Akkadian term meaning “justice” (Sumerian: 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. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AMMI-DITANA — (reigned 1683 – C. 1640 B.C.)    King of Babylon, of the First Dynasty of Babylon, son and successor of Abi esuh.His 37 year reign was generally peaceful and his yearnames record primarily the dedication of cult paraphernalia and the maintenance… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • AMMI-SADUQA — (reigned C. 1646–1626 B.C.)    King of Babylon, 10th and penultimate ruler of the First Dynasty of Babylon, son and successor of Ammi ditana. During his reign, advances in astronomical observations led to the recording of the rise times of the… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • TAXATION —    Compulsory contributions toward public services are a feature of all complex societies. Mesopotamia had two kinds of levies that could be imposed by the main institutional bodies: the temple, the state (see PALACES), or the city. First there… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • slaves and slavery —    Slaves, known as wardum in the Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, existed in all of the societies of ancient Mesopotamia. However, slavery did not play the kind of major social and commercial role that it did later in classical (Greco Roman)… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

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