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Law Legacy

Page history last edited by Josephine&Abegail 11 years, 5 months ago



Law in Ancient Egypt





     The Egyptian society did have their own laws like what we have too, today, to prevent criminals from harming the innocent people. It's believed that the Egyptian law was at least codified, but there are no legal law codes found today. There laws were based on what they think was right and wrong and the teachings of the gods and priests, so they expect everyone to follow and obey them. The Egyptians believed that if they obey the rules and behave properly they would be treated fairly. It was everyone's job to help report crimes and not to do so was a crime. Criminals guilty of doing something wrong or illegal would be punished. Punishments depended on what sort of crime was done. A punishment for a criminal stealing goods from a market would probably be beatings and a fine to pay or anyone caught moving a boundry stone from someone elses boundry or territory would be in enslaved or have his or her ears cut off. All land belonged to the pharoah, so land owners had to pay the part of their harvest in taxes. Anyone who didn't pay was also considerd a crime and have to go to the local magistrate to be beaten and questioned. A punishment for the worst crime which was tomb robbery is unknown. Surviving documents with records of caught tomb robbers was written but the punishment was not recorded. Death sentences were very rare in Ancient Egypt. Only the Pharoah had the right and power to decide on a death sentence or not. Burning was a punishment used for other serious crimes involving state. Without a body, the soul was impossible to go to afterlife. Punishments for women who have commited crime was to make her appearance imperfect, like have their noses amputated. But for pregnant women, she would be punished after giving birth.

                                                                                                                              By: Abegail Ponce




     Ma'at, who was the goddess of justice, truth, and righteousness. Justice relied on everyone to view themselves as equals, except for slaves, under the law. It was thought Ra, the sun god, created the world in chaos and put his daughter, Ma'at, to keep the world under control. Cases were tried by judges who were landowners, priests, the local magistrate or local groups of people. Criminals had no lawyers to help defend them, so they spoke for themselves. Judges prayed to the gods to help them chose the right decision. For more serious cases were tried by the vizers, who were the important official in charge of justice and public works. Punishments were annouced right away.     


                                                                                                                               By: Josephine Lam






    Surviving records  of laws in Ancient Egypt show that women had good and reasonable laws to follow and were happy with them. Women had the right to own their property, seek work and even work in temples as singers or dancers. If women's husband hurt her in any way, like beatings, she was allowed to go to court and probably file for a divorce. Some ancient civilizations  gives women no freedom under the law, so Egypt was the earliest civilization to give rights to women.

                                                                                                                               By: Abegail Ponce


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