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By Andrew Gross

This e-book argues that Aramaic scribes from antiquity drew upon a standard criminal culture. It identifies the designated parts that shape the middle of this practice and strains their antecedents in the cuneiform list.

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Each clause is scrutinized for consistency among the various corpora both in its overall structure and in its constituent elements. Consistency is measured by the degree to which each clause in a given corpus resembles its counterparts in other Aramaic corpora. ” Just as the constituent elements of 10:6)? For more on this clause, see Koffmahn 1963–64a; Yardeni 1997:16; Yadin et al. 2002:139–40; and Schiffman 2005:200–1. 91 Yaron 1957:44–54. 92 2001:32, 43. 93 On the practice of witnesses and signatures in the Judean Desert papyri, see Yardeni 1997:17; Cotton 1997:141–46; 2003:54–59; and Schiffman 2003b; 2005:201–2.

136 Slanski 2003a:13. 137 On these seven texts, see Slanski 2003a:92–98. 138 On the Level IV deeds of sale from Alalakh, see Kienast 1976–80:537–40. 139 Wilhelm 1998–2001:637. 38 CHAPTER ONE Arrapha, located just to the northeast on the site of modern Kirkuk. ” 141 In these transactions, the seller adopted the purchaser and then assigned him a portion of his estate, after which the purchaser would give the seller a gift (qīštu). The contracts in which these transfers were recorded, known as a ‹uppi mārūtu, assiduously avoided using the term šīmu “price,” apparently trying to avoid the impression of a sale.

Perhaps the most intriguing of these cession texts is PAT 1624, a tomb inscription dating to 214 CE in which the tomb’s owner takes on a partner and cedes to him a portion of the tomb. While the text contains quite a bit terminology that is poorly understood, it includes among other things a witness list and, therefore, may be more than a mere summary. Jewish literature of the Rabbinic (c. 100–600 CE) and Geonic (c. 600–1040 CE) periods provide another important source for Aramaic legal terminology.

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