Settling a Dispute: Toward a Legal Anthropology of Late Antique Egypt
by Traianos Gagos and Peter Van Minnen
University of Michigan Press, 1994
Cloth: 978-0-472-09590-2 | Paper: 978-0-472-06590-5
Library of Congress Classification KJA670.E3 1994
Dewey Decimal Classification 346.456350432

Family squabbles and fights over real estate were no less complex in sixth-century Egypt than they are in the modern world. In this unusual volume Peter van Minnen and Traianos Gagos investigate just such a struggle, as described in a two-part papyrus some five feet long. Composed by the ancient equivalent of a notary public, the papyrus describes the outcome (after mediation) of a family dispute about valuable real estate.
Traianos Gagos and Peter van Minnen offer an English translation and a clear Greek text of the two papyrus fragments, as well as an important discussion of the nature of such mediation, its role in contemporary society, a consideration of the town of Aphrodito and its social and political elite, as well as many other topics that spring from this kind of document.
The use of methodologies from modern jurisprudence and anthropology together with an accessible style of writing mean that Settling a Dispute will be of interest to persons in many fields, including history, Classics, and Near Eastern studies. All Greek is translated, and an extensive commentary offers much helpful information on the text.
Traianos Gagos is Associate Archivist of the University of Michigan's papyri collection. Peter van Minnen is Senior Research Associate in the papyri collection at Duke University.

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