Ancient legal thought : equality, justice, and humaneness from Hammurabi and the pharaohs to Justinian and the Talmud / Larry May, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee .
- Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 2019. , ©2019
xx, 729 pages : maps ; 24 cm
- Law, Ancient -- Social aspects.
LAW / Jurisprudence.
- "Nearly four thousand years ago, kings in various ancient societies, especially in Mesopotamia (contemporary Iraq), faced a crisis of major proportions. Large portions of the population were horribly in debt, many being forced to sell themselves or their children into slavery to pay off their debts. The laws and customs seemed to support the commercial practices that allowed lenders to charge 20%-30% interest, and the law protected the lenders and gave no recourse for the indebted. Strict justice called for the creditors to receive what they were due. But another legal concept, the emerging idea of equity, seemed to call for a different result - the use of law as a vehicle to free people from economic oppression. Debt relief edicts were instituted - "clean-slate laws" as they were known - and are of obvious relevance today as well where crushing debt is a major issue underlying social inequality"-- Provided by publisher.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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