Sumerian Main Page

The History of Ancient Sumeria (Sumer) including its cities, kings, religions culture and contributions or civilization

Topics

Abraham and Shinar

Calendar

Cosmology

Culture and Contributions

Cuneiform

Downloadable Cuneiform

Dictionary of  Words

Emergent Cities

Ensi - Lugal

First Historical Personalities

Flood Legends in History

Flood Story

Gods

Houses

Kish

Language

Language Two

Laws

Literary Sources

Mythologies

Sargon The Great

Shuruppak

Sumerian Creation

Territorial States

The City of Ebla

The City of Larsa

The City of Ur

Timeline

Wheel

 Sumerian Writings

Advice about Farming

Contracts (Legal)

Epic of Gilgamesh

Enki and Ninursag

Enki, The God

Hymn to Ishtar

Lament for Ur

Poem Of The Sufferer

Prayer to Shamash

Prayer to Every God

Reforms of Urukagina

Sumerian Creation

Sumerian Inscription

Sumerian King List

Sumerian Proverbs 

The Art of Sumeria

Sumerian Art

"Harpist from Ur"

 by:  Liliana Osses Adams

Other Mesopotamian Peoples

Akkad

Amorites

Assyrians

Babylonians

Chaldeans

Hittites

Kassites

Mesopotamia

 

Map

 

reconstruction_ur.gif (74457 bytes)

Ziggurat

reconstruction-zig.gif (82749 bytes)

Ziggurat

 

Please Help Keep Us On the Web.

We are a Non-Profit Organization and the cost of continuing is becoming more than we can handle.  Therefore, we are asking you to please donate anything you can to help keep us on the web

Please Help Click Here

Care to express an opinion on a current or past historical event?

Need to ask a question from our many visitors?

Just visit our Message Board and leave your message.

Message Board

Weekly Poll

Ancient Sumerian/Mesopotamian Laws

1. BE it enacted forever and for all future days: If a son say to his father, "You are not my father," he [the father] can cut off his [the son's] locks, make him a slave and sell him for money. If a son say to his mother, "You are not my mother," she can cut off his locks, turn him out of town, or (at least) drive him away from home, deprive him of citizenship and of inheritance, but his liberty he

loses not. If a father say to his son, "You are not my son," the latter has to leave house and field and he loses everything. If a mother say to her son, "You are not my son," he shall leave house and furniture. If a wife be unfaithful to her husband and then says, "You are not my husband," let her be thrown into the river. If a husband say to his wife, "You are not my wife," he shall as a fine pay one half mana of silver. If some one hires a servant and the latter dies or is rendered useless otherwise (e.g.,by flight, rebellion, or sickness) he shall give to the owner as daily wages ten qa of grain a day.

2. If an overseer or a fisherman ordered to the service of the king does not come, but sends a hireling in his stead, that same overseer or fisherman shall be put to death, and his house shall go into the possession of the hireling.

3. If a man lets out his field to a farmer and he has received the rent for his field, and afterward a flood pours down upon that field, or some animal destroys the harvest of the farmer; in case now the rent of this field is not yet paid, or ______. [The law here no doubt said that, in case of damage by weather or animals, a renter of a field will have certain reduction granted. If he paid in advance, part of the money will be refunded to him, if he pays at the end of the lease, he need not pay the full amount.]

4. When a merchant gives to his clerk grain, wool, oil, or some other merchandise for sale, the clerk shall give a strict account and turn in the money to the merchant: and the merchant shall give to the clerk a receipt for the money paid over to him.

5. When a man has bought a male or female slave, and the sale is fought by a third party (the real owner) and is in consequence thereof declared void, the seller of the slave has to pay for all damages.

6. When in an inclosed yard a disturbance occurs, or again, when a lion kills, his keeper shall pay all damages, and the owner of the yard shall receive the killed animals.

7. When a peasant says to the date-vendor, "All the dates in this garden you may take for your money," that vendor shall not do so; but the dates that grow in the garden shall be and remain the property of the owner, and with these dates he shall pay the vendor for the latter's money and the interests accrued, as the written agreement calls for; but what remains of dates after that shall be and remain the property of the owner.

8. When a shepherd of small cattle, after having driven the herd from pasture, and when the whole troop has passed within the city gates, drives his cattle to another rnan's field (within the city walls), and pastures it there, that shepherd shall take care of the field, which he has given to his flock as pasture, and shall give to the owner of the field for every day the amount of sixty qa.

9. If a man sell a slave girl for money, and another party proves just claims to her, and takes her away from her present owner, the seller shall return the money to the buyer, to exactly the same amount that his receipt calls for; if in the meanwhile she has borne children, he shall in addition pay for each child one half shekel.

10. If a man, after having promised, either verbally or in writing, a certain dowry to his daughter, loses part of his property, he can give his daughter a dowry in accordance with the property as it is now, and neither father-in-law nor son-in-law shall go to law on that account.

11. If a man has given his daughter a dowry, and the dlaughter dies without an issue, the dowry reverts to the house of her father.

12. If a woman, whose dowry her husband has taken charge of, remains childless and loses her husband, her dowry shall be returned to her in full out of the late husband's estate. If her husband during his lifetime has presented her part of his property, she shall retain this also and still receive her own dowry in full. But if she had no dowry, the judge shall examine into the condition of her husband's estate and then give her a proper share in accordance with her late husband's property.

Ancient Mesopotamian Laws

1. BE it enacted forever and for all future days: If a son say to his father, "You are not my father," he [the father] can cut off his [the son's] locks, make him a slave and sell him for money. If a son say to his mother, "You are not my mother," she can cut off his locks, turn him out of town, or (at least) drive him away from home, deprive him of citizenship and of inheritance, but his liberty he

loses not. If a father say to his son, "You are not my son," the latter has to leave house and field and he loses everything. If a mother say to her son, "You are not my son," he shall leave house and furniture. If a wife be unfaithful to her husband and then says, "You are not my husband," let her be thrown into the river. If a husband say to his wife, "You are not my wife," he shall as a fine pay one half mana of silver. If some one hires a servant and the latter dies or is rendered useless otherwise (e.g.,by flight, rebellion, or sickness) he shall give to the owner as daily wages ten qa of grain a day.

2. If an overseer or a fisherman ordered to the service of the king does not come, but sends a hireling in his stead, that same overseer or fisherman shall be put to death, and his house shall go into the possession of the hireling.

3. If a man lets out his field to a farmer and he has received the rent for his field, and afterward a flood pours down upon that field, or some animal destroys the harvest of the farmer; in case now the rent of this field is not yet paid, or ______. [The law here no doubt said that, in case of damage by weather or animals, a renter of a field will have certain reduction granted. If he paid in advance, part of the money will be refunded to him, if he pays at the end of the lease, he need not pay the full amount.]

4. When a merchant gives to his clerk grain, wool, oil, or some other merchandise for sale, the clerk shall give a strict account and turn in the money to the merchant: and the merchant shall give to the clerk a receipt for the money paid over to him.

5. When a man has bought a male or female slave, and the sale is fought by a third party (the real owner) and is in consequence thereof declared void, the seller of the slave has to pay for all damages.

6. When in an inclosed yard a disturbance occurs, or again, when a lion kills, his keeper shall pay all damages, and the owner of the yard shall receive the killed animals.

7. When a peasant says to the date-vendor, "All the dates in this garden you may take for your money," that vendor shall not do so; but the dates that grow in the garden shall be and remain the property of the owner, and with these dates he shall pay the vendor for the latter's money and the interests accrued, as the written agreement calls for; but what remains of dates after that shall be and remain the property of the owner.

8. When a shepherd of small cattle, after having driven the herd from pasture, and when the whole troop has passed within the city gates, drives his cattle to another rnan's field (within the city walls), and pastures it there, that shepherd shall take care of the field, which he has given to his flock as pasture, and shall give to the owner of the field for every day the amount of sixty qa.

9. If a man sell a slave girl for money, and another party proves just claims to her, and takes her away from her present owner, the seller shall return the money to the buyer, to exactly the same amount that his receipt calls for; if in the meanwhile she has borne children, he shall in addition pay for each child one half shekel.

10. If a man, after having promised, either verbally or in writing, a certain dowry to his daughter, loses part of his property, he can give his daughter a dowry in accordance with the property as it is now, and neither father-in-law nor son-in-law shall go to law on that account.

11. If a man has given his daughter a dowry, and the dlaughter dies without an issue, the dowry reverts to the house of her father.

12. If a woman, whose dowry her husband has taken charge of, remains childless and loses her husband, her dowry shall be returned to her in full out of the late husband's estate. If her husband during his lifetime has presented her part of his property, she shall retain this also and still receive her own dowry in full. But if she had no dowry, the judge shall examine into the condition of her husband's estate and then give her a proper share in accordance with her late husband's property.

Main Page

World History Center