The papyri from Egypt allow a rare glimpse of the workings of Greek law outside the settings of the polis. The evidence stems from an extremely long period from the Macedonian to the Arab conquest, a period in the course of which Greek law interacted with and was influenced by other legal cultures, most notably Egyptian and Roman. The evidence is also unique: literary sources play a marginal role, as do inscriptions. It is rather private correspondence, texts composed on papyrus for ephemeral purposes, discarded and uncovered millennia later, that provides most of our evidence. Such direct access to everyday documentation is one of the most fascinating features of legal papyrology.
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- Greco-Roman Egypt
- Hellenistic law
- Roman law
- Byzantine law