Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



In this paper, I show that we can find some foundations of logic and legal argumentation in the tablets of Mesopotamia at least since the dynasty of Ur III. In these texts, we see the oldest correct application of logical inference rules (e.g. ). As concerns the legal argumentation established in Mesopotamia, we can reconstruct on the basis of the tablets the following rules of dispute resolutions during trials: (1) There are two parties of disputants: (i) a protagonist who formulates a standpoint and (ii) an antagonist who disagrees with the protagonist’s standpoint and formulates an alternative statement. (2) There is a rational judge represented by high-ranking citizens who should follow only logical conclusions from facts and law articles as premises.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Cicero
    Cicero 2006On invention, The best kind of orator, Topics (trans: Hubbell, H. M.; Loeb Classical Library 386). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Cole, S. W.
    1996 Nippur IV. The Early Neo-Babylonian Governor’s Archive from Nippur. Oriental Institute Publications. Volume114. Chicago: the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Culbertson, L. E.
    2009Dispute Resolution in the Provincial Courts of the Third Dynasty of Ur. A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Near Eastern Studies) in the University of Michigan.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Culbertson, L.
    Local Courts in Centralizing States: The Case of Ur III Mesopotamia, [in:] Social Theory in Archaeology and Ancient History, 185–202. 10.1017/CBO9781107282056.010
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107282056.010 [Google Scholar]
  5. Friberg, J.
    2007A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts. Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection Cuneiform Texts I. New York: Springer. 10.1007/978‑0‑387‑48977‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-48977-3 [Google Scholar]
  6. Holtz, Sh. E.
    2009Neo-Babylonian Court Procedure. Series: Cuneiform monographs. Brill: Leiden, Boston. 10.1163/ej.9789004174962.i‑338
    https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004174962.i-338 [Google Scholar]
  7. 2014Neo-Babylonian Trial Records. Society of Biblical Literature Atlanta. 10.2307/j.ctt5vjz1s
    https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt5vjz1s [Google Scholar]
  8. Kienast, B., Volk, K.
    1995Die Sumerischen und Akkadischen Briefe des III Jahrtausends aus der Zeit vor der III Dynastie von Ur. Freiburg: F. Steiner Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Lafont, B.
    2000 Les texts judiciaries sumériens, [in] Joannes (ed.), Rendre la justice en Mesopotamie. Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, pp.35–68.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Mercer, S. A. B.
    1913 The Oath in Cuneiform Inscriptions, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 33, 33–50. 10.2307/592815
    https://doi.org/10.2307/592815 [Google Scholar]
  11. Michalowski, P., Walker, C. B.
    1989 A New Sumerian “Law Code”, [in] H. Behrens (eds.), Dumu-e2-dub-ba-a: Studies in Honor of Ake W. Sjoberg. Philadelphia.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Molina, M.
    2000La ley mas Antigua: Textes legales sumerios. Madrid.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2008 New Ur III Court Records Concerning Slavery, [in:] P. Michalowski (ed.). On the Third Dynasty of Ur: Studies in Honor of Marcel Sigrist. Journal of Cuneiform Studies Supplementary Series 1. ASOR, pp.125–143.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Roth, M.
    2001 Reading Mesopotamian Law Cases PBS 5 100: A Question of Filiation, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient44/3:243–292. 10.1163/156852001320123092
    https://doi.org/10.1163/156852001320123092 [Google Scholar]
  15. Roth, M. T.
    1995Law collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. With a contribution byHarry A. Hoffner, Ir.; edited byPiotr Michalowski. Scholars Press Atlanta, Georgia.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Schumann, A.
    2019a Did the Neo-Babylonians Construct a Symbolic Logic for Legal Proceedings?, Journal of Applied Logics – IfCoLoG Journal of Logics and their Applications, 6(1): 31–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2019b On the Origin of Indian Logic from the Viewpoint of the Pāli Canon, Logica Universalis, 10.1007/s11787‑019‑00225‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11787-019-00225-1 [Google Scholar]
  18. van Eemeren, F. H., Garssen, B., Krabbe, E. C. W., Francisca, A., Henkemans, S., Verheij, B., Wagemans, J. H. M.
    2014Handbook of Argumentation Theory. Dordrecht Heidelberg New York London: Springer.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. van Eemeren, F. H., Grootendorst, R.
    2004A Systematic Theory of Argumentation. The pragma-dialectical approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Walton, D.
    1995 Argumentation Schemes for Presumptive Reasoning. Series: Studies in Argumentation Theory. Routledge.
  21. Weisberg, D. B.
    2003Neo-Nabylonian Texts in the Oriental Institute Collection. Oriental Institute Publications. Volume114. Chicago: the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error