Asked in Mesopotamia

What were the rights and responsibilities of the citizens in ancient mesopotamia?


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Citizenship. While there are no Mesopotamian terms for "citizen" before the law nor any known declarations of citizens' rights, existing written texts indicate that distinctions were drawn between native-born "sons of the city" or "sons of the land" on the one hand and foreign residents on the other. In court records and ration lists, for example, the name of a foreign-born citizen appears with a notation regarding geographic origin, such as "Kassite" or "Elamite." The king's first obligation seems to have been to his native born subjects. According to a didactic literary composition known as Advice to a Prince, (If a king) denied due process to a citizen (literally "son") of (the Babylonian city of) Sippar, but granted it to an alien, (the god) Shamash, judge of heaven and earth, will establish an alien due process in his land, and neither princes nor judges will have regard for due process. (Foster).....