- Akkadian term meaning “justice” (Sumerian: nig.si.sa). It was a prerogative of kings, especially on the occasion of the accession to the throne, to promulgate various reforms, such as those of Uruinimginain the Early Dynastic period, who drastically reduced the levies paid for certain services and tried to instigate changes in social customs. In the second millennium, especially during the Old Babylonian period, economic decline due to various factors, not least practices such as tax-farming, brought about general impoverishment and crushing debt burdens (see SLAVERY).The mesharum-act, solemnly read out in public ceremony, released debtors from obligations incurred during the previous reign; it amounted to a debt amnesty, especially for the sector controlled by the palace but also in the private sector (see AMMI-SADUQA) and was a measure intended to reinvigorate the economy, as well as to enhance royal prestige and influence.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.