Law & Economy in the Ancient Near East (3) This course is an overview of the legal and economic texts and institutions in the Ancient Near East.
CAMS 405 Law & Economy in the Ancient Near East (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
This course will introduce the students to the legal and economic institutions of the Ancient Near East, as well as to the many theoretical issues raised by their study, such as: the matter of land tenure; the role played by the temple and the palace in the economic structure; the nature of law within political theology and kingship; and the legal and economic status of specific social groups (women, the elderly, slaves, children).
Since most of the topics to be examined are widely debated, the course will provide the students with a broad overview of scholarly theories and intellectual schools. In order to accomplish such an objective, the readings for the class will include both introductory works (taken, for instance, from Sasson, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East) and more advanced and specific articles and works (e.g., R. Westbrook, A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law). Students will be asked to prepare these readings, which will be available in the library or in electronic format, so they will be ready to take part in class discussions.
The source book for the basic legal texts will be M.T. Roth's edition of law collections. Moreover, students will be expected to give a presentation based on some of the optional readings listed on the syllabus. Thus, every class will consist of lecture on the topic and a critical and open discussion of the assigned readings. Every lecture will take into account the assigned readings and will be accomplished by some handouts.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (including a class presentation), as well as on writing assignments. The writing assignments will include take-home examinations.
This course complements other existing courses in areas such as Ancient Near Eastern studies, biblical studies, Classics, Ancient History, and Linguistics. Moreover, this is one of the several history and culture courses in CAMS that provide detailed overviews of major civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.