-kam
2

m
kam
2
-bu-zi-
ia
2

25. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR
(24–25) Uruk. 30 Nisannu, year 1
of Cambyses, king of Babylon,
king of the lands.
The situation in this text may be reconstructed as follows. A discrep-
ancy has arisen regarding the dates that
m
Kalbaya owes as sūtu-tax.
The gardeners who cut those dates testify that
m
Rīmūt-Bēl received
the dates of the imittu-yield of those fields from them. In the assembly,
m
Rīmūt-Bēl asserts that he delivered those dates to
m
Kalbaya’s house
for beer processing. When the šatammu and the administrator summon
m
Rīmūt-Bēl, he must establish his claim. If he does not appear, then he
must pay whatever amount of dates the gardeners establish.
The general scheme of the penalty clauses and the specifics of BIN 1,
113 indicate that the present subtype of kunnu-summonses were written
because the summoned individual (PN
1
) wishes to avoid payment of a
penalty. In an attempt to clear himself, he has raised a claim against
another individual (PN
2
). If the summoned individual establishes his
claim against the opposing party, then the opposing party must make
the payment and the summoned individual is clear. The evidence he
is to bring is, therefore, exculpatory.
Within the corpus of exculpatory kunnu-summonses there are two
exceptional texts that should be considered. Both texts, Nbn 679 and
YOS 7, 192, impose a penalty against the opposing party if the sum-
moned individual establishes the case. They do not, however, include a
penalty clause against the summoned individual for failure to establish
the case. Nevertheless, both texts apparently call for exculpatory evi-
dence and are, therefore, included in the present subtype. In Nbn 679,
the summoned individual is an escaped slave. If she establishes that
the person to whom she escaped knew her situation, then that person
must make payment to her former master. This text, therefore, seems
to result from the slave herself wishing to avoid the payment.
12
In order
to do so, she has blamed the person to whom she has escaped, and
must now “establish the case” or bear the penalty. In YOS 7, 192, the
opposing party swears that he did not take any temple property from
the house of the summoned individual. The summoned individual
must establish that the opposing party actually did steal the items.
12
See Wunsch, AfO 44–45 (1997–1998), No. 17 (p. 87).
138 chapter five
This must be because the summoned individual is himself responsible
for these items. By proving that the opposing party stole the items,
the summoned individual can avoid payment. Thus, even though they
do not explicitly state that the summoned individual bears a penalty,
both Nbn 679 and YOS 7, 192 document cases in which exculpatory
evidence is required in order to avoid payment.
The second subtype of kunnu-summons is the general kunnu-summons.
In contrast with the exculpatory subtype, the general kunnu-summonses
do not impose a penalty against the summoned individuals if they fail
to establish the case. Instead, the penalty clauses in this subtype read
as follows:
13
(a) kî uktinnušu . . .
If he (PN
1
) establishes (the case) against him (PN
2
) > penalty against
PN
2
(b) kî lā uktinnušu zaki
If he (PN
1
) does not establish (the case) against him (PN
2
), he (PN
1
) is
clear.
Nbk 365 will serve to illustrate the features of this subtype:
1. U
4
5-kam
2
ša
2
ITI GAN
m
LUGAL-GI.NA DUMU-šu
2

ša
2

m
am-ma-nu
2.
lu2
mu-kin-ne-šu
2
i-na URU pi-qu-
du ib-ba-kam
2
-ma
(1–2) On 5 Kislīmu,
m
Šarru-kīn
son of
m
Ammanu shall bring his
witnesses to the city of Piqūdu.
3. a-na
m
i-di-i-DINGIR DUMU-
šu
2
ša
2

m
di-na-a u
2
-ka-nu
4. ša
2

m
i-di-i-DINGIR a-na
LUGAL-GI.NA-a iš-pu-ra
5. um-ma di-i-ni ša
2

lu2
qal-li-ka ša
2

di-i-ki
(3–5) He shall establish (the
case) against
m
Īdii-ilu son of
m
Dīnaya, that
m
Īdii-ilu sent thus
to
m
Šarru-kīn:
6. it-ti-ia la ta-dab-bu-ub a-na-ku (5–6) “Do not bring the case
against me regarding your slave
who was killed.”
7. nap-ša
2
-ti ša
2

lu2
qal-li-ka u
2
-šal-
lam-ka
(6–7) “I shall pay you for your
slave’s life.”
13
Among the texts in this subtype, the clause expressing the penalty (a) is written
first in Nbk 52, Nbk 183 and Nbk 365. The zakû clause (b) is written first in OIP 122,
34 and Nbk 366. Nbk 419 does not include a zakû clause.
text-types calling for evidence 139
8. ki-i uk-tin-nu-uš 1 MA.NA
KU
3
.BABBAR ŠAM
2
9. ša
2

lu2
qal-li-šu
2

m
i-di-i-
DINGIR.MEŠ a-na
10.
m
LUGAL-GI.NA i-nam-din
(8–10) If he establishes (the case)
against him,
m
Īdii-ilu shall pay
1 mina of silver, the price of his
slave to
m
Šarru-kīn.
11. ki-i la uk-tin-nu-uš ¢za-kiÜ
(11) If he does not establish (the
case) against him, he is clear.
12.
lu2
mu-kin-ni
m
na-zi-ia
lu2
SAG.
LUGAL
(12) Witnesses:
m
Naziya, the ša rēš
šarri;
13.
m
KUR.GAL-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ri-mut-DINGIR
(13)
m
Amurru-iddin son of
m
Rīmūt-Ili;
14.
m
še-gu-zu DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
ta-
la-
lu2
GAL KAR ša
2
U
2
ki
(14)
m
Šeguzu son of
m
Tala, the
rāb kāri of Opis;
15. u
3

lu2
DUB.SAR
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.
MEŠ-MU DUMU-šu
2
ša
2
(15–16) and the scribe:
m
Nabû-
aē-iddin son of
m
Šulaya
descendant of Egibi.
16.
m
šu-la-a A
m
e-gi-bi U
2
ki

17. ITI APIN U
4
7-kam
2
MU 40-
kam
2

18.
d
NA
3
-NIG
2
.DU-URI
3

LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(16–18) Opis. 7 Arašamna, year
40 of Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon.
This summons pertains to the death of
m
Šarru-kīn’s slave. After his
slave was killed,
m
Šarru-kīn sought to press charges against
m
Īdii-ilu.
m
Īdii-ilu wrote to
m
Šarru-kīn asking him not to bring the case to
court, and agreeing to compensate him for the slave.
m
Šarru-kīn now
wishes to collect the payment from
m
Īdii-ilu, but apparently cannot
present the actual document that
m
Īdii-ilu sent him.
m
Šarru-kīn must
bring witnesses to the city of Piqūdu to confirm that
m
Īdii-ilu indeed
wrote to him. If
m
Šarru-kīn brings the witnesses and establishes the
case against
m
Īdii-ilu, then
m
Īdii-ilu must pay
m
Šarru-kīn 1 mina of
silver (the price of the slave). If he does not establish the case against
m
Īdii-ilu, then
m
Īdii-ilu is clear.
As has already been noted and can be seen from Nbk 365, there
is no penalty against the summoned individual for failure to establish
the case. Thus, general kunnu-summonses are not composed because
the summoned individuals are defendants who face a penalty of some
sort and have attempted to clear themselves by accusing other indi-
viduals. Instead, these kunnu-summonses were composed because of
a disputed claim brought by the plaintiffs, who are the summoned
individuals. The evidence that the summoned individuals must bring
is not exculpatory.
140 chapter five
From the discussion thus far, the following description of the kunnu-
summonses emerges. Like the dabābu-type summonses (see section
4.A above), the kunnu-type summonses are a response to a claim. The
summoned individuals in the kunnu-type summonses are the individuals
who have made the claim, rather than those against whom the claim
has been made. These individuals may have been defendants in a legal
case who made the claim in the face of an impending penalty. To avoid
paying the penalty, they must present exculpatory evidence to prove the
claim. The exculpatory kunnu-summonses come from such situations.
Alternatively, the summoned individuals may be the plaintiffs in a legal
case who have made a claim that is contested by the defendant. If the
summoned individuals can establish the claim, then the defendant will
have to make whatever payment is due. If, however, the claim remains
unestablished, then the opposing party faces no penalty. In this situa-
tion, a general kunnu-summons would be written.
Although both the kunnu- and the dabābu-type summonses are writ-
ten as responses to claims, only the dabābu-type summons specifically
allude to an eventual confrontation in court. The basic formulation
of the kunnu-type summonses, on the other hand, does not explicitly
indicate that they were issued as part of the official adjudication of a
dispute. Thus, in order to address the issues of the setting in which
the kunnu-summonses were composed, two main questions must be
answered. First, was the claim that must be established made in court
or outside of court? That is, were the kunnu-type summonses, like the
dabābu-type, issued by a court during formal proceedings, or were they
composed outside of an official adjudicatory setting? Second, the nature
of “establishing the case” must also be discussed. Do these texts require
a formal evaluation of evidence, or might they envision a less formal
procedure? Answering these questions allows a more precise definition
of the legal function of these summonses.
A number of exculpatory kunnu-summonses, like BIN 1, 113, describe
the proceedings that took place before the summonses were issued. For
example, YOS 7, 35 specifically describes the hearing “in the assembly”
during which the accusation against the summoned individual is made.
Four scribes bearing the title “scribes of the Eanna” wrote the text “in
the presence” (ina DU.ZU) of the šatammu and the administrator of the
Eanna.
14
Most of the kunnu-summonses, however, are not as explicit
14
See also YOS 7, 192, which opens with the defendant’s oath claiming innocence.
text-types calling for evidence 141
as YOS 7, 35 or BIN 1, 113, and, in fact, do not even name specific
adjudicating authorities. Nevertheless, the consensus of scholarship is
that these documents were also composed in a court of law.
15
Despite the
lack of specific references to judges or courts, there is reason to concur
with the prevailing understanding. Many of these texts were written by
the same scribe,
m
Nabû-aē-iddin son of
m
Šulaya of the Egibi family
during the latter part of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.
16
In later texts,
m
Nabû-aē-iddin is known as one of the judges of Nabonidus. Follow-
ing van Driel, one might understand the writing of the summonses to
present witnesses as reflections of the early stages of
m
Nabû-aē-iddin’s
climb towards becoming a royal judge.
17
It is plausible that
m
Nabû-aē-
iddin began his legal career as a court scribe. If this understanding is
correct, then the presence of
m
Nabû-aē-iddin as scribe suggests that
the texts of this text-type that he wrote, as well as others like it that he
did not write, originated in a formal court setting.
The question of the setting in which the evidence was to be evaluated
has already been addressed by Köhler and Peiser’s discussion of where
the testimony of the summoned witnesses is to be heard. On the one
hand, they raise the possibility that these documents are orders to settle
out of court, by means of a private hearing of testimony (“Privaternehm-
ung”), outside of the official adjudicatory process. On the other hand,
they strongly consider the possibility that these documents call for formal
testimony in the presence of court officials.
18
The evidence of the texts
themselves is inconsistent and leaves both possibilities open. In BIN 1,
113, the case is to be established “the day that” (U
4
-mu) the šatammu
and the administrator call for the summoned individual. Apparently,
Nbk 266 begins by quoting the defendant’s statement in a manner which suggests that
it was made as a declaration in court.
15
G. van Driel, “The Rise of the House of Egibi: Nabû-aē-iddina,” JEOL 29
(1985–1986), pp. 54–55. See also Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 1, p. 31. Peiser’s earlier
label of Nbk 365 also implies the involvement of a court in the composition of the
document (KB 4, p. XX). Similarly, see Weisberg’s label of OIP 122, 34 as an “order
to produce witnesses,” which suggests that a court has issued the order. None of these
interpretations includes any citations of evidence from the texts themselves.
16
See summary table 5.1 below. The year in Nbk 419:14, also written by the same
scribe, is broken. Van Driel, JEOL 29 (1985–1986), p. 55 notes that all of the texts
dated to year 40 were written in Opis, and suggests that they reflect a tour of duty. If
so, then Nbk 419, also written in Opis, may date from the same stint.
17
Van Driel, JEOL 29 (1985–1986), p. 55. According to Wunsch, AOAT 252,
p. 572, the case of
m
Nabû-aē-iddin may be exceptional. See, however, the discussion
of the career of the scribe
m
Ilei-Marduk in section 8.K.2 below.
18
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 1, p. 31.
142 chapter five
in this specific case, the evidence will be evaluated in a hearing before
these authorities. BIN 1, 113 is unique in this regard, since other texts
do not name authorities who will summon the individual. Similarly, the
summons clauses in both Nbk 227 and YOS 6, 153 specifically men-
tion that the summoned individual must “bring” the opposing party
in order to establish the case against him.
19
This additional stipula-
tion suggests that the case is to be established in a formal setting. In
addition, as can be seen from summary table 5.1 below, a number of
kunnu-summonses specify a date and location for the presentation of the
evidence. These specifications suggest that the case is to be established
in a formal hearing. On the other hand, those texts that leave the date
open and do not otherwise mention authorities may require only an
informal evaluation of the evidence outside.
The question of whether or not the evidence is to be evaluated in
a formal hearing has direct consequences for determining the place of
these texts within legal proceedings, and, in turn, the legal function
of these texts. On the one hand, the documents might call for the
evidence to be heard in court. Therefore, one might argue that the
judges remain involved, since they would decide if the evidence had
indeed “established” the case. On the other hand, because many of the
kunnu-summonses include the results both of presenting the evidence
and failure to present it, they seem to reflect a concluding stage of the
proceedings. There seems to be no further need for any adjudicating
authority to render a decision. If so, then texts of this text-type mark
the end of the judicial activities in these particular cases.

Both of these possibilities are reflected in the existing interpreta-
tions of these texts. The first possibility, which suggests that the court
remains involved even after the composition of the summonses, is
implied in Peiser’s label for Nbk 365 and Nbk 266. In his catalogue,
Peiser calls these texts a “Vorentscheidung” (“a preliminary decision”)
written during the course of legal proceedings.
20
Although Peiser does
not expand his description, the term implies that this document records
one stage in a more protracted process of adjudication. According to
this understanding, the kunnu summonses are the written means by
19
Although the verb abāku appears in the summons clauses of both these texts,
the inclusion of the verb kunnu indicates that their main purpose is as exculpatory
summonses to establish a case. For a description of the abāku-summonses, see the
discussion below.
20
KB 4, p. XX.
text-types calling for evidence 143
which judges obtained the testimony necessary for deciding a case.
Thus, the case would remain before the court even after the issuance
of the summonses.
21
The possibility that the texts represent the end of the court’s involve-
ment is reflected in Köhler and Peiser, Rechtsleben. In this work, the
kunnu-summonses are called “Beweisverträge” (“contracts to present
evidence”).
22
This label suggests that the documents reflect an agree-
ment or settlement reached between the parties, which, based on the
evidence discussed earlier, was written for them in the presence of the
court. This interpretation understands the documents not as an interim
stage in proceedings, but as a conclusion to the case. In the presence
of a court, the two parties agree to settle their case according to the
testimony of the witnesses. Because these “contracts” were written in
a court, it may be that the parties agree to return to court to have the
testimony heard. However, the label “Beweisverträge” leaves open the
possibility that the parties will not return to court, but will settle once
the summoned individual presents his evidence.
5.B Guarantees for Testimony
Texts of this text-type record an individual’s assumption of the obliga-
tion to provide testimony. They include the following characteristic
formula:
pūt mukinnūtu ša
2
. . . PN naši
PN assumes responsibility for the testimony concerning
23
. . .
21
For a similar understanding of these texts, particularly Nbk 366, see Oelsner, et al.,
in Westbrook, History, p. 923.
22
Kohler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 1, pp. 30–33. For Nbk 366 see Kohler u. Peiser,
Rechtsleben 1, p. 13. See also Koschaker, Bürgschaftsrecht, pp. 46–48, which is a discussion
of Nbk 366. See also Petschow, Pfandrecht, p. 61 n. 172 (end of note, on Nbk 419).
23
In Nbn 343:1, YOS 6, 108:1, YOS 6, 208:17, Cyr 311:1, and YOS 7, 96:23 a
personal name follows the word ša. In these texts, it is, therefore, possible that the
guarantee is for the testimony “of,” that is testimony given by, that particular person.
See, for example, the translation in CAD mukinnūtu c (M
2
, p. 187). Note, however, that
this translation is impossible in Sack, CuDoc, No. 80:1 and TCL 12, 96:1 because in
both cases the noun which follows the word ša is inanimate. Therefore, the present
translation of all the texts of this text-type translates the relative particle ša as “regard-
ing.” This translation is not meant to preclude the possibility that a particular person
is required to testify.
144 chapter five
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g
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b
i
text-types calling for evidence 145
T
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(
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146 chapter five
In most guarantees for testimony, the guarantor (PN in the above
formula) assumes this obligation because he has attempted to clear
himself of a charge by accusing another person. Thus, as is the case
with the exculpatory kunnu-summonses, the guarantor often faces a
penalty for failure to provide witnessed testimony.
24
YOS 6, 208 will
serve as an example. This text also records the questioning that led up
to the assumption of a guarantee. Therefore, it has the added advantage
of setting the scene in which such texts might have been composed,
although most of these texts do not include such a description. The
text reads as follows:
25
1.
m
tab-ne
2
-e-a A-šu
2
ša
2

m
KI-
d
EN-
tab-ni
(1)
m
Tabnea son of
m
Itti-bēl-tabni;
2.
m
gi-mil-lu A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ZALAG
2
-e
2
-a (2)
m
Gimillu son of
m
Nūr-Ea;
3.
m
la-ba-ši A-šu
2
ša
2

md
UTU-ŠEŠ-
MU
(3)
m
Lâbāši son of
m
Šamaš-aa-
iddin;
4.
m
i-di-i-DINGIR.MEŠ A-šu
2

ša
2

m
MU-
d
NA
3
(4)
m
Idii-ilī son of
m
Iddin-Nabû;
5.
m
nar-gi-ia A-šu
2
ša
2

m
EN-šu
2
-nu (5)
m
Nargiya son of
m
Bēlšunu;
6.
lu2
DUMU-DU
3
-i ša
2
ina IGI-
šu
2
-nu
m
gi-mil-lu
7. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
INNIN-na-MU-
DU
3
a-na
md
NA
3
-MU-MU
8. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ap-la-a iq-bu-u
2
um-ma
(6–8) The mār banî in whose
presence
m
Gimillu son of
m
Innin-
šuma-ibni
25
said thus to
m
Nabû-
šuma-iddin son of
m
Aplaya:
9. mi-nam-ma GU
4
bu-uš-tu
4
ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
10. ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
še-en-[de-e-ti . . .]
(9–10) “Why [. . .] a cow of the
Lady-of-Uruk that is bran[ded]
with a star?”
11.
m
NA
3
-MU-MU iq-[bu-u
2
]
12. um-ma
m
bal-i-ia [A-šu
2
ša
2
]
(11–12)
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin s[aid]
thus:
13. ša
2

md
INNIN-na- NUMUN-TIL
ul-tu ITI SIG
4
14. MU 17-kam
2

d
NA
3
-I LUGAL
TIN.TIR
ki
15. a-na i-di-šu
2
a-na MU.AN.NA
4 GUR ŠE.BAR
16. 1 (PI) 4 ŠE.GIŠ.I
3
id-da-na-aš
2

pu-ut
(12–16) “From Simānu, year 17
of Nabonidus, king of Babylon,
m
Baliya [son of ]
m
Innina-zēra-
šubši gave it to me for its hire of
4 kur of barley, 1 pi 4 sūt sesame,
per year.”
24
See summary table 5.2 below for the variety of penalties. Although YOS 7, 96
does not specify a penalty, it is clear that the guarantor has accused a number of people
about whom he must provide testimony in order to clear himself.
25
This text dates to the beginning of the career of the notorious temple official,
m
Gimillu son of
m
Innin-šuma-ibni. At that time, he served as the collection official, ša

mui rēānu. See Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 102.
text-types calling for evidence 147
17.
lu2
mu-kin-nu-tu ša
2

m
bal-i-ia
18.
md
NA
3
-MU-MU na-ši U
4
-mu
uk-tin-nu-uš
19. za-ki ia-a-nu 1-en 30 a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
20. i-nam-din GU
4
bu-uš-tu
4
m
gi-
mil-lu
(16–18)
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin
assumes responsibility for
testimony concerning
m
Baliya.
(18–19) On the day he establishes
(the case) against him, he is clear.
(19–20) If not, he shall pay
30-fold to the Lady-of-Uruk.
21. ina ŠU.2
md
NA
3
-MU-MU i-ta-
bak u
2
-il
3
-ti
3
(20–21)
m
Gimillu has led the cow
away from
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin.
22. ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-MU u
m
bal-i-ia
it-ti a-a-meš
23. i-il-lu-
md
NA
3
-MU-MU a-na
24.
m
gi-mil-lu i-nam-din
lu2
UMBISAG
(21–24)
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin shall
give
m
Gimillu the note that
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin and
m
Baliya
drew up together.
25.
md
NA
3
-EN-šu
2
-nu A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ZALAG
2
-e-a
(24–25) Scribe:
m
Nabû-bēlšunu
son of
m
Nūrea.
26. URU ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-MU (26) City of
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin.
27. ITI SIG
4
U
4
9-kam
2

28. MU 17-kam
2

d
NA
3
-I
29. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(27–29) 9 Simānu, year 17 of
Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
This text is considered a guarantee because it records
m
Nabû-šuma-
iddin’s guarantee to provide testimony about
m
Baliya (lines 16–18).
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin assumes this responsibility in the wake of questioning
about a branded cow belonging to the Lady-of-Uruk that is apparently
found in his possession. He professes his innocence by informing
m
Gi-
millu, the questioner, that the cow is rented from
m
Baliya. In order
for
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin to establish his own innocence, he must provide
testimony against
m
Baliya. If he successfully establishes the case against
m
Baliya, the text specifically states that
m
Nabû-šuma-iddin is clear of
any obligation (lines 18–19).
26
If he is unable to provide the testimony to
establish the case, then he must pay the thirty-fold penalty himself.
From YOS 6, 208 it is apparent that the guarantor’s original accusa-
tion was made in a formal court of law. Although not all guarantees
for testimony provide the same contextual information, there is addi-
tional evidence that suggests that they were also composed in similar
settings. The guarantor in Sack, CuDoc, No. 80 must establish the case
with testimony “in the presence” (ina DU.ZU) of the šatammu and the
26
Sack, CuDoc, No. 80:7 contains a similar clause to indicate that the guarantor is
clear if he provides the testimony.
148 chapter five
administrators of the Eanna.
27
Other texts name the authorities involved
in their composition.
28
The scribe who wrote TCL 12, 96,
m
Mušēzib-
Marduk son of
m
Kabtiya descendant of Šigûa, is known as one of the
scribes who worked in the Eanna at Uruk.
29
This raises the possibility
that the guarantee was composed in the Eanna, perhaps as a result of
a formal complaint raised there, even though the text does not mention
any Eanna authorities.
There was probably official involvement in the composition of Cyr
311, as well, even though it does not name any authorities, either.
In this text,
m
Nargiya has accused a father and a son of falsifying a
marriage document between
m
Nargiya’s son and a slavegirl. The two
accused men have apparently claimed that they are innocent. In order
to clear themselves, they guarantee testimony regarding the role of
m
Mušēzib-Bēl, who ordered them to write the marriage document on
behalf of his master, the owner of the slavegirl. If they do not produce
this testimony then they must compensate
m
Nargiya. This case came to
trial three days later, as can be seen from Cyr 312, a decision record.
30

Unfortunately, the decision record does not include the actual testimony
regarding
m
Mušēzib-Bēl that was to have been provided according to
Cyr 311. Nevertheless, Cyr 312 clearly indicates that the royal judges
rendered the decision in the trial, which suggests that they were involved
in composing Cyr 311, as well.
Most of the guarantees for testimony can be shown to be the result
of the guarantors’ accusations that must be substantiated. In these
cases, the accusations were made during formal hearings after which
the guarantor assumed responsibility for the testimony. One exception
is Nbn 343, which consists only of the following guarantee clause, fol-
lowed by the names of witnesses, scribe and date:
27
Sack, CuDoc, No. 80:5–7.
28
See the summary table.
29
See Kümmel, Familie, p. 118. YOS 6, 153 may provide further support for this
suggestion. This kunnu-summons pertains to the same case and illustrates that the
guarantor failed to meet the obligations of TCL 12, 96. It, too, was written by a scribe
known from the Eanna,
m
Piru son of
m
Tabnêa descendant of Bāiru (see Kümmel,
Familie, p. 123).
30
See the interpretation offered in Joannès, Justice, pp. 206–207.
text-types calling for evidence 149
1.
m
MU-MU ¢A-šu
2
ša
2
m
Ü
d
UTU-
MU-u
2
-kin
2. A
lu2
PA.ŠE
ki
pu-ut
lu2
mu-kin-nu-tu
3. ša
2

f
ra-mu-u
2
-a ša
2

f
lu-u
2
-bal-a-at
4.
f
qal-lat ša
2

f
bu-ra-šu
2
DUMU.
SAL-su
5. ša
2

m
gi-mil-lu A
m
DU
3
-eš-
DINGIR
6. ma-ri ša
2
tu-ul-li-du-ma
7. a-na
f
ra-mu-u
2
-a ta-ad-di-nu-ma
8.
m
tat-at-ta-dan-nu MU-šu
2
ta[z-
ku-ru]
9. na-ši
(1–9)
m
Šuma-iddin son of
m
Šamaš-šuma-ukīn descendant
of Isinaya assumes responsibility
for testimony regarding
f
Ramûa,
that
f
Lū-balāt, slavegirl of
f
Burašu, daughter of
m
Gimillu
descendant of Eppeš-ilī, gave the
son to whom she gave birth to
f
Ramûa and she na[med] him
m
Tattadannu.
31

This text does not impose any penalty upon the guarantor for failure
to provide testimony. Thus, it is not clear that the guarantor must
provide the testimony in order to substantiate an accusation and clear
himself. This text also does not offer any information about the setting
in which this guarantee was composed.
31
With the exception of Nbn 343, most of the guarantees seem to have
a purpose similar to that of the exculpatory kunnu summonses. Both
text-types require accusers to present evidence in order to substantiate
their accusations and clear themselves of a charge. Both text-types seem
to have the same function of obtaining evidence. These similarities may
explain why some have referred to these documents as “summonses.”
32

This interpretation implies that, like other summonses, these texts were
composed as an order by the court. According to this understanding,
the guarantors play the same role as the summoned individuals who
must provide testimony to substantiate a claim.
The inclusion of the guarantee clause in the texts in this text-type,
however, suggests other possible interpretations. In the summonses, the
verbs in the summons clause are in the iparras form, which bears a modal
sense and allows the understanding of the summonses as orders.
33
The
verb in the guarantee clause, however, is in the paris form which does
31
Restored based on Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 2, p. 68 n. 2. It is not clear which
of the two women in the text,
f
Ramûa or
f
Lū-balāt, named the child
m
Tattadannu.
32
Moore, Documents, p. 97 (regarding TCL 12, 96) and Sack, CuDoc, p. 49 (regard-
ing Sack, CuDoc, No. 80). In both cases, the references are titles for the text and do
not include further discussion.
33
For the function of the iparras as a modal in NB see Michael P. Streck, Zahl und Zeit:
Grammatik der Numeralia und des Verbalsystems im Spätbabylonischen (Cuneiform Monographs 5),
(Groningen 1995), II §8 (pp. 94–98). See also von Soden, GAG §78d–e (p. 102).
150 chapter five
not bear this modal sense.
34
This suggests that these documents should
be understood more as descriptions of obligations rather than as actual
orders of the court. Thus, it seems that these documents indicate that the
guarantors have accepted the obligation, either as it has been imposed
by the court or on their own.
35
Although the obligation created by the
exculpatory kunnu-summonses and the guarantees for testimony is the
same, the two text-types reflect two different perspectives: the sum-
monses reflect the court’s demands of the summoned individuals, while
the guarantees reflect the guarantors’ acceptance of these demands.
Summary Table 5.2 Guarantees for Testimony
Text Authorities
Mentioned
Penalty Place of
Composition
Scribe Date
Sack,
CuDoc, No.
80
šatammu +
administrator
of Eanna
30-fold
payment
Uruk
m
Nabû-bāni-
ai/
m
Ibnaya
// Ekur-zākir
?.IV.14 Nbk
Nbn 343 — — Babylon
m
Bulluu ?.III.9 Nbn
TCL 12,
96
— — Uruk
m
Mušēzib-
Marduk/
m
Kabtiya //
Šigûa
20.VIII.10
Nbn
YOS 6,
175
šatammu of
Eanna
30-fold
payment
Uruk
m
Nādinu/
[
m
Bēl-a]ē-
iqīša// Egibi
7.XIIb.12
Nbn
YOS 6,
108
— i-u ša
2

LUGAL
i-zab-bil
Uruk
m
Lūi-ana-
nūri-Marduk/
m
Nabû-bāni-
ai// Dābibī
22.IX.15
Nbn
YOS 6,
208
5 mār banî
(+ ša mui
rēānu)
30-fold
payment
City of
Nabû-šuma-
iddin
m
Nabû-
bēlšunu son
of
m
Nūrea
9.III.17 Nbn
34
See Streck, Zahl und Zeit, II §37e–g (pp. 169–173) for the different functions of
this form.
35
For the understanding of these documents as records of accepted obligations, rather
than as summonses, see Raymond P. Dougherty, “Cuneiform Parallels to Solomon’s
Provisioning System,” AASOR 5 (1923–1924), p. 41; Dougherty, Shirkutu, pp. 60–61;
Koschaker, Burgschaftsrecht, pp. 157–160; San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), p. 336; San Nicolò,
Or. 23 (1954), p. 354 and Johannes Renger, “Notes on the Goldsmiths, Jewelers and
Carpenters of the Neo-Babylonian Eanna,” JAOS 91 (1971), p. 500. Most of these
authors do not directly address the question of whether the obligation is self-imposed
or imposed on the guarantor by the court. Note, however, that Dougherty, Shirkutu,
p. 61 specifically states that the guarantor “was required by the temple to become
surety that the facts would be properly presented in court.”
text-types calling for evidence 151
Cyr 311 — payment Babylon
m
Nabû-mukīn-
zēri/
m
Nabû-
šuma-ēreš //
Ēreb-bīti
8.V.8 Cyr
YOS 7, 96 šatammu +
administrator
of Eanna
— Uruk
m
Arad-
Marduk
/
m
Marduk-
šuma-iddin //
Bēl-apla-uur
28.IX.0
Camb
5.C Penalties Pending Evidence
Texts of this text-type have the following basic structure:
I. Requirement of evidence
ina ūmu
36

lu2
mukinnu u lū
lu2
bātiqu
37
ittalkamma
38
PN uktinnu ša . . .
On the day that a witness or an informer comes and establishes
39

(the case) against PN, that he . . .
II. Penalty against PN
36
The word U
4
-mu without the preposition ina appears in YOS 17, 32:1 and TCL
12, 50:1. The word ki-i appears instead of ina ūmu in Nbk 104:6 and YOS 6, 204:7.
YOS 6, 177 does not include any opening adverbial phrase. Instead, the requirement of
evidence is embedded in the phrase mim-ma ma-la e-lat 1 ME 30 GUR ZU
2
.LUM.MA
lu2
mu-kin-nu ana PN u
2
-kan-nu-u
2
-¢maÜ ina mu-i-šu
2
il-lu-u
2
-nu (“whatever amount above
130 kur of dates which a witness establishes that he owes”) (YOS 6, 177:6–9).
37
BE 9, 24:6 reads lū bātiqu lū mukinnu. The following texts omit the word
lu2
bātiqu:
Nbk 104:1; YOS 17, 32:1; TCL 12, 50:1; TCL 12, 70:1; YOS 19, 97:1; YOS 6, 134:1;
YOS 6, 160:1; YOS 6, 179:1; YOS 6, 193:1; YOS 6, 180:1; YOS 6, 177:7; YOS 7,
24:1; YOS 7, 26:1; YOS 7, 141.
38
The following texts omit the verb alāku: Nbk 104:6; TCL 12, 60: 5; YOS 6, 160:4;
GCCI 1, 380:2; YOS 6, 203:3; YOS 6, 191:3; YOS 6, 214:3; YOS 6, 179:3; YOS 6,
193:2; YOS 6, 180:3; AnOr 8, 39:3; YOS 7, 24:3; AnOr 8, 61:18; YOS 7, 141:1.
39
San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), p. 329 n. 4 notes that the word
lu2
mu-kin-nu is a singular
form which is to be understood as a collective, as at the beginning of the witness lists.
Therefore, he translates all occurrences as plural, even though he translates the word
lu2
ba-ti-qu as a singular. San Nicolò employs this translation even against the evidence of
the apparently singular form it-tal-kam
2
-ma. Assuming parallelism in the phrase mukinnu
u lū bātiqu, the present translation takes both nouns as singular. Additional support for
the translation in the singular may be found in the verbal form uk-ti-i-in (referring to the
Text Authorities
Mentioned
Penalty Place of
Composition
Scribe Date
Summary Table 5.2 (cont.)
152 chapter five
III. Witnesses + Scribe
IV. Date
Texts of this text-type impose a penalty upon individuals should evidence
against them, usually testimony,
40
become available. YOS 6, 122 will
serve as the first example of this text-type:
1. ina U
4
-mu
lu2
mu-kin-nu lu-u
2

lu2
ba-ti-qu
2. it-tal-kam
2
-ma
m
lu-u
2
-šu-um-mu
3. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-NUMUN-
DU
3

lu2

uru
ia-a-šu-ba-a-a
4. uk-tin-nu ša
2
KU
6
.I.A ina
GARIN.MEŠ ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNU[G
ki
]
5. ša
2
ina UGU ID
2
LUGAL a-
na ši-gil-ti
6. i-ba-a-ri
giš
i-li-pu
giš
ar-ba-ti
7. GI.MEŠ u
3

giš
u-a-bi
8. a-na ši-gil-ti ul-tu
9. A.ŠA
3
.MEŠ
giš
TIR u
3

giš
AMBAR
10. ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
iš-šu-u
2
(1–10) On the day that a witness
or an informer comes and
establishes (the case) against
m
Lušummu son of
m
Nabû-zēra-
ibni descendant of Yašubaya, that
he unlawfully fished fishes from
the pools of the Lady-of-Uruk
above the king’s canal, (and that)
he unlawfully carried off willow,
poplar, reeds and straw from the
fields, forests and marshes of the
Lady-of-Uruk
11. 1-en 30 a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
i-nam-din
(11) He shall pay 30-fold to the
Lady-of-Uruk.
12. ina DU.ZU ša
2

md
NA
3
-
LUGAL-URI
3
lu2
SAG
LUGAL
13.
lu2
EN pi-qit-ti E
2
.AN.NA
(12–13) In the presence of
m
Nabû-šarra-uur, the ša rēš šarri
administrator of the Eanna.
witness) in Nbk 104:7, the relevant line in this text. The (erroneous) ommission of the
u reveals that, at least in the scribe’s mind, the form agrees with a singular subject,
and that the final u should be taken only as a marker of the subjunctive and not as
a marker of the plural. Similarly, the apparently singular form
lu2
ba-ti-iq, without the
ambiguous final vowel, occurs in AnOr 8, 61:17. Note that the form
lu2
mu-kin-nu-ne-e
in YOS 6, 180:3 and the verbal form u
2
-kan-nu-¢nimÜ-ma in YOS 7, 141:9 may indicate
that more than one witness was required in these texts. The verb alāku, which might
have provided further evidence, does not appear in either of these texts. Translation
with singular forms follows Raymond P. Dougherty, Nabonidus and Belshazzar: A Study of
the Closing Events of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (YOR 15) (New Haven, 1929), p. 114 and
“The Babylonian Principle of Suretyship as Administered by Temple Law,” AJSL 46
(1929–1930), pp. 73–103 (see also the note in GCCI 1, p. 67 regarding GCCI 1, 380);
Moore’s translations of TCL 12, 50 and similar documents in Moore, Documents; Renger,
JAOS 91 (1971), pp. 501–503; Cardascia, Archives, p. 184; Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, pp.
83–86 and Beaulieu’s note regarding YOS 19, 98 (YOS 19, p. 14).
40
In addition to testimony, TCL 12, 60:4 and BE 9, 24:5–6 mention the possibility
that the suspect himself is found in possession of the missing objects. YOS 6, 204 does
not specify the type of evidence which might become available.
text-types calling for evidence 153
14.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
in-nin-na-
LUGAL-URI
3
15. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
U.GUR-GI A
md
30-TI-ER
2
(14–15) Witnesses:
m
Ininna-šarra-
uur son of
m
Nergal-ušallim
descendant of Sîn-lēqi-uninnī;
16.
m
na-din A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-ŠEŠ.
MEŠ-BA-ša
2
A
m
e-gi-bi
(16)
m
Nādin son of
m
Bēl-aē-
iqīša descendant of Egibi;
17.
m
KAR-
d
AMAR.UTU A-šu
2

ša
2

md
EN-TIN-i
18. A
m
LU
2
-
d
IDIM
lu2
UMBISAG

md
15-DU-A
19. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
in-nin-NUMUN-
GAL
2
-ši
(17–18)
m
Mušēzib-Marduk son of
m
Bēl-uballi descendant of Amēl-
Ea;
(18–19) Scribe:
m
Ištar-mukīn-apli
son of
m
Innin-zēra-šubši.
20. UNUG
ki
ITI GAN U
4
8-kam
2

MU 9-kam
2
21.
d
NA
3
-I LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(20–21) Uruk. 8 Kislīmu, year 9
of Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
The main purpose of this text is the imposition of the thirty-fold penalty
upon
m
Lušummu if a witness comes and establishes that he unlawfully
fished or gathered wood from the property of the Lady-of-Uruk. Most
other texts of this text-type also involve similar violations of temple
property. Accordingly, the penalty imposed is thirty-fold payment to the
temple.
41
In other texts, which do not specifically pertain to violations of
temple property, additional factors indicate that the payment imposed
is actually a penalty for some wrongdoing. Thus, for example, BE 9,
24 uses the expression ina qāt ibitti (“in possession of stolen goods”) to
describe the possibility that the accused might be found in wrongful
possession of stolen sheep.
42

From the basic outline and the text quoted above one might argue
that texts of this text-type are issued in order to prevent any wrong-
doing. This interpretation is implicit in Dougherty’s brief description
of YOS 6, 122 as a “provision for supplying the temple with fish and
wood.”
43
According to this understanding, YOS 6, 122 was written when
m
Lušummu was employed to provide fish and wood to the Lady-of-Uruk.
41
YOS 19, 98 and AnOr 8, 61 both involve violations against the Eanna but
impose other penalties.
42
For discussion of this idiom see CAD ibittu 4 (, pp. 156–157).
43
YOS 6, p. 44. See Dougherty’s similar descriptions of other such texts in YOS 6,
pp. 41–47 and Tremayne’s descriptions in YOS 7, pp. 43–48. Similarly, see Dougherty’s
description of YOS 6, 134 in “A Babylonian City in Arabia,” AJA 34 (1930), p. 310.
Note, however that Dougherty’s description of YOS 6, 134 in YOS 6, p. 44 and of
GCCI 1, 380 in GCCI 1, p. 67 both mention “action upon the decision of a witness.”
Dougherty’s wording implies that these two texts were not issued as preventative mea-
sures against future misdeeds, but were, instead, issued in light of an actual suspicion.
154 chapter five
Should a witness ever testify that
m
Lušummu abused his position and
took fish or wood for himself, then
m
Lušummu would have to pay thirty-
fold. If this interpretation is correct, then the texts of this text-type do
not belong in a discussion of the adjudicatory process since they were
not issued during the adjudication of disputes.
There are, however, other existing interpretations of the penalties
pending evidence that situate this text-type within the adjudicatory
process. San Nicolò describes the adjudicatory context in which these
texts were written, and specifically rules out the possibility that these
texts are “Beweisverträge” (“evidence-contracts”) drawn up between two
parties outside the context of legal proceedings.
44
Cocquerillat offers
a similar description of the “procès-verbaux” (“oral proceedings”) that
resulted in the issuance of these texts.
45
Weisberg emphasizes the role
of an official adjudicating body by listing YOS 17, 32 among “court
documents” and by labeling OIP 122, 35 as a “court order.”
46

The texts themselves indicate that the penalties pending evidence
were issued during the adjudication of legal disputes. For example,
TCL 12, 70 reads as follows:
1. ina U
4
-mu
lu2
mu-kin-nu it-tal-
kam
2
-ma
2. a-na
m
ina-
giš
MI-
d
INNIN
lu2
qal-la
3. ša
2

m
MU-
d
AMAR.UTU A-šu
2

ša
2

m
e-e
3
-ru
4. uk-tin-nu ša
2
qa-ra-a-tu
4
ša
2

ŠE.BAR
5. eš-ru-u
2
ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
ša
2

md
NA
3
-GAL
2
-ši
6. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-NUMUN-
DU ina lib
3
-bi id-du-u
7. u
m
ina-
giš
MI-
d
INNIN ip-tu-u
2
-ma
8. iš-šu-u
2
ŠE.BAR ma-la iš-šu-u
2
(1–8) On the day that a witness
comes and establishes (the case)
against
m
Ina-illi-Ištar, slave of
m
Iddin-Marduk son of Eēru, that
he opened the storehouses where
m
Nabû-ušabši son of
m
Nabû-zēra-
ukīn placed the tithe-barley of the
Lady-of-Uruk, and took (it)—
9.
md
NA
3
-GAL
2
-ši MU
DINGIR.MEŠ u
2
-še-el-li-ma
10. ŠE.BAR ma-la ina lib
3
-bi id-
du-u
2
11. 1-en 30
m
ina-
giš
MI-
d
INNIN
a-na
12.
d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
i-nam-
<din> ki-i
(8–12)
m
Nabû-ušabši shall swear
(to) whatever amount of barley he
deposited therein, and whatever
barley he (
m
Ina-illi-Ištar) took,
he shall repay thirty-fold to the
Lady-of-Uruk.
44
San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), p. 333 n. 1.
45
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, pp. 85–86.
46
YOS 17, p. 2 and OIP 122, p. 60.
text-types calling for evidence 155
13.
lu2
mu-kin-nu la uk-tin-nu-uš
14.
m
ina-
giš
MI-
d
INNIN za-ki ina
DU.ZU
(12–14) If a witness does not
establish (the case) against him,
m
Ina-illi-Ištar is clear.
15. ša
2

m
KAR-
d
AMAR.UTU
lu2
qi
2
-i-pi ša
2
E
2
.AN.NA
(14–15) In the presence of
m
Mušēzib-Nabû, qīpu-official of
the Eanna;
16.
m
DU
3
-ia
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.
NA A-šu
2
ša
2
17.
m
tab-ne-e-a A
lu2
ŠU.A
md
EN-
na-din-A
18. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
NUMUN-TIN.
TIR
ki
A
m
DA-
d
AMAR.UTU
(16–17)
m
Bāniya, šatammu of the
Eanna, son of Tabnêa descendant
of Bāiru;
(17–18)
m
Bēl-nādin-apli son of
m
Zēr-Bābili descendant of Ilei-
Marduk;
19.
m
tab-ne-e-a A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
DU
3
-uš
(19)
m
Tabnêa son
m
Nabû-īpuš;
20.
lu2
UMBISAG
m
na-din A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-ŠEŠ.ME-BA-ša
2
(20–21) Scribe:
m
Nādin son of
m
Bēl-aē-iqīša descendant of
Egibi;
21. A
m
e-gi-bi UNUG
ki
ITI
DIRI.ŠE.KIN.KUD
22. U
4
15-kam
2
MU 3-kam
2

d
U.GUR-LUGAL-URI
3
23. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(21–23) Uruk. 15 Addaru II, year
3 of Neriglissar, king of Babylon.
This text imposes a thirty-fold penalty upon
m
Ina-illi-Ištar should a wit-
ness come and establish that he stole tithe-grain. In addition, however,
the clause in lines 12–14 states that
m
Ina-illi-Ištar is “clear” (zaki ) if a
witness does not establish the case against him. This additional notice,
which does not appear in other texts of this text-type, implies that
m
Ina-illi-Ištar has actually been accused of stealing the tithe barley and
is now under suspicion. This suspicion must be confirmed before he
can be penalized. Thus, TCL 12, 70 shows that the penalties pending
evidence were not composed as a preventative measure, before any
suspicion arose. Instead, texts like this were composed in the face of
actual suspicions in need of confirmation.
In addition, TCL 12, 70 provides some insight into the court setting
in which it was composed. It indicates that it was composed “in the
presence of ” (ina DU.ZU) authorities of the Eanna. The use of this phrase
in this text, as well as in others of this text-type, suggests that these
texts were composed during a formal hearing.
47
This formal hearing
47
The following texts use the phrase ina DU.ZU: TCL 12, 70:14; YOS 6, 122:12;
YOS 6, 148:12; YOS 6, 134:9; GCCI 1, 380:11; TCL 12, 106:12; YOS 6, 203:18;
156 chapter five
would be the forum in which the initial accusation against the suspect
was raised. In response to this accusation, the authorities present had
the penalty pending evidence drawn up by the scribe.
Besides the use of the prepositional phrase ina DU.ZU in TCL 12,
70, support for the understanding that the penalties pending evidence
were drawn up during formal proceedings comes from two features of
other texts. These two features are: records of the accused individual’s
statement and guarantees for the appearance of the accused individual.
Both of these features are present in YOS 6, 191. In this text,
m
Nabû-
ēir is suspected of having received silver and gold from two smiths
who have pilfered precious metals of the Eanna.
48
If a witness or an
informer establishes the case against
m
Nabû-ēir, then he must repay
thirty times the amount that the witness or informer establishes. The
text, in its entirety, reads as follows:
1. ina U
4
-mu
lu2
mu-kin-nu lu-u
2

lu2
ba-ti-qu
2.
md
NA
3
-KAR-ir A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-
ŠEŠ-GAL
2
-ši A
m
DIL-SUR
3. uk-kin-nu lu-u
2
KU
3
.BABBAR lu-u
KU
3
.GI ina ŠU.2
m
KI-
d
UTU-TIN
4. tab-la-nu u
3

m
kal
3
-bi-
d
ba-u
2

lu2
KU
3
.
TIM tab-la-nu
5. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
na-di-nu im-u-ru e-lat
8 GIN
2
KU
3
.BABBAR
6. ša
2

md
NA
3
-KAR-ir iq-bu-u
2
um-ma
3 GIN
2
KU
3
.BABBAR a-na
7. 1 TUG
2
.KUR.RA u
3
5 GIN
2

KU
3
.BABBAR
a-na NINDA.I.A u
3
KAŠ.I.A
8. id-dan-nu mim-ma ma-la
lu2
mu-kin-nu
(1–8) On the day that a witness
or informer establishes (that)
m
Nabû-ēir son of
m
Bēl-aa-
šubši descendant of Eda-ēir
had received silver or gold
from
m
Itti-Šamaš-balāu, the
pilferer, or
m
Kalbi-Bau, the
goldsmith, the pilferer, son of
m
Nādinu, apart from the 8
šeqels of silver about which
m
Nabû-ēir said thus: “He gave
me 3 šeqels of silver for a
‘mountain cloak’ and 5 šeqels
of silver for bread and beer”—
9. u
2
-ka-an-nu-šu
2
1-en 30 a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
10. i-nam-din
m
ri-mut A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-
SEŠ-GAL
2
-ši
(8–10) whatever the witness
establishes against him he shall
pay 30-fold to the Lady-of-
Uruk.
YOS 6, 214:14; YOS 6, 204:10; AnOr 8, 39:15–16; YOS 7, 141:12; YNER 1, 2:11.
See the summary table for the different authorities mentioned.
48
For a discussion of the circumstances surrounding this case, see Renger, JAOS
91 (1971), pp. 494–503 and Wells, Testimony, p. 115.
text-types calling for evidence 157
11. A
m
DIL-SUR u
3

md
NA
3
-
ŠEŠ-TIN-i A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
NUMUN-DU
12. A
lu2
ka-si-dak pu-ut
md
NA
3
-KAR-ir
13. na-šu-u
2
U
4
-mu
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM u

lu2
UMBISAG.ME ša
2
E
2
.AN.[NA]
(10–13)
m
Rīmūt son of
m
Bēl-
aa-šubši descendant of
Eda-ēir and
m
Nabû-aa-
bulli son of
m
Nabû-zēra-ukīn
descendant of Kasidak assume
responsibility for
m
Nabû-ēir.
14. re-eš-šu i-na-aš
2
-šu-u ib-ba-ku-nim-ma
15. i-nam-di-su
(13–15) The day that the
šatammu or the scribes of the
Eanna summon him, they shall
bring (him) and hand him over.
16.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
30-KAM
2
A-šu
2

ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-GIŠ A
m
DU
3
-
DINGIR
(16) Witnesses:
m
Sîn-ēreš son of
m
Nabû-šumu-līšir descendant
of Ibni-Ilī;
17.
m
IR
3
-
d
EN A-šu
2
ša
2

m
il-la-a A
m
MU-
d
PAP.SUKKAL
(17)
m
Arad-Bēl son of
m
illaya
descendant of Iddin-Papsukkal;
18.
md
DI.KU
5
-ŠEŠ.ME-MU A-šu
2

ša
2

m
ŠU A
m
ši-gu-u
2
-a
(18)
m
Madānu-aē-iddin son of
m
Gimillu descendant of Šigûa;
19.
md
in-nin-MU-PAP A-šu
2
ša
2

m
MU-
d
NA
3
A
m
ki-din-
d
AMAR.
UTU
(19)
m
Innin-šuma-uur son of
m
Iddin-Nabû descendant of
Kidin-Marduk;
20.
md
NA
3
-IBILA-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
DU
3
-
d
15 A
m
E
2
.KUR-za-kir
(20)
m
Nabû-apla-iddin son of
m
Ibni-Ištar descendant of Ekur-
zākir;
21.
m
pir-u A-šu
2
ša
2

m
tab-ne-e-a A
lu2
ŠU.KU
6
(21)
m
Piru son of
m
Tabnêa
descendant of Bāiru.
22.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
49

m
mu-ra-nu A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU
3
-ŠEŠ
23. A
m
E
2
.KUR-za-kir UNUG
ki
ITI
ŠE.KIN.KUD
(22–23) Scribe:
m
Mūrānu son
of
m
Nabû-bāni-ai descendant
of Ekur-zākir.
24. U
4
12-kam
2
MU 12-kam
2

d
NA
3
-
IM.TUK LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(23–24) Uruk. 12 Addaru II, year
12 of Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
Apart
49
from stipulating that a witness or an informer must establish
the case against
m
Nabû-ēir, the requirement of evidence also quotes
m
Nabû-ēir’s own statement.
m
Nabû-ēir has stated that he received
eight šeqels for a “mountain cloak” and food. The thirty-fold penalty
applies only to any additional silver or gold that a witness can prove
49
The repetition of
lu2
mu-kin-nu is a scribal error. The text should read
lu2
UMBISAG.
m
Mūrānu is known to have been a scribe (Kümmel, Familie, p. 118).
158 chapter five
that he received. It seems that
m
Nabû-ēir made this statement in order
to justify his possession of the eight šeqels of silver. The statement seems
to be a formal declaration and suggests that it was made in response to
an accusation that is not recorded. If this is indeed the correct under-
standing, then the quotation of
m
Nabû-ēir’s statement indicates that
YOS 6, 191 was issued as part of the formal proceedings in which both
the accusation and the declaration in response were made. Other texts
that include similar quotations were probably written during similar
proceedings.
50
Following the penalty pending evidence, YOS 6, 191 also records
that two men assume responsibility for
m
Nabû-ēir’s appearance. When
the šatammu and the scribes of the Eanna summon
m
Nabû-ēir, these
guarantors must bring
m
Nabû-mukīn-zēri and hand him over to the
authorities. This stipulation provides additional evidence that YOS 6,
191 was written as part of an official hearing. In this text, and in oth-
ers with similar guarantees,
51
it seems that the officials are involved in
the case from the very beginning. They hear (or perhaps even bring)
the charge against the accused, and they will decide if the evidence
requires the accused to be presented.
It is clear, then, that the penalties pending evidence were written
during formal adjudicatory proceedings in the wake of a suspicion of
wrongdoing. Thus, they definitely belong in a discussion of the adjudi-
catory process. Nevertheless, situating the penalties pending evidence
within that process remains difficult. Köhler and Peiser’s use of the
term “Vorentscheidung” (“preliminary decision”) to describe the penal-
ties pending evidence best characterizes the ambiguity that these texts
present.
52
On the one hand, they are preliminary; they still require the
presentation of evidence before the penalty can be imposed. On the
other hand, they also seem to reflect a decision made in the face of a
suspicion or an accusation.
Some scholars see the penalties pending evidence as the reflection
of an intermediate stage towards a trial. Moore interprets the different
penalties pending evidence in TCL 12 as “accusations pending trial.”
53

50
The relevant texts are: YOS 19, 98:7–8; GCCI 1, 380:6–8; TCL 12, 106:6–8;
YOS 6, 191:6–8; YOS 6, 204:1–7; YOS 6, 179:6–9; YOS 6, 193:3–6; YOS 6, 177:1–5;
AnOr 8, 39:10–12; AnOr 8, 61:7–17; YNER 1, 2:1–10.
51
YOS 6, 191:13–15; YOS 6, 214:12–13; YOS 6, 193:11–15.
52
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 4, p. 85.
53
See the headings in Moore, Documents.
text-types calling for evidence 159
Similarly, Cardascia interprets BE 9, 24 using the Latin juridical term
litis contestatio, which means “the final agreement of the parties to a suit
on the issue to be decided.”
54
The texts that mention a summons by the
temple officials would support this line of interpretation: if ample evi-
dence would turn up, then the accused individual would be summoned
to face the officials. The difficulty with this interpretation, however, is
that these texts record the penalties to be imposed upon presentation
of evidence. It seems, therefore, that there is no opportunity for the
accused individual to make his case before the judges. These texts seem
to reflect the presumption that the accused individual is guilty, and that
there would not be any “trial” to clarify his status.
Other interpretations recognize the apparent finality expressed in
the penalties pending evidence. San Nicolò, like Köhler and Peiser
before him, labels these texts “Beweisurteile” (“evidence-judgments”).
55

Similarly, Cocquerillat calls these texts “condamnations de principe” (“judg-
ments in principle”)
56
and Beaulieu refers to them as “indictments.”
57

All of these labels imply that the penalties pending evidence reflect the
fact that, to a certain degree, the case against the accused has already
been decided. As San Nicolò suggests, if the evidence was actually
provided, it would lead directly to the punishment of the accused “ohne
neurliche Urteilsfällung” (“without a new passing of sentence”).
58
In the
wake of the accusation, the authorities issue their ruling, which will
take effect as soon as evidence can be provided. The penalties pending
evidence, according to this understanding, are not “summonses” that
require another appearance in court. Instead, they are the outcome
of a trial that has not yet reached a definite conclusion. The available
evidence is not sufficient to prove that the accused individual is guilty,
and the accused does not readily admit guilt, either. Nevertheless, the
accusation has created enough of a suspicion to warrant maintaining a
record against the accused, should the evidence prove that the accused
is actually guilty.
54
Cardascia, Archives, p. 184. For the definition of the Latin term, see Brian A.
Garner, ed. Black’s Law Dictionary (St. Paul, 1999), p. 945. Note that Cardascia’s label
suggests that a court has not yet been involved in the dispute or in the issuance of
the document.
55
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 4, p. 85; San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), pp. 328–333. See
also Renger, JAOS 91 (1971), p. 500.
56
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 83; pp. 85–86.
57
YOS 19, pp. 13–14.
58
San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), p. 334.
160 chapter five
Summary Table 5.3 Penalties Pending Evidence
Text Charge Penalty Authority Place of
Composition
Scribe Date
Nbk
104
misappropriation
of goods
30-fold
payment
assembly
of elders of
Šamaš

m
Mukīn-apli /
m
Bāniya
14 Nbk
YOS
17, 32
misappropriation
of sheep
30-fold
payment
— Babylon
m
Ibni-Ištar/
m
Nabû-
zēra-ibni//
Šatammu
15.II.19
Nbk
TCL
12, 50
misappropriation
of animals
30-fold
payment
— Šarrabanu
m
Nabû-bāni-
ai/
m
Ibnaya//
Ekur-zākir
4.[IX].[35]
Nbk
TCL
12, 60
misappropriation
of she-ass
lu2
sa-ar-
ri . . . iš-
šu-u
2

(“he is a
thief ”)
rāb širki Babylon
m
Nabû-bēlšunu
/
m
Bēl-aa-
šubši // Amēl-
Ea
9.I.1 Amēl-
Marduk
TCL
12, 70
misappropriation
of tithe barley
30-fold
payment
qīpu-official
and šatammu
of the Eanna
Uruk
m
Nādin/
m
Bēl-
aē-iqīša//
Egibi
15.XIIb.3
Ngl
YOS
19, 97
unlawful
purchase
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Nabû-bāni-
ai/
m
Nabû-
balāssu-iqbi //
Sîn-lēqi-uninnī
25.II.8 Nbn
YOS
19, 98
misappropriation
of precious
items
payment — Uruk
m
Mušēzib-
Marduk/
m
Bēl-uballi//
Amēl-Ea
26.II.8 Nbn
YOS
6, 122
unlawful fishing 30-fold
payment
administrator
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Ištar-mukīn-
apli /
m
Innin-
zēra-šubši
8.IX.9 Nbn
YOS
6, 148
unlawful fishing 30-fold
payment
administrator
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Ištar-mukīn-
apli/
m
Innin-
zēra-šubši
8.IX.9 Nbn
YOS
6, 134
unlawful sale of
camel
30-fold
payment
administrator
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Šumaya/
m
Ibni-Ištar //
Ašlakku
19.V.10
Nbn
YOS
6, 160
misappropriation
of barley
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Ina-tēšê-ēir /
m
Nabû-mušētiq-
uddê // Egibi
21.XII.11
Nbn
OIP
122,
35
misappropriation
of barley
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Balāu /
m
Sîn-
ibni // Rēi-
alpi
20.V.12
Nbn
GCCI
1, 380
misappropriation
of barley
payment adminisrator
and šatammu
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Balāu/
m
Sîn-
ibni // Rēi-
alpi
20.V.12
Nbn
text-types calling for evidence 161
Text Charge Penalty Authority Place of
Composition
Scribe Date
TCL
12,
106
misappropriation
of barley
30-fold
payment
administrator
and šatammu
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Balāu /
m
Sîn-
ibni // Rēi-
alpi
23.V.12
Nbn
YOS
6, 203
misappropriation
of gold
30-fold
payment
šatammu of
Eanna
Uruk
m
Kīnaya /
m
Zēriya
5.XIIb.12
Nbn
YOS
6, 191
misappropriation
of gold
30-fold
payment
(šatammu and
scribes of
Eanna)
Uruk
m
Mūrānu/
m
Nabû-bāni-ai
// Ekur-zākir
12.XIIb.12
Nbn
YOS
6, 214
misappropriation
of gold
30-fold
payment
(šatammu) Uruk
m
Mūrānu/
m
Nabû-bāni-ai
// Ekur-zākir
12.XIIb.12
Nbn
YOS
6, 204
misappropriation
of dates
30-fold
payment
qīpu, šatammu
and ša mui
quppu ša šarri
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Nabû-mukīn-
apli / PN
11.IV.13
Nbn
YOS
6, 179
misappropriation
of goods
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Nādinu/
m
Bēl-
aē-iqīša//
Egibi
12.X.13
Nbn
YOS
6, 193
misappropriation
of goods
30-fold
payment
(šatammu of
Eanna)
Uruk
m
Nādin/
m
Bēl-
aē-iqīša//
Egibi
12.X.13
Nbn
YOS
6, 180
misappropriation
of hides
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Lâbāši-
Marduk/
m
Bēl-
ēir // ābiu
12.XI.13
Nbn
YOS
6, 177
misappropriation
of dates
30-fold
payment
šatammu and
administrator
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Nādin/
m
Bēl-
aē-iqīša//
Egibi
7.VII.16
Nbn
AnOr
8, 39
misappropriation
of produce
30-fold
payment
šatammu and
administrator
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Nādin/
m
Bēl-
aē-iqīša//
Egibi
29.XI.2 Cyr
YOS
7, 24
unlawful sale or
receipt of barley
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Gimillu /
m
Innin-zēra-
iddin
16.V.3 Cyr
YOS
7, 26
unlawful receipt
of barley
30-fold
payment
— Uruk
m
Nabû-mukīn-
apli/
m
Marduk-
šuma-iddin //
Balāu
23.VIII.3
Cyr
AnOr
8, 61
misappropriation
of cattle
i-u ša
2

LUGAL
i-šad-da-
du
šatammu,
administrator,
2 messengers
of Gobryas
Uruk
m
Marduk-nāir/
m
Madānu-aa-
iddin// Šigûa
23.IV. 8
Cyr
Summary Table 5.3 (cont.)
162 chapter five
5.D Summary Discussion of Texts-Types Calling for Evidence
The discussion until this point has presented three different text-types,
all of which serve as means of obtaining evidence:
1) The kunnu-summonses, which are apparently court orders that
require the summoned individual to “establish the case” against
other individuals.
2) The guarantees for testimony, in which the guarantors assume the
responsibility for establishing the case in order to clear themselves.
3) The penalties pending evidence, which are a means of requiring
evidence to substantiate a suspicion.
Examples from all three text-types suggest that they were composed
during formal proceedings. The requirement for evidence is the result
of a charge made in court. Whether the case will return to court is a
matter that remains open. Phrased in somewhat modern terms, all of
these texts raise the question of whether they were written during the
evidentiary phase of the trial or during the sentencing. As has been
seen above, there are those who interpret all three types of texts as
“summonses,” which implies that the case remains open and awaits a
final ruling. It may be, however, that all three text-types represent the
end of the court’s involvement. Accordingly, the kunnu-summonses may
not serve as summonses at all, but are, instead, “contracts” written by
Text Charge Penalty Authority Place of
Composition
Scribe Date
YOS
7, 141
misappropriation
of sheep
30-fold
payment
administrator
of Eanna
Uruk
m
Arad-Marduk/
m
Marduk-šuma-
iddin //Bēl-
apla-uur
10.V.3
Camb
YNER
1, 2
misappropriation
of dates
30-fold
payment
+ i-
u ša
2

LUGAL
i-šad-dad
qīpu-official +
administrator
of Eanna
[Uruk]
m
Itti-Marduk-
balāu/
m
Nabû-
mukīn-apli //
Dābibī
12.IV.2 Dar
BE 9,
24
theft of sheep payment — Nippur
m
Nusku-iddin/
m
Arad-Gula
8.I.31
Artaxerxes
Summary Table 5.3 (cont.)
text-types calling for evidence 163
the court for the parties after a complaint. Similarly, the guarantees for
testimony may also reflect the final result of proceedings. The court’s
involvement ends with the guarantor’s assumption of the obligation to
present the testimony. The penalties pending evidence may also reflect
the end of proceedings, if they are understood as sentences which will
take effect when evidence becomes available.
One difference between the kunnu-summonses and the guarantees for
testimony, on the one hand, and the penalties pending evidence, on the
other, is that while the summonses and guarantees specifically name
the person who must present the evidence, the penalties pending evidence
do not impose any obligation on any specific individual. The formu-
lation of the penalties pending evidence might be characterized as hypo-
thetical; the penalty applies on any day that a witness might come. Unlike
the kunnu summonses and the guarantees for testimony, they do not
require anyone to “bring” (abāku) the witnesses or establish the case.
59

The kunnu-summonses and guarantees for testimony, on the other hand,
impose an obligation on particular individuals to present the evidence.
In relating these three text-types to the two other types of summonses,
the dabābu- and quttû-types, an additional factor that must be considered
is the imposition of a deadline. Both the dabābu- and the quttû-types of
summonses impose a deadline on which or by which the case is to be
settled. Penalties pending evidence do not specify a date on which or by
which the evidence must be brought, nor do most of the guarantees for
testimony. Most of the kunnu summonses impose deadlines, although
there are some that do not. Bruce Wells, whose analysis is summarized
in the discussion of Neo-Babylonian legal procedure in Raymond
Westbrook’s A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, uses the presence or
absence of a deadline to distinguish between the five text-types. Based on
this crucial factor, Wells characterizes all five text-types as follows:
There are a number of records attesting to the use of a conditional
verdict. The condition was almost always that another witness appear
before the court and offer testimony in support of a particular party’s
version of the facts. That party then had the responsibility for meeting the
condition by producing the additional witness. The verdict states that if
59
Note that YOS 17, 32:1; YOS 6, 160:1 and YOS 6, 180:1 designate the witness
as ša (“of ”) a named individual, who is apparently the accuser. In a way, then, these
texts do specify who is responsible for providing the testimony. Nevertheless, even these
texts do not require the named individual to bring the witnesses. Like other penalties
pending evidence, they govern the case in which a witness “comes.”
164 chapter five
the condition is fulfilled, that party wins the case; if not, victory would
be for the opposing party. If the accuser had established a prima facie
case, then the court would place the burden on the accused to produce
an exculpatory witness, often with a deadline to appear (e.g., Nbk 366:
one week). If a prima facie case had not been established in the court’s
opinion, as in the case of a thief who identifies the accused as receiver
of the stolen goods, the burden is on the accuser, with no deadline (cf.
YOS 6, 191, 214, and 235).
60
According to this interpretation, all five text-types—the dabābu-, quttû-
and kunnu-summonses, the guarantees for testimony and the penalties
pending evidence—turn out to be different ways of recording a “condi-
tional verdict.” The main distinction to be made is between those texts
that include a deadline and those that do not. Whenever a deadline
is imposed, it is the accused who must bring “exculpatory witnesses.”
When a deadline is not imposed, it is the accuser who must bring the
witnesses.
The dabābu- and quttû-summonses support the correlation between
the imposition of a deadline and the placement of the burden to estab-
lish the case upon the accused individual. As has been demonstrated,
both of these types of summonses require a defendant (“the accused”)
to respond to the claim of a plaintiff (“the accuser”) on or by a certain
date. Wells indicates, however, that this correlation is correct “often,”
but not always. Several general kunnu-summonses provide examples of
exceptions to Wells’s proposed correlation. These general kunnu-sum-
monses do not impose penalties upon the summoned individuals and
thus do not indicate that they have been accused of any wrongdoing.
61

Nevertheless, these texts do impose a deadline on which the sum-
moned individual must provide the evidence. These texts demonstrate,
then, that the inclusion of a deadline, does not, of itself, imply that an
“accuser has established a prima facie case” against the person who
must bring the evidence.
62
60
Oelsner, et al., in Westbrook, ed., History, pp. 922–923. For the attribution of this
position to Wells, see p. 922 n. 46.
61
OIP 122, 34; Nbk 52; Nbk 183; Nbk 365; Nbk 419.
62
Wells clarifies his suggested correlation between the assignment of the burden
of presenting evidence and whether or not a prima facie case has been established
in Wells, Testimony, pp. 124–126. Wells’s interpretation of the textual evidence is not
entirely convincing. For instance, on p. 126 Wells posits that in YOS 6, 169 the accuser
is able to prove that he owns the sheep found in the accused’s possession and that as
a result, the accused is required to present exculpatory evidence. It is clear that the
accused is required to defend himself and that he is unable to show any “accounts for
text-types calling for evidence 165
The penalties pending evidence, which do not include a deadline,
support the correlation between the lack of a deadline and the place-
ment of the burden to establish the case upon the accuser. An accuser
who wished to see the accused individual pay the penalty would have to
present the necessary evidence. Wells’s interpretation, however, seems
to imply that, unlike in texts with deadlines, the evidence required by
all texts without deadlines would not be exculpatory. Yet there are
guarantees for testimony without deadlines in which the guarantors
must present the evidence because they themselves have been accused
of some wrongdoing.
63
The evidence that is to be brought is, therefore,
also exculpatory. Thus, the absence of a deadline does not necessarily
imply that the accuser is above suspicion nor does it necessarily imply
that the evidence to be brought is not exculpatory.
Based on this discussion, Wells’s correlation between the presence
or absence of a deadline and the party who must bring the evidence
does not seem to hold true in all cases. In addition, by distinguishing
between functions based on the presence or absence of a deadline,
Wells ignores the stylistic differences between summonses, guarantees
and penalties pending evidence. Instead, his interpretation subsumes
all five text-types under the label of “conditional verdicts.” However,
the stylistic differences between summonses, guarantees and penalties
pending evidence may point to a functional difference. It is possible that
the summonses and guarantees impose an obligation on a particular
individual, and require the summoned individual or the guarantor
to actually take action. The penalties pending evidence, on the other
hand, may not require any additional action to be taken. It is not clear,
therefore, that the penalties pending evidence impose any obligation
upon the accuser.
proof ” (KA
2
u
3
i-da-ti ) (lines 14–17). However, the text itself does not mention that
the accuser has presented any “documents in his favor,” as Wells suggests. Taken on
its own, the text indicates that the action against the accused occurs simply because of
the accusation, not because the accuser has “established a prima facie case.”
63
Cyr 311, Sack, CuDoc, No. 80 and YOS 6, 208.
CHAPTER SIX
TEXT-TYPES ENSURING AN INDIVIDUAL’S PRESENCE
The two text-types that will be considered next are those meant to
ensure the presence of another individual: the abāku summonses and the
guarantees for an individual’s presence. Before turning to a description
of the two text-types themselves, however, some issues that arise from
their wording must be addressed. The formulation of both text-types
closely resembles the formulation of guarantees for regular debts. In
the Neo-Babylonian period, guarantees for regular debts may be for-
mulated in one of two ways.
1
The first, known by the German term
Gestellungsbürgschaft (“presentation-guarantee”), requires the guarantors to
“bring” (abāku) the debtors and “give” (nadānu) them to the creditors. If
the guarantors do not present the debtors at the appointed time, then
the guarantors must repay the debt themselves.
2
The second formulation
of the guarantee for debts, known as Stillesitzbürgschaft (“guarantee of
sitting still”), requires the guarantors to ensure that the debtors remain
available to repay the debt and do not go anywhere. The guarantors
must repay the debt if the debtors should escape.
The abāku-summonses and the guarantees for an individual’s pres-
ence closely resemble the Gestellungsbürgschaft guarantees. Because of
this similarity, these two text-types raise the question of whether any
particular text is simply a guarantee for a regular debt and is thus
not pertinent to a discussion of adjudicatory procedure.
3
In order to
address this question, the discussion of each text-type will identify
those particular features of the texts that move them out of the general
1
For the original distinction between the two types of guarantees see Koschaker,
Bürgschaftsrecht, p. 50.
2
See Koschaker, Bürgschaftsrecht, pp. 42–45 and the the ensuing discussion of “Gestel-
lungsbürgschaft,” pp. 50–54; San Nicolò, “Bürgschaft,” RLA 2, especially p. 78; Joachim
Oelsner, “The Neo-Babylonian Period,” in Raymond Westbrook and Richard Jasnow,
eds. Security for Debt in Ancient Near Eastern Law (Leiden, 2001), p. 300 and Raymond
Westbrook, “Conclusions,” in Westbrook and Jasnow, eds. Security for Debt in Ancient Near
Eastern Law (Leiden, 2001), p. 329.
3
Similar problems arise from the Neo-Assyrian texts. See the discussion of “the
šumma texts” and “the texts headed by a date” in Jas, SAAS 5, p. 76 and p. 81.
168 chapter six
category of simple guarantees and into the category of texts pertaining
to adjudicatory proceedings.
Distinguishing between Gestellungsburgschaft guarantees for regular
debts and texts pertaining to legal proceedings is based on the assump-
tion that guarantees for debts were composed before the time that the
debt came due, rather than as part of the adjudicatory process for
default on a debt. It should be noted, however, that even the guarantees
for debts may have been the result of legal proceedings. One might
imagine that the guarantees were written only after the debt was due
and that the guarantee was assumed when the creditor had come to
court to demand payment from a defaulting debtor. All Gestellungs-
bürgschaft guarantees, then, may actually be abāku-summonses issued
by authorities to ensure payment of a late debt. Although this is a
plausible interpretation, the written evidence of most guarantees does
not seem to point to an adjudicatory context. Thus, only those texts
that do provide some additional evidence for an adjudicatory setting
will be considered in the present discussion.
Another group of guarantees that should also be considered at
this point is the guarantees for the release of a prisoner. In the Neo-
Babylonian period, imprisonment was usually a means of distraining a
defaulting debtor.
4
Distraint was the creditor’s first step toward obtain-
ing payment. The purpose of the guarantee is to obtain release of the
debtor. Unlike standard guarantees for payment of debt, the guarantees
for the release of a prisoner were clearly written after the debtor had
already defaulted on the obligation.
5
Therefore, all such guarantees for
the release of a prisoner apparently reflect a stage in the resolution of
a legal dispute pertaining to an unpaid debt. However, imprisonment
seems to have been a means of self-help for the creditor that did not
require resorting to official channels of adjudication. Thus, the guarantee
for the release of a prisoner would not require any official intervention,
either. To be sure, in cases concerning debts to official entities, such as
the Eanna, the line between official means of adjudication and self-
help may not be clear. Nevertheless, because it is difficult to situate the
guarantees for the release of a prisoner within an adjudicatory context,
these texts will not be considered in the present discussion.
4
For discussion of the purpose of imprisonment see Koschaker, Bürgschaftsrecht, pp.
60–61; Petschow, Pfandrecht, pp. 35–39; and Oelsner, et al., in Westbrook, ed., History,
p. 953 and p. 967.
5
Koschaker, Bürgschaftsrecht, p. 61.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 169
6.A Summonses to Present (abāku) an Individual
This type of summons requires the summoned individual to “bring”
(abāku) and “give” another individual to another party. Failure to do
so results in the summoned individual having to face a penalty. The
following is the basic outline of this type of summons:
I. Summons Clause
U
4
X-kam
2
ša
2
ITI MN PN
1
PN
2
ibbakamma ana PN
3
inamdin
On
6
day X of month MN PN
1
shall bring PN
2
and give (him)
to PN
3
II. Penalty Clause
kî lā ītabak . . .
If he does not bring (him) > Penalty against PN
1
III. Witnesses + Scribe
IV. Place of composition and date
In terms of composition, this outline closely resembles that of Gestel-
lungsbürgschaft texts that record the guarantor’s obligation to present the
debtor to the creditor for payment of the debt. Those texts require
the guarantor to “bring” (abāku) the debtor and “give” (nadānu) him to
the creditor. If the guarantor does not bring the debtor at the appointed
time, then the guarantor himself must repay the debt. Guarantees for
payment of debts may safely be excluded from the present study since
they were typical debt transactions, and so do not reflect an adjudica-
tory setting. In order to be considered an abāku-summons, a document
must indicate in some way that the reason for its composition involves
more than a simple debt. In terms of the outline above, PN
1
(the sum-
moned individual)

must bring PN
2
and give him to PN
3
because of
some wrongdoing.
YOS 7, 68 will serve as the first example of the abāku-summons.
This text requires the summoned individual to bring the gardener who
destroyed
7
three date palms and present him to the administrator of the
6
See summary table 6.1 below for abāku-summonses which require the presentation
“by” (adi ) a certain date, or do not specify any date at all.
7
In interpreting this text, San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), p. 347 n. 1 and AHw. dâku
(p. 152) assign the verb dâku a meaning that seems to reflect their understanding of
the crime as intentional. CAD dâku 4 (D, p. 41) translates “to let (a date palm) die”
170 chapter six
Eanna. If he does not present the gardener, then the summoned indi-
vidual must pay for the three date palms. The text reads as follows:
1. A.ŠA
3
ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
ša
2
ina [X]
2. ša
2
ina pa-ni
md
NA
3
-SIG
15

A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-SUR
3. ša
2
3
giš
GIŠIMMAR ina lib
3
-
bi de-ku-
(1–3) A field of the Lady-of-
Uruk that . . . at the disposal of
m
Nabû-damiq son of
m
Nabû-ēir,
from which 3 date palms were
destroyed.
4. a-di U
4
15-kam
2
ša
2
ITI ŠE
lu2
NU.GIŠ.ŠAR
5. ša
2

giš
GIŠIMMAR ina A.ŠA
3

ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
6. ša
2
ina pa-ni-šu
2
i-du-ku
7. ib-ba-kam
2
-ma a-na
8.
md
NA
3
-LUGAL-URI
3

lu2
SAG
LUGAL
9. i-nam-din ki-i la it-tab-kam
2
-ma
(4–9) By 15 Addaru, he shall
bring the gardener who destroyed
the date palms in the field of
the Lady-of-Uruk that is at his
disposal, and give him to
m
Nabû-
šarra-uur, the ša rēš šarri.
10. la id-dan-nu 3 MA.NA KU
3
.
BABBAR
11. ku-um da-a-ka ša
2

giš
GIŠIMMAR
12. a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki

i-nam-din
(9–12) If he does not bring (him)
and does not give (him), he shall
pay the Lady-of-Uruk 3 mina of
silver for the destruction of the
three date palms.
13.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
INNIN-DU-A
A-šu
2
14. ša
2

m
NUMUN-ia
2

md
na-na-a-
KAM
2
15. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
gi-mil-lu
(13–14) Witnesses:
m
Ištar-mukīn-
apli son of
m
Zēriya;
(14–15)
m
Nanaya-ēreš son of
m
Gimillu.
16.
lu2
[UMBISAG]
m
BA-[ (16) Scribe:
m
PN
17. UNUG
ki
[ITI X U
4
X-kam
2

MU X]
18.
m
kur-aš
2
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
19. LUGAL KUR.KUR
(17–19) Uruk. [Day X of MN
year X of ] Cyrus, king of Baby-
lon, king of the lands.
The mention of the destruction of the date palm in this text indicates
that the text should be included in the present discussion. It is clear
that the penalty of 3 mina of silver is not just a debt to the Eanna, but
which suggests that the crime was one of negligence rather than intentional damage
to the trees.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 171
is, instead, the penalty for a crime.
8
The imposition of the thirty-fold
penalty in other abāku-summonses is another indication that such texts
involve transgression of temple property rather than simple debts.
9
The need to distinguish the abāku-summonses from standard Gestel-
lungsbürgschaft guarantees for debts comes to the fore with regard to
three texts from the Eanna archive that Cocquerillat labels “mandats
d’amener” (“orders to bring”): YOS 7, 109; YOS 7, 27; GCCI 2, 115.
10

Cocquerillat presents all of these texts in a discussion of “les fraudes”
(“frauds”), which implies that all of the texts pertain to criminal activities
and are not simply guarantees for the payment of debts to the Eanna.
11

Ostensibly, then, all three texts should be classified as abāku-type sum-
monses. The evidence of both GCCI 2, 115 and YOS 7, 109 supports
Cocquerillat’s classification. GCCI 2, 115 should be considered an
abāku-summons because it specifically mentions that the individual who
is to be brought owes five years of back-payments of estimated yields.
In YOS 7, 109 the people are to be brought to the administrator of
the Eanna on the very same day that the document was written. This
immediacy, together with the fact that it is the elders of the city who
must bring the people, suggests that the elders serve as more than simply
guarantors for eventual payment of a debt.
12
On the other hand, YOS
7, 27 does not indicate that it was written because of any legal action
or wrongdoing. Although it is possible, as Cocquerillat implies, that this
text is also the result of fraudulent activity, it is also possible that it is
simply a guarantee for a payment due to the Eanna.
13
Based on the discussion thus far, the abāku-summonses reflect the
following general situation. An individual (PN
2
) has been accused of
8
TCL 12, 89 also mentions killing a date palm. Similar texts mention theft (YOS
6, 123; TCL 13, 131; PBS 2/1, 85).
9
The following texts impose a thirty-fold penalty: TCL 12, 77; YOS 6, 152; YOS
7, 58. In YOS 7, 25:7–9 the penalty imposed is “bearing the punishment of Cyrus”
(i-u ša
2

m
ku-ra-aš . . . i-šad-da-ad). Although the terminology clearly implies a penalty,
the precise nature of this penalty is not known. See San Nicolò, ArOr 4 (1932), p. 336
n. 1 and Petschow, Pfandrecht, pp. 29–30, especially note 64.
10
TCL 13, 157, a fourth text in this group, is considered among the “guarantees”
because it includes the phrase pūtal našû.
11
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, pp. 82–83.
12
Both facts are noted by Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 83, but are not specifically
presented as support for her interpretation of the text. See the summary table for
calculations of time spans between the date of composition and the date of appear-
ance in other texts. Note that longer time spans do not preclude the possibility that a
particular text involves a crime.
13
See San Nicolò, SBAW 1937, 6, p. 45 n. 6.
172 chapter six
a crime for which he faces a penalty. The summoned individual (PN
1
)
must bring the accused individual (PN
2
) to another party (PN
3
). If the
summoned individual does not bring the accused, then the summoned
individual himself faces the same penalty as the accused individual
was to pay.
The imposition of the penalty upon the summoned individual implies
that the summoned individual bears some responsibility for the crime
in question. For example, in YOS 7, 68, the text quoted above, the
date palms were destroyed in a field that is at the disposal of
m
Nabû-
damiq. He is, therefore, ultimately responsible for the loss the gardener
caused and must face the penalty if he does not present the accused.
The summoned individual can, however, avoid having to pay for the
crime by presenting the accused. Thus, the situation surrounding the
composition of the abāku-summonses is similar to the situation sur-
rounding the composition of the exculpatory kunnu-summonses. In
both text-types, the summoned individual is the “first address” in the
pursuit of the penalty for the crime. In order to avoid payment of the
penalty, the summoned individual has accused another person. As a
result, an exculpatory kunnu-summons or an abāku-summons might be
composed. The exculpatory kunnu-summonses require the summoned
individual to “establish the case” against the person he has accused. The
abāku -summonses require the summoned individual to actually present
the person he has accused. Failure to comply with the requirements of
either text-type results in a penalty.
This situational similarity between the abāku-summonses and the ex-
culpatory kunnu -summonses is borne out by TCL 12, 77. In this text,
m
Nabû-nāir must bring his shepherd to officials of the Eanna or face the
thirty-fold penalty for a dead branded ewe. The text reads as follows:
1. a-di ITI ŠE
md
NA
3
-PAP A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ša
2
-
d
NA
3
-šu
2
-u
2
2.
md
UTU-a-a
lu2
SIPA-šu
2
ib-ba-
kam
2
-ma
3. ina E
2
.AN.NA a-na
md
NA
3
-
LUGAL-URI
3

lu2
SAG.LUGAL
4. u
3

lu2
EN.MEŠ pi-iq-ne-e-tu
4
ša
2

E
2
.AN.NA
5. i-nam-din ki-i la i-tab-ku 30 e-en
(1–5) By the month of Addaru,
m
Nabû-nāir son of
m
Ša-Nabû-šū
shall bring
m
Šamšaya, his shepherd
and, in the Eanna, give him over
to

m
Nabû-šarra-uur, the ša rēš šarri,
and the qīpu-officials of the Eanna.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 173
6. ku-um 1-et U
8
ša
2
kak-kab-ti ša
2

ina sa-ar
2
-ti
7. ni-ik-si-tu-ma ina ŠU.2
md
NA
3
-
PAP am-ra-ti
8. u
3

md
NA
3
-PAP iq-bu-u
2
um-ma
md
UTU-a-a
9. [it-ta-ak]-is
md
NA
3
-PAP a-na
10.
d
GAŠAN ša
2
Uruk i-nam-din
(5–10) If he does not bring (him),
m
Nabû-nāir shall pay the Lady-
of-Uruk 30 sheep for the ewe with
a star that was killed in treachery
and found in the hands of
m
Nabû-
nāir, and (about which)
m
Nabû-
nāir said thus: “
m
Šamšaya [kill]ed
(it).”
The penalty clause in this text confirms that
m
Nabû-nāir has to bring
his shepherd to the Eanna because
m
Nabû-nāir has accused him of
killing the sheep. The dead sheep was found in
m
Nabû-nāir’s possession,
so he is responsible for paying the penalty. He can avoid the payment
by presenting the shepherd whom he has accused.
The quotation of
m
Nabû-nāir’s statement in TCL 12, 77:8–9 suggests
that he has made his accusation against the shepherd in a hearing in
the Eanna. YOS 6, 123 describes just such a hearing:
1. 5 UDU.MEŠ ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
še-
en-du
2. ša
2
ina e-e-ni ša
2

m
ki-na-a
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
U.GUR-ina-SU
3
-
¢SURÜ
3. A
m
dan-ne-e-a am-ra-a-ma
m
NUMUN-ia A-šu
2
(1–3) 5 sheep belonging to the
Lady-of-Uruk, branded with a
star, which were seen in the flock
of
m
Kīnaya son of
m
Nergal-ina-
tēšê-ēir descendant of Dannea—
4. ša
2

m
TIN-su
lu2
NA.KAD ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
3 ina
lib
3
-bi
5. iq-bu-u
2
um-ma ina sa-ar
2
-ti
ul-tu e-ni-ia
6. ab-ka-a ina UKKIN a-na
m
ki-na-a u
2
-kin-nu
(3–5) about 3 of which
m
Zēriya,
son of
m
Balāssu, the herdsman of
the Lady-of-Uruk said thus:
(5–6) “They were led away from
my flock in treachery.” In the
assembly, he established (the case)
against
m
Kīnaya.
7. 1-en 30.MEŠ e-e-ni ra-bi-ti
ina UGU
m
ki-na-a
8. par-su u
3
2-ta e-e-ni re-i-it 5-ta
e-e-[ni ]
(7–8) They decided that
m
Kīnaya
must pay 30–fold for the full-
grown sheep.
9. ša
2
kak-kab-tu
4
še-en-du ša
2

m
ki-na-a iq-bu-u
2
10. um-ma ul-tu ITI ŠE MU
7-kam
2

m
TAR-a-a
11.
lu2
SIPA ina e-ni-ia ip-te-qid
m
TAR-a-a
(8–10) And (as for) the 2 sheep,
the remainder of the 5 sheep
branded with a star, about which
m
Kīnaya said thus:
(10–11) “Since the month of
Addaru, year 7,
m
TAR-a-a, the
shepherd, deposited them in my
flock”—
174 chapter six
12. ib-ba-kam
2
-ma a-na
md
NA
3
-
LUGAL-URI
3
lu2
SAG-
LUGAL
13.
lu2
EN pi-qit-tu
2
E
2
.AN.NA
14. u
3

lu2
EN.MEŠ pi-iq-ne-e-tu
2

ša
2
E
2
.AN.NA
15. i-nam-din ki-i
m
TAR-a-a la
i-tab-kam
2
-ma
(11–15) He shall bring
m
TAR-a-a
and give (him) to
m
Nabû-šarra-
uur, the ša rēš šarri adminstrator
of the Eanna and to the adminis-
trators of the Eanna.
16. la id-dan-nu DIŠ-šu e-e-ni it-ti
e-e-ni-a
17. 1-en 30 a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
i-nam-din
(15–17) If he does not bring
m
TAR-a-a and does not give
(him), he shall pay 60 sheep
together with those (other) sheep,
30-fold (for the two sheep) to the
Lady-of-Uruk.
This text is actually composed of a decision record (lines 1–8) followed
by the abāku-summons (lines 8–17). The entire hearing takes place “in
the assembly.” The assembly first decides that
m
Kīnaya must pay a
thirty-fold penalty for stealing three sheep.
m
Kīnaya then claims that
the remaining two sheep were given to him by another shepherd. The
abāku-summons is issued in the wake of this accusation.
m
Kīnaya must
present the shepherd to the administrators of the Eanna. If he does
not present the shepherd, then
m
Kīnaya must repay the Eanna thirty
fold for those two sheep, as well.
The abāku-summonses presented thus far indicate that they were
issued following an accusation made during a formal hearing. Deter-
mining the legal function of these texts depends upon explaining the
purpose for “bringing” the individual. According to Moore, TCL 12,
77 and TCL 12, 89 are summonses “to present a man for trial.”
14
The
high rank of the officials to whom the person must be brought sup-
ports Moore’s understanding of these texts as summonses to present
for trial.
15
These high-ranking officials may have been the authorities
before whom the suspect would be tried.
Moore’s title implies that the fate of the person who must be
“brought” is yet to be determined by trial. This suggestion finds some
support from the formulation of the penalty clauses in both TCL 12,
77 and TCL 12, 89. The penalty in TCL 12,77 is for 1-et U
8
ša
2
kak-
14
Moore, Documents, p. 83 and p. 91. Moore addresses only TCL 12, 77 and TCL
12, 89. The application of her interpretation to other documents is an extension of
her original interpretation.
15
See summary table 6.1 for the authorities included in these texts.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 175
kab-ti ša
2
ina sa-ar
2
-ti ni-ik-si-tu-ma (“one ewe with a star that was killed
unlawfully”) and in TCL 12, 89 it is for da-a-ki ša
2

giš
GIŠIMMAR (“the
killing of the date-palm”). Both leave the guilt or innocence of the
person to be brought open to question; neither states that the person
to be brought has actually committed the crime. Similarly, in YOS 6,
123:8–17, it is not clear that the shepherd whom
m
Kīnaya has accused
is actually guilty of the crime. In all of these examples, it is entirely
possible that the person to be brought will not have to make the pay-
ment. All that is certain is that the summoned individual is ultimately
responsible for payment.
However, not all abāku-summonses leave the guilt of the person to
be brought open to question. Several abāku-summonses make it clear
that the person to be brought is the person who has committed the
crime. Thus, in the first abāku-summons cited, YOS 7, 68, the person
to be brought is the “gardener who killed the date palm.”
16
Similarly,
the penalty clause in PBS 2/1, 85 states that if the summoned indi-
vidual does not bring the accused (PN
2
), the summoned individual
must repay “the five oxen that
m
PN
2
led away in theft” (5 GU
4
ša
2
ina
sa-aš
2
-tu
4

m
PN
2
i-bu-uk).
17
In all these cases, a trial to determine guilt,
as implied by Moore’s labels of TCL 12, 77 and TCL 12, 89, would
be unnecessary. Furthermore, in PBS 2/1, 85, the criminal is not to
be brought before any authorities, but rather he is to be given directly
to the person from whom he stole. These texts open room for further
debating the interpretation of all the abāku-summonses.
The outset of this discussion noted the similarities between the abāku-
summonses and the Gestellungsbürgschaft guarantees for debts. Because
of these similarities, one may understand those abāku-summonses that
impose monetary penalties as a specific kind of Gestellungsbürgschaft
guarantee, one in which the debt is incurred because of a crime com-
mitted. The “summoned individual,” according to this interpretation,
is actually a guarantor. He guarantees that he will present the guilty
individual, who must pay for his crime. If the guarantor fails to pres-
ent the guilty individual, then he assumes responsibility for payment.
Augapfel adopts this interpretation in the heading preceding his edition
of PBS 2/1, 85, in which he refers to this text as a “Gestellungsbürgschaft
mit gleichzeitiger eventueller Schuldübernahme” (“presentation-guarantee with
16
YOS 7, 68:4–9.
17
PBS 2/1, 85:8–9. See also YOS 6, 152:1–6 and TCL 13, 131:4–6.
176 chapter six
concurrent assumption of penalty”).
18
Augapfel’s interpretation may
apply to all the abāku-type summonses.
19
Accordingly, these documents
are not summonses, but are guarantees for payment. The only unique
aspect of these documents is that the debt they mention was incurred
as the punishment for a crime.
It should be noted that according to both Moore and Augapfel the
abāku-summonses belong in the ‘tablet trail’ of texts that record adju-
dicatory proceedings. The difference between the interpretations lies in
how these documents functioned as part of the ‘tablet trail.’ According
to Moore, the abāku-summonses are a means of bringing a person to
trial. If this is the case, then they were composed before a case was
closed, as part of the ongoing proceedings. Augapfel’s understanding,
on the other hand, indicates that all the abāku-summonses were written
at the end of the proceedings and assume that the person to be brought
was guilty. They are not “summonses,” but are, instead, guarantees that
the penalty will be paid by the guilty party.
Before concluding the discussion of this text-type, there is one
additional text, Abraham, Business, No. 85, which must be considered
among the abāku-summonses. This text is unique because it does not
include a penalty for failure to hand over the criminals. The body of
this text, as transliterated by Abraham, reads as follows:
20
1. U
4
1–kam
2
ša
2
ITI SIG
4
ša
2

MU X-[kam
2
ša
2
da-ri--mu-uš ]
2. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR
m
IR
3

d
ENÜ [A-šu
2

ša
2

m
PN]
3. A
m
e-e
3
-ru
lu2
sa-a-ri.MEŠ ša
2

ni-i[k . . .]
4. i-na bi-rit ID
2
.MEŠ ina URU
ša
2

lu2
qi
2
-pi
5. a-na E
2

md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-
IBILA ik-si-[ma
?
]
6. ib-ba-kam
2
-ma a-na
md
AMAR.
UTU-na-ir-IBILA
(1–7) On 1 Simānu, year X [of
Darius] king of Babylon king
of the lands,
m
Arad-Bēl [son of
m
PN] descendant of Ēiru, shall
bring the thieves who . . . between
the rivers and the city of the qīpu-
official,
20
having bound (?) (them),
to the house of
m
Marduk-nāir-
apli and give (them) to
m
Marduk-
nāir-apli.
18
Augapfel, p. 92. Note, however, that Moore, Documents, p. 129 refers to TCL 13,
131 as a “summons to present at Eanna a man accused of theft.” Unlike the titles she
gives TCL 12, 77 and TCL 12, 89, this title does not mention any trial. Moore seems
to have recognized the difference between TCL 13, 131 and the other documents. Her
use of the term “summons,” however, suggests that she does not see TCL 13, 131 in
the light of other guarantees.
19
Augapfel does not mention any of these documents.
20
According to Abraham, Business, p. 364 the location “the city of the qīpu-official”
indicates that the theft described was of temple property.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 177
7. i-nam-din e-lat ra-šu-tu ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-na-ir-IBILA
8. ša
2
ina mu-i
m
IR
3
-
d
EN
(7–8) Apart from the obligation
due to
m
Marduk-nāir-apli owed
by
m
Arad-Bēl.
m
Arad-Bēl must “bring” and “give” thieves to
m
Marduk-nāir-apli. As
in PBS 2/1, 85, the criminal is not handed over to any authority, but
directly to the person from whom he stole. Thus, it does not seem likely
that this text is a summons for a trial.
According to the notice at the end of the text, this obligation is
placed upon
m
Arad-Bēl apart from his other obligation to
m
Marduk-
nāir-apli. This may explain the reason for the composition of this
summons and for the apparent absence of a penalty. The concluding
notice implies that the present document carries some obligation, like
the other obligations that
m
Arad-Bēl must pay to
m
Marduk-nāir-apli.
This may indicate
m
Arad-Bēl does indeed incur the obligation for the
theft if he does not present the thieves. As has already been noted
above, the abāku-summonses may, in fact, be guarantees for payment
of a penalty for theft. Thus, in Abraham, Business, No. 85,
m
Arad-Bēl
guarantees that he will present the thieves, or else, it seems, he will
himself assume the obligation to pay the penalty.
6.B Guarantees for an Individual’s Presence
The second text-type ensuring an individual’s presence consists of
texts that, like other guarantees, use the term pūta našû. This text-type
records the fact that one individual (or a group of individuals) assumes
responsibility ( pūta našû) for the presence of another individual (or group
of individuals) at a particular time. Like the abāku-summonses (see sec-
tion 6.A above), the guarantees for an individual’s presence resemble
the Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantees for payment of a regular debt. Thus,
as with the abāku-summonses, the discussion must begin by identifying
those particular features of the guarantees for an individual’s presence
that indicate that any particular text belongs in the ‘tablet trail.’
The distinction between abāku-summonses and standard Gestel-
lungsbürgschaft guarantees is based on details, such as the mention of a
specific crime, that indicate that the individual who is to be ‘brought’
is suspected of some wrongdoing. Similar evidence may be mustered
to distinguish between the guarantees for an individual’s presence that
belong in the ‘tablet trail’ and standard Gestellungsbürgschaft guarantees
for debts. Apart from passing mentions of details, the penalties imposed
upon the guarantors for failure to discharge their obligation provide
178 chapter six
S
u
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m
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text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 179
S
u
m
m
a
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y

T
a
b
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6
.
1

(
c
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r
N
i
p
p
u
r
m
E
n
l
i
l
-
a
p
l
a
-
u

u
r
/

m
Š
u
m
a
-
i
d
d
i
n
D
a
t
e
s

a
r
e

c
a
l
c
u
l
a
t
e
d

a
c
c
o
r
d
i
n
g

t
o

P
a
r
k
e
r

a
n
d

D
u
b
b
e
r
s
t
e
i
n
,

B
a
b
y
l
o
n
i
a
n

C
h
r
o
n
o
l
o
g
y
.

L
e
n
g
t
h
s

o
f

t
i
m
e

d
o

n
o
t

i
n
c
l
u
d
e

d
a
t
e

o
f

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
.
180 chapter six
the clearest means of distinguishing between the guarantees for an
individual’s presence and Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantees for loans. The
operative factor is whether or not the guarantee imposes a monetary
penalty. The presence of a monetary penalty indicates that the guaran-
tee is written in the wake of a debt. The person who i s to be presented
is a debtor who owes the amount stipulated as the penalty against the
guarantors. The guarantors must present the debtor or pay the debt
themselves. In contrast, the absence of a monetary penalty indicates
that the guarantors’ obligations are not the result of a debt that must
be paid. Thus, those guarantees that do not impose a penalty upon the
guarantor,
21
or that impose an apparently non-monetary penalty like
“the punishment of the king” (īu ša šarri ),
22
are considered as records
of the adjudicatory process. If a guarantee for an individual’s presence
does impose a monetary penalty, it can only be considered as part of
the ‘tablet trail’ if it contains other evidence that it was written as part
of the adjudication of some wrongdoing.
YOS 7, 137 will serve as an example of this text-type. In this text,
two oblates assume responsibility for bringing five prisoners to Babylon.
The text reads:
1.
m
du-um-mu-qu DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
bal-i-ia LU
2

uru
ša
2
-ad-mu [. . .]
2. ša
2

md
e
2
-a-kur-ban-nu
lu2
pa-qu-
du ša
2
UNUG
ki
a-na UGU
DUMU.SAL[-šu
2
]
3. ša
2
a-na KU
3
.BABBAR id-di-nu
i-na ši-pir-ti ša
2

m
kal-ba-a
lu2
pa-
qu-du ša
2

uru
ša
2
-ad-mu
(1–4)
m
Dummuqu son of
m
Baliya
of the city of Šadmu . . . whom
m
Ea-kurbannu, the paqūdu-official
of Uruk, seized by order of
m
Kal-
baya the paqūdu-official of Šadmu,
because of his (
m
Dummuqu’s)
daughter whom he (
m
Dummuqu)
sold for silver;
4. i-ba-tu
m
KI-
d
na-na-a-i-ni-ia u
3

m
su-qa-a
lu2
APIN.MEŠ
5. ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki
ša
2

giš
APIN.ME-šu
2
-nu u
2
-maš-ši-ru
u
3
i-i-li-qu
(4–5)
m
Itti-Nanaya-īnīya and
m
Sūqaya the fieldworkers of the
Lady-of-Uruk who abandoned
their plows and fled;
21
YOS 6, 64; YOS 7, 111 and YOS 7, 115. In this last text, there are two guaran-
tors who must present one individual. The verb in the penalty clause (lines 8–11) is
in the singular (i-nam-din), which indicates that the penalty is not upon the guarantors
but upon the individual whom they must present.
22
YOS 7, 137 and YOS 7, 177.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 181
6.
md
a-nu-NUMUN-DU
3

lu2
pu-a-
a-a
lu2
GAL 10–tu
4
ša
2
dul-la-šu
2

u
2
-maš-ši-ru
7. u
3
i-i-li-qu-ma 2 MU.AN.
NA.MEŠ la in-nam-ru
m
u
2
-
ba-ru
(6–7)
m
Anu-zēra-ibni, the fuller,
the chief of ten, who abandoned
his work and fled and wasn’t seen
for two years;
8.
lu2
RIG
7
ša
2

d
IGI-DU ša
2

uru
u
2
-
dan-nu ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-GI.NA
lu2
UGULA E
2
.KUR.ME
(7–8)
m
Ubāru, an oblate of Ner-
gal of Udannu;
9. ina E
2
ki-li i-ba-tu PAP 5
lu2
ERIN
2
.MEŠ ša
2
i-na E
2
ki-li
a-ab-tu-ma
(8–9) (all of ) whom
m
Nabû-šuma-
ukīn, the official in charge of the
temples, imprisoned.
(9) Total: 5 men who were
imprisoned.
10.
m
KI-
d
na-na-a-i-ni-ia u
3

m
su-
qa-a-a
lu2
APIN.ME
md
a-nu-
NUMUN-DU
3
11.
lu2
pu-a-a-a
lu2
RIG
7
.ME ša
2

d
GAŠAN UNUG
ki
u
3

m
u
2
-ba-
ru
lu2
RIG
7
12. [ša
2
d
IGI-DU ša
2

uru
u
2
-dan-nu]
a-na
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
lu2
ŠA
3
.
TAM E
2
.AN.NA
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-
MU
13. [
lu2
SAG.LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit]
E
2
.AN.NA u
3

m
ri-mut u
3

m
ba-u
2
-
KAM
14. [
lu2
DI.KU
5
.ME] LUGAL iq-
bu-u
2
um-<ma>
m
du-um-mu-qu
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
bal-i-ia
(10–14)
m
Itti-Nanaya-īnīya and
m
Sūqaya the fieldworkers,
m
Anu-zēra-ibni, the fuller, the
oblates of the Lady-of-Uruk and
m
Ubaru, the oblate [of Nergal
of Udannu] said thus to
m
Nabû-
mukīn-apli the šatammu of the
Eanna,
m
Nabû-aa-iddin [the ša
rēš šarri administrator] of the
Eanna and
m
Rīmūt and
m
Bau-
ēreš, the [ judges]
23
of the king:
15. [. . . a-na] ¢UGUÜ LUGAL la
a-ba-tu
4
i-na E
2
ki-li [. . .]
16. [. . . iq]-ta-bi
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.[NA]
(14–16) “In prison,
m
Dummuqu
son of
m
Baliya [sp]oke treason
24

[aga]inst the king . . .
23
24
23
For the restoration of
lu2
DI.KU
5
.ME, reflected in the translation in Joannès, Justice,
No. 148 (p. 205) see Kümmel, Familie, p. 136 n. 198.
24
The restoration of this line and the translation of lā ābātu as “treason” follows
Joannès, Justice, p. 205 (“des paroles de lèse majesté”).
182 chapter six
17. [A
m
da-bi-bi ] ¢u
3
Ü
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-
MU
lu2
SAG-LUGAL
lu2
EN
pi-qit E
2
.A[N.NA]
18.
m
du-um-mu-qu
m
KI-
d
na-na-
a-i-ni-ia
m
su-qa-a-a
md
a-nu-
NUMUN-DU
3
19. u
3

m
u
2
-ba-ru i-na i-qa-a-ta i-
ba-tu-ma a-na
m
gi-mil-lu
20.
lu2
GAL 10-tu
4
u
3

md
NA
3
-ik-ur
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
du-um-mu-
qu
lu2
RIG
2
.ME ša
2

d
GAŠAN
UNUG
ki
(16–21)
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, the
šatammu of the Ean[na descen-
dant of Dābibī] and
m
Nabû-aa-
iddin the ša rēš šarri administrator
of the Eanna seized
m
Dummuqu,
m
Itti-Nanaya-īnīya,
m
Sūqaya,
m
Anu-zēra-ibni and
m
Ubaru in
fetters and gave them to
m
Gi-
millu, the chief of ten, and
m
Nabû-ikur son of
m
Dummuqu,
the oblates of the Lady-of-Uruk.
21. id-di-nu pu-ut ma-a-ar-tu
4
ša
2

lu2
ERIN
2
.ME-a 5
m
ŠU u
3

md
NA
3
-ik-ur
22. na-šu-u
2
ib-ba-ku-ma i-na TIN.
TIR
ki
ina IGI
m
na-bu-u
2
-gu A-
šu
2
ša
2

m
gu-ba-ru
23.
lu2
NAM TIN.TIR
ki
u
3

lu2
e-ber-
ID
2
ki
u
2
-ša-az-za-az-zu-šu
2
-nu-tu
ki-i man-ma ina lib
3
-bi-šu
2
-nu
24. a-na a-šar ša
2
-nam-ma it-tal-ku
m
ŠU u
3

md
NA
3
-ik-[ur i-u] ša
2

LUGAL
(21–22)
m
Gimillu and
m
Nabû-
ikur assume responsibility for the
keeping of these five men.
(22–23) They shall bring them
to Babylon and present them
before
m
Nabūgu son of Gobryas,
the governor of Babylon and the
Transeuphratene district.
(23–25) If anyone among them
goes to another place,
m
Gimillu
and
m
Nabû-ik[ur] shall bear [the
punishment] of the king.
25. i-šad-da-du ¢i Ü-na u
2
-šu-uz-zu
ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA
lu2
ŠA
3
.
TAM E
2
.AN.NA
26. DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
na-di-nu
DUMU
m
da-bi-bi
md
NA
3
-
ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG-LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit E
2
.[AN.NA]
(25–26) In the presence of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli šatammu of the
Eanna, son of
m
Nādinu descen-
dant of Dābibī;
(26)
m
Nabû-aa-iddin, the ša rēš
šarri administrator of the Eanna.
27.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
UTU-DU-
IBILA DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
DI.KU
5
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-[MU
DUMU]
m
ši-gu-u
2
-a
(27) Witnesses:
m
Šamaš-mukīn-
apli son of
m
Madānu-aē-[iddin
descendant of ] Šigûa;
28.
m
la-a-ba-ši-
d
AMAR.UTU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
IR
3
-
d
EN
DUMU
m
e-gi-bi
m
mu-še-
zib-
d
EN
29. DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
TIN-su
DUMU
m
e-gi-bi
md
NA
3
-IBILA-
MU DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-
TIN-i DUMU
lu2
ša
2
MUN-šu
2
(28–29)
m
Lâbāši-Marduk son of
m
Arad-Bēl descendant of Egibi;
m
Mušēzib-Bēl son of
m
Balāssu
descendant of Egibi;
(29)
m
Nabû-apla-iddin son of
m
Bēl-uballi descendant of
Ša-ābtīšu.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 183
The imposition of the apparently non-monetary “punishment of the
king” is the clearest indication that this text is not a standard Gestel-
lungsbürgschaft guarantee for a debt. The text also specifies the crime
for which the guarantors must bring the prisoners to Babylon: one of
them,
m
Dummuqu, has spoken treason against the king. The mention
of this crime is a clear circumstantial indication that it is not simply
a guarantee for a debt. YOS 7, 111, another text of this text-type
includes a similar indication of the wrongdoings to which it pertains.
The individuals to be brought in YOS 7, 111 are all involved in the
theft and killing of temple livestock.
Apart from the specific mention of a crime, the wording of the
guarantors’ obligation in YOS 7, 137 also points to circumstances other
than simple debts surrounding this guarantee. The guarantors must
present the individuals “before” (ina pāni ) Nabugu, the satrap’s son.
25

The prepositional phrase, known from other adjudicatory contexts,
suggests that Nabugu is to conduct a hearing or investigation once the
parties arrive in Babylon.
26
Similarly, some texts require the guarantors
to present the individuals upon summons by temple authorities, who
will, presumably, conduct a hearing of some sort.
27
The wording of
25
For a similar use of the locution a-na pa-ni see YOS 7, 177:7.
26
For a similar understanding of why the guarantor must present the individual, see
San Nicolò’s interpretation of YOS 7, 115 in ArOr 4 (1932), p. 339. A similar reason
may also be implied in YOS 6, 64. Dougherty, who discusses both YOS 7, 137 and
YOS 7, 177, does not identify the authority’s role in either text. See Dougherty, AJSL
46 (1929–1930), p. 101 (YOS 7, 177) and Dougherty, Shirkûtu, p. 60 (YOS 7, 137).
27
Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155; YOS 6, 64; YOS 7, 111. Von Bolla, ArOr 12 (1941),
p. 117 hints at an adjudicatory context for YOS 7, 111 by describing the text as “eine
Gestellungsbürgschaft, wahrscheinlich vor dem Tempelgericht ” (“a presentation-guarantee, prob-
ably before the temple court”).
30.
m
ŠU DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
MU-MU DUMU
m
ŠU-
d
na-
na-a
md
in-nin-MU-URI
3
31. DUMU
m
gi-mil-lu DUMU
m
kur-i
md
KUR.GAL-LUGAL-
URI
3
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

m
ta-li-mu
(30–31)
m
Gimillu son of
m
Nabû-
šuma-iddin descendant of Gimil-
Nanaya;
m
Innin-šuma-uur son of
m
Gimillu descendant of Kurī;
(31)
m
Amurru-šarra-uur son of
m
Talīmu;
32.
m
IR
3
-
d
AMAR.UTU DUB.
SAR DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-MU-MU
DUMU
md
EN-IBILA-URI
3
(32)
m
Arad-Marduk, the scribe,
son of
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin
descendant of Bēl-apla-uur.
33. UNUG
ki
ITI ŠE U
4
30-kam
2

MU 3-kam
2

m
kam
2
-bu-zi-[ia]
34. LUGAL TIN.[TIR]
ki

LUGAL KUR.KUR
(33–34) Uruk. 30 Addaru,
year 3 of Cambys[es], king of
Baby[lon], king of the lands.
184 chapter six
the guarantors’ obligation in these texts makes it clear that they are
to present the individual not for payment of debt, but as part of the
adjudicatory process.
In YOS 7, 137, the circumstantial information (the mention of
treason and the indications that the prisoners are to be presented for
trial) complement the fact that it does not impose a monetary penalty
to clearly show that the text should not be considered a standard
Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantee. Texts that do impose a monetary penalty,
however, can only be removed from the category of Gestellungsbürgschaft-
guarantees if they provide the necessary information about circum-
stances. This may be illustrated by examining YOS 6, 194 and TCL
13, 157, two texts that, according to Cocquerillat’s reading, pertain
to fraud.
28
Before the names of the witnesses and the scribes, YOS 6,
194 reads as follows:
1. pu-ut a-ba-ku ša
2

md
NA
3
-ta-ad-
dan-na-URI
3
2. ša
2
ZAG ša
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA
ša
2
KA
2
i-¢il Ü-tu
4
3. ša
2
MU 9-kam
2

d
NA
3
-
IM.TUK LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
4. a-na UNUG
ki
a-na pa-ni
m
kal-
ba-a
5. ina DU.ZU ša
2

md
NA
3
-mu-še-
tiq-UD.DA
6. u
m
KAR-
d
AMAR.UTU
m
bi-
be-e-a
7. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-SIG
15
ina
ŠU.2
md
NA
3
-mu-še-tiq-UD.DA
8. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
TIN-su a-di-i ITI
DU
6
(1–9) In the presence of
m
Nabû-mušētiq-uddê and
m
Mušēzib-Marduk,
m
Bibēa son
of
m
Nabû-udammiq assumes
responsibility to
m
Nabû-mušētiq-
uddê son of
m
Balāssu for bring-
ing
m
Nabû-tadanna-uur to Uruk
before
m
Kalbaya by Tašrītu,
regarding the estimated yield of
dates of Bāb-iltu for year 9 of
Nabonidus, king of Babylon.
9. na-ši ki-i
m
bi-be-e-a
10.
md
NA
3
-ta-ad-dan-na-URI
3
a-di
ITI DU
6
11. la i-tab-ku a-ki-i ZAG ša
2

m
kal-
ba-a
12. i-qab-bu-u
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA
m
bi-
be-e-a
13. a-na
md
NA
3
-mu-še-tiq-UD.DA u
m
KAR-
d
AMAR.UTU
14. i-nam-din
(9–14) If
m
Bibēa does not bring
m
Nabû-taddanna-uur by Tašrītu,
m
Bibēa shall pay according to the
estimated yield that
m
Kalbaya
reported to
m
Nabû-mušētiq-uddê
and
m
Mušēzib-Marduk.
28
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, pp. 82–84.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 185
This text dates to year 10 of Nabonidus, and states that the guarantor
must bring the individual regarding (ša) “the yield of year 9 of Naboni-
dus.” If the guarantor fails to present the individual, then the guarantor
himself must pay the yield of the previous year. Cocquerillat deduces
that the person who is to be brought is under suspicion of attempting
to defraud the Eanna of the previous year’s yield.
29
TCL 13, 157, the second guarantee for the presence of an individual
that Cocquerillat presents in the context of fraud, reads as follows:
1.
md
a-nu-MU-DU
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-SUR A
md
NA
3
-šar-i-
DINGIR
2. u
md
UTU-NUMUN-MU A-
šu
2
ša
2

m
a-u-lap-
d
INNIN A
m
E
2
.KUR-za-kir
3. pu-ut
md
na-na-a-KAM
2
A-šu
2

ša
2

m
gi-mil-lu
4. u
md
UTU-SU A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
ŠEŠ-SUM.NA
5. sa
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA NIG
2
.GA
d
INNIN UNUG
ki
6. a-na E
2
.AN.NA u
2
-qar-rab-bu-
u
2
-nu
7. ina ŠU.2
md
NA
3
-DU-[A]
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.NA
8. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
na-din A
m
da-bi-bi u
3
9.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG-
LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit
E
2
.AN.[NA]
(1–10)
m
Anu-šuma-ibni son of
m
Nabû-ēir descendant of Nabû-
šari-ilī and
m
Šamaš-zēra-iddin
son of
m
Aulap-Ištar descendant
of Ekur-zākir assume respon-
sibility to
m
Nabû-mukīn-[apli]
šatammu of the Eanna, son of
m
Nādin descendant of Dābibī
and
m
Nabû-aa-iddin the ša rēš
šarri administrator of Ean[na] for
m
Nanaya-ēreš son of
m
Gimillu
and
m
Šamaš-erība son of
m
Nabû-
aa-iddin, who must bring the
dates, property of Ištar of Uruk
to the Eanna.
10. na-šu
2
-u
2
U
4
7-kam
2
ša
2
ITI ŠU
ib-ba-ku-[nim-ma]
11. i-nam-din-nu-uš-šu
2
-nu-tu ki-i
a-na a-šar
(10–11) On 7 Duūzu they shall
br[ing] (them) and hand them
over.
12. ša
2
-nam-ma it-tal-ku- ZU
2
.
LUM.MA
13. re-i ša
2
ina mu-i-šu
2
-nu ina
e-peš NIG
2
.GA il-nu-
14. a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2
UNUG
ki

i-nam-din-nu- 1-en pu-ut 2-i
na-šu-u
2
(11–14) If they depart to another
place, they shall pay the Lady of
Uruk whatever (amount of dates)
turned up to their debit in the
accounting.
(14) Each assumes responsibility
for the other.
29
Note Dougherty’s earlier interpretation of YOS 6, 194 in AJSL 46 (1929–1930),
p. 86, which does not seem to imply fraud. Dougherty writes that a “question had
arisen as to the division of dates,” and that the purpose of the guarantee is “to have
the transaction concluded.”
186 chapter six
Cocquerillat points to a number of different factors that suggest that
the text pertains to fraud.
30
The two men whom the guarantors must
present,
m
Nanaya-ēreš and
m
Šamaš-erība, “are to deliver the dates,
property of Ištar of Uruk, to the Eanna” (ša
2
ZU
2
.LUM.MA NIG
2
.
GA
d
INNIN UNUG
ki
a-na E
2
.AN.NA u
2
-qar-rab-bu-u
2
-nu). Cocquerillat
identifies both men as intermediaries between the Eanna and the col-
lection center at Kār-Nanaya.
31
Cocquerillat determines that the text is
not simply a guarantee for a debt of dates because the text was com-
posed eight months after the time designated for delivery of dates to
the Eanna. The Eanna’s accounts apparently reveal some discrepancy,
and the Eanna authorities (the šatammu and the administrator) suspect
fraud. The guarantors, one of whom,
m
Šamaš-zēra-iddin, is known to
have been a scribe in the Eanna,
32
assume responsibility directly to these
officials. If they fail to present the suspects, the two guarantors must
themselves pay for whatever discrepancies have turned up.
In sum, a guarantee to present an individual may be distinguished
from a Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantee for a regular debt in one of three
ways. The first is the absence of a monetary penalty, which is the clearest
indication that a debt is not in question. The other two ways pertain to
the circumstances surrounding the promulgation of the guarantee, and
may be applied to texts that impose both non-monetary and monetary
penalties. The explicit or implicit mention of a wrongdoing because
of which the individual must be brought indicates that more than a
debt is in question. Similarly, the text may be distinguished from a
regular Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantee if it contains any indication that
the individual must be presented for a hearing of some sort.
The criteria established thus far provide sufficient indication that
a particular guarantee for an individual’s presence is an adjudicatory
record, part of the ‘tablet trail.’ The simple wording of the guarantee,
however, does not indicate whether or not the guarantee was issued in
a formal setting. This problem is best addressed by looking beyond the
wording of the guarantee to the additional information that the texts
provide. The first sample text above, YOS 7, 137, is clearly the result
30
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 83.
31
According to Kümmel, Familie, p. 122,
m
Nanaya-ēreš also held the title gugallû
(“canal inspector”) and served as a scribe of texts from the Eanna archive. Cocquerillat
does not consider his function in these positions in her analysis of the fraud.
32
Cocquerillat identifies both guarantors as scribes. Only
m
Šamaš-zēra-iddin son
of
m
Aulap-Ištar descendant of Ekur-zākir is listed among the scribes in Kümmel,
Familie (on p. 125).
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 187
of proceedings in the Eanna. It begins with a statement by four prison-
ers addressed to the šatammu, the administrator of the Eanna and the
royal judges. In addition to mentioning the authorities as part of the
proceedings, the text indicates that it was written ina DU.ZU (“in the
presence of ”) the šatammu and the administrator of the Eanna. YOS
6, 194:5 uses the same preposition, which hints at a formal tribunal
leading to the guarantee in this text, as well. Although other texts are
not as descriptive, temple officials are present in all of them.
33
This fact
suggests that all of the guarantees for an individual’s presence were
composed during formal hearings.
The last question that must be addressed is how the guarantees for
an individual’s presence function within the ‘tablet trail.’ Investigation
of this subject can proceed along the same lines as the investigation
of the legal function of the abāku-summonses because both text-types
impose similar obligations. The requirement of the guarantor to present
the individual is similar to the requirement of the summoned individual
to “bring” another individual. There are two main interpretations of
this requirement in the abāku-summonses, both of which also apply
to the guarantees for an individual’s presence. According to Moore,
the abāku-summonses are a means of bringing a person to trial at
a particular time. Thus, the guarantees would be another means of
assuring the individual’s presence at a hearing. According to Augapfel,
on the other hand, the abāku-summonses are actually guarantees that
the penalty will be paid by the guilty party. This would mean that the
guarantees for an individual’s presence belong within the broader set
of Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantees for payments of obligations resulting
from crimes.
In determining whether a particular guarantee for an individual’s
presence functions as a means of assuring the individual’s presence at
a hearing or as a guarantee for a payment there are two factors that
33
See summary table 6.2 for the officials involved. The presence of temple officials
in all the texts does not preclude the possibility that guarantees for an individual’s
presence were used in the course of private litigation, at least in theory. However, the
nature of the texts, especially the need to distinguish between the guarantees for an
individual’s presence and the Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantees, makes it difficult to iden-
tify those that come from private litigation. It is, in fact, possible that some (if not all)
Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantees were actually written after the debt was due, as part of
the adjudication of disputes over the unpaid debts, rather than at the time the debt was
incurred, as guarantees for initial payment on time. Those texts for which this might
be demonstrated would be examples of the use of the guarantees for an individual’s
presence in the course of private litigation.
188 chapter six
must be examined: the penalty which a particular text imposes and the
time frame it sets for the guarantor’s obligation. As has already been
noted, the penalties imposed may be either monetary or non-monetary.
Monetary penalties, like those imposed upon the guarantors in YOS
6, 194 and TCL 13, 157, suggest that the legal function of these texts
resembles that of other Gestellungsbürgschaft-guarantees for obligations.
The penalty represents an obligation that was incurred through some
wrongdoing; the guarantee is composed to ensure payment. In contrast,
those guarantees that impose no penalty on the guarantor, or apparently
non-monetary penalties, such as “the punishment of the king,” cannot
be guarantees for a payment. Instead, they are probably guarantees to
present the individual for a hearing.
The second factor that impacts the determination of the legal func-
tion of the guarantees for an individual’s presence is the time frame
the texts allow for the fulfillment of the obligation. When the guaran-
tees for an individual’s presence are examined from this point of view,
they fall into four categories: 1) Texts that specify a date on which or
by which the individual is to be presented;
34
2) Texts that require the
individual to be presented upon summons, but do not specify any par-
ticular date;
35
3) Texts without any designation of when the individual
is to be presented;
36
and 4) Texts that create a period of obligation
by requiring presentation upon summons and specifying a date until
which the guarantor’s obligation applies.
37
The implications of the first
three possible time frames will be discussed first. The discussion of the
fourth possibility will follow.
The first three possibilities reflect the requirement that the individual
be presented at a specific time (possibility 1), upon summons (possibility
2) or whenever possible (possibility 3). Those texts that specify a date
for the presentation (possibility 1) may, at least in theory, be inter-
preted either along the lines suggested by Moore or those suggested
by Augapfel. That is, they may be understood either as guarantees for
the individual’s appearance for a hearing on the particular date or as
guarantees for the payment of an obligation at that time. Among the
34
YOS 6, 194; TCL 13, 157; YOS 7, 170.
35
YOS 6, 64; YOS 7, 111. YOS 7, 170:11–14 requires the individuals to be pre-
sented when the administrator of the Eanna enters Uruk. Although the text does not
specifically state that the administrator will summon them, it does specify a time of
appearance in terms of the authorities and without specifying a date.
36
YOS 7, 115 and YOS 7, 137.
37
Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155; YOS 6, 213.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 189
texts in the present discussion, texts that impose a deadline happen to
also be those that impose a monetary penalty upon the guarantors.
Thus, they are likely to be guarantees for the payment of obligations
by the deadline. One might, however, still imagine a text without a
monetary penalty but with a specific deadline. Such a text would only
require the guarantor to present the individual for a hearing by the
deadline, but would not require any payment.
Texts that only specify that the individual is to be presented upon
summons or that do not specify any date for appearance (possibilities 2
and 3 above) are less likely to be guarantees for a payment. The person
or authorities to whom the payment is to be made would probably wish
to specify a deadline for the payment. Thus, those texts that require
the individual to appear only when summoned, or that do not impose
a deadline at all, seem to require the individual to appear for a hear-
ing, as Moore suggests for the abāku-summonses. However, YOS 6, 206
demonstrates that Augapfel’s interpretation of the abāku-summonses as
guarantees for payment is not entirely irrelevant. This text requires the
presentation of the individual when the authorities summon him, and
also requires the guarantors to pay the individual’s debt to the Eanna
if they fail to present him. In this text, the individual will be summoned
not only for a hearing, but also for paying a debt.
In all three of the possibilities discussed thus far, the role of the
guarantor is similar to that of the summoned individual in the abāku-
summonses. The guarantor, like the summoned individual in the abāku-
summonses, must present an individual on a specified date or upon
summons by the authorities. The reason for presentation might be either
for a hearing or for paying a monetary obligation. The imposition of
a penalty upon the guarantor implies that, like the summoned indi-
vidual in the abāku-summonses, the guarantor is not randomly chosen
to ensure another person’s presence. Instead, one might imagine that,
like the summoned individual in the abāku-summonses, the guarantor
bears some initial responsibility. For example, as Cocquerillat notes,
the penalty that the guarantors in YOS 6, 194 face suggests that they
are also implicated in this crime.
38
If this is so, then the guarantees,
like the abāku-summonses, are a means of allowing the guarantors to
avoid payment of the penalty.
38
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 83.
190 chapter six
There are, however, texts that indicate that the guarantors are not
involved in any wrongdoing. Instead, they are responsible for bringing
the people because of their positions. In YOS 7, 137, the first sample
text above, the guarantors are the two officials to whom the šatammu
and the administrator place in charge of the five prisoners. Similarly,
in YOS 6, 64 the šatammu himself assumes responsibility for bringing
an individual to Babylon before the ša rēš šarri. In YOS 7, 111, one
of the guarantors is the notorious official
m
Gimillu. He and another
person must present those involved in the killing of temple sheep to the
šatammu and the administrator of the Eanna. The text, however, does
not clarify whether
m
Gimillu is the guarantor because he was himself
accused in these crimes, or whether it is simply because
m
Gimillu served
as an official in the Eanna.
The discussion can now return to the fourth possible time frame, the
one which creates a period of obligation during which the authorities
might summon the individual. The guarantors must ensure that the
individual is available during this time. In terms of the discussion thus
far, the purpose of these guarantees might be either to ensure payment
of a debt upon summons or presence at a hearing. The creation of a
period of obligation means that the summons to repay the debt will
take place during this period or that the hearing will take place then.
At the end of the period of obligation, the individual and the guaran-
tors are free of any obligation.
There are two texts that create a period of obligation: Scheil, RA
14 (1917), p. 155 and YOS 6, 213. The body of YOS 6, 213, written
on 10 Abu, reads as follows:
1. pu-ut
m
kal-bi A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ZA-
LAG
2
-e-a
2.
m
ZALAG
2
-e-a A-šu
2
ša
2

m
a-u-
lap-
d
15 AD-šu
2
3.
m
ba-la-u A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-GI A
md
30-TI-ER
2
4. a-di U
4
10-kam
2
ša
2
ITI KIN
i-na ŠU.2
5.
m
DINGIR.MEŠ-re-man-ni
lu2
SAG.LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit-ti
6. E
2
.AN.NA na-šu-u
2
U
4
-mu
(1–6)
m
Nūrea son of Aulap-
Ištar, his father, and
m
Balāu son
of
m
Nabû-ušallim descendant of
Sîn-lēqi-uninnī assume responsi-
bility for
m
Kalbi son of
m
Nūrea
to
m
Ilī-rēmanni, the ša rēš šarri
administrator of the Eanna until
10 Ulūlu.
7. ša
2
re-e-su in-na-šu-u
2
8. i-ba-kan-nim-ma i-nam-din-nu
(6–8) The day that he summons
him they shall bring him and
deliver him.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 191
9. ki-i la i-tab-kan-nim-ma
10. la id-dan-ni
11. i-u ša
2
LUGAL i-šad-da-du
(9–11) If they do not bring (him)
and he is not delivered, they shall
bear the punishment of the king.
In this text,
m
Kalbi’s father and another man assume responsibility to
the administrator of the Eanna for one month. Whenever the admin-
istrator summons
m
Kalbi within the month, the two men must present
him. If they do not, they shall incur “the punishment of the king.”
The absence of a monetary penalty in this text indicates that the text
is not a Gestellungsbürgschaft guarantee for a monetary debt that
m
Kalbi
owes to the Eanna. Instead, it seems that
m
Kalbi must be presented for
a hearing which will take place within the month.
The body of Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155, before the names of the
witnesses and the scribes, reads as follows:
1.
m
re-e-e-ti A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ra-a
2. A
lu2
ŠU.A u
m
¢BA-ša
2
Ü A-šu
2

ša
2

m
ki-na-a
3.
lu2
mu-ša
2
-ki-il GU
4
ša
2
LUGAL
a-di TIL
4. ša
2
ITI ZIZ
2
pu-ut [GIR
3
] ša
2

md
UTU-NUMUN-DU
3
5. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-a-na-KUR-šu
2

na-šu-u
2
(1–5)
m
Reēti son of
m
Raa
descendant of Bāiru and
m
Iqīša
son of
m
Kīnaya, the royal cattle
fattener, assume responsibility for
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni son of
m
Bēl-ana-
mātišu until the end of Šabāu.
6. ki-i ul-tu U
4
1–kam
2
ša
2
ITI
AB
7. a-di TIL ša
2
ITI ZIZ
2

md
EN-
GI
8.
lu2
qi
2
-i-pi ša
2
E
2
.BABBAR.RA
re-eš
9.
md
UTU-NUMUN-DU
3
it-ta-
šu-ma
10. la qer-bu 15 MA.NA KU
3
.
BABBAR
11.
m
re-e-e-ti u
m
BA-ša
2
12. a-na NIG
2
.GA
d
UTU i-man-
nu-u
2
(6–12) If
m
Bēl-ušallim, qīpu-
official of the Ebabbar, summons
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni from 1 Tebēu
until the end of Šabāu (and) he
does not appear,
m
Reētu and
m
Iqīša shall count 15 mina of sil-
ver to the property of Šamaš.
The two guarantors in this text must guarantee
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni’s
presence between 1 Tebēu and the end of Šabāu. If the qīpu-official
of the Ebabbar summons
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni on any date within this
time, the two guarantors must ensure that he is available. If he is not,
then the guarantors face a very severe penalty of fifteen mina (nine
hundred šeqel) of silver.
192 chapter six
At first glance, the imposition of the monetary penalty suggests
that
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni owes a debt of fifteen mina of silver. The two
guarantors must pay this penalty if he is not present to pay the debt
himself. However, the rather severe penalty suggests that the fifteen mina
are not just a debt that
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni owes, but may be, instead,
misappropriated funds. The requirement that
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni be
presented upon summons by the qīpu-official suggests that a hearing
regarding the misdeed will take place during the two-month period
between 1 Tebēu and the end of Šabāu. Alternatively, the hearing
might not pertain to the fifteen mina of silver at all. Instead, the silver
might be, as Dougherty suggests,
39
simply a fine upon the two guaran-
tors for not presenting
m
Šamaš-zēra-ibni for a hearing pertaining to an
unmentioned subject.
Although both YOS 6, 213 and Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155 create
a period of obligation during which the guarantor must present the
individual, the two texts differ from each other with regard to when
this period of obligation begins. In YOS 6, 213, this period begins
immediately with the composition of the text and ends one month
later. Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155, on the other hand, does not take
effect immediately. The text itself was composed on 21 Kislīmu, year
4 of Nebuchadnezzar. The guarantors’ obligations do not begin until
1 Tebēu, nine days later,
40
and end at the end of Šabāu, the follow-
ing month.
The delayed onset of the period of obligation in Scheil, RA 14 (1917),
p. 155 and the requirement that the individual be presented upon
summons during a particular period of time raise certain difficulties
with both interpretations of the texts that have been considered thus
far. The creation of a period of obligation indicates that both YOS
6, 213 and Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155 are written for the benefit of
the guarantors, rather than for the benefit of the summoning author-
ity. From the point-of-view of an issuing court, if all that is required
is presence upon summons, then there is no reason to delay the onset
of the guarantors’ obligation. Similarly, whether the purpose of the
official summons is for payment of a debt or for a hearing, there is no
39
Dougherty, AJSL 46 (1929–1930), pp. 90–91 n. 1 notes that the text imposes a
“heavy fine.”
40
See Parker and Dubberstein, Chronology, p. 27.
text-types ensuring an individual’s presence 193
need to limit the power of the summoning authorities by specifying a
period of obligation.
If this understanding is correct, then the guarantors are actually not
free of their obligation once the time set in the texts passes. Instead,
the guarantors in both texts are actually obtaining a temporary release
of the individuals. During this time, the guarantors must be able to
account for the individuals upon the officials’ demand. If the guarantors
cannot account for the individuals, then the guarantors face the penalty
of fifteen mina of silver or the “punishment of the king.” After the time
passes, the guarantors must still return the individuals to their original
places, which is with the temple authorities. Accordingly, it might be
that neither Scheil, RA 14 (1917), p. 155 nor YOS 6, 213 is a prelude
to a hearing. Instead, both texts might be the written means of obtain-
ing a temporary release. The individuals who are to be “presented”
might actually be prisoners who are released temporarily and are to be
returned at the end of the guarantors’ terms of obligation.
In sum, there are two means of determining the legal function of
any particular guarantee for an individual’s presence: the penalty that
a particular text imposes and the time frame it sets for the guarantors’
obligation. In most texts, the guarantors’ obligation to present the indi-
vidual ends when they present the individual, on a specific date or in
response to an official summons. This indicates that the goal of these
guarantees is the presentation of the individual. To determine why the
individual must be presented, one must examine the penalty on the
guarantors. A non-monetary penalty implies a hearing of some kind,
while a monetary penalty raises the possibility that the individual is to
be presented to repay a debt. There are, however, texts in which the
guarantors’ obligation extends beyond the presentation upon summons.
These texts may also be means of guaranteeing the individual’s presence
at a hearing, with the only difference being that the texts indicate that
the hearing will take place before a certain date. However, these texts
may actually not envision any hearing at all, and are simply means of
ensuring that the individual will be returned to the authorities at the
end of a term of release.
194 chapter six
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5

C
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CHAPTER SEVEN
OTHER TEXT-TYPES
7.A Other Summonses
The summonses presented until this point have been divided into four
major types, based on the different obligations they place upon the sum-
moned individual. These four obligations—“arguing a case” (dabābu),
“ending a case” (quttû), “establishing a case” (kunnu) or “presenting”
(abāku) another individual—are not the only actions that a summons
may require. In addition to these four major groups of summonses,
there are other summonses that stipulate requirements using different
terms. These texts are described briefly in the present section.
The other summonses may be broadly divided between those that
impose a penalty on the summoned individual for failure to comply
and those that do not impose a penalty for failure to comply. As with
the four major types of summonses, the imposition of the penalty on
the summoned individuals indicates that they are initially responsible
for the penalty, but may avoid it by complying with the summons.
In VAS 6, 97, for example, the two summoned individuals have
guaranteed clear title to a sold slave. In the wake of a claim against
the sale, these two guarantors must present the claimant and have him
renounce his claim by a certain date or face a penalty. Similarly, in TCL
13, 161, the summoned individual is in possession of an escaped oblate
which he must hand over by a certain time or face a penalty.
1
The role of the summoned individuals as the first responsible party
may also be seen in summonses that require the presentation of excul-
patory evidence. Unlike kunnu-summonses, which, at most, require the
presentation of witnesses to “establish the case,” these summonses
specify that another kind of evidence is to be brought. For example,
YOS 7, 113 requires
m
Kiribtu, who owes 160 kur of dates to Ištar of
Uruk, to present proper documentation about the disposal of these
1
YOS 7, 44 is a similar text, in which a third party must remove an escaped oblate
from another person’s possession and bring him to the Eanna. See San Nicolò, SBAW
1937, 6, p. 27 n. 3.
198 chapter seven
dates. If he does not, he must repay the 160 kur of dates to the Lady-
of-Uruk.
2

m
Kiribtu is summoned to bring the evidence because he is
the party responsible for the dates.
Other summonses require that a person appear before an author-
ity or face a penalty. In AnOr 8, 45 and AnOr 8, 46, the summoned
individual must appear before Gobryas the satrap. Although no reason
for this appearance is mentioned, the use of the prepositional phrase
ana pāni (“before”) in both texts suggests that the satrap is to play an
adjudicatory role.
3
The wording of TCL 13, 222 makes the adjudicatory
context explicit by requiring the summoned individual to come to a royal
court to “establish a decision” ( purussâ šakānu) with the qīpu-officials.
These summonses raise the same questions of setting as the four main
types of summonses. As can be seen from summary table 7.1 below,
many of the texts were written with the involvement of authorities,
probably during a formal hearing of some kind. Because the required
actions differ from text to text, the setting in which the action is to be
performed must be considered separately for each text. Some texts,
such as those which require an appearance before the satrap, indicate
that there is to be some degree of formal proceedings. In other texts,
the absence of authorities can be interpreted to imply that the required
action might take place outside of a court.
Finally, there are three texts which, because they require an action
to be performed, resemble the summonses, but do not impose any
penalty for failure to comply: Evetts, Ner. 55; YOS 6, 144; and Dar
299. All of them require an individual to present another individual.
In YOS 6, 144 and Dar 299, the summoned individual must present
another individual to authorities for questioning. In Evetts, Ner. 55, the
people are to be brought “t[o] the gate of the crown prince’s house”
(a-[na] KA
2
E
2
DUMU.LUGAL) for the ša rēš šarri to settle accounts
with them. As can be seen from these requirements, these three texts
2
Stigers, JCS 28 (1976), No. 1:1–7 also requires the presentation of a tablet as
evidence. Joannès, Archives de Borsippa, p. 268; Nbn 954; YOS 6, 202 and Dar 358
require an oath. VAS 6, 120 requires giving a tablet and imposes an oath as a penalty
for failing to do so.
3
For the use of a similar phrase (ina pāni ) with a similar function see Wunsch, AuOr
17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254:6’.
other text-types 199
are preludes to formal procedures,
4
and all are probably the result of
formal proceedings, as well. YOS 6, 144 specifically describes how a
thief was caught and turned over to the Eanna authorities, who turn
him over to one
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, who bears the title
lu2
GAL SI.MEŠ.
5

The text ends with the following summons (lines 12–15):
12. . . .
md
NA
3
-DU-A
md
UTU-ki-i-
ni
lu2
sa-ar
2
-ru
13. u
lu2
sa-ar
2
-ru-tu ša
2
it-ti-šu
2
ib-
ba-kam
2
-ma
14. a-na
md
NA
3
-LUGAL-URI
3
lu2
SAG.LUGAL u
lu2
EN.MEŠ
pi-qit-tan-ne-e-tu
4
15. ša
2
E
2
.AN.NA ib-ba-kam
2
-ma
ma-ša
2
-al-ta-šu
2
-nu
16. i-šak-kan
(12–15)
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli shall
bring
m
Šamaš-kīni, the thief, and
the thieves who were with him to
m
Nabû-šarra-uur the ša rēš šarri
and the administrators of the
Eanna.
(15–16) He will carry out their
interrogation.
Based on these lines, there are two possibilities to understand this text,
as well as Dar 299 and Evetts, Ner. 55. The absence of a penalty may
support interpreting them as agreements. On the other hand, these texts
might be an order by the court requiring the summoned individual to
present the person or they might be a contract stating that the sum-
moned individual agrees to present the person. The possibility that these
texts are court orders is supported by the involvement of officials.
7.B Promissory Oaths
Overall, the different types of summonses and guarantees and the
penalties pending evidence pertain to one of three goals: bringing a
case to trial, presenting evidence, or presenting a party to a case. The
discussion now turns to one additional text-type, the promissory oaths,
in which an individual assumes an obligation by swearing an oath. In
many respects, the four texts of this text-type achieve the same ends as
4
The specification of a date for appearance in Evetts, Ner. 55 and Dar 299 further
supports this understanding. Note that YOS 6, 144 does not include a date of appear-
ance, although it clearly states that there is to be a formal interrogation.
5
San Nicolò, ArOr 5 (1933), p. 288 n. 3 is uncertain about the reading of this title.
Based on the reading of /SI/ as ešēru (Borger, Zeichenliste, p. 89), one might propose the
reading rāb ešerti. Note that this reading is not listed by Labat, Manuel, p. 91. For the posi-
tion of this official in the cattle culture of Uruk, see Kümmel, Familie, pp. 52–53.
200 chapter seven
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2
8

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3

d
a
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s
(
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k
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A
n
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r

8
,

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5
a
p
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e

b
e
f
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a
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p
;

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a
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+

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2

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9
.
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I
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4

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r

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3
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(
4
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8

5
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2

5
0

d
a
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B
a
b
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l
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m
P
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r

u
/

m
E
a
n
n
a
-
š
u
m
a
-
i
b
n
i
other text-types 201
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

7
.
1

(
c
o
n
t
.
)
T
e
x
t
A
c
t
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n

r
e
q
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A
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P
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l
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D
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r
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A
p
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p
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P
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p
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P
l
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7
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Š
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2
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N
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i
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k
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a
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c
o
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?


Y
O
S

7
,

1
1
3
p
r
e
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.
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6
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0

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M
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q
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i
p
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r

2
9
9
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r
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g
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š
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m

1
6
.
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V
.
1
1

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1
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V

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7
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5

d
a
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a
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l
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r

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5
8
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p
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2
2
.
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.
1
3

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r

(
1
/
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3
)
2
8
.
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(
1
/
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9
)
6

d
a
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s

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a
b
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l
o
n
m
A
r
a
d
-
B
a

u

/
/
A
š
l
ā
k
u
D
a
t
e
s

a
r
e

c
a
l
c
u
l
a
t
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d

a
c
c
o
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d
i
n
g

t
o

P
a
r
k
e
r

a
n
d

D
u
b
b
e
r
s
t
e
i
n
,

B
a
b
y
l
o
n
i
a
n

C
h
r
o
n
o
l
o
g
y
.

L
e
n
g
t
h
s

o
f

t
i
m
e

d
o

n
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t

i
n
c
l
u
d
e

d
a
t
e

o
f

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
.
202 chapter seven
the summonses and guarantees. As will be seen below, in all four texts
the swearers obligate themselves to perform some of the same actions
as those required of the summoned individual or the guarantor. The
difference between the promissory oaths and summonses or guarantees
lies in the means by which the obligation is assumed. In these texts, the
obligation is assumed by means of an oath.
The four texts included in the present discussion are those that can be
shown to have emerged from an adjudicatory context. The evidence for
this comes from the self-imposed obligations expressed in the oath. The
four texts are: YOS 7, 50; VAS 6, 154; Dar 229 and YOS 7, 194, each
of which will be considered separately. YOS 7, 50 reads as follows:
1.
md
a-nu-um-ŠEŠ-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
NUMUN-tu
2
2. A
m
kur-i ina
d
EN
d
PA u a-da-e
LUGAL
3. a-na
m
ni-din-ti-
d
EN
lu2
ŠA
3
.
TAM E
2
.AN.NA
4. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
EN-DU-NUMUN
A
m
da-bi-bi
5. u
md
EN-ŠEŠ-MU
lu2
SAG.
LUGAL
lu2
EN pi-qit
(1–6)
m
Anum-aa-iddin son of
m
Zērūtu descendant of Kurî
swore by Bēl, Nabû and the
oaths of the king to
m
Nidinti-Bēl
šatammu of the Eanna son of
m
Bēl-mukīn-zēri descendant of
Dābibī and
m
Bēl-aa-iddin the
ša rēš šarri administrator of the
Eanna:
6. E
2
.AN.NA it-te-me ki-i a-di
7. U
4
5-kam
2
ša
2
ITI APIN
m
ki-ne-na-a-a
8.
lu2
RIG
7
ša
2

d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
9. ab-ba-kam
2
-ma a-nam-dak-ka-
šu
2
-nu-tu
(6–9) “By 5 Arašamna I shall
bring
m
Kīnenaya, an oblate of
the Lady-of-Uruk, and give (him)
to you.”
10. ki-i la i-ta-bak i-u
11. ša
2
¢LUGALÜ i-ša-ad-[da-ad ]
(10–11) If he does not bring
(him) he shall be[ar] the punish-
ment of the king.
12.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
m
IR
3
-
d
AMAR.
UTU A-šu
2
ša
2
13.
m
NUMUN-ia A
m
e-gi-bi
m
IR
3
-
d
EN
14. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-NUMUN-
GIŠ A
m
MU-
d
PAP.SUKKAL
(12–13)
m
Arad-Marduk son of
m
Zēriya descendant of Egibi;
(13–14)
m
Arad-Bēl son of
m
Nabû-
šumu-līšir descendant of Iddin-
Papsukkal;
15.
m
IR
3
-ia A-šu
2
ša
2

m
GAR-MU
A
m
ŠU-
d
na-na-a
(15)
m
Ardiya son of
m
Šākin-šumi
descendant of Gimil-Nanaya;
other text-types 203
16.
lu2
UMBISAG
md
EN-na-din-A
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
ŠU
2
-MU-MU
17. A
md
EN-A-URI
3
UNUG
ki
ITI
ZIZ
2
18. U
4
30-kam
2
MU 5-kam
2

m
ku-ra-aš
2
19. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
LUGAL
KUR.KUR.MEŠ
(16–17) Scribe:
m
Bēl-nādin-apli
son of
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin
descendant of Bēl-apla-uur.
(17–19) 30 Šabāu, year 5 of
Cyrus, king of Babylon, king of
the lands.
In this text,
m
Anum-aa-iddin swears that he will present an oblate of
the Lady-of-Uruk to the šatammu and the administrator of the Eanna.
If he fails to present the oblate, he will “bear the punishment of the
king.”
The obligation which
m
Anum-aa-iddin swears to fulfill closely re-
sembles the obligation imposed by the abāku-summonses and the guar-
antees for an individual’s presence.
6
The absence of a monetary penalty
indicates that the oblate is not required to be presented to pay a debt.
7

The fact that the oblate is to be presented to the Eanna authorities
raises the possibility that these authorities will conduct a hearing of
some sort. However, if such a hearing were intended, one would expect
a certain degree of urgency to be reflected in a short gap between the
date of the oath and the date by which the oblate is to be presented.
The text allows for the rather lengthy span of up to 239 days, which
does not seem to imply that a trial is to take place.
It may be that
m
Anum-aa-iddin swears an oath in order to obtain
a temporary release of the oblate. After 5 Arašamna, he must
return the oblate to the Eanna. Thus, this text most closely resembles
the guarantees for an individual’s presence that create a period of
obligation. Alternatively, one may imagine that
m
Anum-aa-iddin is
obtaining rights to use the services of the oblate until 5 Arašamna.
After this date, he must return the oblate to the Eanna authorities. If
this latter interpretation is correct, then the text bears only a surface
resemblance to the abāku-summonses or guarantees for the presence
of an individual. It is actually a contract that does not come from an
adjudicatory context.
6
A similar oath is recorded in AnOr 8, 79:1–8. The text records the fact that the
swearer did not meet his obligation and imposes a 1 mina penalty. See San Nicolò,
SBAW 1937, 6, pp. 45–47.
7
See also San Nicolò, SBAW 1937, 6, p. 45.
204 chapter seven
The next text to be discussed, VAS 6, 154, pertains to the presenta-
tion of evidence. It reads:
8
1.
m
MU-
d
NA
3
DUMU ša
2

md
za-
b[a
4
-ba
4
-mu (A
m
IR
3
-GIR
4
-
KU
3
)]
2. ina
d
EN
d
NA
3
u
m
da-ri-ia-[muš
LUGAL]
3. a-na
m
še-el-le-<bi > DUMU ša
2

m
MU-
d
NA
3
4. A
lu2
SIMUG it-te-me ki-i a-di-i
(1–4)
m
Iddin-Nabû son of
m
Z[ababa-iddin (descendant of
Arad-Nergal)] swore by Bēl, Nabû
and Dari[us the king] to
m
Šellebi
son of
m
Iddin-Nabû descendant
of Nappāu:
5. U
4
2-kam
2
ša
2
ITI DU
6
al-la-
ak-am-ma
6. gi-i-a-nu a-na-aš
2
-šam-ma
7. a-na
m
še-el-le-bi
8. u
2
-kal-la-mu ki-i
(4–8) “By 2 Tašrītu I shall come
and bring the receipt-documents
and show them to
m
Šellebi.”
9. la ¢ukÜ-te-¢li-muÜ <<MU>>
10. a-ki-¢i Ü u
2
-il
3
-¢ti-šu
2
Ü
KU
3
.¢BABBARÜ
11. ¢ša
2
Ü
m
še-el-le-bi id-¢dan-nuÜ
(8–11) If he does not show (the
documents) he shall pay
m
Šellebi’s
silver according to his promissory
note.
12.
lu2
MU.DU
md
AMAR.UTU-
¢NU
?
.ME
?
DUMU ša
2
Ü
13.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.¢MEŠ-MUÜ A
mlu2
MU-¢lib
2
-ši Ü
(12–13) Witnesses:
m
Marduk-
NU-ME? son of
m
Nabû-aē-
iddin descendant of Šumu-libši;
14.
md
NA
3
-GI DUMU ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU-NUMUN-
DU
3
(14)
m
Nabû-ušallim son of
m
Marduk-zēra-ibni;
15.
m
¢šiš Ü-ki DUMU ša
2

md
EN-
SUR
(15)
m
Širku son of
m
Bēl-ēir;
16.
md
EN-bul-li-su
lu2
UMBISAG
A
mlu2
GAL-DU
3
(16)
m
Bēl-bullissu, the scribe,
descendant of Rāb-banê.
17. ¢TIN.TIRÜ
ki
ITI KIN U
4

¢28-kam
2
Ü
18. ¢MUÜ 28-kam
2
¢
m
da-ri-iaÜ-
[muš ]
19. LUGAL E
ki
u KUR.KUR
(17–19) Babylon. 28 Ulūlu, year
28 of Dari[us] king of Babylon
and the lands.
8
Readings and translation follow Baker, AfO Beiheft 30, No. 227.
other text-types 205
This text apparently emerges from a dispute over the repayment of a
debt.
m
Iddin-Nabû, the swearer in this text, has borrowed silver from
m
Šellebi.
m
Šellebi claims that he has not been repaid, while
m
Iddin-Nabû
claims that he has repaid the debt. To support his claim,
m
Iddin-Nabû
swears that he will bring the receipt-documents ( giānu) within four
days. If he does not bring the documents,
m
Iddin-Nabû must repay
the debt.
The obligation to present evidence of having repaid the debt is similar
to the obligations imposed by the exculpatory kunnu-summonses (see
section 5.A above). Like
m
Iddin-Nabû in VAS 6, 154, the summoned
individual in the exculpatory kunnu-summonses must also present excul-
patory evidence to prove his claim. The main difference between the
exculpatory kunnu-summonses and VAS 6, 154 lies in the way in which
this obligation is assumed. The discussion of the kunnu-summonses
demonstrated that this text-type is composed as a court order to present
evidence. In VAS 6, 154, no authorities are named and
m
Iddin-Nabû
assumes the obligation himself. This difference between VAS 6, 154 and
the kunnu-summonses may point to a difference between the settings in
which they were composed. It is possible that, unlike the kunnu-sum-
monses, VAS 6, 154 is not the result of a court order issued during the
formal adjudication of a dispute. Instead, it may reflect an oath sworn
in an informal adjudicatory context. On the other hand, the fact that
no authorities are named does not necessarily mean that no authorities
are present. Therefore, one cannot ignore the possibility that the oath
is actually imposed in court by an unnamed authority.
The discussion of the kunnu-summonses addressed not only the ques-
tion of where they were written, but also the question of where the
evidence is ultimately to be presented. It demonstrated that the kunnu-
summonses might result in either a formal or an informal determina-
tion of whether or not the case had been “established.” This question
is relevant to VAS 6, 154, as well.
m
Iddin-Nabû swears that he will
“bring the receipt documents and show them to
m
Šellebi.” The fact
that
m
Iddin-Nabû must show the documents directly to
m
Šellebi seems
to suggest that no other authorities will be involved in rendering a final
evaluation. On the other hand, one might imagine that the “bringing”
refers to a separate, formal procedure in court, and that the documents
will be “shown” to
m
Šellebi there.
206 chapter seven
The third text to be considered is Dar 229, which reads as follows:
1.
lu2
DUMU DU
3
.MEŠ ša
2
ina
pa-ni-šu
2
-nu
2.
m
i-qu-bu
lu2
nu-
giš
KIRI
6
3. a-na
md
AMAR.UTU-PAP-A
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
KI-
d
AMAR.UTU-
TIN
4. A
m
e-gi-bi ina
d
EN
d
NA
3
u
m
da-ri-ia-a-muš
5. LUGAL E
ki
6. it-te-me ki-i a-di-i U
4
8-kam
2
(1–6) (These are) the mār banî
before whom
m
Iqubu, the gar-
dener, swore by Bēl, Nabû and
Darius king of Babylon to
m
Marduk-nāir-apli son of
m
Itti-Marduk-balāu:
7. ša
2
ITI ZIZ
2
al-kam-ma dib-
¢bi Ü . . .
8. u
2
-qa-tu-u
2

md
NA
3
-na-¢irÜ
(6–8) “By 8 Šabāu I shall come
and settle the case . . .”
9. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
DU
3
-ia A
lu2
SU.A (8–9)
m
Nabû-nāir son of
m
Bāniya
descendant of Bāiru;
10.
md
AMAR.UTU-MU-MU A-
šu
2
ša
2

m
gu-za-nu
11. A
m
DU
3
-eš-DINGIR
md
EN-
MU A-šu
2
ša
2
12.
md
NA
3
-KAR-ZI.MEŠ A
m
dam-qa
(10–11)
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin
son of
m
Gūzānu descendant of
Eppeš-ilī;
(11–12)
m
Bēl-iddin son of
m
Nabû-ēir-napšāti descendant of
Damqa;
13.
m
IR
3
-ia A-šu
2
ša
2

m
da-di-di-ia A
14.
m
na-ba-a-a
md
EN-KAM A-šu
2

ša
2
15.
m
gi-in-na-a
(13–14)
m
Ardiya son of
m
Da-
didiya descendant of Nabaya;
(14–15)
m
Bēl-ēreš son of
m
Gin-
naya;
16.
m
ri-mut-
d
EN DUB.SAR
A-šu
2
ša
2

(16–17) Rīmūt, the scribe, son
of
m
Ardiya.
17.
m
IR
3
-ia E
ki
ITI ZIZ
2
U
4

6-kam
2
18. MU 7-kam
2

m
da-ri--muš
19. LUGAL E
ki
LUGAL KUR.
KUR
(17–19) 6 Šabāu, year 7 of
Darius, king of Babylon, king
of the lands.
Although the wording of
m
Iqubu’s oath is not entirely preserved, the
part that can be read indicates that
m
Iqubu swears that he will “settle
a case” (dibba quttû) by (adi ) 8 Šabāu. The formulation of this oath
seems to recall the formulation of the quttû-type summonses (section
4.B above). This latter text-type imposes a penalty which is always an
obligation of the summoned individual to an opposing party if the
summoned individual fails to “settle” (quttû) his case. It was suggested
that the quttû-summonses, like the dabābu-summonses, are composed in
response to the opposing party’s claim against the summoned individual.
other text-types 207
The quttû-summonses call for an informal settlement of a case, rather
than a resolution in court. This suggestion was based on four features
of the quttû -summonses: the use of the verb quttû rather than dabābu, the
absence of an official adjudicating authority, the requirement to appear
“by” (adi ) but not “on” a specific date, and the relatively short time
span allowed for appearance. Dar 229, the promissory oath, exhibits
all four of these features as well but, unlike the summonses, does not
impose a penalty for failure to settle the case by the stipulated date.
Nevertheless, the use of the term dibbu (“case”) suggests that a legal
claim has in fact been made.
m
Iqubu swears the oath “to” (ana)
m
Mar-
duk-nāir-apli, who is probably his opponent in the case. One might
imagine that
m
Marduk-nāir-apli has actually stated a claim and, as a
result,
m
Iqubu has had to swear the oath to ensure that the case will
be settled in a timely manner.
9
The discussion of the promissory oaths will conclude by analyzing
one text, YOS 7, 194, in which the formulation of the oath includes
the verb dabābu, which suggests that it should be compared with the
dabābu-summonses (section 4.A above). However, as will be seen, the text
seems to have an entirely different purpose. The text reads as follows:
1.
m
ka-re-e-a A-šu
2
ša
2

m
dan-nu-
d
U.GUR
2. ina
d
EN
d
NA
3
u
m
ka-am-bu-zi-ia
3. LUGAL E
ki
LUGAL KUR.
KUR it-te-me ki-i
(1–3)
m
Kārēa son of
m
Dannu-
Nergal swore by Bēl, Nabû and
Cambyses, king of Babylon, king
of the lands:
4. a-di-i U
4
2-kam
2
ša
2
ITI GAN
al-la-kam
2
-ma
5. it-ti
m
IR
3
-
d
AMAR.UTU A-šu
2

ša
2

md
AMAR.UTU MU-MU
A
md
EN-IBILA-URI
3
6. u
md
KUR.GAL-LUGAL-
URI
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ta-li-mu
7. a-dib-bu-ub u
3
ZU
2
.LUM.
MA-a
8. 36 GUR re-i-it ZU
2
.LUM.
MA i-mit-tu
4
A.ŠA
3
.MEŠ
9. NIG
2
.GA
d
GAŠAN UNUG
ki

ša
2
DU
6
a-gur-ru-tu
4
10. ša
2
MU 7-kam
2
ša
2
ina mu-
i-ia
2
a-na
11. NIG
2
.GA E
2
.AN.NA e-et-ti-ru
(4–11) “By 2 Kislimu I shall
come and speak to
m
Arad-Mar-
duk son of
m
Marduk-šuma-iddin
descendant of
m
Bēl-apla-uur
and
m
Amurru-šarra-uur son of
m
Talīmu and repay those dates,
36 kur, the remainder of the dates
of the imittu-yield of the field-of-
cut-brick belonging to the Lady-
of-Uruk.”
9
The purpose of the oath may be compared, therefore, with the different functions
proposed for the quttû-summons discussed in section 4.B above.
208 chapter seven
12.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
m
¢XÜ-[X A-šu
2
ša
2

m
PN
2
]
13. A
m
ba-si-ia
2

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-
[MU
10
A]-šu
2
14. ša
2

md
EN-u
2
-sat A
md
EN-u
2
-sat
(12–13) Witnesses:
m
PN
1
[son of
m
PN
2
] descendant of Basiya;
(13–14)
m
Nabû-aē-[iddin son]
of
m
Bēl-ūsāt descendant of Bēl-
ūsāt;
15.
md
UTU-ŠEŠ-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
ki-na-a A
lu2
man-di-di
(15)
m
Šamaš-aa-iddin son of
m
Kīnaya descendant of Mandidi;
16.
m
kal-ba-a A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-re-
man-ni
(16)
m
Kalbaya son of
m
Nabû-
rēmanni;
17.
lu2
UMBISAG
md
a-nu-
NUMUN-GAL
2
-ši A-šu
2
ša
2

m
la-ba-aš
(17) Scribe:
m
Anu-zēra-šubši son
of
m
Lâbāš.
18.
uru
E
2
U.WUK.MEŠ ITI APIN
U
4
25-kam
2
19. MU 8-kam
2

m
ka-am-bu-zi-ia
20. LUGAL E
ki
LUGAL KUR.
KUR
(18–21) Bīt-Uwuk. 25 Ara-
šamna, year 8 of Cambyses, king
of Babylon.
10
As Cocquerillat has noted, this is one of several “documents occasionnels
relatifs aux perturbations survenant dans l’acheminement des récoltes vers l’Eanna”
(“occasional documents relating to disruptions that arise in the deliv-
ery of the harvests to the Eanna”).
11

m
Kārēa has apparently failed to
deliver a quantity of dates, and, as a result, must swear that he will
deliver them by a certain time. In addition,
m
Kārēa swears that he will
“speak” (dabābu) to two men,
m
Arad-Marduk and
m
Amurru-šarra-uur,
who are known to have been officials of the Eanna.
12
Because the verb
dabābu is used, one might interpret the oath in this text as one which
accomplishes the same purpose as the issuance of a dabābu-summons.
Like the dabābu-summonses, the oath in this text might be a means
of getting
m
Kārēa to “argue his case” against the claim of the Eanna
officials. However, the text itself does not indicate that there is any
dispute about the missed delivery.
m
Kārēa swears that he will, without
any contest, deliver the dates. Furthermore, the text does not impose
a penalty for failure to appear before the officials, which, in line with
the dabābu-summonses, might have been understood as the disputed
10
Restoration follows Kümmel, Familie, p. 26 n. 30.
11
Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 79.
12
For this suggestion, see Cocquerillat, Palmeraies, p. 81. For other references to these
two men, see the index entries in Kümmel, Familie, pp. 170–171.
other text-types 209
obligation.
13
Thus, it would be incorrect to translate the verb dabābu in
this text as “to argue a case,” and to interpret the oath as a preliminary
stage of the case. Instead, it seems that the oath comes from the end
of an investigation of some kind, which has concluded that
m
Kārēa
has not met all his obligations.
m
Kārēa must deliver the dates, and he
swears that he will do so, apparently without any further claims. He
will “speak” with the officials, perhaps to apprise them that he has met
the obligation.
14
7.C Injunctions
This text-type imposes a penalty upon an individual if that individual
performs a particular action. They are formulated according to the
following basic outline:
I. Hypothetical Violation
kî/ina ūmu
15
. . .
“On the day that” + action performed by PN
II. Penalty against PN
III. Witnesses
IV. Date
The legal function of the injunctions, then, is to impose a penalty
of some kind in order to prevent the performance of a particular
action.
Most of the texts impose a non-monetary penalty.
16
The discus-
sion will begin with these texts, and then turn to those injunctions
13
See the discussion in section 4.A above. Note that in YOS 7, 194, the word dīnu is
absent from the oath, as well. As has already been noted in the discussion of Abraham,
Business, No. 17 and No. 45, the absence of this noun does not preclude the possibility
that “arguing a case” is intended. Unlike YOS 7, 194, however, Abraham, Business,
No. 17 and No. 45 do impose a penalty for failure to appear. It is this penalty, rather
than the verb dabābu itself, that indicates that a disputed obligation is in question and
which distinguishes Abraham, Business, No. 17 and No. 45 from YOS 7, 194.
14
For the understanding of the idiom itti PN dabābu as “to speak with,” rather than
“to argue against,” see CAD dabābu 3a2’ and 3b2’ (D, p. 8).
15
UCP 9/1, 53:1 does not include the preposition ina before the word ūmu. YOS
19, 110:6 and BIN 1, 169:21 use kî (“if ”) instead of the prepositional phrase.
16
See summary table 7.3 at the end of this section for the various penalties
imposed.
210 chapter seven
S
u
m
m
a
r
y

T
a
b
l
e

7
.
2

P
r
o
m
i
s
s
o
r
y

O
a
t
h
s
T
e
x
t
G
u
a
r
a
n
t
o
r

s

O
b
l
i
g
a
t
i
o
n
P
e
n
a
l
t
y
A
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
D
a
t
e

W
r
i
t
t
e
n
D
a
t
e

o
f

O
b
l
i
g
a
t
i
o
n
T
i
m
e

S
p
a
n
P
l
a
c
e

o
f

O
b
l
i
g
a
t
i
o
n
P
l
a
c
e

o
f

C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
S
c
r
i
b
e
Y
O
S

7
,

5
0
B
r
i
n
g
i
n
g

o
b
l
a
t
e

t
o

š
a
t
a
m
m
u

a
n
d

a
d
m
i
n
i
s
t
r
a
t
o
r

o
f

E
a
n
n
a

i
-

u

š
a
2

¢
L
U
G
A
L
Ü

i
-
š
a
-
a
d
-
[
d
a
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a
d
]
š
a
t
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m
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+

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0
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X
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5

C
y
r

(
2
/
2
6
)
a
d
i

5
.
V
I
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I

(
1
0
/
2
4
)


2
3
9

d
a
y
s
(
U
r
u
k
)
U
r
u
k
m
B
ē
l
-
n
ā
d
i
n
-
a
p
l
i

/

m
M
a
r
d
u
k
-
š
u
m
a
-
i
d
d
i
n

/
/

B
ē
l
-
a
p
l
a
-
u

u
r
Y
O
S

7
,

1
9
4
c
o
m
e

(
a
l
ā
k
u
)

a
n
d

s
t
a
t
e

(
d
a
b
ā
b
u
)

c
l
a
i
m

O
f


c
i
a
l
s

o
f

E
a
n
n
a
2
5
.
V
I
I
I
.
8

C
a
m
b

(
1
1
/
1
3
)
a
d
i

2
.
I
X

(
1
1
/
1
9
)


6

d
a
y
s
(
U
r
u
k
)
B
ī
t

U
w
u
k
m
A
n
u
-
z
ē
r
a
-
š
u
b
š
i
/
L
â
b
ā
š
i

D
a
r

2
2
9
c
o
m
e

(
a
l
ā
k
u
)

a
n
d

s
e
t
t
l
e

(
q
u
t
t
û
)

c
a
s
e


6
.
X
I
.
7

D
a
r

(
2
/
3
)
a
d
i

8
.
X
I

(
2
/
5
)


2

d
a
y
s


m
R
ī
m
ū
t
/

m
A
r
d
i
y
a
V
A
S

6
,

1
5
4
c
o
m
e

(
a
l
ā
k
u
)

a
n
d

s
h
o
w

r
e
c
e
i
p
t
s
r
e
p
a
y
m
e
n
t

o
f

d
e
b
t
s

2
8
.
V
I
.
2
8

D
a
r

(
1
0
/
7
)
a
d
i

2
.
V
I
I

(
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0
/
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1
)


4

d
a
y
s

B
a
b
y
l
o
n
m
B
ē
l
-
b
u
l
l
i

s
u
/

R
ā
b
-
b
a
n
ê
D
a
t
e
s

a
r
e

c
a
l
c
u
l
a
t
e
d

a
c
c
o
r
d
i
n
g

t
o

P
a
r
k
e
r

a
n
d

D
u
b
b
e
r
s
t
e
i
n
,

B
a
b
y
l
o
n
i
a
n

C
h
r
o
n
o
l
o
g
y
.

L
e
n
g
t
h
s

o
f

t
i
m
e

d
o

n
o
t

i
n
c
l
u
d
e

d
a
t
e

o
f

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
.
other text-types 211
which impose a monetary penalty. YOS 19, 110 will serve as a first
example:
1718
1.
m
kur-ban-ni-
d
AMAR.UTU
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM E
2
.AN.NA
2. A-šu
2
ša
2

m
NUMUN-ia A
md
30-da-ma-qu
3. a-na
md
EN-KAD
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

m
il-la-a
4. A
md
EN-e-e-ru iq-bi um-ma
(1–4)
m
Kurbanni-Marduk,
šatammu of the Eanna, son of
m
Zēriya descendant of Sîn-
damāqu said thus to
m
Bēl-kāir
son of
m
illaya descendant of
Bēl-eēru:
5. li-gi-in-ni a-na
lu2
RIG
7
.MEŠ
6. ul tu-ša-aq-bi ki-i
lu2
RIG
7
(5–6) “You shall not cause some-
one to recite the excerpt tablet to
the oblates!”
18
7. a-na UGU dak-kan-ni-šu
2
it-
tal-ku
8. u
3
li-gi-in-ni ul-ta-qab-bu-u
2
9. i-u ša
2
LUGAL i-šad-da-ad
(6–9) If an oblate goes to his
bedroom and he has the excerpt
tablets recited, he shall bear the
punishment of the king.
10.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
m
IR
3
-
d
AMAR.
UTU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
NUMUN-ia
2

A
m
e-gi-[bi ]
(10) Witnesses:
m
Arad-Marduk
son of
m
Zēriya descendant of
Egibi;
11.
m
la-ba-ši-
d
AMAR.UTU-A-šu
2

ša
2

m
IR
3
-
d
EN A
m
e-gi-bi
(11)
m
Lâbāši-Marduk son of
m
Arad-Bēl descendant of Egibi;
12.
m
mu-ra-nu A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
DU
3
-ŠEŠ A
m
E
2
-kur-za-kir
(12)
m
Mūrānu son of
m
Nabû-bāni-
ai descendant of Ekur-zākir.
13.
lu2
UMBISAG
m
ba-la-u A-šu
2

ša
2

md
30-DU
3
A
lu2
SIPA GU
4
(13) Scribe:
m
Balāu son of
m
Sîn-
ibni descendant of Rēi-alpi.
14. UNUG
ki
ITI SIG
4
U
4
4-kam
2

MU 15-kam
2
15.
d
NA
3
-IM.TUK LUGAL TIN.
TIR
ki
(14–15) Uruk. 4 Simānu, year 15
of Nabonidus king of Babylon.
This text begins with the šatammu’s warning to
m
Bēl-kāir against having
someone recite excerpt tablets to the oblates. The injunction itself occurs
in lines 6–9 and consists of two parts: the hypothetical violation (“If an
oblate goes to his bedroom and he has [him] recite the excerpt tablets”)
and the penalty (“he shall bear the punishment of the king”). The legal
function of this text is rather apparent. The injunction is issued in order
to prevent
m
Bēl-kāir from having the excerpt tablets recited.
17
Readings follow Paul-Alain Beaulieu, “New Light on Secret Knowledge in Late
Babylonian Culture,” ZA 82 (1992), pp. 99–101.
18
This prohibition apparently pertains to the dissemination of forbidden knowldge.
See Beaulieu, ZA 82 (1992), pp. 106–107.
212 chapter seven
In YOS 19, 110, there are two factors that indicate that the action
is prohibited: the formulation of the penalty (item II in the scheme
above) and the quotation of the šatammu’s warning. The penalty is a
non-monetary negative consequence (“the punishment of the king”) for
committing the action. The non-monetary formulation distinguishes
this injunction, and others with similarly-worded penalties, from those
in which committing the hypothetical action results in a monetary pay-
ment. The non-monetary formulation indicates that the consequences
are to be construed as a penalty rather than as a simple payment.
19
From comparison with other injunctions, it is clear that the šatammu’s
warning in YOS 19, 110 may be considered as background, rather than
as an integral part of the formulation of the injunction itself. It does,
however, provide additional internal evidence of the wrongful nature
of the prohibited action. In other injunctions, the formulation of the
hypothetical violation (item I in the outline above) may provide similar
evidence. For example, TCL 13, 142:12 uses the phrase qāt sa-bit-ti to
denote stolen items which may be found. Similarly, Cyr 307:4 prohibits
the action performed ina pi-ir-a-tu
4
(“falsely”).
20
The injunctions that impose a non-monetary penalty come either
from the Eanna at Uruk or the Ebabbar at Sippar, and were written by
scribes known to have served in these temples.
21
Some mention temple
authorities in whose presence (“ina DU.ZU”) the injunction was writ-
ten,
22
or list authorities as witnesses.
23
Mentions of the temple authorities
suggest that the injunctions were issued during formal hearings. The
quotation of the šatammu’s warning in YOS 19, 110 may be the written
record of such a hearing. Similarly, YOS 7, 56 begins with a statement
by the individual against whom the injunction is issued. This statement
was probably made during a hearing, as well.
A second matter which must be addressed is when an injunction
would have been issued. In his discussion of YOS 19, 110, Beaulieu, who
is the first to use the term “injunction” to describe these texts, suggests
that the individual against whom it is written “was apparently caught
19
It is entirely possible that “bearing the sin of the king” entailed a monetary pay-
ment. Nevertheless, the formulation itself makes it clear that the consequences are a
penalty, rather than a payment for performing an action.
20
See AHw. piritu, p. 866.
21
See the summary table for a list of the different scribes.
22
YOS 7, 77:8.
23
Cyr 307:10–11.
other text-types 213
in flagrante delicto.”
24
The very specific wording of YOS 19, 110 suggests
that this particular injuction was issued because the individual was
actually caught teaching forbidden knowledge. On the other hand, it
is also possible that YOS 19, 110, and other texts like it, were issued
in the wake of only a suspicion, rather than after the individual had
actually committed a misdeed. In either case, the injunctions serve as
a warning to the individual and provide the authorities with a grounds
for future action against the individual.
In the texts discussed so far, committing the hypothetical act has
non-monetary consequences. By their very nature, these consequences
clearly show that they are penalties. There are, however, two texts, one
from Uruk (UCP 9/1, 53) and one from Babylon (Nbn 682) in which
the performance of the hypothetical action results in a payment of
some kind rather than in a non-monetary penalty. In these texts, it
is difficult to determine whether this payment is actually a penalty or
simply a fee for performing the action. The discussion will address each
text separately in order to highlight the specific problems of each. The
text from Uruk reads as follows:
2526
1. U
4
!
-mu
m
i-bi-il
25
DAM ša
2

m
EN-NUMUN
2. it-ti
m
šu-la-a A-šu
2
ša
2

m
IR
3
-a
3. it-tan-ma-ru
26
ITI 10-GIN
2

KU
3
.BABBAR
(1–3) The day that ibil, wife
of
m
Bēl-zēri, is seen with
m
Šulaya
son of
m
Ardiya—
4. man-da-at-tu
4
-ša
2

m
šu-la-a
5. [i-nam-din] a-na
d
GAŠAN ša
2

UNUG
ki
(3–5)
m
Šulaya shall [pay] her
monthly wage of 10 šeqel of silver
to the Lady-of-Uruk.
6.
lu2
mu-kin-nu
md
U.GUR-na-ir A-
šu
2
ša
2
7.
m
a-qar-A A
md
EN-A-URI
3
(6–7) Witnesses:
m
Nergal-nāir
son of
m
Aqar-apli descendant of
Bēl-apla-uur;
8.
m
na-din A-šu
2
ša
2

md
X-X-X A
md
EN-e-e
3
-ru
(8)
m
Nādin son of
m
PN descen-
dant of Bēl-eēru;
24
Beaulieu, ZA 82 (1992), p. 106.
25
According to Lutz’s drawing, a vertical (masculine) determinative preceeds the
name of ibil, even though it is clear that she is a woman from the following DAM
and from the feminine suffix ša in line 4.
26
The verb it-tan-ma-ru is a 3ms form (with a subjunctive) instead of the expected
3fs form beginning with ta.
214 chapter seven
9.
m
li-ši-ru A-šu
2
ša
2

m
gi-mil-lu A
m
mu-še-zi-bu
(9)
m
Līširu son of
m
Gimillu
descendant of Mušēzibu;
10. u
lu2
UMBISAG
md
INNIN-na-
NUMUN-GAL
2
-ši A-šu
2
ša
2

(10–11) and the scribe:
m
Innina-
zēra-šubši son of
m
Nanaya-aa-
iddin.
11.
md
na-na-a-ŠEŠ-MU UNUG
ki

ITI SIG
4
12. U
4
17-kam
2
MU 28-kam
2

d
NA
3
-NIG
2
.DU-URI
3
13. LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(11–13) Uruk. 17 Simānu, year
28 of Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon.
This text imposes a monetary payment upon
m
Šulaya “the day that
ibil, wife of
m
Bēl-zēri, is seen with
m
Šulaya son of
m
Ardiya” (U
4
!
-mu
m
i-bi-il DAM ša
2

m
EN-NUMUN it-ti
m
šu-la-a A-šu
2
ša
2

m
IR
3
-a it-tan-
ma-ru). The payment is described as ibil’s “wages” (mandattu) of 10
šeqel per month, and must be paid to the Eanna. The obligation to
the Eanna indicates that ibil somehow belonged to the Eanna. Dan-
damaev views this text as a contract between
m
Šulaya and the Eanna.
He uses the text to prove that “temple slave women (including married
women) were also hired out as concubines.”
27
The text may indeed
be a contract, but that it is for the hire of the woman as a concubine
cannot be proven based on the available evidence.
There are, however, features of UCP 9/1, 53 which suggest that it is
an injunction rather than a contract. The fact that ibil is mentioned
as
m
Bēl-zēri’s wife may suggest that her “being seen” together with
m
Šulaya involves some illicit action. It may be that adultery is suspected.
However, the requirement to pay wages seems to indicate that it is the
ownership of ibil that is in question, rather than an illicit liaison
between her and
m
Šulaya.
m
Šulaya and the Eanna may disagree as to
who has the rights to ibil. If this is the case, then the purpose of the
text is to prevent Šulaya from claiming possession of ibil. Because the
obligation is to the Eanna, one may suggest that the text was issued as
an order from there, although the protagonists, the witnesses and the
scribe are not otherwise attested in the Eanna’s archives.
28
Thus, there
is nothing precluding the possibility that the text is actually an agree-
27
Dandamaev, Slavery, p. 135.
28
The scribe is listed in Kümmel, Familie, p. 115, but the present text is the only
one in which he is attested. Other individuals in this text do not appear in Kümmel,
Familie.
other text-types 215
ment between
m
Šulaya and the Eanna, in which
m
Šulaya indicates that
he has ceded any claim to ibil.
The second text which imposes a monetary obligation is Nbn 682,
which belongs to the Egibi archives from Babylon. Like the previous
text, the hypothetical action pertains to where a slavegirl,
f
Amtiya, “is
seen.” Before the names of the scribe and the witnesses, the text reads
as follows:
29
1. ina U
4
-mu
f
GEME
2
-ia
lu2
qal-la-ta
2. ša
2

m
KI-
d
AMAR.UTU-TIN
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
3. A
m
e-gi-bi it-ti
m
gu-za-nu
4. A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-¢mu-še-ti Ü-iq-
<UD>.DA
5. A
m
KAL-
d
IM ta-at-na-mar-ri
6. u ši-mu-us-su it-ti-šu
2
(1–5) On the day that
f
Am-
tiya, slavegirl of
m
Itti-Marduk-
balāu son of
m
Nabû-aē-iddin
descendant of Egibi, is seen with
m
Guzānu son of
m
Nabû-mušētiq-
uddê descendant of Mudammiq-
Adad or she is rumored to be
with him—
7. it-te-še-mu-u
2
U
4
-mu 3 (BAN
2
)
ŠE.BAR
8. man-da-at-ta-šu
2

m
gu-za-nu
9. a-na
m
KI-
d
AMAR.UTU-TIN
i-nam-din
(7–9)
m
Guzānu shall pay
m
Itti-
Marduk-balāu her daily wage
of 3 sūtu of barley.
The text, taken on its own, states that if
m
Itti-Marduk-balāu’s slavegirl
f
Amtiya is found or is rumored to be in
m
Guzānu’s possession,
m
Guzānu
will have to compensate
m
Itti-Marduk-balāu. The required compensa-
tion, of itself, does not necessarily indicate that it is a penalty. In fact,
this text, like UCP 9/1, 53, has been interpreted as a contract for the
slavegirl’s sexual services.
30
However, by considering Nbn 682 together
with other texts concerning that particular slavegirl, Wunsch demon-
strates that it is not such a contract.
31
Instead, one may surmise that
the text was composed under the following circumstances. The slavegirl
was found in
m
Guzānu’s possession, perhaps because
m
Guzānu has made
some claim to her or because she herself attempted to escape from
m
Itti-
Marduk-balāu.
32
The payment, therefore, is actually a penalty against
29
The present transliteration and translation follow Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998),
pp. 87–88.
30
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 4, p. 29; Dandamaev, Slavery, p. 134.
31
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), p. 70. For refutation of the use of the slavegirl
as a prostitute, see the comments to Nbn 679:5 in Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998),
p. 87.
32
The slavegirl
f
Amtiya is involved in an escape attempt mentioned in the kunnu-
summons Nbn 679. See Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), p. 70.
216 chapter seven
m
Guzānu to prevent the slavegirl from leaving
m
Itti-Marduk-balāu’s
possession. The text does not mention any authorities who might have
imposed this penalty by issuing the injunction. Instead, as Wunsch has
suggested,
m
Guzānu has probably accepted this obligation on his own,
without the intervention of other authorities.
33
Summary Table 7.3 Injunctions
Text Penalty Authority Scribe Place of
Composition
Date
UCP
9/1, 53
payment of
compensation
(for slave?)

m
Innina-
zēra-šubši /
m
Nanaya-
aa-iddin
Uruk 17.III.28 Nbk
Nbn
682
payment of
compensation
for slave

m
Nabû-nādin-
ai /
m
Kiribtu-
Marduk //
Dābibī
Babylon 25.XII.12 Nbn
YOS
19, 110
i-u ša
2

LUGAL
i-šad-da-ad
šatammu
of Eanna
m
Balāu /
m
Sîn-ibni //
Rēi-alpi
Uruk 4.III.15 Nbn
YOS
7, 56
i-u ša
2

m
gu-
ba-ru . . . i-šad-
da-ad

m
Gimillu /
m
Innin-zēra-
iddin
Uruk 28.II.6 Cyr
YOS
7, 92
i-u ša
2

m
gu-ba-
ru . . . i-šad-da-
ad

m
Gimillu/
m
Innin-zēra-
iddin
Uruk 11.III.6 Cyr
TCL
13, 142
i-i ša
2

m
gu-
bar-ru . . . i-šad-
da-ad

m
Piru /
m
Eanna-
šuma-ibni
Uruk 12.IV.7 Cyr
Cyr 307 branding as
slave
ša mui sūti
of Šamaš
m
Arad-Bēl/
m
Bēl-ušallim
// Adad-
šammê
Sippar 3.IV.8 Cyr
33
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997/1998), p. 70 writes that
m
Guzānu “obligates himself ”
(“verpflichtet sich”) to pay the wages.
other text-types 217
Summary Table 7.3 (cont.)
Text Penalty Authority Scribe Place of
Composition
Date
YOS
7, 77
mul-le-e a-na
mu-i-šu
2

un-da-al-lu
(“just desert”)
šatammu of
Eanna
m
Arad-
Marduk/
m
Marduk-
šuma-iddin //
Bēl-apla-uur
Uruk 27.XII.8 Cyr
BIN
1, 169
i-u ša
2

m
gu-
ba-ru . . . i-šad-
da-du
šatammu +
adminis-
trator of
Eanna;
8 mār banî
m
Širiktu-
d
KU
3
.SUD/
m
Balāu
Uruk 17.IX.0 Camb
BIN 2,
116
i-u ša
2

LUGAL
i-šad-da-du-
adminis-
trator of
Eanna
m
Gimillu/
m
Innin-zēra-
iddin
Naibāta 23.V.3 Camb
PART II
NEO BABYLONIAN ADJUDICATORY PROCEDURE
In Part I, the primary focus was to analyze the legal function of the
different text-types that were generated during the course of adjudi-
cation of disputes in the Neo-Babylonian period. Each text-type was
situated within the framework of the adjudicatory process. Texts that set
the courtroom scene, such as the decision records and the preliminary
protocols, served as the background against which other text-types, such
as the summonses and the guarantees, were interpreted.
The typological discussion in Part I mentioned a number of proce-
dures, such as summoning and interrogation. However, in the interest
of maintaining a focus on the legal function of text-types, the discus-
sion did not offer a complete picture of Neo-Babylonian adjudicatory
procedure. In addition, the typological discussion did not consider the
differences between the adjudicatory procedures pertaining to temple
property and those pertaining to private litigation. Part II addresses
these issues.
Each of the following two chapters considers the process in a differ-
ent context. Chapter 8 addresses the process as it is reflected in private
records, especially the “Royal Judges style” decision records. Chapter
9 addresses the process that is reflected in texts from temple archives,
particularly from the Eanna. Generally speaking, private records can
best be described as the records of the adjudication of civil cases; they
reflect the attempts of individuals to find redress for wrongdoings against
them by other individuals. Temple records, on the other hand, reflect
the temple’s own prosecution of mishandling of its property. This dif-
ference gives the proceedings in the temple a different character, which
warrants a separate description.
The discussion of legal procedure follows a hypothetical case from its
initiation to its conclusion. It is structured around the decision records,
which provide a complete and organized narrative of the adjudication
of cases by authorities. The discussion of each stage of the trial begins
with an analysis of the information derived from the decision records.
It is therefore important to consider the nature of the information that
the decision records provide.
The decision records present the adjudication of a dispute as a series
of consecutive actions in “real time.” Prima facie, it seems that these
actions take place at one judicial session, which begins when the case
is initiated and ends when the judges render their decision. The reality,
however, must have been different. The numerous preliminary protocols,
222 chapter eight
mostly from the Eanna, but also from private archives, indicate that
adjudicatory actions can occur separately. Each action—registering a
complaint, hearing testimony, collecting physical evidence—might leave
behind separate documentation, even before it is mentioned in a deci-
sion record. The decision records, therefore, should not be understood
as a minute-by-minute account of the trial proceedings. Instead, they
should be understood as a condensed narrative of the events leading,
over time, to the decision.
The decision records remain, however, a useful framework into which
one can fit the preliminary protocols and documents from the other
text-types. An action that the decision records might cite in a single
word or phrase may be reflected in an entirely separate text-type. The
discussion, therefore, will begin with the evidence available from the
decision records, but will, when possible, move on to consider the evi-
dence from other text-types. It will use these text-types to flesh out the
condensed narrative that the decision records present. The correlation
between the decision records and texts of other text-types results in a
clearer picture of how cases were adjudicated in the Neo-Babylonian
period.
An additional goal of the discussion of adjudicatory procedure will
be to identify the terminology associated with each particular action in
the trial. Thus, the discussion of each action will specify the different
phrases that describe it. In this manner, the following discussion will
also serve as a legal glossary of sorts.
CHAPTER EIGHT
THE ADJUDICATION OF PRIVATE DISPUTES:
THE “ROYAL JUDGES” DECISION RECORDS
AND OTHER TEXTS
8.A The Scene
The term for a “case” or “lawsuit” is dīnu. The clearest evidence for
this definition comes from the endings of several “Royal Judges” style
decision records, in which the names of the judges are introduced with
the formula ina EŠ.BAR dīni šuāti (“at the decision of this case”). The use
of the anaphoric pronoun šuāti (“this,” meaning “the aforementioned”)
indicates that the term dīni refers to the matter whose adjudication is
described in the particular decision record.
The resolution of a case may occur in several different settings. In
the broadest terms, one may distinguish between those cases resolved
formally in the presence of adjudicating authorities and those resolved
informally. The discussion of the settlement text-type (section 2.C above)
considered some of the evidence for the informal resolution of disputes.
One notable feature of this text-type is that individuals designated as
“witnesses” (
lu2
mukinnū) or mār banî, rather than as judges, observe the
proceedings. The textual evidence, however, does not allow for a more
detailed discussion of informal adjudication.
Leaving aside the informal settlements, then, the discussion may turn
to address formal adjudicatory settings.
1
Some summonses indicate
that cases are to be argued ina bīt dīni ša šarri “in the king’s court of
law.”
2
One literary text, CT 46, 45, which W. G. Lambert has entitled
“Nebuchadnezzar King of Justice,” states that the king “built anew
the courts of law” (E
2
di-i-nu eš-šiš ib-nu).
3
The use of the verb banû (to
build) with bīt dīni as its direct object indicates that the bīt dīni was a
1
The discussion in this paragraph is based, in part, on Oelsner, et al., in Westbrook,
ed., History, pp. 918–919.
2
YOS 7, 31:9–10; TCL 13, 222:5–6.
3
CT 46, 45:ii, 26. See W.G. Lambert, “Nebuchadnezzar King of Justice,” Iraq 27
(1965), p. 5.
224 chapter eight
structure of some kind that, in the case of this literary text, had fallen
into disrepair and needed to be rebuilt. It is there, presumably, that
the royal judges (dayyānū ša šarri ) hear cases.
4
The decision records
themselves, however, do not mention this location.
The identification of these formal adjudicatory venues raises the
question of the “staging” of the courtroom dramas described in the
decision records. Many of the texts mention the appearance of litigants,
witnesses and evidence “before” (maar, ina pāni ) the judges. Further
spacial implications of these prepositions are difficult to reconstruct
from the texts.
Some texts indicate that the authorities have an individual stand
before them. For example, after the plaintiff presents his case, Nbn 13
describes the summoning of the defendant as follows:
5.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2
LUGAL
6. iš-mu-ma
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
ub-lu-nim-ma ma-ar-šu
2
-nu uš-
ziz-zu
(5–6) The king’s judges heard (the
plaintiff ’s statement) and brought
m
Nabû-aē-iddin and had him
stand before them.
Descriptions like this one
5
indicate that individuals would stand when
appearing “before” the judges. Unfortunately, not much more can be
said about the courtroom setting based on the descriptions in the legal
texts. Despite the fact that texts often describe cases in vivid detail, this
depth of description does not detail the courtroom setting.
8.B The Initiation of the Case: dīna gerû and Similar Terms
In order to learn more about the initial stages of the case in the Neo-
Babylonian period, one must turn to the opening lines of decision
records. The typological discussion identified two “Royal Judges” styles.
Comparison between “Royal Judges style A” and “Royal Judges style
B” demonstrated that the main difference between the two occurs in
the opening lines, in which the case is initially presented. The begin-
nings of the two “Royal Judges” style decision records were outlined
as follows:
4
Magdalene, Scales of Righteousness, p. 55 notes the existence of the bīt dīni but argues
that “most commonly, the court met at the gate of the temple, an administrative build-
ing, or city.” The texts considered in this book do not regularly mention the gate as
the locus of adjudication, but do not preclude this possibility, either.
5
For other examples see Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:9–11; Cyr 332:17–19.
the adjudication of private disputes 225
“Royal Judges Style B” “Royal Judges Style A”
I. Presentation of the Case I. Plaintiff ’s Statement
A. Confrontation between parties
(sometimes including subject of
case)
A. Opening (includes mention
of plaintiff and adjudicating
authority)
B. Appearance before authorities B. Quotation of Plaintiff ’s
Statement
C. Statements before authorities C. Imperative to authority
Whereas “Royal Judges style A” begins with the plaintiff ’s statement,
“Royal Judges style B” begins by mentioning a confrontation between
both parties (element IA) followed by a specific mention of the appear-
ance before the judges (element IB).
Although “Royal Judges style A” begins with the plaintiff ’s statement
to the judges, a closer examination reveals that the decision records
written in this style actually describe the beginning of the case in two
different ways. According to one description, the plaintiffs alone appear
in court to speak to the judges, while in the second description both
the plaintiffs and the defendants appear together. The opening section
of Nbn 13 is typical of the first group. It reads as follows:
1.
f
be-li-li-tu
4
DUMU.SAL-su ša
2

md
EN-u
2
-še-zib A
lu2
šip-ri
2. a-na
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2

md
NA
3
-
na--id LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki

taq-bi
(1–3)
f
Bēlilitu, daughter of
m
Bēl-
ušēzib descendant of Šipri said
thus to the judges of Nabonidus,
king of Babylon:
3. um-ma ina ITI NE MU 1-kam
2

md
U.GUR-LUGAL-URI
3

LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki

m
ba-zu-zu
4. qal-la-a a-na 1/2 MA.NA
5 GIN
2
KU
3
.BABBAR a-
na
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2
5.
m
šu-la-a DUMU
m
e-gi-bi ad-
din-ma u
2
-il
3
-ti
3
i-il-ma KU
3
.
BABBAR la id-di-nu
lu2
DI.KU
5
.
MEŠ ša
2
LUGAL
(3–5) “In the month of Abu,
in the first year of Neriglissar,
king of Babylon, I sold my slave,
m
Bazūzu, to
m
Nabû-aē-iddin,
son of
m
Šulaya, descendant of
Egibi for 1/2 mina 5 šeqel of
silver. He wrote a promissory note
and did not pay the silver.”
6. iš-mu-ma
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
ub-lu-nim-ma ma-ar-šu
2
-nu uš-
ziz-zu
(5–6) The king’s judges heard and
brought
m
Nabû-aē-iddin and
had him stand before them.
226 chapter eight
Like most “Royal Judges style A” decision records, this text begins with
the simple statement PN

ana AUTHORITY iqbi umma (“PN said thus to
AUTHORITY”). The mention of the authorities in this introductory
sentence suggests that the case is initiated when
f
Bēlilītu, the plaintiff,
addresses the authorities in court, rather than elsewhere. The fact that
after
f
Bēlilītu states her claim the judges “bring” (abālu)
m
Nabû-aē-
iddin before them indicates that both parties are not present in court
when the case is initiated. Instead, the plaintiff states her claim in a
separate appearance before the judges.
A different picture emerges from a second group of “Royal Judges
Style A” decision records. In contrast to the texts like Nbn 13, the texts in
this second group clearly indicate that the plaintiffs bring the defendants
to court when they speak to the judges. For example, in Nbn 356, the
plaintiff, a widow named
f
Bunanītu, states her claim against her late
husband’s brother,
m
Aqab-ili. At the end of her statement,
f
Bunanītu
declares a-na ma-ri-ku-nu ub-la-aš
2
(“I have brought him before you).
6

Similarly, in the beginning lines of two other “Royal Judges style A”
decision records, the verb abālu (“to bring”), referring to the plaintiffs’
“bringing” of the opposing parties, precedes the verb qabû.
7
The contrast between the two groups also manifests itself in the
plaintiffs’ imperative to the judges. In some of the texts in which the
plaintiffs appear alone, the plaintiffs name the defendant and demand
“it-ti DEFENDANT ep
2
-šu
2
di-i-ni ” (“Judge my case against the DEFEN-
DANT!”).
8
In those texts in which both litigants appear together,
the plaintiffs refer both to themselves and the defendants by stating,
“purussâni šuknā” (“establish our decision!”).
9
In the two scenarios just described, the action may take place in one
of two ways. In some cases, the plaintiffs bring the defendants when
stating the case to the judges. In others, the defendants are not present
when the plaintiffs state their case, so the court must summon them
6
Nbn 356:28. Similar notices occur in Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 6:18–19;
YOS 19, 101:24; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19:6. See also Wunsch, AfO
44/45 (1997–1998), No. 21:2’.
7
Durand, Textes babyloniens No. 60:8; Cyr 312:5.
8
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:8–9 (Note the variant form of the verb epēšu in
the imperative, which reads it-ti DEF. ip-ša
2
-in-ni di-i-ni ); YOS 6, 92:20; Cyr 332:17
(partially restored); OIP 122, 38:27–28. BIN 2, 134:11–12 has a variant formulation
of the imperative which reads it-ti DEFENDANT EŠ.BAR-a-ni šu-kun (“establish our
decision against the DEFENDANT!”). The imperative is absent in Nbn 13.
9
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 6:20; Nbn 356:28; YOS 19, 101:25; Wunsch,
AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19:6; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 21:2’.
the adjudication of private disputes 227
afterwards. These two scenarios point to a stage in the proceedings even
before the case comes to court and the plaintiffs address the judges. At
this earlier stage, the plaintiffs must have approached the defendants with
the complaint and demanded that they appear in court. Sometimes,
presumably because the defendants comply with the plaintiffs’ demands,
the plaintiffs are able to bring the defendants before the authorities. In
these situations, the defendants are already present when the plaintiffs
speak to the judges, so there is no need for the court to summon them.
However, the defendants may not always agree to appear in court. If
this occurs, the plaintiffs state their case to the judges even though the
defendants are not present. In these situations, the statement of the
case is not just the formal initiation of the trial; it is also the plaintiffs’
demand that the authorities compel their opponents to appear.
10
Thus, the descriptions of disputes in the “Royal Judges style A” deci-
sion records are not entirely complete. The disputes do not begin when
the plaintiffs register a complaint in court. Rather, the complaint takes
place outside the court, in a separate procedure between the plaintiffs
and the defendants. The plaintiff ’s address in the opening lines of the
“Royal Judges style A” occurs only after the initial complaint has been
lodged.
Unlike the “Royal Judges style A” texts, decision records written in
“Royal Judges style B” do not simply begin with the plaintiff ’s state-
ment. Instead, they include a notice of an initial confrontation between
the parties before the plaintiff ’s address to the judges. For example,
Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69, a “Royal Judges Style B” decision record,
begins as follows:
1. ¢
f
buÜ-na-ni-tu
4
DUMU.SAL-
su ša
2

m
GAR-MU DUMU
m
DU
3
-eš-DINGIR
2. a-na
md
EN-IBILA-MU
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-MU-
SI.SA
2
DUMU
m
KAL-
d
IM
3. di-i-nu tag-re-e-ma a-na ma-ar
m
mu-še-zib-
d
EN
lu2
GAR-UMUŠ
TIN.TIR
ki
(1–3)
f
Bunanītu daughter of
m
Šākin-šumi descendant of Eppeš-
ilī brought suit against
m
Bēl-apla-
iddin son of
m
Nabû-šumu-līšir
descendant of Mudammiq-Adad.
10
In YOS 6, 92:20, the plaintiff makes this demand explicit. It seems that only one
of the two defendants has appeared in court. Thus the plaintiff states to the judges:
i-na-an-na
m
PN
1
ma-ar-ku-nu bi-lu it-ti
m
PN
1
u
m
PN
2
“ip
?
”-šu
2
di-i-ni (“Now, bring
m
PN
1

before you, and judge my case against
m
PN
1
and
m
PN
2
!”).
228 chapter eight
4. DUMU
m
UGU-DINGIR-
GAL-
d
AMAR.UTU
lu2
DI.
KU
5
.MEŠ u ši-bu-tu
4
URU
ik-šu-du-ma
(3–4) They arrived before
m
Mušēzib-Bēl, the šākin-ēmi of
Babylon son of
m
Eli-ili-rabi-
Marduk, the judges and the elders
of the city.
5. dib-bi-šu-nu u
2
-ša
2
-an-nu-ma
f
bu-na-ni-tu
4
taq-bi
6. um-ma
(5–6) They related their arguments.
f
Bunanītu said thus:
In these lines, four verbs describe the beginning of the case, before
any litigant’s speech is quoted. The description begins with the verbal
phrase dīna gerû (“to bring suit”), conjugated in the feminine singular,
with
f
Bunanītu, the plaintiff, as its subject. The verbs kašādu and šunnû,
both in the plural, follow, indicating that the two parties “arrived” in
court and “related” their arguments to the authorities. It is only after all
these actions have taken place that the verb qabû introduces
f
Bunanītu’s
address to the authorities.
One way to understand these lines is to interpret the verbal phrase
dīna gerû as a general, introductory phrase. The actions that follow, begin-
ning with the arrival in court, all explain the verbal phrase dīna gerû;
they detail how
f
Bunanītu “brought suit.” The verb dīna gerû, however,
has no specific procedural meaning. According to this interpretation,
the description above is similar to the description in the “Royal Judges
style A” decision records. The quotation of the plaintiff ’s address to the
judges, introduced by the verb qabû, is the first procedure recorded in
the text. The complaint procedure, in which
f
Bunanītu first confronted
her opponent, must have taken place, but it is not described in the
decision record itself.
The beginning of Wunsch, BA 2, No. 42, another “Royal Judges
style B” decision record, seems to support this interpretation of the
opening lines as an introduction, rather than as the notice of a separate
procedure. The text, which pertains to a dispute between three brothers
and their uncle, begins as follows:
1. [
md
AMAR.UTU-MU-ib-ni
md
NA
3
-mu-š ]e-ti-iq-UD.DA
u
3

md
EN-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-SUM.
NA DUMU.MEŠ ša
2

md
NA
3
-
IBILA-S[UM.NA]
2. [. . . ] u
3

md
NA
3
-TIN-su-iq-bi
ŠEŠ AD-šu
2
-nu a-na UGU
za-a-zu zi-it-ti
3. [. . . a]-a a-a im-ta-u-u
2
-ma
ir-šu-u
2
di-i-ni
(1–3) [
m
Marduk-šuma-ibni,
m
Nabû-muš]ētiq-uddê and
m
Bēl-
aē-iddin sons of
m
Nabû-apla-
iddin . . . and
m
Nabû-balāssu-iqbi,
their father’s brother, came to
blows against each other concern-
ing the division of shares; they
had a legal case.
the adjudication of private disputes 229
4. [. . . a-na]
md
EN-re-ma-an-ni
DUMU
lu2
man-di-di
lu2
GAR.
UMUŠ TIN.TIR
ki
ik-šu-du-ni-
im-ma
(4) They arrived [before]
m
Bēl-
rēmanni descendant of Mandidi,
the šākin ēmi official of Babylon
and
5. [. . .]
lu2
GAR.UMUŠ TIN.
TIR
ki
u
3

lu2
AB.BA.MEŠ URU
DUMU.MEŠ TIN.TIR
ki
a-ma-
ti-šu-nu
6. [iš-mu]-u
2

md
AMAR.UTU-MU-
ib-ni i-qab-bi um-ma
(5–6) . . . the šākin ēmi official of
Babylon and the elders of the
citizens of Babylon [hear]d their
matters.
(6)
m
Marduk-šuma-ibni said thus:
In these lines the verbal phrase dīna rašû (“to have a legal case”) precedes
the verb kašādu, in much the same way that the verbal phrase dīna gerû
precedes the verb kašādu in Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69. In Wunsch, BA
2, No. 42, just as the verbal form im-ta-u-u
2
-ma refers to both sides of
the case (the brothers and their uncle), the phrase ir-šu-u
2
di-i-ni refers
to both sides, as well. Accordingly, it seems that the phrase functions as
an introductory heading to all the proceedings that follow. One might
argue that the verbal phrase dīna gerû in Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69 has
a similar introductory, rather than procedural, function. Any complaint
procedure that has taken place is not recorded in the text itself.
There is, however, room to question this conclusion. First, rather
than serving as an introduction, the verbal phrase ir-šu-u
2
di-i-ni in
Wunsch BA 2, No. 42 could refer to a procedure involving both par-
ties that takes place before they arrive in court. Furthermore, even if
the phrase ir-šu-u
2
di-i-ni is introductory, it is conjugated in the plural,
unlike the verb tagrêma in Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69, which is singular.
Whereas it is possible that the phrase iršû dīnī introduces the narration
of the entire case, because the phrase in Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69 is
conjugated in the feminine singular, it might refer to a specific action
that only
f
Bunanītu has performed. The phrase dīna gerû, then, is not
a general introduction but is, rather, the specific, technical term for a
procedure that has taken place before the case comes to court.
The formulation of other “Royal Judges style B” decision records
supports the procedural, rather than general, interpretation of the ver-
bal phrase dīna gerû. These other texts use other verbs before the verb
kašādu, but, like the verb gerû in Dalley, Edinburgh No. 69, the subjects
of these other verbs are the plaintiffs alone. In Wunsch, CM 20, No.
112 the verb ragāmu (“to raise a claim”) precedes the verb kašādu, and
in Nbn 495, the verbal phrase paqāri šubšû (“to bring a claim”) occurs
before the “arrival” (kašādu) of the litigants in court and before the
plaintiff addresses the royal judges. The fact that the plaintiffs are
230 chapter eight
the subjects of these verbs suggests that these verbs, unlike the verbal
phrase iršû dīnī in Wunsch, BA 2, No. 42, are not introductions to the
proceedings, but refer, instead, to a specific action taken by the plaintiffs
before their arrival in court.
The somewhat different formulation of two other “Royal Judges style
B” decision records, Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254
and Nbn 1113, provides further supporting evidence for the procedural
interpretation of the introductory verbs. The introductory lines of Nbn
1113 will illustrate:
1. [
m
ba-ri-ki-DINGIR].MEŠ IR
3

pu-u-ru KU
3
.BABBAR ša
2

f
ga-
ga-a DUMU.SAL-su
(1–2) [
m
Bariki-il]ī, the silver-
redeemed slave of
f
Gagaya,
daughter [of
m
PN]
2. [ša
2
m
PN] ša
2
MU 35–kam
2

md
NA
3
-NIG
2
.DU-URI
3

LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
3. [
m
]ŠEŠ-nu-u
2
-ri A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
na-din-ŠEŠ a-na 1/3 MA.NA 8
GIN
2
KU
3
.BABBAR
(2–4) who, in year 35 of Nebu-
chadnezzar, king of Babylon,
was pledged for 1/3 mina 8 šeqel
of silver by
m
Au-nūri son of
m
Nabû-nādin-ai—
4. ¢paqÜ-du e-nin-ni ir-gu-mu um-
ma DUMU ba-ni-i a
3
-bat ša
2

md
EN-re-man-ni
5. [taš ]-li-šu
2
ša
2
ŠU.2
md
UTU-
SIG
5
–iq A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-na-din-
ŠEŠ
6. u
f
qu-da-šu
2
DUMU.SAL-su
ša
2

m
ŠEŠ-nu-u
2
-ru a-na-ku i-na
ma-ar
(4–6) now brought suit (saying)
thus: “I am a free man held by
m
Bēl-rēmanni the third charioteer
of
m
Šamaš-mudammiq son of
m
Nabû-nādin-ai and
f
Qudāšu,
daughter of
m
Au-nūri.”
7.
lu2
SUKKAL
lu2
GAL.MEŠ u
3

lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2

md
NA
3
-I
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
8. di-i-ni id-bu-bu-ma
(6–8) Before the sukkallu, the
“great ones” and the judges of
Nabonidus king of Babylon they
argued (their) case.
This decision record begins with a description of
m
Bariki-ilī’s status,
followed by the verb ragāmu, indicating that he “brought suit.” As has
already been argued, the fact that
m
Bariki-ilī is the subject of this verb
indicates that the verb refers to a specific action. The formulation of
this text and of Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254, how-
ever, uses more than just a verb to describe this action. In both texts,
the verb ragāmu, followed by the word umma, introduces a direct quote
of the plaintiffs’ statements. This direct quote illustrates the nature of
this procedure, which occurs before the “arguing” (dabābu) before the
judges: it is the process in which the plaintiff states the complaint.
the adjudication of private disputes 231
The evidence just presented precludes the introductory, rather than
procedural, interpretation of the verbs that precede the plaintiff ’s state-
ment in “Royal Judges style B.” Even the expression dīna rašû, which
seems to be introductory in Wunsch, BA 2, No. 42, can refer to a specific
legal procedure. Thus, the terms dīna gerû in Dalley, Edinburgh No. 69,
ragāmu in Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112 and other texts, paqāri šubšû in Nbn
495, and dīna rašû in Wunsch, BA 2, No. 42 are, apparently, legal terms
for the complaint procedure with which every case begins.
The procedural interpretation of the opening verbs in “Royal Judges
style B” allows for a better understanding of the difference between
“Royal Judges style A” and “Royal Judges style B.” The difference does
not mean that different procedures have taken place. According to both
styles, the case is initiated in a procedure that takes place before the
plaintiffs address the judges. The only difference between the two styles
is whether or not the initial complaint procedure is actually recorded in
the text. “Royal Judges style B” begins the narration of the case with
a notice of the complaint procedure (dīna gerû and the like). “Royal
Judges style A” begins the narration one stage later, with the plaintiff ’s
statement in court. Even in this style, however, it is clear that the case
has already been initiated with a complaint procedure.
The discussion above has identified four terms for the complaint
procedure that initiates the case: dīna gerû, ragāmu, dīna rašû and paqāri
šubšû. This identification has been based on an analysis of these verbs
as they occur at the beginnings of “Royal Judges style B” decision
records. Some of these verbal phrases also occur at the beginnings of
other texts, such as the non-stylized decision records, conclusions and
settlements. In all these texts, these phrases seem to refer to the same
complaint procedure that takes place before the arrival in court.
11
11
Examples of these phrases from texts that are not “Royal Judges style B” deci-
sion records are: dīna gerû—McEwan, LB Tablets, No. 38:1–2 (noun restored) and BIN
1, 141:1–4; ragāmu—Jursa, Das Archiv des Bēl-Rēmanni, pp. 128–129:20–23; PBS 2/1,
140:1–13 and Stolper, Entrepreneurs, No. 110:2 (restored by Stolper); paqāri šubšû—Rut-
ten, RA 41 (1947), pp. 99–103:13–14 (see restorations in Wunsch, CM 20, No. 85)
and Stolper, Entrepreneurs, No. 106:8–14. In addition to these phrases, the terms paqāru
šakānu ( Joannès, Archives de Borsippa, pp. 251:5–8) and puqquru (YOS 19, 100:8–9; see
also YOS 6, 18) occur in similar positions. Note that all the verbs related to paqāru are
used in cases that pertain to land. Nbn 495, which pertains to slaves, is an exception.
The cognate verb baqāru occurs regularly in Old Babylonian texts, where it might have
a specialized usage for claims pertaining to property, as opposed to personal claims. For
discussion, see Dombradi, Darstellung, Vol. 1, pp. 262–294 and Raymond Westbrook’s
review of Dombradi, Darstellung, in Or. 68 (1999), pp. 125–126.
232 chapter eight
Thus, based on the “Royal Judges” style decision records and other
texts from private archives, it is clear that the case is initiated with a
complaint procedure known by terms such as dīna gerû and ragāmu. This
procedure, in which the plaintiffs inform the defendants of the claim,
takes place before the parties arrive in court. Unfortunately, there is
insufficient evidence to determine the setting in which the complaint
procedure takes place. One might imagine that it takes place in an
informal setting in which only the plaintiffs and defendants are pres-
ent. On the other hand, the procedure might actually take place in
another court.
12
8.C Summoning the Defendant
The complaint procedure with which the case begins can result in a
number of different actions. According to the descriptions in the “Royal
Judges” style decision records, the case goes from the complaint stage
directly to the court. If both litigants appear before the court, then the
case goes to trial immediately. However, if the complaint procedure is
unsuccessful, then the plaintiff alone appears in court to demand that
the court summon the defendant.
The case described in Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13 is an example
of a case in which the plaintiff states his case in the absence of the
defendant. The plaintiff is a cook named
m
Ina-illi-abulli. He tells the
judges of Neriglissar that he had originally been given to the priestess
f
Aata in order to pay off a debt of 42 šeqels of silver. Upon
f
Aata’s
death,
f
Banât-ina-Esagil inherited the debt-claim. Ten years after the
original debt was contracted,
m
Ina-illi-abulli claims that
f
Banât-ina-
Esagil has been repaid and that he should no longer be in her service.
The presentation of the claim and the judges’ first action in response
to it, read as follows:
1. [
m
]ina-
giš
MI-KA
2
.GAL-i
lu2
MUALDIM A-šu
2
ša
2

m
a-u-šu
2
-nu
lu2
RIG
7
2. ša
2

d
INNIN UNUG
ki

lu2
DI.KU
5
.
MEŠ ša
2

md
U.GUR-LUGAL-
URI
3
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
(1–3)
m
Ina-illi-abulli, the cook,
son of
m
Aušunu, the oblate of
Ištar of Uruk, approached the
judges of Neriglissar, king of
Babylon, (saying) thus:
12
For additional discussion of this question, see Magdalene, Scales of Righteousness,
p. 68.
the adjudication of private disputes 233
3. im-u-ru um-ma 10 MU.AN.
NA.MEŠ-a
m
a-u-šu
2
-nu
AD-u
2
-a
4. ku-um 2/3 MA.NA 2 GIN
2

KU
3
.BABBAR i-na pa-ni
f
a-a-ta-a
5.
f
sa-gi-it-tu
4
maš-ka-nu ki-i iš-ku-
na-an-ni a-pal-la-šu
2
(3–5) “Because, 10 years (ago),
m
Aušunu, my father, gave me as
a pledge for 2/3 mina 2 šeqel of
silver, to
f
Aata, the priestess, I
had been serving her.”
6.
f
a-a-ta-a šim-ta u
2
-bil-šu-ma
ar
2
-ki U
4
(6) “
f
Aata died.”
7.
f
ba-na-at-E
2
.SAG.IL
2
ta-ap-pa-
qid-ma a-di U
4
-mu an-na-a
8. man-da-at-tu a-na-ad-din-šu
2
it-ti
f
ba-na-at-E
2
.SAG.IL
2
9. ip-ša
2
-in-ni di-i-ni
lu2
DI.KU
5
.
MEŠ a-ma-tu
4

m
ina-
giš
MI-KA
2
.
GAL-i
(6–8) “Afterwards, she left every-
thing to
f
Banât(ina)-Esagil. Until
today, I pay mandattu to her.”
(8–9) “Judge my case against
f
Banât-(ina)-Esagil!”
10. iš-mu-ma
f
ba-na-at-ina-E
2
.SAG.
IL
2
i-bu-ku-nim-ma
11. i-na ma-ar-šu
2
-nu uš-zi-iz-zu
(9–11) The judges heard
m
Ina-
illi-abulli’s words and brought
f
Banât-ina-Esagil and stood her
before them.
As has already been noted, the plaintiff states his claim to the judges
without the defendant’s presence. Based on the fact that the judges
respond by having the defendant come before them, it seems that the
plaintiff ’s goal in approaching them is to compel his opponent to appear.
The complaint procedure (see section 8.B) has been unsuccessful, and
so the plaintiff turns to the court.
The judges’ response to
m
Ina-illi-abulli is described as follows: They
“hear” (šemû) his claim, and respond to it by “bringing” (abāku) the
defendant and having her stand (šuzuzzu) before (ina maar) them. In
other “Royal Judges style A” decision records, the verb abālu, instead of
abāku, is used to indicate that the judges “bring” the defendant before
them.
13
Both verbs refer to a process in which the judges apparently
compel the defendant to appear.
13
Nbn 13:5–6; Cyr 332:17–19; OIP 122, 38:28–30. The verb occurs with the
authorities as its subject and apparently after the plaintiff ’s statement in Wunsch, BA
2, No. 44:9’–12’ and Wunsch, BA 2, No. 46:18’–20’. In YOS 6, 92:20, the verb abālu
occurs in the plaintiff ’s imperative to the authorities, which reads in part i-na-an-na
m
PN
1
ma-ar-ku-nu bi-lu (“Now, bring
m
PN
1
before you!”). The verb that indicates the
authorities’ response occurs at the end of line 22, which is broken. All that is legible
in Dougherty’s drawing before the break is u
2
-še
?
-, which might be restored u
2
-še
?
-[bi-lu]
234 chapter eight
Taken alone, and even in the context of decision records, the verbs
abālu and abāku, do not describe how the judges “bring” the defendants.
For a better understanding of exactly how the abālu or abāku proce-
dure takes place, the discussion must turn to another text-type: the
dabābu-type summons (see section 4.A). If a document of this text-type
achieves its goal, then an individual would appear in court. Thus, one
might plausibly suggest that when the decision records state that the
authorities “bring” the defendant before them, the implication is that
the authorities issue a dabābu-type summons.
The suggested correlation between the description of summoning
the defendants in the decision records and the composition of a dabābu-
summons finds further support in a connection between the wording
of the summonses and the descriptions in the decision records. The
dabābu-summonses require the summoned individual to “argue” (dabābu)
against an opposing party’s claim. In the decision records, the action
that follows the “bringing” (abāku/abālu) of the defendant is “argu-
ing” (dabābu) the case. For example, in Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13,
the “Royal Judges” style text quoted at the beginning of the present
section, after the judges “bring” (abāku) the defendant, the text states
“they argued (their) case” (dīna idbubūma).
14
It seems, therefore, that the
formulation of the dabābu-summonses and the “Royal Judges” decision
records complement each other. The summonses clearly state that the
reason the summoned individual must “go” (alāku) to court is to “argue”
(dabābu) against a claim. In their narration of the actual proceedings,
the decision records attest to the same sequence of events: once the
defendant is “brought” (abālu/abāku) the two parties “argue the case”
(dīna dabābu). The fact that the same verb describes the similar outcomes
of both the summonses and the “bringing” of the defendant in the
decision records indicates that there is more than a coincidental relation-
ship between the two text-types. Rather, it seems that the dabābu-type
summonses are written record of the summoning procedure.*
(“they brou[ght]”). The problem with this restoration is that the name
m
PN
1
does not
occur in the text leading up to this verb, so
m
PN
1
is probably not the object of the
verb. Because the defendant and the plaintiff are present in the action that follows
the break, however, it seems that the defendant was “brought,” even if the text does
not state as much.
14
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:11.
* For the oral nature of this procedure, see the discussion in 10.E below.
the adjudication of private disputes 235
8.D Oral Arguments: dīna
15
dabābu
The actions described until this point in the procedural discussion
are undertaken by the plaintiffs or by the judges in response to them.
Once both parties to the case are present in court, the trial continues
with the presentation of oral arguments to the judges. This procedure
is described by the term dīna dabābu (“to argue the case”), as may be
seen in the following excerpt from Nbn 1113, a “Royal Judges style
B” decision record:
1. [
m
ba-ri-ki-DINGIR].MEŠ IR
3

pu-u-ru KU
3
.BABBAR ša
2

f
ga-ga-a DUMU.SAL-su
(1–2) [
m
Bariki-il]ī, the silver-
redeemed slave of
f
Gagaya,
daughter [of
m
PN]
2. [ša
2
m
PN] ša
2
MU 35-kam
2

md
NA
3
-NIG
2
.DU-URI
3

LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
3. [
m
]ŠEŠ-nu-u
2
-ri A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-na-din-ŠEŠ a-na 1/3
MA.NA 8 GIN
2
KU
3
.BAB-
BAR
(2–4) who, in year 35 of Nebu-
chadnezzar, king of Babylon,
was pledged for 1/3 mina 8 šeqel
of silver (by)
m
Au-nūri son of
m
Nabû-nādin-ai—
4. ¢paqÜ-du e-nin-ni ir-gu-mu um-
ma DUMU ba-ni-i a
3
-bat ša
2

md
EN-re-man-ni
5. [taš ]-li-šu
2
ša
2
ŠU.2
md
UTU-
SIG
5
-iq A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-na-
din-ŠEŠ
6. u
f
qu-da-šu
2
DUMU.SAL-su ša
2

m
ŠEŠ-nu-u
2
-ru a-na-ku i-na ma-
ar
(4–6) now raised a claim thus: “I
am a free man . . . of
m
Bēl-rēmanni
the third charioteer of
m
Šamaš-
mudammiq son of
m
Nabû-nādin-
ai and
f
Qudāšu, daughter of
m
Au-nūri.”
15
When this noun occurs as the grammatical direct object of the verb dabābu, it
is usually spelled di-i-ni. Gwyneth Hueter, Grammatical Studies in the Akkadian Dialects
of Babylon and Uruk 556–500 B.C. (University of Oxford Ph.D. Thesis, 1996), p. 181
notes that “if the CV sign chosen by the scribe has the historically correct vowel it
is probably the indication of a good scribal education.” The usual spelling di-i-ni for
the noun functioning as the direct object of the verb dabābu could be interpreted as
the historically correct oblique plural, perhaps referring to the oral arguments of both
sides. Therefore, the correct transliteration of di-i-ni should be dīnī. However, because
Neo-Babylonian scribes are usually not consistent in their writing of vowels at the
ends of words, the present transliteration does not assign any significance to the [i ]
vowel in the usual written form in Neo-Babylonian. Instead, the transliteration uses
the expected Old Babylonian singular accusative form dīna. This transliteration is sup-
ported by the fact that the noun dīnu is apparently grammatically singular, rather than
plural, when it refers to “the case.” See Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:12 (di-in-šu
2
-nu
u
2
-par-su-ma, “they judged their case”) and Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:34 (di-in-šu
2
-
nu di-ni, “their case is judged”).
236 chapter eight
7.
lu2
SUKKAL
lu2
GAL.MEŠ u
3

lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ ša
2

md
NA
3
-I
LUGAL TIN.TIR
ki
8. di-i-ni id-bu-bu-ma dib-bi-šu
2
-nu
iš-mu-u
2
(6–8) Before the sukkallu, the
“great ones” and the judges of
Nabonidus king of Babylon they
argued (their) case.
16
They heard
their arguments.
16
Like other “Royal Judges style B” texts, Nbn 1113 begins with a verb—in
this case ragāmu—that describes the complaint procedure.
m
Bariki-ilī is
the only subject of the verb ragāmu since he is the only one making the
complaint. The verbal form that follows the statement of the claim,
di-i-ni id-bu-bu-ma, is apparently plural.
17
It refers not only to
m
Bariki-ilī,
but also to his opponents. Other “Royal Judges style B” decision records
use the verbal phrase dīna dabābu in a similar manner. The phrase refers
to an action performed by both sides of the dispute, even though the
opening verbs (those that describe the complaint procedure) refer only
to the plaintiffs.
18
In the “Royal Judges style A” texts, a similar example of the use of
the phrase occurs in Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13. As has already been
noted, the plaintiff in this case states his claim without the defendant’s
presence, since it is the judges who summon the defendant before them.
The text, following the plaintiff ’s statement, reads as follows:
9.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ a-ma-tu
4

m
ina-
giš
MI-KA
2
.GAL-i
(9–11) The judges heard
m
Ina-
illi-abulli’s words and brought
f
Banât-ina-Esagil and stood her
before them.
16
The plural translation understands the [u] before the enclitic -ma in the form
id-bu-bu-ma as a marker of the 3mpl; the word should be normalized idbubūma. Note,
however, that in line 4 of this very text, where the plaintiff is the only logical subject,
the scribe writes ir-gu-mu (with an anomalous final [u]) for the expected 3ms form irgum.
This anomalous spelling does not affect the plural interpretation of the form id-bu-bu-
ma. Neo-Babylonian scribes commonly use CV signs for expected VC signs, but this
practice seems to be limited to the word’s final consonant. Thus, the form ir-gu-mu
should be taken as a 3ms form, while the form id-bu-bu-ma can still be considered a
plural. See Hueter, Grammatical Studies, p. 218.
17
See footnote to lines 6–8 in the translation.
18
Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254:3’–8’ (Note the spelling id-bu-bu-
u
2
-ma in line 8’). Dalley, Edinburgh, No. 69:1–5 begins with the 3fs form dīna tagrêma,
followed by the 3mpl form dibbīšunu ušannû (“they related their arguments”). Although
this text uses a different phrase, it provides a clear demonstration that the first verbal
phrase refers only to the plaintiff, while the second verbal phrase refers to both parties.
See also McEwan, LB Tablets, No. 38:1–3, where the initial verb, referring only to the
plaintiff, is ig-re-e-ma, followed by the phrase di-i-ni id-bu-bu-ma, in the plural.
the adjudication of private disputes 237
10. iš-mu-ma
f
ba-na-at-ina-E
2
.SAG.
IL
2
i-bu-ku-nim-ma
11. i-na ma-ar-šu
2
-nu uš-zi-iz-zu
di-i-ni id-bu-bu-ma
(11) They argued (their) case.
12. di-in-šu
2
-nu u
2
-par-su-ma (12) They (the judges) decided
their case.
As in Nbn 1113, the verbal form idbubūma is apparently plural.
19
The
verbal phrase occurs only after the defendant is summoned to court.
It clearly denotes a procedure that involves both litigants.
20
The use of the verbal construction dīna idbubūma is not the only way
the decision records might indicate that the oral arguments have taken
place. A number of texts use only the plural noun dibbū, cognate to
the verb dabābu, in referring to the “arguments” that the judges “hear”
(šemû). The use of the noun dibbū alludes to the oral arguments proce-
dure without actually employing the verbal construction dīna dabābu. For
example, YOS 19, 101 begins with the plaintiff ’s statement, in which
he details his complaint and declares that he has brought the defendant
before the judges. The relevant section of the text reads as follows:
24. i-na-an-na i-na ma-ri-ku-nu ub-
la-aš
2
(24–25) “Now, I have brought
him before you. Establish our
decision!”
25. EŠ.BAR-a-ni šuk-na
lu2
DI.KU
5
.
MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-nu
26. iš-mu-u
2
(25–26) The judges heard their
arguments.
Unlike the earlier examples, the verb dabābu does not occur in this text.
Instead, the cognate noun dibbū seems to refer to the oral argument
procedure. The use of the plural possessive suffix -šunu makes it clear
that even though only the plaintiff has been quoted, both parties have
made arguments that the judges have heard. The noun itself refers to
the arguments that both sides have made. Consequently, it should be
19
The orthography of this text presents the same problems as Nbn 1113. In Scheil,
RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:3 the scribe writes im-u-ru for the expected 3ms imur. See the
footnote to the translation of Nbn 1113:6–8.
20
A similar use of the verbal phrase dīnī dabābu may plausibly be reconstructed in
YOS 6, 92:23, which would read
m
PN
1
u
m
PN
2
di-i-ni ina pa-ni-šu
2
-nu [id-bu-bu]. If this
reconstruction is correct, then the phrase clearly refers to an action performed by both
parties to the dispute, since the names of both (
m
PN
1
and
m
PN
2
) would be the subjects
of the reconstructed verbal form id-bu-bu.
238 chapter eight
construed as a plural.
21
Thus, there are two terms associated with the
procedure of presenting oral arguments to the judges. The term dīna
dabābu refers to the entire procedure, which involves both litigants. The
term dibbū refers to the arguments presented by both litigants.
In addition to its placement in the middle of the “Royal Judges”
style decision record, the phrase dīna dabābu also occurs in the opening
lines of a number of “Royal Judges” decision records. For example,
Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59 begins as follows:
1. di-i-ni ša
2

m
re-man-ni-
d
EN A-šu
2

ša
2

m
te-rik-LUGAL-ut-su
2. a-na mu-i
f
ba-bu-nu u
3

DUMU.MEŠ-šu
2
UN.MEŠ E
2
3. ša
2

md
NA
3
-<mu>-ki-in-IBILA
DUMU-šu
2
ša
2

md
KUR.GAL-
MU-id-di-nam
4. it-ti
md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA a-na ma-
ar
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
5. ša
2

md
NA
3
-na--id LUGAL TIN.
TIR
ki
id-bu-bu um-ma
(1–5) The case regarding
f
Bābunu
and her children, members of the
household of
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli
son of
m
Amurru-šuma-iddinam,
which
m
Rēmanni-Bēl son of
m
Tērik-šarrūssu argued against
m
Nabû-mukīn-apli, before the
judges of Nabonidus, king of
Babylon, thus:
Unlike other occurrences of dabābu in this section, the subject of the
verb in the example above, and in two others like it,
22
is the plaintiff
alone.
23
One might, therefore, assume that the verb refers only to the
plaintiff ’s statement that follows. The earlier discussion of the phrase
dīna dabābu, however, indicates that the verb describes a procedure that
includes more than just the plaintiff ’s claim.
According to this understanding, opening lines like those of Durand,
Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59 are different from the beginnings of most
of the other “Royal Judges” style texts (see section 8.B above). Most
texts begin the description of the case with the plaintiff ’s initial actions.
These actions may be the presentation of the case to the judges, denoted
by the verb qabû (style A), or a complaint procedure, denoted by verbs
like dīna gerû or ragāmu (style B). On the other hand, opening lines like
21
The noun dibbū is used similarly in Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112:8’–9’; Wunsch, AfO
44/45 (1997–1998), No. 6:20; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 21:3’; TCL 12,
86:11–12; Nbn 356:29; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19:7; BIN 2, 134:19–20.
In Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60:19–20, the noun amâtu (“words”) occurs instead
of dibbū, but refers to the arguments presented by both litigants.
22
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 5; Nbn 1128.
23
The verb id-bu-bu is a 3ms + subjunctive governed by the relative particle ša in
line 1. For the singular verb in a clause with subjects combined by itti, see von Soden,
GAG §132e.
the adjudication of private disputes 239
those of Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59 begin the narration of
the case at a later stage in the proceedings, when both parties have
arrived in court and make their oral arguments.
8.E The Presentation of Evidence:
“Establishing the Case” (kunnu) and the Means of Evidence
In addition to oral arguments, the litigants may also present other evi-
dence during the course of the trial. The verb kunnu (“to establish [the
case]”) is the term used for that part of the proceedings in which the
litigants present evidence to support their claims. The verb can occur on
its own, without any additional information regarding the evidence that
is presented. One example of this usage of the verb occurs in Weidner,
AfO 17 (1954–1956), pp. 1–5, a case of treason against Nebuchadnez-
zar. The text states that the king himself proved the case against the
treasonous man: qul-lul-ti i-pu-šu ina puur ummāni eli-šu u
2
-ki-in-ma (“in
the assembly of the people, he [= the king] established against him [=
the treasonous man] the crime that he committed”).
24
The verb kunnu
simply indicates that Nebuchadnezzar “established the case” but does
not indicate how he did so. Similarly, the verb occurs without any
additional information in a number of kunnu-type summonses. The
summoned individual is required simply to “establish the case,” but the
texts do not state any additional procedural requirements.
25
The procedure of establishing the case by presenting written evidence
is described in a number of different texts. Some texts describe a litigant
“showing” (kullumu) a document to the authorities.
26
Usually, however,
the verb šasû (“to read”) is used in reference to documentary evidence.
For example, Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 6:21 describes the
reading of documentary evidence in the presence of the judges as fol-
lows: ¢rikÜ-su šu-a-tu
2
ma-¢arÜ-šu
2
-nu iš-tas-su-ma (“they read that contract
24
Weidner, AfO 17 (1954–1956), pp. 1–5:17–18.
25
Nbk 52; Nbk 227; Nbk 266. For discussion of the kunnu-type summons, see sec-
tion 5.A above.
26
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 5:7–12; Nbn 13:7–8; Wunsch, AuOr 17–18
(1999–2000), pp. 241–254:15’. The verb is used in the negative when the litigant is
unable to show the necessary evidence. See Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 58/59:14–16;
Cyr 332:23–24.
240 chapter eight
in their presence”).
27
The preposition maar and the anonymous plural
form of the verb that is used in this text, and in others like it, appar-
ently indicate that the judges do not read the documents themselves.
Instead, one might imagine that the court scribes read the documents
aloud to the judges. The absence of the preposition maar in other texts
suggests that, in these particular cases, the judges themselves “read”
(šasû) the documents.
28
In addition to written evidence, oral testimony may be presented, as
well. The verb kunnu itself can, at times, refer to this specific procedure.
29

This specific usage of kunnu is demonstrated by the opening lines of
Nbn 679, a kunnu-type summons, which read as follows:
1. ina ¢U
4
Ü-mu GEME
2
-ia qal-la-
¢tu
4
Ü
2. ša
2

m
KI-
d
AMAR.UTU-TIN
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU
3. A
m
e-gi-bi a-na
m
ZALAG
2
-
d
30
A-šu
2
ša
2
4.
md
UTU-ŠEŠ-MU A
lu2
GAL-
DU
3
tu-uk-tin-nu
5. um-ma e-le-[qi
2
]-ia še-ma-a-ta
(1–5) On the day that
f
Amtiya,
slavegirl of
m
Itti-Marduk-balāu
son of
m
Nabû-aē-iddin, descen-
dant of Egibi, establishes (the
case) against
m
Nūr-Sîn, son of
m
Šamaš-aa-iddin descendant of
Rāb-banê, (saying) thus:
(5) “You heard of my es[ca]pe!”
In this text, the verb kunnu is followed by the word umma, which intro-
duces the precise statement that
f
Amtiya will make. From its use in Nbn
679, it is clear that the verb kunnu can refer not only to “establishing
the case,” in general, but also to the specific procedure of presenting
oral testimony.
The use of the verb kunnu to indicate the presentation of specifically
oral testimony is implied in the following passage from Nbn 13.
30
27
Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp. 241–254:16’–17’; Dalley, Edinburgh, No.
69:23–24; Nbn 1128:7–10; Nbn 68 (in the presence of witnesses); Wunsch, AfO 44/45
(1997–1998), No. 21:18’; Nbn 356:29–30; YOS 19, 101:25–29; Wunsch, AfO 44/45
(1997–1998), No. 19:7–8; YOS 19, 92 (ina DU.ZU); TCL 12, 119:10–14; BIN 2, 134:41
(restored); Cyr 332:20–23; Jursa, Das Archiv des Bēl-Rēmanni, pp. 128–129:29–30.
28
Nbn 1113:8–14; Roth, AfO 36/37 (1989–1990), No. 1:9’–12’; OIP 122,
38:28–30.
29
See CAD kânu A 4 (K, p. 159).
30
For a brief description of this text and complete bibliography of earlier discus-
sions, see Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), p. 96.
the adjudication of private disputes 241
7.
md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-MU rik-si
ša
2
<it-ti>
f
be-li-li-tu
4
8. ir-ku-su-ma KU
3
.BABBAR
ŠAM
2

m
ba-zu-zu i-i-ru-uš
iš-ša
2
-am-ma
lu2
DI.KU
5
.ME
u
2
-kal-lim
(7–8)
m
Nabû-aē-iddin showed
the judges the contract which he
contracted with
f
Bēlilitu indicating
that he had repaid the remaining
silver of the price of
m
Bazūzu.
9. u
m
NUMUN-ia
m
NA
3
-MU-
SI.SA
2
u
m
e-tel-lu KU
3
.BAB-
BAR ša
2

f
be-li-li-tu
4

AMA-šu
2
-nu e-re-tu
4
10. ina IGI
lu2
DI.KU
5
.ME u
2
-
kin-nu
(9–10) And
m
Zēriya,
m
Nabû-
šumu-līšir and
m
Etellu established
the amount of silver that their
mother was repaid.
These lines describe how both
m
Nabû-aē-iddin and
f
Bēlilitu’s sons
establish that
f
Bēlilitu has been paid.
m
Nabû-aē-iddin proves his case
by “showing” (kullumu) the relevant documents.
f
Bēlilitu’s sons, on the
other hand, prove their case by an action denoted by the verb kunnu,
without any mention of documents. The contrast between the verbs
in this passage suggests that in Nbn 13, at least, the verb kunnu refers
specifically to oral testimony, rather than the presentation of docu-
mentary evidence.
The term for oral testimony is the noun mukinnūtu, related to the verb
kunnu and the noun mukinnu (“witness”). The specifically oral character of
mukinnūtu is illustrated by Nbn 1113:25, in which a speaker’s statement
is introduced by the verb apālu (“to respond”). After the quotation, the
text states [
lu2
SUKKAL
lu2
GAL].MEŠ u
3

lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ mu-kin-nu-[ut]-
su iš-[mu-ma] (“[The sukkallu, the great] ones and the judges he[ard]
his testim[ony]”). The verb šemû, which apparently follows the noun,
reinforces the fact that mukinnūtu is something that has been spoken and
can therefore be heard.
31
The verb kunnu occurs in a number of contexts that provide some
additional procedural details about the presentation of oral testimony.
Several kunnu-type summonses require the summoned individual to
“bring his witnesses” (mukinnīšu ibbakamma) in order to “establish the
case.”
32
In some decision records, the verb kunnu follows the verb šaālu
(“to question”), which suggests that the procedure involved questioning
31
A similar restoration of the verb šemû is reflected in the translation of Wunsch,
BA 2, No. 45:35’ in Wunsch, BA 2, p. 159.
32
Nbk 183; Nbk 361; Nbk 363; Nbk 365; Nbk 366; Nbk 419.
242 chapter eight
by the judges, as well.
33
However, not all instances of the verb kunnu
follow the verb šaālu, which indicates that kunnu can take place without
questioning, as well. The verb often describes an action that takes place
in the presence of the adjudicating authorities.
34
But the presence of
these official authorities may not have been required in all instances. As
Köhler and Peiser have suggested, the kunnu-summonses may, in fact,
call for a private hearing of testimony (Privaternehmung), outside of the
official adjudicatory process.
35
The result of the kunnu procedure is denoted by the G-stem verb
kânu. In the D-Stem, the verb kunnu has a factitive sense (literally
“to make firm,” thus “to establish”). Thus, the G-stem expresses the
intended result of the kunnu procedure: when a person “establishes”
(kunnu) a case, the facts of the case “are established” (kânu). This use
of the verb kânu is illustrated by the following citation from Dalley,
Edinburgh, No. 69.
24. . . . 1 1/2 MA.[NA KU
3
.BAB-
BAR]
25. nu-dun-nu-u
2
ša
2

f
bu-na-ni-tu
4

u
3
5 MA.NA KU
3
.BABBAR
nu-dun-[nu-u
2
]
26. ša
2

f
e-tel-li-tu
4
ma-ar-šu-nu
i-kun
(24–26) 1 1/2 m[ina of silver],
the nudunnû of
f
Bunanītu, and 5
minas of silver, the nudun[nû ] of
f
Etellitu, were established in their
presence.
This passage follows a description of the judges’ examination of two
documents, one that shows that
f
Bunanītu is owed a nudunnû of 1 1/2
mina of silver and one that shows that
f
Etellitu is owed a nudunnû of 5
mina of silver. The use of the G-stem verb kânu implies that the kunnu
procedure has taken place, even though the verb kunnu itself does not
actually appear. The procedure in this case involved the presentation
of written evidence, rather than oral testimony, to the judges.
36
33
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:12–18; YOS 19, 101:29–31; Wunsch, BA 2, No.
48:11–20. The presence of the verb šaālu as a preliminary to the kunnu procedure
indicates that questioning can take place either before or after evidence is actually
presented. For more on šaālu and the questioning procedure see section 8.H.
34
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:12–18; Nbn 13:9–10; YOS 19, 101:30–31;
Wunsch, Altorientalische Forschungen 24 (1997), pp. 231–241:7–8; BA 2, No. 48; BE 8/1,
107:13–14.
35
Köhler u. Peiser, Rechtsleben 1, p. 31. See the discussion of this possibility in sec-
tion 5.A above.
36
For a similar usage of the verb kunnu to refer to the presentation of documentary
evidence see YOS 6, 92.
the adjudication of private disputes 243
8.F The “Hearing” of Oral Statements: šemû
In the “Royal Judges” style texts, the verb šemû (“to hear”), with the
judges as its subject, refers to the “hearing” of oral statements. Objects
of the verb include the nouns mukinnūtu (“testimony”),
37
amâtu (“words”)
38

and dibbū (“arguments”),
39
followed by a reference to the speaker by
means of a possessive pronominal suffix or a proper name.
40
Because
these objects all refer to utterances that might actually be heard, one
might suggest that the verb šemû is used rhetorically and does not add
any procedural information. It simply spells out the implication of the
fact that the parties have spoken in court: the judges “hear” what has
been spoken. Alternatively, it is possible that the verb šemû refers to an
actual procedure.
The typical formulation and position of the šemû-clause bring to the
fore the question of whether the verb has a rhetorical or procedural
meaning. In its usual formulation, the šemû-clause indicates that “the
judges heard their arguments” (
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-nu iš-mu-u
2
).
Most often, it occurs immediately after the plaintiff ’s statement, and
marks the transition between the presentation of the arguments and
the judicial actions. For example, in Nbn 356:
41
28. a-na ma-ri-ku-nu ub-la-aš
2

EŠ.BAR -a-ni šuk-na
(28) “I have brought him before
you. Establish our decision!”
29.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ dib-bi-šu
2
-nu
iš-mu-u
2
up-pa-nu u
3
rik-sa-a-tu
2
30. ša
2

f
bu-na-ni-tu
4
tu-ub-la ma-ar-
šu
2
-nu iš-tas-su-ma
(29) The judges heard their argu-
ments.
(29–30) They read before them
the tablets and contracts which
f
Bunanītu brought.
37
Nbn 1113:25.
38
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:9–10; Wunsch, AuOr 17–18 (1999–2000), pp.
241–254:26–27; Wunsch, BA 2, No. 46:18’–19’; Durand, Textes babyloniens, No.
60:19–20; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219:23; OIP 122, 38:29; Wunsch, BA 2,
No. 44:9’–10’; Wunsch, BA 2, No. 47:10’–12’.
39
Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 5:15; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No.
6; Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59:17–18; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No.
21:3’; TCL 12, 86:11–12; Nbn 356:29; YOS 19, 101:25–26; BIN 2, 134:19–20; Nbn
1113:8; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112:9’; Roth, AfO 36/37 (1989–1990), No. 1:9’–10’.
40
In Böhl, Leiden Coll. 3 No. 874:14–16, the name of the litigant is the object. In
Nbn 13:5–6, the verb šemû occurs without an object; it refers to the plaintiff ’s statement,
which occurs in the immediately preceding lines.
41
For other examples, see Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 6:20; Wunsch, AfO
44/45 (1997–1998), No. 21:3’; TCL 12, 86:11–12; YOS 19, 101:25–26; Wunsch, AfO
44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19:7; BIN 2, 134:19–20 (once the case arrives before higher
authorities); OIP 122, 38:28–29.
244 chapter eight
Although there is only one plaintiff, and only her statements are recorded
in the preceding lines, the plural possessive on the noun dibbīšunu indi-
cates that the judges “heard” arguments of both parties.
42
In light of
this, one might assume that additional, unrecorded arguments were
made by the defendant. The verb šemû, on its own, might not refer to
anything besides the fact that the judges heard these oral arguments as
well as those that are recorded on the tablet.
43
But the transitional posi-
tion of the clause suggests that the verb šemû refers to the first judicial
procedure after the presentation of arguments. The phrase dibbīšunu
išmû might mean that the judges engaged in a deliberative procedure
of “considering the arguments” before taking further action.
44
Non-typical positions of the šemû-clause present further complica-
tions to interpreting the verb. There are “Royal Judges style B” texts
in which the clause appears at the very beginning of the proceedings,
just after the description of the confrontation between the parties and
their arrival in court.
45
Even though no statements have been quoted,
the verb ragāmu does appear in these texts before the verb šemû.
46
Thus,
the verb šemû might refer to a procedure of evaluating statements made
but not actually recorded. Alternatively, the statement that the judges
“heard their arguments” might be a summary of the procedures that
are narrated subsequently, without any reference to a specific proce-
dure.
47
Similarly, there are texts in which the šemû-clause occurs after
42
Note that this is not the case in texts in which the possessive suffix is singular,
rather than plural. These texts make it clear that all the judges “hear” is the plaintiff ’s
statement. For examples, see Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:9–10; Wunsch, BA 2, No.
44:9’–10’; Wunsch BA 2, No. 47:10–12.
43
The connection between the presentation of arguments and the šemû-clause is
most apparent in Nbn 1113, where the phrase dīni idbubūma immediately precedes the
phrase dibbīšunu išmû.
44
In terms of its position in the decision records, the šemû-clause should be com-
pared with the dīnam šūuzu clause of Old Babylonian decision records. The Old
Babylonian clause may refer to a procedure of granting the trial a hearing, and it
is possible that the Neo-Babylonian clause, at least in its typical position, refers to a
similar procedure. For discussion of the meaning of the Old Babylonian clause, with
references to earlier literature, see Dombradi, Darstellung, pp. 312–320 and Fortner,
Adjudicating Entities, pp. 92–130.
45
Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112:9’; Roth, AfO 36/37 (1989–1990), No. 1:9’–10’. In BIN
2, 134:19–20, a “Royal Judges style A” text, the clause opens the description of the
proceedings once they have been moved to the court of the šākin ēmi.
46
Wunsch, CM 20, No. 112:7’; Roth, AfO 36/37 (1989–1990), No. 1:7’.
47
A similar interpretation probably applies to Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45:6’. According
to Wunsch, the line reads [. . . id ]-bu-bu-u
2
-ma di-in-šu-nu i-¢mur
?
-ru
?
Ü. Based on its position
just after an initial confrontation between the plaintiff and defendant, this line seems
to be a variant of the typical šemû clause. The formulation with dīnu (and apparently
the adjudication of private disputes 245
a number of judicial actions are recorded, even near the end of the
recorded proceedings.
48
A procedural interpretation of the clauses in
these texts makes sense; the procedure of “hearing” can take place
at any point, even near the end of the trial. On the other hand, the
proximity to quoted statements leaves the rhetorical interpretation open.
This latter interpretation would be further supported by the fact that
the texts include an additional notice of the judges “deliberating” just
prior to the decision itself.
49
It would be strange for these two delibera-
tive procedures to take place so closely together. A distinction between
the šemû procedure at the end of the case and this second deliberative
procedure is not readily apparent from the available evidence.
8.G Obtaining Evidence
As has already been seen, the litigants themselves often present their
own evidence to the judges in court. At times, however, the judges
may require additional evidence. The specific procedure by which the
evidence is obtained begins with a demand for the evidence by the
authorities. For example, in Nbn 1128, a decision record that pertains
to an unpaid debt, the judicial actions are described as follows:
7. u
2
-il
3
-ti
3
ša
2

md
NA
3
-ŠEŠ.MEŠ-
bul-li
8. AD ša
2

md
NA
3
-ga-mil ša
2
UGU
m
na-di-nu AD ša
2

m
mu-še-zib-
d
EN
9. ša
2
E
2
-su maš-ka-nu a-ab-tu ma-
ar-šu
2
-nu
10. il-tas-su-u
2
lu2
sar-te-nu u
lu2
DI.
KU
5
.MEŠ
(7–10) They read before them the
debt-note of
m
Nabû-aē-bulli,
father of
m
Nabû-gāmil, owed by
m
Nādinu, father of
m
Mušēzib-Bēl,
for which his house was pledged.
without the verb šemû, which would probably have begun with /iš/ rather than /i/)
suggests that the line refers to the proceedings that follow. Note, however, that the phrase
as restored could have a specific procedural reference, as well. The other restorations
suggested in Wunsch, BA 2, p. 158 admit either possibility.
48
Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59:17–18; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13,
219:23; Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60:19–20.
49
mitluku in Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219:28 and Durand, Textes babylo-
niens, No. 60:38; šitlumu in Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59:18. For discussion,
see section 8.J below.
246 chapter eight
11. rik-su u i-da-tu ša
2
e-i-ru
m
mu-
še-zib-
d
EN
12. i-ri-šu-ma la ub-la
(10–12) The sartennu and the
judges demanded from
m
Mušēzib-
Bēl the contract and the “signs”
indicating repayment, but he did
not bring (them).
m
Nabû-gāmil, the plaintiff, presents the notes that indicate that
m
Nādinu,
father of the defendant,
m
Mušēzib-Bēl, owed a debt to
m
Nabû-gāmil’s
father,
m
Nabû-aē-bulli. After the judges hear the note read, they
“demand” (erēšu) evidence from the defendant that the debt has been
repaid, but he is unable to “bring” (abālu) any. The verb erēšu refers to
the specific procedure by which the authorities “demand” evidence.
The verb buû (“to search”) seems to refer to a similar procedure in
Wunsch, BA 2, No. 44:20’–22’, in which the authorities of Kutha seek
additional “signs” (idātu) to prove a certain individual’s status.
50
In addition to demanding evidence from the litigants themselves, the
authorities might seek testimony on their own. For instance, Durand,
Textes babyloniens, No. 60 describes how the judges of Nabonidus “bring”
(abālu) a sēpiru-scribe to read the mark on the hand of a slavegirl whose
ownership is disputed. Similarly, the judges in Wunsch, AfO 44/45
(1997/1998), No. 21 “bring” (abālu) a person who apparently provides
additional corroborative evidence.
51
These examples from the decision records indicate that the judges
might, at times, require additional evidence to be presented. They might
“demand” (erēšu) it from one of the litigants or they might “bring”
additional witnesses before them. These notices in the decision records
may correspond to the composition of the kunnu -type summonses (see
section 5.A above). This type of summons requires the summoned
individual to “establish the case” (kunnu). One might, therefore, interpret
this text-type as the written expression of a demand by an adjudicating
authority that additional, corroborative evidence be presented.
52
50
The judges may seek additional proof because the individual cannot bring an
actual adoption tablet. See the discussion in Wunsch, BA 2, p. 154.
51
For discussion, see Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), p. 72.
52
Another possibility that should be considered is that the judges issue the kunnu-
summonses before the trial, in order to obtain preliminary evidence. According to this
understanding, the kunnu-summonses are not written during the trial, but, instead, attest
to an earlier investigative procedure to obtain preliminary evidence.
the adjudication of private disputes 247
8.H Questioning the Litigants: šaālu
53
One of the actions performed by the judges to obtain information,
either before or after the presentation of evidence, is designated by
the verb šaālu (“to question, to interrogate”). The authorities are the
subject of the verb and the individual they interrogate is the object.
This individual is usually the defendant,
54
although the object of the
verb may also be the plaintiff
55
or other individuals who might be able
to provide information relevant to the matter at hand.
56
Often the verb occurs without any additional information about what
the action entails. For example, in Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:12, the
text simply states
f
ba-na-at-ina-E
2
.SAG.IL
2
iš-ta-lu-ma (“they questioned
f
Banât-ina-Esagil”).
57
In some texts, however, the verb šaālu introduces
a quotation of the question that the authorities pose, as in the following
example from Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59:
6.
lu2
DI.KU
5
.MEŠ
7.
m
re-man-ni-
d
EN iš-ta--a-lu
um-ma
f
ba-bu-nu
(6–7) The judges interrogated
m
Rēmanni-Bēl thus:
8. NIN-ka ul-tu im-ma-ti ki-i
E
2
md
KUR.GAL-MU-MU
9. AD ša
2

md
NA
3
-DU-IBILA ši-i
(7–9) “Since when has
f
Bābunu,
your sister, been part of the
household of
m
Amurru-šuma-
iddinam, father of
m
Nabû-mukīn-
apli?”
53
The verb occurs both with and without a -t- infix. Examples with the infix include:
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13:13; Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59:7; TCL 12,
86:13. Examples without the infix include: Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60:16; YOS
19, 101:30; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19:8; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL
13, 219:13–14.
54
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219; Wunsch,
BA 2, No. 48; YOS 19, 101; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19; Cyr 312; Cyr
332.
55
Durand, Textes babyloniens, Nos. 58/59.
56
Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60 (slavegirl in question); Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45
(creditors); Wunsch, BA 2, No. 48 (parties to a settlement).
57
Other examples of the verb šaālu alone are: Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45:7’–9’; Wun-
sch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19:8; Wunsch, BA 2, No. 46:18’–20’; Durand, Textes
babyloniens, No. 60:15–16; YOS 19, 101:29–30; Wunsch, CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13,
219:13–14; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 37:3’; Wunsch, BA 2, No. 48:11–13,
16–17; Cyr 312:10; Cyr 332:19.
248 chapter eight
This quotation demonstrates that šaālu, as the verb itself implies, refers
to a process in which the authorities address a question to an individual
who appears in court.
58
In addition to the verb šaālu itself and the quotation of questions
in texts, the surrounding descriptions offer some further insight into
how the procedure is carried out. In several texts, the procedure occurs
after the authorities summon (abālu) the individual who is questioned.
59

After the actual questioning is mentioned, the individual’s response may
be introduced by the verb qabû (“to speak”),
60
which indicates an oral
response. The verb kunnu (“to establish”) may also be used, followed
by either an actual quotation of testimony
61
or by a summary of what
was “established.”
62
Sometimes, but not always, the response is given
under oath, which is designated by the term nīš DINGIR.MEŠ/DN
zakāru.
63

Texts also describe questioning without using the verb šaālu to refer
to the procedure. Instead, the text may quote the authorities’ question
introduced by the verb qabû, rather than šaālu. For example, in Wunsch,
BA 2, No. 44, two women are questioned. The description of their
questioning reads as follows:
8’.
md
[U.GUR-NUMUN-DU
3
]
9’.
lu2
GAR.UŠ
4
GU
2
.DU
8
.A
ki

u
3
UKKIN
lu2
GU
2
.DU
8
.
A
ki
.[MEŠ]
10’. a-ma-a-ti
md
NA
3
-ke-šir
3
iš-tim-
mu-u
2
-ma
(8’–10’)
m
[Nergal-zēra-ibni],
the šākin ēmi of Kutha and the
assembly of Kutha heard
m
Nabû-
kēšir’s statement and
58
Wunsch reconstructs the verb šaālu in Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45:9’, where it has
two individuals,
m
Rīmūt and
m
illaya, as objects. The continuation of the text records
m
Rīmūt’s oath in response, but indicates that
m
illaya is “sick” (ma-ru-u-ma) and that he
apparently does not arrive to swear the oath (see Wunsch, BA 2, p. 160). If Wunsch’s
reconstruction of the situation is correct, then the verb šaālu refers to an action per-
formed without the presence of one of the people being questioned. This text also
raises the possibility that the action is separate from the oath in response.
59
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13; Wunsch, BA 2, No. 46; Wunsch, BA 2, No. 48;
Cyr 332.
60
Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 58/59; Durand, Textes babyloniens, No. 60; Wunsch,
CM 20, No. 90/TCL 13, 219; Wunsch, AfO 44/45 (1997–1998), No. 19.
61
Wunsch, BA 2, No. 48.
62
Scheil, RA 12 (1915), pp. 1–13; YOS 19, 101.
63
Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45:23’ (
d
Šamaš); Cyr 312:11 (DINGIR.MEŠ).
the adjudication of private disputes 249
11’.
f
dam-qa-a u
3

f
bu-ra-šu
2
a-na
ma-ri-šu
2
-nu
12’. u
2
-bil-lu-nim-ma iq-bu-ši-na-a-ti
um-ma mi-nam-ma
(11’–12’) brought
f
Damqaya and
f
Burāšu before them and said to
them thus:
13’.
md
NA
3
-ke-šir
3
a-na la DUMU
ša
2

md
NA
3
-SUR tu-tir-ra
(12’–13’) “Why did you turn
m
Nabû-kēšir into a non-son of
m
Nabû-ēir?”
14’. iq-ba-a um-ma it-ti AMA -šu
2

a-na E
2

md
NA
3
-SUR
15’. i-ter-bi
(14’–15’) They said thus: “He
entered Nabû-ēir’s household
with his mother.”
The procedure described in this excerpt begins immediately after the
šākin ēmi and the assembly evaluate (šemû) the plaintiff ’s statement. The
two women are summoned (abālu) before the adjudicating authorities.
The authorities’ speech to the two women begins with the word mīnamma
(“why”), which clearly indicates that the authorities are posing a ques-
tion to the women.
64
The fact that the question is introduced by qabû
(“to speak”), rather than by šaālu, raises the possibility that šaālu has
a specific, procedural meaning that is applied only to certain kinds of
questions, and that other questions are introduced by qabû. A glance
at the usage in the Eanna material shows that questions introduced by
qabû do not seem to be distinguished from questions introduced by šaālu
in terms of form,
65
content
66
or the response obtained. Furthermore,
in one text from the Eanna, the question posed is introduced by the
64
See also Wunsch, BA 2, No. 47:13–15 which also contains a question posed
by the authorities that begins with mīnamma and is also introduced by the verb qabû,
rather than by šaālu.
65
YOS 7, 128:21–23 includes a similarly worded question (beginning with mīnamma),
but introduced by šaālu, instead of qabû. See also YOS 6, 225:9–11.
66
TCL 13, 170 includes a question introduced by qabû (lines 8–11) followed by a
question introduced by šaālu (lines 14–17). The use of qabû may be explained by the
fact that the first question ends with an order to the person addressed: mi-nam-ma a-na
lu2
ŠA
3
.TAM u
lu2
SAG.LUGAL
!
ša
2
ina pa-na-tu-u
2
-a paq-du ul taq-ba u
3
ul-tu UGU ša
2
a-na-ku
paq-da-ak-ka ul taq-ba- en-na mim-ma ša
2
ina ŠU.2-šu ta-mu-ur i-šam
2
-ma kul-lim-an-na-a-šu
2
(“Why did you not report to the šatammu or the ša rēš šarri who was appointed before
me and why did you not report it after I was appointed? Now, whatever you see in
his possession bring and show us!”). The phrase introduced by šaālu is apparently a
question, although it does not contain any internal indication that it is. It reads: mim-
ma ša
2

m
PN ša
2
E
2
ŠU.2 ina mu-i-ku-nu u
2
-še-u-u
2
, and should probably be translated,
following Moore, Documents, No. 170, “(Is there) anything that
m
PN took out from
the storehouse in your charge?” In both Wunsch, BA 2, No. 44 and Wunsch, BA 2,
No. 47, the questions introduced by qabû include only questions, without any order
at their ends.
250 chapter eight
phrase
f
PN iš--al-u
2
-ma iq-bu-u
2
-šu
2
um-ma (“They interrogated
f
PN and
said thus to her”).
67
In this example, the verb qabû seems to explain
the action described by šaālu, since what the authorities “say” (qabû)
is a question. Therefore, it seems that qabû and šaālu do not refer to
different kinds of questioning.
8.I Oaths
The use of oaths, in general, during the Neo-Babylonian period has
already been surveyed by Joannès.
68
This subject is, understandably,
quite broad, and thus merits a more complete study than may be
accomplished in the present context. The present discussion will, there-
fore, primarily focus on the administration of oaths as an evidentiary
procedure.
69
There are two terms for swearing an oath: nīš ili [u šarri ] zakāru
(literally, “to pronounce the oath of the god [and the king])”
70
and ina
DN u adê ša RN temû (“to swear by DN and the oaths of RN”).
71
The
words of the actual oath are usually quoted, and may be introduced
by the term iqbi umma (“said thus”) or by the word kî. The oath itself
may be formulated in one of two ways, which Joannès calls the “posi-
tive” and “negative” forms.
72
The “positive” form is to be interpreted
as one would any other statement. The oath implies that the statement
is true as recorded. The “negative” form, on the other hand, implies a
self-imposed curse upon the swearer if the assertion under oath is true.
The oath, therefore, implies that the opposite of what is actually stated
67
YOS 19, 91:21–23
68
F. Joannès, “La pratique du serment à l’époque néo-babylonienne,” in Sophie
Lafont, ed. Jurer et maudire: pratiques politiques et usages juridiques du serment dans le Proche-
Orient ancien (Méditerranées 10–11, 1996), pp. 163–174.
69
The promissory oaths, discussed in section 7.B above, show another, non-eviden-
tiary context in which oaths might occur during the adjudicatory process.
70
An example of this formula, including both god and king, occurs in Wunsch,
AuOr 15 (1997), No. 12:1. Variations include: nīš DINGIR.MEŠ u LUGAL zakāru
(Dar 260:19); nīš DN zakāru (Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45:10’, 23’; Wunsch BA 2, No.
46:19’–20’).
71
Dar 260:19; BE 10, 9:26–27 (ina DINGIR.MEŠ u LUGAL temû); Stolper, Entre-
preneurs, No. 109:17–18 (restored as ina DINGIR.MEŠ u LUGAL temû). The verb temû
without any surrounding context also occurs in Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45, 33’.
72
Joannès, Méditerranées 10–11 (1996), p. 171.
the adjudication of private disputes 251
is true. One must rely on context to determine whether the “positive”
or “negative” oath is intended.
An oath may be taken in response to questioning by the judges
(šaālu).
73
However, as the discussion of the questioning procedure has
shown (section 8.H above), not every questioning by the judges results
in an oath. Furthermore, an oath may be applied without “question-
ing,” as well.
Wunsch, BA 2, No. 44 provides a good description of the proce-
dure for administering the oath. In this text,
m
Nabû-kēšir presents his
complaint against
f
Damqaya and
f
Burāšu to the šākin ēmi official and
the assembly of Kutha.
m
Nabû-kēšir claims that he has received land
and a slave as inheritance from
m
Nabû-kēšir, but that
f
Damqaya and
f
Burāšu have not given it to him. The šākin ēmi and the assembly ques-
tion the two women, who argue that
m
Nabû-kēšir is not an actual son
of
m
Nabû-ēir. According to the two women,
m
Nabû-kēšir was not born
into the family, but rather he entered the household as a slave together
with his mother.
m
Nabû-kēšir counters this claim by citing a tablet in
which
f
Damqaya instructed the scribe to include him as a witness and
called him a son of
m
Nabû-ēir.
74
After
m
Nabû-kēšir’s response, the
judges call for the scribe who wrote the tablet and another witness.
The text reads:
22’.
md
U.GUR-ŠEŠ-MU A-šu
2
ša
2

m
DU
3
-a
23’. DUMU
lu2
ŠIDIM
lu2
DUB.
SAR u
3

m
il-la-a A-šu
2
ša
2

md
U.
GUR-¢ŠEŠ.MUÜ
24’. DUMU
md
30–SISKUR
2
-
ŠE.GA
lu2
[mu]-kin-nu ¢ša
2
Ü
[
im
DUB]
25’. u
2
-bil-lu-nim-ma niš
d
UTU u
3

qa-an up-[ p i. . .]
26’. i-na UKKIN u
2
-ša
2
-az-ki-ir-šu-
nu-ti-ma i-da-[tu
4
. . .]
(22’–25’) They brought
m
Nergal-
aa-iddin son of
m
Ibnaya descen-
dant of Itinnu, the scribe, and
m
illaya son of
m
Nergal-aa-iddin
descendant of Sîn-karābi-išme the
[wit]ness on the [tablet] before
them and
(25’–26’) had them swear an oath
of Šamaš and the tablet reed in
the assembly and . . . proo[fs. . .]
73
Wunsch, BA 2, No. 45:23’; Cyr 312:11. See also Wunsch, BA 2, No. 46:18’–
20’.
74
For more on this text and the complicated relationship between the protagonists,
see Wunsch, BA 2, pp. 153–154.
252 chapter eight
27’. ki-i la ki-i pi-i ša
2

f
dam-qa-a
AMA AD ša
2

md
NA
3
-¢ke-šir
3
Ü
28’.
md
NA
3
-ke-šir
3
A-šu
2
ša
2

md
NA
3
-
KAR-ir DUMU
m
da-bi-bi
a-na
29’.
lu2
mu-kin-nu-tu ina
im
DUB
ni-iš-u-ru
(27’–29’) “(May we be cursed)
if we inscribed (the name of )
m
Nabû-kēšir, son of
m
Nabû-
ēir, descendant of Dābibī, as