Manumission and marriage

between 1450 and 1200, BC; Ugarit

Translator: J.J. Finkelstein

This translation is a nearly verbatim transcription of that by J.J. Finkelstein (see references). The document comes from Ugarit, which was at its height between 1450 and 1200, BC. Footnotes are Finkelstein’s unless noted (by the initials “AH”).
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. 546.

As of this day, before witnesses, Gilben, chamberlain of the queen's palace, set free [5] Eliyawe his maidservant, from among the women of the harem, and by pouring oil on her head, made her free, saying: [10] “Just as I am quit towards her, so is she quit towards me, forever.&rdquop

Further, Buriyanu, the namu, has taken her as his wife, [I5] and Buriyanu, her husband has rendered 20 shekels of silver into the hands of Gilben.

Four witnesses.

(Inscribed on seal:) Should Buriyanu, tomorrow or the following day, refuse to consummate his marriage with Eliyawe—

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