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Not an Easy Life – Dr. Daniel Justel (Madrid,Spain) on Children and Law

in the Ancient Near East

Abandonment, adoption, arranged marriages – the fate of children in the Ancient Near East, attested in different documentary sources, was diverse, often cruel, and only sometimes with a happy end. Associate Professor Dr. Daniel Justel from theFaculty of Christian and Classical Literature San Justinoat theUniversity San Dámaso (Madrid,Spain)shed light on the legal aspects of this evidence during his two lectures entitled “Infans et leges. Children and Law in the Ancient Near East” at IHAC on April 11 and 13, 2017. Justel presented the complex and differentiated administrative terminology for children of different legal status, age and gender, and interpreted some paradigmatic and even unpublished documents with regard to the legal framework of the specific time.Inter alia, he showed how the administration demanded a detailed overview of persons working in specific fields, including children, or dealt with the question of to what extent abortion was punished in the different law codes of the Ancient Near East. The vivid lectures and the thought-provoking discussion between Justel and the audience, among them not only Assyriologists but also Egyptologists and Classicists, greatly reflected the importance but also limits of legal and administrative documents for studying the structure of ancient societies. Thus, a profound basis for future cooperation between the Ancient Near Eastern Studies of IHAC and the University San Dámaso is established.

                                                                               (Prof. Dr. Sven Güenther, M.A.)