The Ancient South Arabian Royal Edicts from the Southern Gate of Timna and the Gabal Labah
The kingdom of Qataban flourished in ancient South Arabia during the second half of the first millennium BC. There is an extensive corpus of around two thousand inscriptions written in Qatabanic, one of the linguistic variants of ancient South Arabian, which provides information on many aspects of the society and language of Qataban. It also helps to reveal ancient South Arabian history as a whole. The present book is a new edition with philological and historical commentary of some of the most important royal edicts belonging to the Qatabanic corpus. These edicts, that were inscribed on an imposing stone city gate of Timna , the capital of the Qatabanian kingdom, and on the sacred mountain of the Gabal Laba , give us a unique insight into the functioning and the institutions of the Qatabanian legal system, and contribute to a better understanding of the intriguing complexity of the legal language of Qatabanic. The in-depth analysis of the Qatabanian legal system shows the crucial role played by the law in the ancient South Arabian society. Furthermore, many aspects of the ancient South Arabian law present interesting parallels with various regions of the ancient Near East that indicates an ancient cultural and linguistic continuity between the two areas.