The Women Designated ‘Man and Woman’ in Emar and Ekalte

 Masamichi Yamada

(REFEMA 4th Workshop: June 26–27, 2014, Tokyo)

ABSTRACT

In a number of Akkadian legal texts from Emar and Ekalte, a woman is designated as ‘Man and Woman,’ i.e., “male and female” or “female and male,” as well as “male” or “son.” This paper extracts some general patterns and basic features of the designation, obligations and inheritance of such women by examining the relevant fifteen texts. In these texts, the designee is usually a daughter of a male family head who has no son. She is to inherit the family estate in place of a son, and her relatives are forbidden to lay claim on it. She owes the same obligations as the (eldest) son to take care of her parents and, after the death of her father, to invoke the family gods and ancestral spirits. Probably she is also given the right to transfer inherited property to another if necessary. Although if her father adopts a son as her husband, the latter can take over the status as heir, her substantial initiative in the family seems to be preserved. The existence of the status of ‘Man and Woman’ indicates that the continuation of one’s own birth descendants had priority over the principle of male centeredness in the society.

I. Introduction

In the Akkadian texts from Emar and Ekalte in its vicinity, we find two kinds of women given both genders. Some are designated as ‘Father and Mother,’ and others as what I shall call ‘Man and Woman.’ In this presentation I treat the latter type of women. In the term ‘Man and Woman,’ I include the designations “male and female” (once “son and daughter”) or “female and male,” as well as also simply “male” or “son.” Since a daughter’s being designated as son is known in the Nuzi texts, the comparable cases in Emar have attracted the attention of several scholars, and recently J. J. Justel and B. Lion have published special studies on the ‘Man and Woman.’ Although many points have already been pointed out by them, I hope that I can show a few new aspects of this issue.

II. Attestation

We have fifteen relevant texts in total, thirteen from Emar and two from Ekalte. Of these, nine are texts of the Syrian type, including the two from Ekalte, and six are of the Syro-Hittite type from Emar. The handout lists them by provenance and tablet type.

III. Designation

The ‘Man and Woman’ is designated variously in the texts, with several kinds of introductory formula, in nominal or verbal sentences. I have shown samples of the expressions and arranged basic data in the handout. In List 1, however, we can recognize some systematic features. Firstly, the terms for ‘Man and Woman’ are different according to the tablet type or, more accurately, the scribal tradition: the Syrian type uses “female and male,” while the Syro-Hittite type has “male and female.” Note also that the use of DUMU/māru is restricted to the latter type. Secondly, several formulas are used. In Emar, although the designation is most commonly expressed in verbal sentences, the verbs are different: in the Syrian type we see šakānu, but epēšu in the Syro-Hittite type. These two points show the contrast between the two contemporary scribal traditions in Emar. Thirdly, as for the texts of the Syrian type, in Ekalte nominal sentences are used, while verbal sentences are used in Emar, as noted above. This reflects a diachronic change within the same scribal tradition.

In these texts, the person who designates a woman as ‘Man and Woman’ is a male family head. To this point we will return later. In general, the designator is a man who has no son for heir, as is explicitly stated in AuOr 5-T 13, and the designee is usually his daughter or daughters. In two cases we see a sister is designated, probably because the designator has no child (and maybe no brother either). In three texts, RE 23 and Sem. 46-T 2 as well as Emar VI 184, the women are established as the contingent heirs in case the existing sons designated heirs should die without offspring. The only exception to the substitutive nature of ‘Man and Woman’ is seen in RA 77-T 1, where a daughter is designated, although her brothers are alive at home. On the other hand, in ASJ 13-T 30, the designator prescribes that if Iddi-ramu, most probably his lost son, later turns up, he will be the heir instead of the designated daughters. This shows that the designation of ‘Man and Woman’ could be tentative.

The designation of ‘Man and Woman’ is made in the presence of other people to be valid. This is particularly the case in the Syrian-type texts, in which the lú.mešaḫḫū, ‘Brothers,’ of the designator are frequently summoned for this legal matter, and witnesses are listed at the end of the texts. Here, it is worth noting that in all the Syrian-type Emar texts but one, those lú.mešaḫḫū are summoned and/or the king of Emar is referred to as the first witness, whereas in the Ekalte texts, the lú.mešaḫḫū are summond, but no king of Ekalte appears as a witness. Although we have only two ‘Man and Woman’ Ekalte texts, the same pattern can be observed in documents that designate ‘Father and Mother.’

The need to summon the lú.mešaḫḫū is understandable, as this term is known to denote one’s relatives in a broad sense. Most probably, since they were potential claimants to the designator’s estate, their agreement on his decision was required. The involvement of the king is also important, since the royal authority would have forced potential claimants to accept the decision of the designator. However, we find that Sem. 46-T 2 was made in the presence of the lú.meššībūtu, not the lú.mešaḫḫū, and the king is not referred to. How can we explain this?

In this respect, we need to look at the diachronic change in the political regime in the land of Aštata. In both Ekalte and Emar, we can recognize two official authorities, i.e., urban and royal. As I discussed elsewhere, in the period of the Ekalte texts, the urban authority was dominant in Ekalte. In Emar after the Hittite conquest, in the early phase both authorities were balanced or the urban authority was still dominant. However, from the reign of Zu-Aštarti on, the royal authority evidently became dominant. Taking account of this historical framework, I think, the lú.meššībūtu of Sem. 46-T 2 denotes the city elders representing the urban authority, since the scribe of this text is Alal-abu, who belonged to the urban authority in the early phase of the Emar texts. If this is correct, we may think that in the early phase, when an official authority intervened in family affairs, it was the urban, not royal, authority. This means that in Emar an official authority was always involved in the designation of ‘Man and Woman.’ Then, what about the Ekalte texts’ lack of reference to any official authority? It seems to me that in Ekalte official intervention had not yet occurred in such a family affair.

The situation is different for the texts of the Syro-Hittite type in Emar. We see no summoning of lú.mešaḫḫū here, and two royal documents of Carchemish, RE 85 and Emar VI 31, lack a witness list. Although TS 74 lacks one too, it has a sealer list. Were these documents enough to force the designator’s relatives to accept the legal decision? The answer must be positive. Probably, the fact that a Syro-Hittite-type document was drawn up was decisive enough for the Emarites, since it reflected the authority of the Hittites, the conquerors of the city.

If so, one may rather wonder why the involvement of the king of Carchemish himself in two of the texts was necessary. In this respect, it is interesting to note that the woman designated as ‘Man and Woman’ in RE 85 is a qadištu-woman. If she was a priestess, Ini-Tešub’s involvement may have been due to her religious importance. In Emar VI 31, although we see no special status for the daughters designated as “sons,” it should be noted that the text also designates as ‘Father and Mother’ another daughter, who is a ḫarimtu-woman, a term usually taken to mean prostitute or independent woman. In any case, since this woman was once cut off from her family, the authority of Šaḫurunuwa was probably required to incorporate her into it again. As for PdA 66 of Prince Ḫešmi-Tešub, unfortunately we have no clue for special status of the designated daughter in the text.

IV. Obligations

We can recognize two obligations which the women designated ‘Man and Woman’ were to perform. The first is the worship of the gods and ancestral spirits for the family after the death of the designator. As shown in List 2, this is attested relatively often, in nine texts of the fifteen. For example, in RA 77-T 1 the father states of his daughter: “She shall invoke my gods and my dead.” It is well known that this obligation was usually performed by the eldest son, who took as his share the main house, to which the family god (or gods) belonged.

In the light of this observation, the abbreviated sentence in TS 72: 10, “Šamaš-laʾi, the god of the main house,” can be understood to indicate (my daughter) “Šamaš-laʾi (shall be in charge of) the god of the main house,” as in the case of Emar VI 201. When plural daughters are designated as ‘Man and Woman,’ the one who inherits the main house will perform the obligation. So, if each nuclear family had its family cult of gods and ancestral spirits, the omission of reference to that obligation in other texts is understandable: because it was taken for granted that the main heiress was to perform it.

The second obligation to be noted is caring. The question is, who is to be cared for. As already pointed out by K. R. Veenhof, the act of ‘caring’ is expressed differently in the texts from Emar (and Ekalte): abālu Gtn is used in the Syrian type, whereas palāḫu is used in the Syro-Hittite type, with only a few exceptions. As shown in List 2, this obligation of ‘Man and Woman’ is attested relatively rarely, in a total of six texts. But in RA 77-T 1, the father orders his sons to take care of the designated daughter, calling her also their “mother” (ll. 12, 15, 17, 24). Actually, she is treated more like a woman designated as ‘Father and Mother,’ who is usually the designator’s wife. This leads us to think that as far as this obligation is concerned, the daughter in RA 77-T 1 is exceptional. Her designation as ‘Man and Woman’ was probably due to her age and the above obligation of worship. In other words, she is to be regarded as a mixture of both types of women given both genders.

In the above six texts, the persons to be cared for are parents, mother, or sister. Except for the first case, the women to be cared for are all designated as ‘Father and Mother.’ Thus, we may recognize here female predominance, and correlation with the designation of ‘Father and Mother.’ What do these features tell us? Did a ‘Man and Woman’ usually take care only of her mother? To clarify this point, it is necessary to examine other legal texts concerning caring for comparison.

Let us look firstly at seventeen adoption contracts of the ‘normal’ type, that is, in which the positions of the father and son before the adoption seem to have been equal, that is, neither subordinate nor dominant. Among these, TS 72 and AuOr 5-T 14 also concern ‘Man and Woman.’ In these, whom is the adopted son to care for? They are his adoptive parents or the like in twelve texts, his adoptive father in three texts, and his adoptive mother in two texts. Note that the last two texts are written by the adoptive mother, who is most probably a widow. Thus, these ‘normal’ adoption contracts show that the adopted son usually takes care of his adoptive parents, or, more accurately, of the adoptive parent or parents still alive at that time.

When looking at other non ‘Man and Woman’ texts in which it is a woman who owes an obligation of caring for a family member, we find only a woman as its object: her mother in three texts and her sister in one text. But there is one case where a female slave is assigned to take care of her master and his wife, with the provision that she will be released after their deaths. In three other texts, it is prescribed that if a man who has the obligation of caring should die, a woman will undertake it as his substitute. In one text we find his sister will take care of his parents, and in two texts, the wife of a debtor will do the same for the creditor and his wife. Here, we may note two points. Firstly, when a woman has this obligation, its object is usually a female member of the family, particularly her mother. But secondly, it is also possible for her to take care of also a male in some circumstances.

In view of the above observations, how should we think about the object of caring by a ‘Man and Woman’? Is it care of mother or sister only, or of both her parents? In other words, is it gender-oriented as women taking care of women, or not because she is a woman substituting for a son? In my opinion, the latter is preferable. Note that the designator has no son and apparently needs caring by someone, and that she, the substitute for a son, can perform this obligation. As seen above, the references to her mother or sister as its object are restricted to the texts in which those women are designated as ‘Father and Mother.’ It seems to me that it is due only to this other matter that the object of the caring is specified. Then, why are both parents referred to in BLMJE 3? Here, it should be noted that the designator was the adoptive father of the designees. Probably, because he was not their natural father, the reference to him was required.

Based on these considerations, I would conclude that it was usually taken for granted that the ‘Man and Woman’ would take care of the designator and his wife, so the obligation did not need to be always stated explicitly.

V. Inheritance

Although the notion of ‘all one’s estate’ is expressed variously in the texts from Emar and Ekalte, the basic expression seems to be bītu mimmû, “house (and) possessions.” This phrase, as well as its abbreviations, and the term used in PdA 66, ḪA.LA/zittu, “(inheritance) share,” are explicitly stated as the inheritance of the ‘Man and Woman’ in seven texts in total, as indicated in List 2.

Among the remaining eight texts, although the case of TS 72 is not clear, in the other seven texts also, it seems evident that they will inherit all the estate of the designator. Let us take RE 15 as an example here. In this text, Irʾib-dIM designates his wife as ‘Father and Mother’ and gives her all his estate. At the same time, he designates his two daughters as ‘Man and Woman.’ Then he states that if these daughters should die without offspring, his wife shall give (the estate) to an offspring of his own father. Now, what will happen if the daughters without offspring are still alive at the time of her death? It seems self-evident that they will inherit all the estate.

Here, it may be noted that there are three other texts, Emar VI 32, 128 and 213, in which it is prescribed that a daughter will inherit all the estate of her parent, although she is not called ‘Man and Woman.’ Why not? Let us note that here the parent who gives the estate is the mother, and she is referred to as the “wife of PN,” most probably his widow. This suggests that only a male family head had the right to designate a woman as ‘Man and Woman.’ Ordinary widows probably did not have this right.

Now let us turn to another aspect of inheritance. Although usually the woman designated as ‘Man and Woman’ is unmarried, several texts deal with her marriage. If the father adopts a son as her husband during his lifetime, does this affect her status as heiress?

In Emar VI 31 and RA 77-T 2 the answer is negative. For example, in the former text, although the father designates his two daughters as “sons,” and marries one of them to his adopted son, he prescribes that (only) those two daughters will inherit all his estate. TS 72 is problematic, however. Here, the adopted son is assigned the task of caring for his adoptive parents, while, as seen above, it seems that the designated daughter will undertake the obligation of worship. Although it is written that the father’s estate will be inherited by the sons born to this couple in the future, it is not clear who inherits it immediately after the death of the father. Since they both have obligations, one may speculate that both husband and wife will inherit it. AuOr 5-T 14 provides still another pattern. In this text, the father assigns all his estate to his adopted son, the husband of his daughter, changing his previous decision in AuOr 5-T 13 that she was the ‘Man and Woman’ who would inherit it.

Thus, we find three possible patterns of inheritance by a ‘Man and Woman’ who has been married to an adopted son. First, she inherits; second, they both inherit; third, he inherits. How are they to be evaluated? For this purpose, let us consult the patterns found in other texts of ‘normal’ adoption, with marriage between the adopted son and a daughter of the adoptive father. When checking the seven relevant texts, one sees that inheritance by the adopted son is normal in these cases; inheritance by daughter only is not attested at all, and inheritance by both is found only once. Therefore, it can be said that inheritance by daughter only is peculiar to the ‘Man and Woman.’ However, one cannot conclude that this was normal for this type of women. Let us note that many of them were unmarried at the time of designation, and their fathers no doubt expected to adopt sons as their husbands later. AuOr 5-T 14 provides a case where a father succeeded in doing so, and changed the inheritance provision to inheritance by the adopted son, which was normal in the ‘normal’ adoption with marriage.

In view of the above, although we do have cases where a daughter alone inherits, I am inclined to think that the fathers usually made the designation with the hope he could later adopt a husband for her who would inherit the estate. In other words, the designation of ‘Man and Woman’ could be usually a tentative measure, as is clear in ASJ 13-T 30.

Here, one may raise several questions. Firstly, if the designation of ‘Man and Woman’ was tentative, why was it necessary at all? I think, it was a precaution against claims to the designator’s estate by his relatives; since without that designation, they might demand that he marry off his daughter so that they might inherit it. Secondly, if the daughter did marry an adopted son, who would have the substantial initiative in the family after the death of the father: the adopted son as his legal heir, or the daughter as his natural offspring? Although it is difficult to clarify this point, the latter case may have been general in reality, as is today in Japan.

In any case, if the father dies without adopting a son as the husband of his ‘Man and Woman’ daughter, she is no doubt established as the sole heiress to his estate. She holds the initiative in her family. Such a woman holding the initiative is occasionally attested in Emar, as shown in the handout. It is interesting to note here that all of them are referred to as “daughter of PN” or by her own PN, but never as “wife of PN.” In view of their independent, socio-economic activities, it seems likely that they are women once designated as ‘Man and Woman.’ Here, it is interesting to note that those activities include the sale of the father’s house, as in Emar VI 113. Also noteworthy are Emar VI 124 and TS 28, which deal with their remarriage, for these texts provide possible, though not definite, support for the substantial initiative of ‘Man and Woman,’ especially if the first marriage of those women was to an adopted son during the lifetime of their fathers.

Finally, the estate which the ‘Man and Woman’ inherits from the designator is, of course, in principle to be inherited by the sons she bears, as is explicitly stated in TS 72.

VI. Closing Remarks

Generally speaking, the woman designated as ‘Man and Woman’ is a daughter of a man who has no son for heir, i.e., a substitute. Although she is expected to be the heiress and family head, the designation may usually have been tentative. Probably it was done as a precaution against claims to the designator’s estate by his relatives. But once that status is established, she has the same rights and obligations as a son. In this sense, we may recognize here gender conversion, as Lion argued. However, does this mean that she abandons her own female work, such as weaving and food preparation? This does not seem likely. If so, it may be better to regard the phenomenon as gender addition, as the full terms for ‘Man and Woman’ suggest. Unfortunately, however, we have few texts from Emar and Ekalte that shed light on women’s domestic activities.

The existence of the status of ‘Man and Woman’ indicates that the continuation of one’s own birth descendants had priority over the social principle of male centeredness, though being greatly restricted by it, as seen in its substitutive nature. As noted above, a major reason would have been the obsession that the estate be kept within the family. However, at the fundamental level, there seems to have been another motivation for the choice of his daughter. It was maintenance of the designator’s own family cult, again as pointed out by Lion. It is easy to speculate that he fears that, if he designates his brother as heir, the brother might neglect to worship his spirit properly. Probably, the only ones he could be certain would be loyal to him were his own blood offspring, in this case, his female offspring. 

< Handout >

I. Introduction

1. The legal texts from Emar (ca. 1275–1175 B.C.)     Syrian type and Syro-Hittite type

from Ekalte (ca. 1400–1325 B.C.)[1]                Syrian type only

2. ‘Man and Woman’ (= M&W): “male and female” or “female and male” (also “male,” “son”)

cf. ‘Father and Mother’ (= F&M); also daughter as “son” in Nuzi

II. Attestation

1. Emar texts

a) Syrian type (S): BLMJE 3: 22; RA 77-T 1 (= ASJ 13-T 25): 7; 2 (= ASJ 13-T 26): 10; RE 15: 11; 23: 14; Sem. 46-T 2: 19; also Emar VI 184: 17′ (NITA-ma ka-lu-šu!-[nu])

b) Syro-Hittite type (H): AuOr 5-T 13: 5; PdA 66: 5 (“son and daughter”); RE 85: 14; also Emar VI 31: 9; TS 72: 3; 74: 2

2. Ekalte texts: Ekalte II 65: 15; ASJ 13-T 30: 15

III. Designation

RA 77-T 1 (S): iš-tu UD-mi an-ni-im 2 mzi-ik-ri-dKUR DUMU ib-ni-dKUR i-na bu-ul-ṭì-šu LÚ.MEŠ. AḪ.ḪÁ-šu ú-še-ši-ib ki-ia-am iq-bi a-nu-um-ma 6 mfú-na-ra DUMU.MÍ-ia a-naù NITA aš-ku-un-ši

RE 85 (H): a-na p[a-ni m]i-ni-dU-u[b] … 5 mzu-aš-tar-[ti] DUMU m[…] ši-im-[ti É-šu] ù [DUMU.M]Í-šu i-ši-im10 a-kán-na iq-bi11 um-ma-a a-nu-um-ma 12 fa-ḫa-am-ma-du4 13 DUMU.MÍ-ia NU.GIG 14 a-na NITA ùe-te-pu-us-si-mi

PdA 66 (H): a-na pa-ni ḫi-iš-mi-dIM-ub DUMU LUGAL [Ø] [mq]í-bi-dKUR DUMU du-ú-da DUMU ia-si-na?-li [ri-i]k-sa ša É-šu ir-ku-uš [a-kán-n]a iq-bi ma-a a-nu-ma [fd30-k]i-mi DUMU.MÍ-ia a-na DUMU.NITA ù-ti [epu-u]š-ši

Ekalte II 65 (S): 1 mdIM-EN DUMU zu-an-na i-na bu-ul-ṭú-ti-šu LÚ.MEŠ.aḫ-ḫe-šu ú-še-ri-ib-ma ši-im-ti É-šu ù DUMU.MÍ-mia-ak-mu um-mi-šu i-ši-im ki-am iq-bi um-ma šu-ú-ma a-nu-um-ma14 fum-mi-na- aḫ-mi-il5 a-ḫa-ti-ia 15 ù NITA ši-i-ma

List 1. Legal Form of Designation of the ‘Man and Woman’

Abbreviations: d(s). = designator’s daughter(s), C = riksu-contract (riksa rakāsu), O = other type, St. = statement (qabû only), T = testament (šīmti bīti (etc.) šiāmu), W1 = the first witness (king/prince), * = F&M doc.

Kings/princes of Carchemish and Emar: CR2 = Šaḫurunuwa, CR3 = Ini-Tešub (son of CR2), CR3x = Hešmi-Tešub (ditto, prince); ER3a = Zū-Aštarti, ER3b = Pilsu-Dagan (brother of ER3a), ER4 = Elli (son of ER3b), ER4x = Yaṣi-Dagan (ditto, prince)

1a. Emar texts: Syrian type

Text

Doc.

Attendee(s)

W1

M&W

Term

BLMJE 3

O

ER3b

ER3b

4 ds.

MÍ-ti u NITA

RA 77-T 1

St.

lú.mešaḫḫū

ER4

d.

ù NITA

RA 77-T 2*

T

ER3a

d.

ù NITA

RE 15*

T

lú.mešaḫḫū

ER4

2 ds.

MÍ.MEŠ ù NI[TA.MEŠ

RE 23

St.

lú.mešaḫḫū

ER4

sister (cont.)

ù NITA

Sem. 46-T 2*

T

lú.meššībūtu

ds. (cont.)

u NITA

Emar VI 184

[?]

[?]

[ER?]

3 ds. (cont.)

NITA (in nom. sentence)

 1b. Emar texts: Syro-Hittite type

Text

Doc.

Attendee(s)

W1

M&W

Term

AuOr 5-T 13

C

d.

NITA ù

PdA 66

C

CR3x

CR3x

d.

DUMU.NITA ù-ti

RE 85

T

CR3

d. = qadištu

NITA ù

Emar VI 31*

C

CR2

2 ds.

DUMU-ut-ti-ia

TS 72

St.

eldest d.

DUMU.NITA

TS 74

St.

d. (in retro.)

DUMU.NITA

 2. Ekalte Texts (Syrian type)

Text

Doc.

Attendee(s)

W1

M&W

Term

Ekalte II 65*

T

lú.mešaḫḫū

sister

ù NITA

ASJ 13-T 30*

T

lú.mešaḫḫū

4 ds.

MÍ.MEŠ … ù NITA.M[EŠ

 1. Formula

City

Syrian type

Syro-Hittite type

Ekalte X sinništu u zikaru šī-ma

Emar Y X ana sinništi u zikari šakānu Y X ana zikari u sinništi (or māri) epēšu

a) Contrasts between the two types: the term (general) and the verb (Emar)

b) Shift in the Syrian type: nominal sentence (Ekalte) → verbal sentence (Emar)

2. Designator: man (family head); see V.1 below

3. Designee (M&W): the designator’s daughter(s)

・In the absence of a male offspring as heir, she is the substitute.

e.g., “I (Aḫu-ṭab) have no son. (So) I have made Alnašuw[a], my daughter, as male and female” (AuOr 5-T 13: 4–6).

“If Abu-Dagan, my son, should die and have no offspring, now I have established my daughters as female and male” (Sem. 46-T 2: 16–20).

cf. (var.) sister (RE 23, Ekalte II 65): probably no child (or brother?)

special case: daughter, though sons are present (RA 77-T 1); see IV.2 below

ASJ 13-T 30: at present the son is lost, so designation of the M&Ws is tentative.

4. Attendee(s) and witnesses (esp. W1): for approval

a) Syrian type: lú.mešaḫḫū and/or the royal authority (Emar) vs. lú.mešaḫḫū only (Ekalte)

lú.mešaḫḫū (‘Brothers’) = relatives of the designator: potential claimants to the estate

・The royal authority: one of the two official authorities in the land of Aštata[2]

cf.               Ekalte                            Emar (early)                    Emar (ER3a on)

urban dominant  →  balanced or urban dominant  →  royal dominant

* lú.meššībūtu (Sem. 46-T 2) = “the (city) elders” (cf. the urban scribe Alal-abu)

* Lack of official authority in the two Ekalte texts

∴Official intervention: Ø (Ekalte) → urban authority → royal authority (Emar)

b) Syro-Hittite type: Ø or the royal authority of Carchemish

・Reflecting the authority of the conquerors

・The royal authority (esp. king) of Carchemish:

qadištu by CR3 (RE 85), ḫarimtu = F&M by CR2 (Emar VI 31), ? by CR3x (PdA 66)

IV. Obligations

List 2. Obligations and Inheritance of the ‘Man and Woman’

Abbreviations (additional): Ca. = caring, f. = M&W’s father, Inh. = inheritance, m. = M&W’s mother, Wo. = worship of the gods and ancestral spirits, @ = given all the estate of the designator

1a. Emar texts: Syrian type

Text

Wo.

Ca. for

Inh.

Notes

BLMJE 3

+

f. & m.

(all)

The designator married a woman (widow), adopted her daughters and designated them as M&Ws.
RA 77-T 1

+

(–)

(all)

The M&W’s brothers must take care of her as their “mother” to inherit the estate.
RA 77-T 2*

+

all

If the M&W and her (future) husband die without offspring, 2 fPNs will inherit them. The mother is designated as F&M.
 RE 15* m. (all fr. m.) If the M&Ws die without offspring, the mother (F&M@) will give (the estate) to any relative of her husband (designator) who takes care of her.
RE 23

+

all′

To be designated, if the designator’s son dies without offspring. If both the son and the M&W die, mPN will be the heir.
Sem. 46-T 2*

+

m.

(all)

To be designated, if the designator’s son dies without offspring. The mother is designated as F&M.
Emar VI 184

(all)

To be designated, if the four sons of the designator die without offspring. The god belongs to the main house.

 1b. Emar texts: Syro-Hittite type

Text

Wo.

Ca. for

Inh.

Notes

AuOr 5-T 13

+′

all

Cf. also AuOr 5-T 14.
PdA 66

all′

RE 85

+′

all

The M&W shall give her estate to anyone who takes care of her. The old document on the designator’s ‘house’ is annulled.
Emar VI 31* sister

all

The sister (ḫarimtu) is designated as F&M.
TS 72

(+?)

(–)

?

The father has adopted mPN, designated his daughter as M&W and married her to him. He shall take care of his (adoptive) parents. If she bears sons only after the death of her parents, they will divide the properties. She (and) the god (belong to) the main house.
TS 74

all′

Designated in the past. The M&W’s brothers died, so the ‘house’ was left for her. Now she has adopted mPN, who had repaid her debt. He shall take care of her to take all her estate, but the female slave is given to the sons of her (dead) son.

 2. Ekalte Texts (Syrian type)

Text

Wo.

Ca. for

Inh.

Notes

Ekalte II 65*

+′

(m.)

(all fr. m.)

Dictated document. If the M&W does not take care of her mother (F&M@), the latter shall give her estate to anyone who does.
 ASJ 13-T 30* m. (all) If mPN (the designator’s son) turns up, he shall marry his sisters (M&Ws) to receive their bridewealth, and shall take care of his mother (F&M) to take his inheritance share.

 1. Worship of the gods and ancestral spirits

・Relatively often: 8+1 texts

e.g., DINGIR.MEŠ-ya u mētēya lū tunabbi, “She shall invoke my gods and my dead” (RA 77-T 1: 8)[3]

・Obligation of the eldest son (main heir)

e.g., DINGIR-lì É GAL É GAL ḪA.LA mPN DUMU-ia GAL, “The god (belongs to [lit. of]) the main house. The main house is the share of Ḫinna-dIM, my eldest son” (TS 42: 13).

mPN DUMU-ia GAL DINGIR-lì É-ti GAL, “dIM-qarrad is my eldest son. The god (belongs to) the main house,” indicating “dIM-qarrad, my eldest son, (shall be in charge of) the god of the main house” (Emar VI 201: 50f. [H]).

cf. fPN DINGIR-lì É-ti GAL (TS 72: 10)

・Lack of the reference in M&W texts: because it was self-evident (cf. V.1)?

2. Caring: for the mother or parents?

・Vb.: abālu Gtn (Syrian type) vs. palāḫu G (Syro-Hittite type)

・Relatively rare: 5+1 texts

cf. (var.) M&W cared by the brothers as their “mother” (RA 77-T 1): cf. F&M

・Object: parents (1 text), mother = F&M (3+1 texts), sister = F&M (1 text)

note (1) female predominance; (2) correlation with F&M

♢ Comparison 1. Caring by ‘normally’ adopted sons:[4] for (living) adoptive parent(s)

* parents (10+2 texts): AuOr 5-T 14; PdA 67; RE 25, 28, 30, 41!, 87; TS 46!, 72; ZA 90-T 7; also Emar VI 69 (♀); RAI 47-T 1

* father (3 texts): Emar VI 5, Iraq 54-T 1, TS 73

* mother (2 texts): TS 48 (♀), 75! (♀)

♢ Comparison 2. Caring by other women: for woman

* woman (4 texts): mother (Emar VI 32 [♀], 176; TS 69), sister (TS 77 [♀])

cf. man and woman (1 text): master and his wife by his female slave (RE 27)

cf. parents (TS 42 [as the substitute of brother]), creditor and his wife (Emar VI 16 [of husband], TS 40 [of brother])

Q: Caring by M&W: Is it gender-oriented (as a woman), or not (as the substitute of a son)?

A.: The latter is preferable. No ref. to the designator was necessary, because it was self-evident.

* The designator having no son needs caring for, and she can do this!

* The ref. to the mother or sister is due to the topic of F&M in the documents.

* In BLMJE 3, since the daughters were adopted by the designator, a ref. to him is required.

V. Inheritance

1. Object: all the estate

・Direct references: 4+3 texts

e.g.,       The designator has given: É-ya gabba mimmûya, “my ’house’ (and) all the possessions” (AuOr 5-T 13: 7f.); É-ya mimmûya ḪA.LA-ya mala abuya iddinam-mi, “my ‘house’ (and) possessions, i.e., my share as much as my father gave me” (RE 85: 16–19).

・Indirect references: 7 texts

e.g.,       The designator has given his wife (F&M): É.ḪÁ A.ŠÀ.ḪÁ-ya būši bašīti, “my houses, fields (and) goods” (RE 15: 7f.). If the two daughters (M&Ws) die without offspring, the wife shall give (the estate) to anyone who takes care of her among the offspring of the designator’s father (ll. 15–18).

♢ Comparison 3. Other texts in which all the estate is given to a daughter (≠ M&W)

* by fPN wife of PN: Emar VI 32, 128, 213 (all ♀)

∴Designator of M&W: man (family head) only

2. Actual position of M&W

a) When the designator adopts a son as her husband

(1) sole heiress: Emar VI 31 (on one of the two M&Ws), RA 77-T 2

(2) co-heiress with her husband: TS 72?

(3) husband replacing the M&W as the sole heir: (AuOr 5-T 13 →) AuOr 5-T 14

Baṣṣu, the adopted son and the husband of Alnašuwa, shall take care of his adoptive parents. If he does, after their deaths, “whatever ‘house’ (and) everything (mim-ma!) of Aḫu-ṭab will remain with Baṣṣu” (ll. 11–13).

♢ Comparison 4. Other texts of ‘normal’ adoption + marriage with a daughter (≠ M&W)

* pattern (2): TS 75 only

* pattern (3): RAI 47-T 1; RE 25; TS 46, 73; ZA 90-T 7; also Emar VI 69

∴Pattern (1) is peculiar to M&W, but pattern (3) may usually have been desired.

→ designation of M&W could be a tentative measure (cf. ASJ 13-T 30 [III.3]).

* to avoid claims to the estate by the designator’s relatives

* substantial initiative: adopted son as legal heir or M&W as natural daughter?

b) When the designator dies without marrying her

∴Sole heiress and the family head

・The socio-economic activities of the women referred to as ‘daughter of PN’ (= M&W?)

e.g.,       TS 80: two women (2 DUMU.MÍ mPN) divide the house of their father.

                     Emar VI 113: a woman (fPN DUMU.MÍ PN) sells the house of her father.

Emar VI 124: a qadištu-woman (fPN DUMU.MÍ mPN) (re)marries a man.

cf.         TS 28: a woman (fPN only) divorces her husband as a result of (re)marriage.

3. Future inheritance: by the sons whom the M&W will bear (e.g., esp. TS 72)

VI. Closing Remarks

1. ‘Man and Woman’ = daughter as the substitute for a son (heir)

・Tentative nature: for the precaution against claims to the estate by the designator’s relatives

・Gender conversion: the same rights and obligations as son

or gender addition: cf. female works in the domestic sphere

2. Male centeredness vs. family centeredness

・Priority of the latter, though being greatly restricted by the former

・Maintenance of one’s own family cult

Abbreviations: Texts from Emar and Ekalte

ASJ 13-T = A. Tsukimoto, ASJ 13 (1991), 275–333; AuOr 5-T = D. Arnaud, AuOr 5 (1987), 211–241; BLMJE = J. Westenholz, CM 13 (2000); Ekalte II = W. Mayer, WVDOG 102 (2001); Emar VI = D. Arnaud, Recherches au pays d’Aštata: Emar VI.1–4 (Paris, 1985–87); Iraq 54-T = S. Dalley & B. Teissier, Iraq 54 (1992), 83–111, Pls. X–XIV; PdA = F. M. Fales, Prima dell’alfabeto (Venice, 1989); RA 77-T = J. Huehnergard, RA 77 (1983), 11–43; RAI 47-T = W. W. Hallo, in CRRAI 47 (Helsinki, 2002), 203–216; RE = G. Beckman, HANE/M II (1996); Sem. 46-T = D. Arnaud, Semitica 46 (1996), 7–16, Pl. 1.; TS = idem, AuOrS 1 (1991); ZA 90-T = M. P. Streck, ZA 90 (2000), 263–280, Pl. I.

Bibliography

Beckman, G. 1996: “Family Values on the Middle Euphrates in the Thirteenth Century B.C.E.,” in: M. Chavalas (ed.), Emar: The History, Religion and Culture of a Syrian Town in the Late Bronze Age, Bethesda, 57–79.

Ben-Barak, Z. 1988: “The Legal Status of the Daughter as Heir in Nuzi and Emar,” in: M. Heltzer & E. Lipiński (eds), Society and Economy in the Eastern Mediterranean (c. 1500–1000 BC) (OLA 23), 87–97.

— 2006: Inheritance by Daughters in Israel and the Ancient Near East: A Social, Legal and Ideological Revolution, Jaffa.

Grosz, K. 1987: “Daughters Adopted as Sons at Nuzi and Emar,” in: J.-M. Durand (ed.), La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique (= CRRAI 33), Paris, 81–86.

Justel, J. J. 2008: La posición jurídica de la mujer en Siria durante el Bronce Final. Estudio de las estrategias familiares y de la mujer como sujeto y objeto de derecho, Zaragoza.

— forthcoming: “Women and Family in the Legal Documentation of Emar: With Additional Support
from Other Late Bronze Age Syrian Archives.”

Lion, B. 2009: “Sexe et genre (1):
Des filles devenant fils dans les contrats de Nuzi et d’Emar,” in: F. Briquel-Chatonnet et al. (eds.), Femmes, cultures et sociétés
dans les civilisations méditerranéennes et proche-orientales de l’Antiquité (Topoi Suppl. 10), 9–25.

Paradise, J. S. 1980: “A Daughter and Her Father’s Property at Nuzi,” JCS 32, 189–207.

— 1987: “Daughters as ‘Sons’ at Nuzi,” in: D. I. Owen & M. A. Morrison (eds.), General Studies and Excavations at Nuzi 9/1 (SCCNH 2), Winona Lake, Ind., 203–213.

Veenhof, K. R. 1998 “Old Assyrian and Ancient Anatolian Evidence for the Care of the Elderly,” in: M. Stol & S. P. Vleeming (eds.), The Care of the Elderly in the Ancient Near East (SHCANE 14), Leiden, 119–160.

Werner, P. 2004: Tall Munbāqa – Ekalte III. Die Glyptik (WVDOG 108), Saarbrücken.

Yamada, M. 2003: “More Ekalte Texts?” Bulletin of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan (= BSNESJ) 46/2, 180–196 (in Japanese with English summary; see https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jorient).

— 2008: “Disinheritance in the Emar Texts: Notes on Its Symbolic Acts,” BSNESJ 51/1, 181–197 (in Japanese with English summary).

— 2012: “The Contracts of Caring by amīlūtus in Emar: In Comparison with Slaves, Adopted Sons and Creditors,” BSNESJ 55/1, 2–21 (in Japanese with English summary).

— 2013: “The Chronology of the Emar Texts Reassessed,” Orient: Reports of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan 48, 125–156.

— 2014: “The Royal and Urban Authorities in Emar: A Diachronic Analysis of Their Relations,” al-Rāfidān 35, 73–108.

— forthcoming: “On Ekalte II 25,” BSNESJ 57 (in Japanese).

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[1] Dating of these two text corpuses follows Yamada 2013 and Werner 2004: 23f., respectively. I suggest taking Sem. 46-T 2 as an Emar text (2008: 191 n. 1), and ASJ 13-T 30 as an Ekalte text (2003: 188–190).

[2] In my opinion, the land of Aštata before the Hittite conquest (ca. 1325 B.C.) was a confederation of city kingdoms (e.g., Šatappu, Ekalte) headed by Emar (Yamada 2003: 191f.; forthcoming).

[3] Syrian type: DINGIR.MEŠ mītī nubbû (cf. [var.] redû in Ekalte II 65: 17f.) vs. Syro-Hittite type: DINGIR.MEŠ-ya dIšt[ar.MEŠ-ya] lū tanabbi-mi (AuOr 5-T 13: 6f.); DINGIR.MEŠ-ya eṭemmēya liplaḫ-mi (RE 85: 15f.).

[4] I.e., in a broad sense, the sons whose positions before the adoption seem to have been equal, i.e., neither subordinate nor dominant to those of their adoptive parents due to debt, slavery, etc. See Yamada 2012: 7–10.


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