Wednesday, July 26, 2017

More On Babylonian Laws: Babylonian No-Fault Divorce

There is a certain similarity with Biblical laws, for instance, the principle of lex talionis, though there were differences as well, some of them significant. For example, as you all probably remember, the Bible states that God is not a respecter of persons and there will be one law for all members of society, including foreigners with legal status, though slaves were treated differently in some cases. In contrast, Hammurabi's Code made a distinction not only between slaves and free persons, but also between aristocrats and common folks.

They also had a rather liberal use of death penalty, which was used for crimes like theft, burglary, assisting a runaway slave, and in general, all kinds of things, excepting curious enough, various forms of incest; though incest between mother and son was punished by being burned alive. Adultery was punishable by drowning, though the husband had the right to forgive his errant wife, in this case the king had to forgive her paramour.

Babylonians were sure preoccupied with the problem of providing for women. They also knew very well the distinction between being married and shacking up, for the arrangement to be recognised as marriage the contract had to be signed. Interesting enough, though folks had no trouble with drawing this distinction 4 thousands years ago, some still don't understand the difference now.

The wife had to be provided for in the case of divorce or her husband's death. The husband could divorce her at any moment but had to restore her dowry, provide her with an income and give her the custody of the kids. She would also share the inheritance after his death. If she had no children, he had to pay her an equivalent of the bride price. The wife was free to remarry but it apparently didn't change the arrangements.

While Babylonian no-fault divorce was available only to the husband, both husband and wife could use the fault version of it. If the husband could prove in court that his wife was a bad wife, he could send her away keeping the children and the money, or reduce her to the position of the household slave, in which case he was still obligated to feed and maintain her. If the wife could prove domestic abuse and neglect, she could obtain a legal separation and her dowry, however, the husband could file a counter-suit and if he succeeded in proving her to be a bad wife, she would be executed.

Curious enough, if the husband left his wife without any money while, e.g., going to war, she was allowed to live together with another man who would take care of her financially, and it wouldn't be considered adultery, but she had to return to her husband when he came back. The children of her second union would stay with their father, however. If she could prove that her husband willfully abandoned her, or if he was exiled, her marriage was declared null and void, and she could do whatever the heck she chose.

This is all in contrast to the Assyrian laws that were generally very unfair to women which explicitly stated that the husband didn't have to give anything to his wife at all if they divorced, though they had a provision for widows. I'll talk about widows, inheritance and adoption next time.

Monday, July 24, 2017

What To Do When It's Too Hot

My husband saw it on Facebook originally.

Here it's not too hot, though, far from it - it's more like +16*C and raining, the whole day! When it was something like +30* last week...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Story Of Sarah And Abraham

Sarah is often criticised for giving her maidservant to Abraham to bear his child (strange enough, Leah and Rachel are never criticised for doing essentially the same), yet what she did was fully in accordance to the laws of the region they had originally inhabited.

The ancient Mesopotamian society was chiefly monogamous, yet the exception was allowed when the wife couldn't bear children. In this situation, she could give her husband a maid whose children were then considered as belonging to the lawful wife, while the maid was considered only as his mistress and could be degraded back to slavery for bad behaviour (kinda of what happened to Hagar), though she couldn't be sold.

If the wife refused to do it, her husband could take a concubine who was a free woman with full rights and would be considered as equal in status to the first wife, so it's quite obvious that Sarah's choice appeared logical to both her and her husband.

If you want to know more about Babylonian laws, click here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some Of The Vacation Pics

I don't really have that many. In general, we've had a very nice time though the weather could have been better. The first week it was above +30*C, the second week it was +14*C a couple of days. We've done lots of things regardless so that I came home more tired than when I'd left it:)

One of the things we did was to visit this castle:

Standing there since the 13th century (I think), unfortunately destroyed by French in the 17th:

You couldn't come there by car, so we had to climb and it was a heck of it, especially considering the fact that two days before I had climbed the highest mountain in the neighbourhood and was still recovering:)

At least, we weren't the only crazy tourists as there was another family with two small children and some random guys, too!

Definitely made me feel less lonely up there...

Monday, July 17, 2017

KIng Arthur by Henry Purcell

One thing we did during our vacation was to attend an opera. (Semi-opera is a correct name, but who cares:)

Ours wasn't so indecent exciting, though. It was just a concert with the girls (they were all musical students) in evening dresses and guys in suits. This one is French, I suppose. The acting is really funny tho.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I'm Back!

We are back from vacation and we've had a great time! Regular posting will be resumed as soon as possible. Comments moderation is back to normal.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Short Note

Since I'm leaving, all comments will go into moderation until I return.

See you all:)

Saturday, July 1, 2017