Mesopotamian Marriage Contract

19th c., BC

Translator: J.J. Finkelstein

This translation is a nearly verbatim transcription of that by J.J. Finkelstein (see references). It dates from the Old Assyrian period, approximately the 19th century, BC. Footnotes are Finkelstein’s.
Notes are ‘mouse hover style’, connected to passages in green.

Please report errors to me (link at end of page). -Alan Humm


Finkelstein, Jacob J. (1969). Additional Mesopotamian legal documents: Marriage contract. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament with Supplement. James B. Pritchard (Ed.). Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. p. 543.

Laqipum has married Hatala, daughter of Enishru. In the country Laqipum [5] may not marry another woman—but in the City he may marry a hierodule. If within two years she does not provide him with offspring, [10] she herself will purchase a slave-woman, and later on, after she will have produced a child by him, [15] he may then dispose of her by sale wheresoever he pleases. Should Laqipum choose to divorce her , he must pay her five minas of silver- [20] and should Hatala choose to divorce him, she must pay him five minas of silver.

Witnesses: Masa, Ashurishtikal, [25] Talia, Shupianika.

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