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. 17
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the solution of i-ba-ra-<as> for iparras. However, he ¬xes one error while introducing a new
error, the omission of -as, not known before. Furthermore, Remko Jas adduces examples of the
¯
usage of tuaru with hursan (Neo-Assyrian Judicial Procedures, 9). This phrase, therefore, does
˜
not require emendation. What is its meaning? Postgate renders it as “to refuse an ordeal” and
provides many examples of this usage (Fifty Neo-Assyrian Legal Documents, 160, 209).
[However, in Middle Babylonian legal texts, it clearly means “to be found guilty by the or-
deal.” (Cf. O. R. Gurney, The Middle Babylonian Legal and Economic Texts from Ur, 10“12).
Jas argues that this connotation is found in Neo-Assyrian texts as well (Neo-Assyrian Judicial
Procedures, 10, n. 40). The signi¬cance would be similar “ the subject has not been acquitted
of the offense.] The sequence of verbs and their “tenses” requires some explanation. The ¬rst
verb in line 16, uˇ esa, is a biform of the durative (cf. von Soden, Grundriss der akkadischen
s.
Grammatik, 44*, 189), which is marked by the appearance of the ¬nal -a. It cannot be preterite
with a ventive ending because that form would entail an ultralong vowel that would need to
¯
be indicated. The verb could either be itura, the preterite because of the appearance of the
middle -u vowel, or more likely iturra, the durative with the ventive. The subject of the
¬rst verb is the one who litigates on Hani™s behalf, mentioned in line 12, while the subject
of the second is the killer himself, Hani.
128 Postgate, Fifty Neo-Assyrian Legal Documents, 60.
129 Kwasman, Neo-Assyrian Legal Documents, 129.
67
BLOOD FEUD AND STATE CONTROL


large number of documents that he identi¬es as constituting many single-
document archives is really that useful. Placing this document in a personal
archive is helpful only when there are other documents in that archive. Sec-
ond, Remko Jas argues that the identi¬cation of this text as part of Hani™s
personal archive was unlikely since Hani and his family were arrested and his
possessions con¬scated.130 The winning party in the suit, the crown prince,
would be the more likely archive holder. This d¯ nu text was a formal record
e
of the permanent settlement of the case. Jas suggested as well that the texts
that refer to third-party arbitration but do not mention d¯ nu seem to be
e
ad hoc documents that were meant to be kept until a d¯ nu was issued.131
e
In sum, this document, a so-called d¯ nu text, is a formal document to be
e
kept after the affair has been settled. This particular d¯ nu text is one that
e
¯
includes the phrase d¯ nu emadu, “to impose a judgment,” but lacks the
e
sulmu clause, which states that there is now peace between the parties.132
ˇ
This may indicate that the case was not completely settled and that further
litigation was expected or that the convicted party was disappointed with the
outcome.
With regard to the conduct of the case, it is remarkable that the crown
prince went to an of¬cial, in this case the sartinnu, for judgment like other
Assyrians. Who is the sartinnu? In ABL 716, r. 11, the king himself appoints
the sartinnu and the sukallu, the vizier, “to give just and equitable judgment
in my land.” In Iraq 32 132:2,133 the sartinnu and the vizier serve once again
as the court for those involved in a lawsuit. The sartinnu and the vizier own
comparable estates in Iraq 20 187, no. 40:18.134 The royal appointment
and the status on a par with that of the vizier justify identifying the role
of the sartinnu as chief judge and appointee of the crown.135 In the other
Neo-Assyrian d¯ nu texts, other of¬cials acting in a judicial capacity are men-
e
ˇ ˆ
tioned. Most often a hazannu presides, but a sangu-priest, a sukallu, and a
˜
ˇ ¯
sakin mati also hear cases. It is uncertain whether cases of a particular type
were put to of¬cials of a speci¬c rank. In the extant Neo-Assyrian texts, a
sartinnu is mentioned as presiding over two cases, this homicide case and
another involving a dispute over a slave (ADD 163). It is unclear what these
two cases have in common that would call for a judge at the rank of sartinnu.
Unfortunately, the language of these texts is terse, a characteristic of all d¯ nu
e
texts, and therefore the speci¬cs of the cases are barely mentioned. However,
line 17 reveals that Hani refused to undergo an ordeal, part of the procedure
undertaken to ascertain the defendant™s guilt.

130 Jas,Neo-Assyrian Judicial Procedures, 10“11.
131 Ibid., 2.
132 Ibid., 6.
133 J. N. Postgate, “More Assyrian Deeds and Documents,” Iraq 32 (1970), 132.
134 H. W. F. Saggs, “The Nimrud Letters IV: The Urartian Frontier,” Iraq 20 (1958), 187.
135 K. Deller, “Die Rolle des Richters im neuassyrischen Prozessrecht,” in Studi in onore di

Edoardo Volterra VI (Milan: A. Giuffr` , 1971), 652.
e
68 HOMICIDE IN THE BIBLICAL WORLD


The last two texts, ADD 806 and PPA 95, originate in the ¬nal stages of
a case and record payments made to discharge the debt. ADD 806, a record
of the sale of a large estate, records that part of the land was forfeited as
compensation. This legal transaction was conducted by government of¬cials:
obv.
ˇ ˇ` ` ˇˇ ´
1
10 ANSE A.SA ina uru ni-ra-ma-a-a 2 IR.MES sa LU.EN.NAM kur si-
me-e ku-um da-me ib-ta-at-qu . . .
3


1“3
The servants of the governor of Sime took possession of 10 homers
of ¬eld in Nirama in lieu of the blood money.

PPA 95 takes the form of a debt repayment record, that is, a receipt:
obv.
ˇ
1I
se-lu-[b]u DUMU-ˇ u 2 sal-lu-[un]-tu-ˇ u 80 MA.NA URUDU.MES
ˇ s´ ˇ ´ s´
` ´´ ´
aˇ +ˇ ur-B[AD].PAP ina E LU.A.BA E.GAL 4 u-[ˇ al]-li-me x x x x
3I
´s
ss
ˇ ˇ LU qur-bu-te 6 uru par-HA-a-a 7 IGI I d PA.PAP-
´
5 Id
I[GI] MAS.MAS.I
´˜
`
´
ir lu! sa UGU URU 8 IGI I IR-d al-la-a-a 9 lu ha-za-nu 10 IGI I d PA-u-a
ˇ´ ´
˜ U.GAL E.GAL!
mu-tir-te-me IGI KAM-eˇ -DINGIR L ´ ´
´
11 lu 12 I
.` s
rev.
13
IGI I ti-ni-x-x 14 uru ba-da-na-a-a 15 IGI I d PA-r´ m-a-ni 16 EN
e
´ S.MES sa GUB-ni136 17 IGI I d PA-u-TI.LA 18 LU.A.BA sa-bit tup-pi
ˇ ˇˇ ´
´
U . .
´
19
I[TU.A]B UD 27 KAM lim-me [I]d PA.KAR-ir-a-ni 21 [L]U.GAL
20
ˇ ´ ˇ ´
KAS.LUL 22 IGI I d PA.S[U] LU.GAL URU.MES-ni 23 [ˇ a] LU.A.BA
s
´
E.GAL
1“4
¯
[For] Shelubu his son, Assur-duru-usur has paid in full his
.
[Shelubu™s] payment of 80 minas of copper in the house of the palace

136 Postgate ˇ
reads the last three signs as sa-du-ni and argues that the authorities that imposed
ˇ
the penalty did check the payment because the tablet uses the s-stem, the causative, of the
¯
verb nadanu to refer to the payment, implying that a coercive power is causing the subject of
the verb to pay the money to a third party (The Governor™s Palace Archive, 123“124). Roth
ˇ ˇ
reads the last three signs as sa GUB-ni, in normalized form sa izzizzuni (“Homicide in the
Neo-Assyrian Period,” 359, 360, n. 20). Postgate™s reading is clever but impossible. First of
all, the -a vowel needs to be explained because the two possible forms that the verb could
ˇ
possibly be are the in¬nitive in the genitive, suddun¯, or the verbal adjective in the third-person
±
ˇ
masculine singular, suddun. Secondly, the doubling of d is lacking. Third, the ¬nal -i vowel ¬ts
ˇ ¯
only the genitive in¬nitive, not a third-person plural verbal adjective, suddunu, “they cause to be
ˇ
paid,” but it would make sense only if the verb was in the St-stem, a passive form. With regard
ˇ
to the ¬rst problem, the form sadduni does exist as a biform (cf. von Soden, Grundriss der
akkadischen Grammatik, 27*, and the Neo-Assyrian examples in CAD N/I, 57a). However,
the second and third problems remain. I would add that Roth™s rendering is in consonance
with the other verbs of motion used to characterize the claimant from the victim™s family. This
accurate understanding of this verb underscores the role of the victim™s family in propelling the
case toward ¬nal settlement.
69
BLOOD FEUD AND STATE CONTROL


scribe. . . . 5“22 Witness: Nergal-na™id, the qurbutu-of¬cer137 of [the
¯
138
ˆ ¯.
city of] Parnunna. Witness: Nabu-nasir, the city overseer. Witness:
Urdu-allaya, the mayor. Witness: Nabua, the information of¬cer.
Witness: Eresh-ili, the palace overseer. Witness: Tini . . . , of [the city
of] Badana. Witness: Nabu-remanni, owner of the blood who was
present. Witness: Nabu-uballit, the scribe, writer of the tablet. Tenth
.
month, 27th day, eponym year of Nabu-etirani the chief butler [740
.
b.c.e.]. Witness: Nabu-eriba, the city inspector of the palace scribe.

There are two elements that separate PPA 95 from other receipts. The pay-
ment recorded in this document is made in the of¬ce of the palace scribe.
The creditor is not named in the operative section of the document that men-
tions the repayment, possibly because the money is not paid directly to him.
His name can be inferred because one of the witnesses, Nabu-remanni, is
identi¬ed as b¯ l damˆ , “the owner of the blood,” in this case the claimant
e e
from the victim™s family. Otherwise, we would not know that this debt139
has anything to do with homicide.
The money is not paid directly to Nabu-remanni but is paid into the house
of the palace scribe. Although the usual practice in Neo-Assyria is to pay the
¬ne directly to the injured party,140 PPA 95 does not appear to be a receipt,
complete with the validating seal or ¬ngernail impression of the party being
paid. PPA 95 is a record of a payment made before the authorities who had
decided the case and imposed the ¬ne and was, therefore, deposited in the
public archives.141 The b¯ l damˆ does not act as a party to the transaction:
e e
He is solely a witness because it is the palace that takes an active role at this
point in the proceedings.
With these ¬ve documents, the outlines of the procedure put in effect
in the Neo-Assyrian period when a homicide has been committed can be
reconstructed. The social group to which the killer belonged took the initia-
tive and assumed corporate responsibility.142 First, the fact that a homi-
cide has been committed had to be determined. Second, the identity of

137 Itis clear that the qurbutu is an of¬cer of some variety, but his exact rank is unclear. Cf.
CAD/Q, 315“317, and AHw II, 929.
138 Cf. the other references to this city cited by Parpola, Neo-Assyrian Toponyms, 273.
139 The large size of the debt may be an indication that it is blood money.
140 Postgate, The Governor™s Palace Archive, 18. However, the practice of paying a ¬ne before

the authorities is evidenced in other texts and is not limited to blood money, as can be seen in
PPA 92 and 96.
141 The governor™s palace archives excavated in Nimrud are public archives and do not contain

the private archives of the governor; cf. Postgate, The Governor™s Palace Archive, 10.
142 Roth argues that it was in the best interest of the killer to recognize the rights of the parties

formally because in this way, the right of the victim™s family to self-help and vengeance would
be limited; negotiation between the parties would then have suspended the right of the victim™s
family to kill the murderer (“Homicide in the Neo-Assyrian Period,” 363). However, we do not
have any evidence that independent vengeance ever existed.
70 HOMICIDE IN THE BIBLICAL WORLD


the responsible party had to be ascertained. Third, the killer had to be
apprehended. There was an of¬cial recording institution of the monar-
chy at which outstanding homicide obligations were deposited, pending
the claim of the victim™s family. Next, the parties negotiated the amount
of compensation with the intervention of a mediating authority, an of¬-
cer of the crown. Finally, when a speci¬c amount had been agreed upon,
the obligation was paid in the presence of an of¬cial authority, a crown
of¬cial.
CHAPTER THREE



The Development of Places of Refuge
in the Bible




EACH LEGAL corpus of the Pentateuch makes reference to refuges for a
killer. These sources differ on certain fundamental characteristics of such
refuges, raising the question of whether these differences re¬‚ect historical
development in the system of asylum.
Julius Wellhausen, whose work represents the capstone of nineteenth-
century critical scholarship, argues that there were major changes in the
adjudication of homicide.1 In the earliest period, he proposes, sanctuaries
were places of asylum: A fugitive would enter a sanctuary and take hold

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. 17
( 55 .)



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