Sale documents of the Ur-III-period (Freiburger by Piotr Steinkeller

By Piotr Steinkeller

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9. 1. The only example of a clause referring, though in an oblique way, to the seller's responsibility for a runaway slave, comes from no. 94**. l9~ If we accept this understanding of the grammar, then the obligation of the seller (or rather, the conditions which will make his obligation void) can be interpreted in two different ways: (1) the seller is not responsible for the slave woman if her death is a consequence of her having disappeared, in other words, he is liable for her death under all but that circumstance; (2) he is responsible for her disappearance, but only if the disappearance does not result in death; in other words, he is liable for her disappearance but not for her death.

187 In most other examples cited here, the clause is to be interpreted as a conflated sequence of the defense and eviction clauses, in which the apodosis of the defense clause and the protasis of the eviction clause have been omitted (c, d, e,f,j, k, m). This assumption is corroborated by examples g, i, I, and n, which show the postulated sequence of the defense and eviction clauses. As for the damages stipulated by the OB and later eviction clauses, it could be either duplum (k, I) or simple restitution (g, m) or a standard fme (c, d, e, f, i, j, n).

One could also restore inim [nu-gi-gi-db], but this is less likely, given that in Sargonic and Ur III texts the use of inim . . 4). To my knowledge, the use of inim . . k k in no-contest clauses is not attested outside of the Ur IiI sale documents. 4. The verb inim . . gar Text no. 12 contains a unique clause in which the seller's brothers promise not to raise claims to the sold man. "ll9 Although we have included this clause among the no-contest clauses, it needs to be stressed that its legal import is markedly different from that of the three earlier examples.

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