International Law in the Ancient World

Authored by: David J. Bederman

Routledge Handbook of International Law

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415418768
eBook ISBN: 9780203884621
Adobe ISBN: 9781134113095


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This briefly assesses the historiographic literature about the idea that ancient state systems predicated their relations on the rule of law. It examines ancient practices in relation to diplomatic privileges and immunities, treaty conclusion and observance, and the initiation and limitation of armed conflict. There was a coherent sense among ancient peoples from Near East and Mediterranean traditions that state relations should be conducted in accordance with established norms and values.

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