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Crime and punishment, criminal law and its administration, are areas of ancient history that have been explored less than many other aspects of ancient civilizations. Throughout history women have been affected by crime both as victims and as offenders. Yet, in the ancient world, customary laws were created by men, formal laws were written by men, and both were interpreted and enforced by men. This 2-volume explores the role of gender in the formation and administration of ancient law and examines the many gender categories and relationships established in ancient law, including marriage, parentage, widowhood, adoption, inheritance, debt, liability, and so forth. It presents data that has been newly discovered, underreported, or omitted from previous works on ancient law. It also re-examines and reevaluates prior interpretations and conclusions, to enable the silent voices of ancient women to be heard and their invisible lives to be seen in the light of modern feminist scholarship.
Elisabeth M. Tetlow has been a visiting scholar in law and religious studies at Loyola University of New Orleans since 1992.