Immigration, Globalization, and the Impact on Private Law: The Case of Legal Documents

Uri Yiftach, Katelijn Vandorpe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the legal traditions of the two dominant population groups, Greeks and Egyptians, with due attention to possible interactions and to the minor impact of Roman law. Greek legal documents were, like their Egyptian counterparts, commonly composed following a set scheme of recurring clauses, displaying regional and chronological phrasing variants that go beyond Egypt’s borders. The Egyptians had a long tradition of written legal documents. The “house document”, signed by witnesses and sealed by an official, was one of the dominant types in the Old and Middle Kingdoms. In the Early Ptolemaic Period, the impact of Greek private law was meager: a new hybrid type of Demotic contract was introduced, combining characteristics of both Demotic temple contracts and Greek double documents. Up to the reforms of Diocletian, Roman legal documents are rarely attested in the Egyptian chora, and usually originate from military circles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118428429
ISBN (Print)9781118428474
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Demotic temple contracts
  • Egyptian chora
  • Greek double documents
  • Greek legal documents
  • Greek private law
  • Roman law
  • Roman legal documents


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