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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Law                                    217
cedure and on public law, is added to that of Roman law. It
is rather in certain details that Coptic law showed Its own
peculiar character. Under Roman law litigation could be ended
by putting a party on his oath or by a settlement. Under Coptic
law this was considered to be the normal end of an action, much
more common than a judgement. It would be illegal under
Roman law to give a free child to a monastery to spend his life
there, not as a monk, but as a servant: but gifts of that kind
were attested by Coptic notaries. But it is extremely doubtful
whether one can see herein any connexion with the 'self-sales'
into slavery of the Saite period. The same must be said of the
similarities which may be found between demotic and Coptic
legal documents, both in the law of marriage and the law con-
cerning sureties.
After the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs legal documents
written In Greek soon disappeared; the Coptic country popula-
tion, however, preserved its writing and language down to the
eleventh century. Only then the Coptic legal documents dis-
appeared and with them, the last relic of the richly variegated
history of Egyptian law.
ERWIN SEIDL