2012 年 55 巻 1 号 p. 2-21
As a part of the research on amīlūtus, a specific type of debtors owing silver in Emar, this article deals with the care (palāḫu) contracts which they concluded with their creditors (Emar VI 16, 117; ASJ 13-T 38!; QVO 5-T 2; TS 39, 40). According to these texts, by these contracts, an amīlūtu is exempted from all his debt (or in one case, Emar VI 16, a part of it) and in its stead bears the duty to take care of the creditor and his wife (or in one case, ASJ 13-T 38, him and his daughter) as long as they live. At the same time, the amīlūtu is given his wife by the creditor and seems to be adopted by him relatively often. After finishing his duty, upon the death of the creditor and his family member, he leaves the creditor’s house with his wife and sons, but, even when adopted, he is excluded from inheritance of the family property. The results of a comparison of contracts of caring by amīlūtus, slaves, normally adopted sons and creditors in terms of marriage, adoption and inheritance are summarized as a ‘system’ in the following diagram: Based on this, the following points can be made about the amīlūtus: (1) they are a group of people whose standing is somewhere between free men (represented by normally adopted sons) and slaves; (2) they are a group with socially complex features (not really slaves, not really adopted sons, outsiders functioning as members of the household), who cannot be described by a single concept. Furthermore, in this comparative study, the consciousness of rank distinction between mariyannus (elite), ordinary free men and slaves is clearly discernible. Thus we can see that the various kinds of care contracts are a significant source for the study of the society of Emar in general.