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Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia$
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Jean Bottero

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613878.001.0001

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Women’s Rights

Women’s Rights

(p.112) Chapter 7 Women’s Rights
Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Jean Bottéro


When it comes to feminism, the ancient Semites and their descendants have a rather poor reputation. Ethnically more vigorous, however, the Akkadians absorbed their partners during the third millennium, and alone remained responsible for the maintenance and development of their sumptuous cultural system, until its disappearance shortly before era of Christianity. Given such a considerable lapse of time, this chapter offers here only a panorama of the feminine condition in Mesopotamia. It sets apart the slaves who by definition were totally dependent on their masters, although the latter appear to have treated them fairly humanely, and more like domestic servants. If one is to believe the voluminous files and especially the legal picture of the basic relationships between the sexes, women's circumstances at first appear not far removed from those revealed in the Bible and, later, the Koran.

Keywords:   feminism, Semites, Akkadians, Christianity, Mesopotamia, slaves, master, servants, Bible, Koran

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