Joseph G. Manning
This chapter examines the history of, and the important factors that contributed to, state formation in ancient Egypt during the period from around 3500
This article treats the development of the Egyptian legal system from the Saite to the Roman period (664 BCE to about 150 CE). It addresses the much-disputed question of whether one can speak about a codification under Darius I and presents the known sources for the Egyptian legal corpus, fragments of which are preserved in demotic and Greek manuscripts, and for its accompanying didactic manual. The formation and activities of judges and notary scribes are described, characteristics of demotic legal documents, the different types that were in use, and their development over time are explained, and the best attested areas of Egyptian law—property transfer by sale, matrimonial property settlements and maintenance obligations, tenancy, credits and indebtedness, and heritage—are outlined through evidence from primary sources.