(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

210                                    Law
first to a high official who attempts to settle the dispute by
agreement between the parties.
The conquest of Egypt by the Persians did not bring with
it any fundamental changes in the law, although the Greek
tradition represents Darius as a great Egyptian legislator. Up
to the present it has been impossible to prove that during the
Persian period any part of the law of the Near East was adopted
by the Egyptians. We find on the contrary that certain Aramaic
documents drawn up by Jewish soldier colonists at Aswan,
where they formed the Persian garrison, were literal translations
into Aramaic of clauses taken from Egyptian forms of contract.
Ptolemaic Period (332-30 B.C.)
The case was very different under the Macedonians and the
Greeks when, as a result of the conquest of Alexander the
Great, they had become the masters of the country. Just as
Psammeticus I (663-609) had allowed the Greeks to form a 776X1$
in Naucratis, in which they could live purely under Greek law,
so the Greeks in the newly founded Alexandria and Ptolemais
were governed entirely by Greek law, which, for instance, took
over several provisions from Solon's Athenian legislation. Thus
some provisions of the old Greek law have only become known
to, or clearly understood by, us through the papyri. Further,
those Greeks who were scattered through the country were, in
their relations with each other, governed entirely by Greek law.
But Egyptian law was preserved for the use of the Egyptian
population. The demotic documents of the Ptolemaic period
show at first the same law as those of the Saite period. A third
system of law was added: the royal law. The government pro-
claimed new statutes which were binding both on its Greek and
Egyptian subjects, especially statutes dealing with taxation,
customs, monopolies, and other matters of public law.
There was a certain amount of mutual reception of legal
institutions. Thus the Egyptians took over from the Greeks