The Care of the Elderly in the Ancient Near East

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Marten Stol, Sven Peter Vleeming
BRILL, 1998 - History - 280 pages
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"Material support in old age": how did the various cultures of the Ancient Near East counter this problem? Surprisingly, this problem has hardly been discussed before and consequently this volume is the first work to concentrate on this important social topic. A group of scholars convened to study the strategies used when there was no son at hand to 'honour father and mother'. Lawbooks remain silent, but a wealth of information can be retrieved from legal texts otherwise not easily accessible to outsiders. In a testament, for example, the testator can assure his maintenance; in other cases a dowry or other gift may take care of a surviving widow. A 'son' could be installed by adopting a wealthy adult person, or a slave be set free under the condition of serving the manumitter until his death. Unmarried women appointted 'daughters' for the same purpose. The role of the 'public sector' (in this case the temple or the palace) in taking care of the destitute elderly remains a matter of debate, also in this book. All regions with rich source materials are covered: Egypt, ancient Sumer, the Old Babylonian and Neo-Babylonian periods in the history of Mesopotamia, the Old Assyrian colonies in Anatolia, Emar. The introduction and the conclusion are by Raymond Westbrook.
 

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Contents

WILCKE Care of the Elderly in Mesopotamia in the Third
23
STOL Care of the Elderly in Mesopotamia in the
59
K R VEENHOF Old Assyrian and Ancient Anatolian Evidence
119
the NeoBaby Ionian
161
A McDOWELL Legal Aspects of Care of the Elderly in Egypt
199
H A RUPPRECHT Die Sorge fur die Alteren nach den Papyri
223
R WESTBROOK Legal aspects of Care of the Elderly in
241
Indices
259
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

S.P. Vleeming, reader in demotic Papyrology in the University of Leiden, specialises in the study of the juridical documents of Late Period Egypt.

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