Ex Oriente Lex
Near Eastern Influences on Ancient Greek and Roman Law
Before his untimely death in July 2009, Westbrook was regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on ancient legal history. Although his main field was ancient Near Eastern law, he also made important contributions to the study of early Greek and Roman law. In his examination of the relationship between ancient Near Eastern and pre-classical Greek and Roman law, Westbrook sought to demonstrate that the connection between the two legal spheres was not merely theoretical but also concrete. The Near Eastern legal heritage had practical consequences that help us understand puzzling individual cases in the Greek and Roman traditions. His essays provide rich material for further reflection and interdisciplinary discussion about compelling similarities between legal cultures and the continuity of legal traditions over several millennia.
Aimed at classicists and ancient historians, as well as biblicists, Egyptologists, Assyriologists, and legal historians, this volume gathers many of Westbrook's most important essays on the legal aspects of Near Eastern cultural influences on the Greco-Roman world, including one new, never-before-published piece. A preface by editors Deborah Lyons and Kurt Raaflaub details the importance of Westbrook's work for the field of classics, while Sophie Démare-Lafont's incisive introduction places Westbrook's ideas within the wider context of ancient law.
About the Authors
"It is the singular admiration for his diagnostic skills which attracts readers of ancient Near Eastern law to his scholarship, and as a result he will not be forgotten . . ."—The Ds Commentary
"Il reste que la lecture de cet ouvrage donne à penser, ce qui n'est pas si courant de nos jours, et que l'on ne pourra que s'enrichir à sa lecture, à défaut de partager l'ensemble des options de son auteur."—Latomus Journal
"The late Raymond Westbrook was an outstanding scholar of ancient Greek, Roman, and Near East civilization and law. This selection of his essays, originally published in widespread periodicals and Festschriften, is very well done. A desideratum for classicists and readers all over the world who are interested in the problems of ancient legal history."—Gerhard Thür, Austrian Academy of Sciences
"Both experts and non-experts in the study of the ancient world are indebted to the editors for this splendid edition of Raymond Westbrook's papers. Westbrook is a master comparatist, and his work is a model for humanists and social scientists who seek to enhance their discovery procedures by combining internal analysis with comparative perspectives. By comparing Near Eastern legal traditions with the relevant evidence recorded in ancient Greek and Latin texts, Westbrook has profoundly changed how we look at ancient law."—Gregory Nagy, Harvard University, author of The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours
Other Titles by Raymond Westbrook
Other Titles in HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
Other Titles in Classical history / classical civilisation