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killed a merchant of the king of Tarhudashshi.” Arshimiga had not
recovered any of the goods of the merchant who was killed in Ugarit.
9“15
The king decided their case as follows: “Arshimiga, merchant of
the king of Tarhudashshi, shall take an oath, and the citizens of Ugarit
shall pay the full compensation for that merchant who was killed in
Ugarit.” 15“19 Then Arshimiga took the oath, and the citizens of Ugarit
paid the full compensation of 180 shekels of silver to Arshimiga, ser-
vant of the king of Tarhudashshi. 19“25 In the future, Arshimiga shall
not sue the citizens of Ugarit on account of the merchant who was
killed, and the citizens of Ugarit shall not sue Arshimiga on account
of the 180 shekels of silver of their compensatory payment. Whoever
does sue, this tablet will prevail against him.

RS 17.42
` ˇ
1I
SUM-d UTU-ga IR LUGAL kur tar-hu-da-aˇ -ˇ i 2 [a-n]a DUMU.MES
ss
˜ˇˇ `
´
kur
u-ga-ri-it a-kan-na iq-bi 3 [ma]-a SES-ia lu DAM.GAR sa LU-
´ ´ ˇ
ˇˇˇ
kur 4 meˇs 5
´´ `´
GAL tar-hu-da-aˇ -ˇ i ta-du-ka-a u u-nu-te
ss mim-ma sa SES-
˜ UTU sa d`-i-ku 6 I SUM-d UTU iˇ -tu SU-ti DUMU.MES
ˇ ˇ
I d
ˇˇ ˇ±
su sa SUM- s
193
THE HOMICIDE OF A FOREIGN CITIZEN

ˇ
kur
u-ga-ri-it 7 la-a u-ˇ e-li DUMU.MES kur u-ga-ri-it 8 I SUM-d UTU
´ ´s ´
´ ˇˇˇ
u-tam-mu-u-ma 1 ME 80 GIN KUG.BABBAR mu-ul-la-a 10 sa SES-
9
´ ´
ˇˇ
ia id-di-nu-uˇ -ˇ u 11 i-na EGIR-ki UD-mi 12 I SUM-d UTU aˇ -ˇ um SES-
ss ss
ˇ
su 13 sa d`-i-ku a-na muh-hi 14 DUMU.MES kur u-ga-ri-it 15 la-a i-ra-
ˇ ˇ± ´
˜ ˜S kur u-ga-ri-it 17 [a]ˇ -ˇ um 1 ME 80 GIN
ˇ ´
16
´ ´
ag-gu-um u DUMU.ME ss
KUG.BABBAR 18 [m]u-ul-la-a sa a-na I SUM-d UTU 19 [id]-d`-nu a-na
ˇ ±
I d 20 21
muh-hi SUM- UTU [la-a] i-ra-gu-mu [ˇ a] i-ra-gu-um tup-pu an-
s .
˜ 22 [i]-le-™e-e-ˇ u 23 za KISIB I SUM-d UTU za KISIB I SUM-d UTU
˜ ˇ ˇ
´ ´
´
nu-u s
1“7
Arshimiga, a servant of the king of Tarhudashshi, said as follows
to the citizens of Ugarit: “You have killed my brother, a merchant
of the king of Tarhudashshi.” Arshimiga did not recover any of the
goods of the brother of Arshimiga who was killed from the hands
of the citizens of Ugarit. 7“10 The citizens of Ugarit made Arshimiga
swear an oath and gave him the full compensation of 180 shekels of
silver. 11“20 In the future, Arshimiga shall not sue the citizens of Ugarit
on account of his brother who was killed, and the citizens of Ugarit
shall not sue Arshimiga on account of the 180 shekels of silver of
their compensatory payment. 21“23 Whoever does sue, this tablet will
prevail against him. Seal of Arshimiga.

Arshimiga is not the actual brother of the victim, but he acts as the represen-
tative for the merchants of the king of Tarhudashshi. It is not appropriate
for Arshimiga to make a claim on the actual killer, even if the identity of
the actual killer is known. Legal responsibility for the death of a foreigner
is assigned solely to the citizens of the country in which the homicide took
place.21 This is not to say that the killer would not be penalized in some
way by his fellow citizens. It is reasonable to assume that he would have to
reimburse his community, but holding the citizens of the country responsible
ensures that the payment would be made in any and all circumstances.
According to the treaties, the delegation from the victim™s country comes
to the country where the homicide occurred only when the killers have been
identi¬ed. However, it is not clear whether the legal records follow this
principle because the actual killer is named in only a single legal record.
In RS 17.229, Talimmu, a manager of foreign merchants, brings a claim in
Apsuna against the citizens of Apsuna because one of Talimmu™s merchants
was killed there:

RS 17.229
obv.
` `
´ ´
1I
ta-li-im-mu lu DAM.GAR 2 a-kan-na iq-bi 3 ma-a lu.meˇ DAM.GAR-
s
´
ˇ
ia 4 i-na uru ap-su-na-a d`-ku8 -u-mi 5 u I ta-li-im-mu 6 it-ti DUMU.MES
´ ´ `
±

21 Reuven Yaron, “Foreign Merchants at Ugarit,” Israel Law Review 4 (1969), 76.
194 HOMICIDE IN THE BIBLICAL WORLD

uru
ap-su-u-na 7 a-na di-ni iq-ri-bu 8 di-na iˇ -ni-qu-u-ma 9 sa BE e-te-
´´ ´ ˇ
s
ˇ uru ap-su-u-na 11 1 GUN KUG.BABBAR
10
` ´´
ep-ˇ u u DUMU.MES
s
rev.
. . . 2 ur-r[a se-ra] 3 sum-ma I ta-l[im-mu] 4 tup-pu kan-ku sa [da-ki]
ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
5 6 7
ˇ ´s ´ ss . ´
an-ni-i sa u-ˇ e-el-la-a i-ba-aˇ -ˇ i tup-pu an-nu-u i-le-™e-e-ˇ u
s
1“4
Talimmu, the merchant, said as follows: “My merchants were
killed in Apsuna.” 5“8 Talimmu with the citizens of Apsuna drew near
for judgment and engaged in legal proceedings. 9“11 Those who spilled
the blood and the citizens of Apsuna [will pay] 1 talent of silver . . .
rev. 2“7
In the future, if it happens that Talimmu does not produce a
sealed tablet about the murder, this tablet will prevail against him.
Although the killers appear to have been identi¬ed according to their mention
in line 9, Talimmu has traveled to Apsunu to make the claim. The citizens
of Apsuna as well as the killers are required to assume the responsibility to
pay one talent of silver.
According to two of the treaties, RS 17.146 and RS 18.115, if the killers
have not been identi¬ed, compensation for the death is paid but not com-
pensation for the missing property. According to the third treaty, RS 17.230,
compensation is to be made for both the death and the missing goods. The
single legal record that treats a case in which the killers have not been iden-
ti¬ed, RS 20.22, notes that no compensation is to be paid at all.
ˇ´
40
u aˇ -ˇ um di-ni GEMEti 41 sa lu mu-ut-ˇ i it-ti DUMU I hu-ti-i[a] 42 sa
` ss ˇ
s
˜U.MES uru ar-
´ ˇ
uru 43
ˇ `s
i-na ar-zi-ga-na i-du-ku sa taˇ -pu-ra i-na-an-na L
zi-ga-na i-na a-ar-ru-wa li-it-mu-u 45 a-kan-na li-iq-bu-u ma-a
44 uru
´ ´ ´
I`
´
46 lu 47 48
ˇ sˇ `´
sum-ma mu-ut-ˇ i sa GEME-ti u ah IR-a-na-tum i-na URU-
˜s
lim ni-id-du4 -ku ia-nu-ma sa id-d[u4 ]-ku-ˇ u 50 ni-de4 -mi li-it-mu-u-
49
ˇ ´
ˇ
51 52
±ˇ `ˇ
ma [di]n? GEME-t´m sa-a-ˇ i qa-ta li-i-l[i] u sum-ma DUMU.MES
s
´ ˇ
LU.MES uru ar-zi-ga-na iˇ -tu ma-mi-ti 53 i[-n]a-ah-s[u] u ki-i [m]u-ul-
´`
s
ˇ uru ar-z[i-g]a-na 54 a-na DUMU˜I hu-t[i]-ia um-tal-lu-
la-a DUMU.MES
˜
ˇ s`
u u a-na GEME-ti s[a-a-ˇ i] 55 mu-[u]l-la-a a-n[a SU-ˇ i u] lu-u-[m]al-
´` ˇ ´ ´
s
22
[li-ni-ˇ i]
s
40“43
Regarding the matter of the woman™s husband who was killed in
Arzigana [and the matter of] the son of Hutiya [who was also killed
˜
there]23 about which you wrote: 43“51 Now, let the people of Arzigana
take an oath and let them say, “We have not killed the husband of

22 P.-R. Berger, “Zu den ˜akkadischen™ Briefen Ugaritica V,” Ugarit Forschungen 2 (1987), 287.
23 Although the text is somewhat ambigous as to whether Hutiya or his son was the one slain,
it is clear from the reference to the compensation paid to ˜the son of Hutiya that Hutiya was
the one killed in Arzigana, not the son. Otherwise, the son would not be alive to˜ accept the
˜
payment.
195
THE HOMICIDE OF A FOREIGN CITIZEN


this woman, the brother of Abdianatum, nor do we know who killed
him.” 52“55 If the sons of the men of Arzigana withdraw from the
oath, they will pay to that woman the same amount the people of
Arzigana paid to the son of Hutiya.
˜
The oath alone is suf¬cient to release the people of Arzigana from the obli-
gation.
As assumed by the three treaties, the oath is a formal requirement for
the completion of the case in the legal records. There is no mention of any
requirement that either physical evidence, such as a corpse, or testimony
from witnesses to the crime be produced.
The remedy for the homicide is conceived solely in ¬nancial terms. The
treaties differ on the compensation to be paid.24 In RS 17.146 and 18.115,
the compensation for each decedent is three minas. In RS 17.230, triple com-
pensation for each victim is prescribed, but the speci¬c amount is not given.
In RS 17.146, when the killers have not been identi¬ed, compensation for
missing property is not to be paid,25 whereas in RS 17.230, simple com-
pensation is the rule for missing property.26 The amounts mentioned in the
legal records differ from the ones recorded in the treaties as well as from
each other. The compensation for the death of the merchant of the king of
Tarhudashshi, according to RS 17.158 and 17.42, is 180 shekels of silver. In
RS 17.145, the people of Ugarit pay 1,200 shekels of silver. The penalty in
RS 17.229 is one talent of silver. These amounts may depend on details of
the homicide or of the status of the victim that are not recorded in the doc-
uments we have. Moreover, the fact that we have three treaties between the

24 These three texts do not appear to be copies of the same treaty. While RS 17.230 contains
a fragment of a treaty between Carchemish and Ugarit, it is not the same treaty as RS 17.146
or 18.115 because the wording and content of its provisions are very different. RS 17.146 and
18.115 overlap far more. Nonetheless, they, too, are not identical.
25 RS 18.115 is broken at the points where the compensation for missing property would have

been mentioned.
26 At ¬rst glance, it may appear that RS 17.146 and 17.230 are addressing different kinds of

cases. RS 17.146 speci¬es that the killers are not identi¬ed, while RS 17.230 speci¬es that the
killers are not seen. Does this mean that there are no witnesses who can identify them and,
therefore, they are not known? Or is it, rather, that the killers have been identi¬ed but have not
been seen and located and, therefore, have not been arrested? The ¬rst possibility appears to
be the more plausible because of the varied terminology in RS 18.115. The case in which the
slayers are not arrested is described in the following terms in the third treaty, RS 18.115: lines
12“13, “If they are in possession of the body of a man but do not arrest those who killed him,”
and lines 27“28, “If the citizens of the land of Carchemish do not take away the men who killed
them [the merchants from Carchemish] from the citizens of Ugarit.” In neither case is the fact
that the killers have not been identi¬ed mentioned. Although it might be extrapolated that the
killers are known but have not been arrested or extradited for some reason, the oath to be taken
according to RS 18.115 speci¬es that the killers are not known to the citizens of the country in
which the slayings happened. Therefore, it is improper to posit that these treaties are dealing
with different kinds of cases. The treaties deal with only two cases: 1) The killers are known
and have been arrested, and 2) the killers are not known and, therefore, cannot be arrested.
196 HOMICIDE IN THE BIBLICAL WORLD


same countries with differing amounts of compensation may re¬‚ect a dispute
over the appropriate amount: It may be speculated that new treaties were
negotiated in order to solve the diplomatic impasse over compensation since
the amounts of compensation were not standardized.27 There was no call
for the execution of the killer. There was no requirement that the merchants
who were in the service of a foreign king be replaced by equivalent person-
nel. This is striking in light of the legal records RS 17.25128 and 17.337,29
which record the substitution of servants in the case of kidnapping, embody-
ing a concept of the fungibility of persons as compensation. In the case of
homicide, however, only monetary compensation is required.
In contrast to the treaties, the legal records recount that the cases are
brought before an outside party. In RS 17.299, the case of Qadidu against
the citizens of Halpi-rapshi is brought to trial before Baba.30 In addition,

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( 55 .)



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