International Law in Antiquity (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law)

International Law in Antiquity (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law)

David J. Bederman

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 0521033594

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This study of the origins of international law combines techniques of intellectual history and historiography to investigate the earliest developments of the law of nations. Containing up-to-date literature and archaeological evidence, it reevaluates the critical attributes of international law. David J. Bederman focuses on three essential areas in which law influenced ancient state relations--diplomacy, treaty-making and warfare--in a detailed analysis of the Near East (2800-700 BCE), the Greek city-states (500-338 BCE), and Rome (358-168 BCE). A fascinating study for lawyers, ancient historians and classicists alike.

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Porter ed. 1992). This point has typically been made as an adjunct to the wider proposition, considered above (see Chapter 1, above), that international law is the unique product of the modern, Enlightenment mind and could not have been present in antiquity. See, e.g., Theodor Mommsen, Römische Geschichte (W. P. Dickson transl. 1894). See Michael I. Rostovtseff, International Relations in the Ancient World, in The History and Nature of International Relations 35 (E. Walsh ed. 1922). See Emil

become confederate by reason of contiguity.” Ibid. at 379. Nawaz, The Law of Nations in Ancient India, 6 Indian YBIA 172, 173 (1957). To a similar effect is Enrico Besta, Il Diritto Internazionale nel Mondo Antico, in 2 Comunicazione e studi dell’ Istituto di Diritto Internazionale e Straniero dell’ Università di Milano 9, 10 (1946). Thomas A. Walker, A History of the Law of Nations 31 (1899). See also J. Galtung, Social Cosmology and the Concept of Peace, 18 Journal of Peace Research 183 (1981);

war.112 If one is looking for a unifying theme of ancient Near Eastern diplomatic practice, it might be that strong (but not insurmountable) 106 107 109 110 111 112 Munn-Rankin, supra note 55, at 108 (citing 1 Archives Royales de Mari: Correspondance de Samsi-Addu (G. Dossin transl. 1950) (passage 21) (hereinafter “1 ARMT”)). See also Orlin, supra note 56, at 119 (for an incident involving an Assyrian envoy). Arthur Nussbaum, A Concise History of the Law of Nations 4–5 (rev. ed. 1954). See

legationis et fas gentium rupistis.”). See 4 Digest, supra note 21, at 922 (50.7.17; Pomponius, Quintus Mucius 37) (“si cum legati apud nos essent gentis alicuius, bellum cum eis indictum sit? responsum est, liberos eos manere; id enim iuri gentium convenit esse”). See supra notes 177–80 with text. See 11 Diodorus, supra note 14, at 217 (passage xxvii.12). See Strauss and Ober, supra note 140, at 182. Sallust, supra note 93, at 211 (passage xxxv). Ibid. at 212 (passage xxxv.7) (“Fit reus magis ex

were defeated at the Battle of Megiddo in 1480 BCE, were said (at least by Egyptian sources) to “have made peace” with their Egyptian overlords.64 In one version they sought the “breath of life” from the victorious Egyptians.65 The juridical construction “to make peace” was combined with the dynastic Egyptian obligation to “be generous to” or “do good to” the new vassals.66 Subsequent instruments with the Syrian vassals regulated such matters as payment of tribute, pronouncements of homage to the

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