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Treaty between Idrimi and Pilliya (Alalakh Tab. 3)

Treaty between Idrimi of Alalakh and Pilliya of Kizzuwatna (Alternate Title)

Tablet of a binding agreement.
ll. 2-5:
When Pilliya and Idrimi swore an oath by the gods and made this binding agreement
between each other:
ll. 6-7:
They shall (thereafter) always send back fugitives between each other.
ll. 8-11:
Should Idrimi seize fugitives belonging to Pilliya, he shall send them back to Pilliya.
ll. 12-15:
And should Pilliya seize fugitives belonging to Idrimi, he shall send them back to
ll. 15-17:
And anyone who seizes a fugitive shall return him to his lord.
ll. 18-23:
If it is a man, then he (= the fugitive's lord) shall pay 500 (shekels of) copper as his
ransom, and if it is a woman, then they shall pay 1000 (shekels of) copper as her
ll. 23-29:
And if a fugitive belonging to Pilliya enters the territory of Idrimi, and no one seizes
him, but his lord seizes him, then he (= the fugitive's lord) shall not pay a ransom to
ll. 29-35:
And if a fugitive belonging to Idrimi enters the territory of Pilliya, and no one seizes
him, but his lord seizes him, then he (= the fugitive's lord) shall not pay a ransom to
ll. 36-39:
And in whatever city they report a fugitive, the mayor with five nobles shall swear by
the gods.(2)
ll. 40-43:
On whatever day Parattarna has sworn an oath by the gods with Idrimi, from that day
(forward) all fugitives are to be returned.
ll. 44-47:
Whoever transgresses the words of this tablet, may Teshup, Shimigi, Ishhara, and all
the gods destroy him.

Explanatory Notes:  Notes: <br />(1) The term here translated “ransom” is mishtannu, a word of debated etymology that occurs in no other extant ancient Near Eastern text. Some compare Hebrew mishneh and render the term as “equivalent” (or the like) while others propose an Indo-Iranian etymology (whereby mishtannu would be cognate to Greek misthos, “pay”) and translate “reward” (see James M. Lindenberger, “How Much for a Hebrew Slave? The Meaning of mishneh in Deut 15:18,” JBL 110 [1991], pp. 479-498). The same 3ms. suffix is appended to mishtannu in both the stipulation specifying a man and that specifying a woman; this does not decisively indicate that the antecedent must be the payee rather than the fugitive, because gender distinctions are not infrequently collapsed in Akkadian texts from Hurrian-speaking areas. Whichever etymology one prefers, the term denotes a payment the fugitive’s lord is to make to the person who has seized the fugitive, in effect ransoming the individual. <br />(2) They are to swear that they did not knowingly conceal the fugitive, in order to exonerate themselves from culpability for his or her presence in their community.
Publication:  Mark Chavalas, ed., The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 174-76
Source:  D. J. Wiseman, The Alalakh Tablets (London: British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 1953), pp. 31-2 and Pl. IV
Date:  c. 1450 BCE
Language:  Middle-Babylonian
Medium:  clay tablet
Find Spot:  Alalakh (Tell Atchana)
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