Policemen in 1st millennium BC Babylonia

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR

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By: Reinhard Pirngruber

When constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done,
A policeman’s lot is not a happy one, happy one.

The Pirates of Penzance

There is always crime and sometimes there is punishment. But where do policemen come from?

The exceptionally abundant cuneiform documentation from Babylonia dating to the period of the Neo-Babylonian (626-539 BCE) and Achaemenid Empires (539-331 BCE) yields, among others, tens of thousands of legal and administrative tablets. In addition to the archives of the large temple households, (more…)

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