International Law in the Ancient World

28 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2008 Last revised: 19 Jun 2012

Date Written: February 1, 2008


This brief contribution to THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 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. This contribution is based on the author's previous volume, INTERNATIONAL LAW IN ANTIQUITY (Cambridge University Press 2001).

Keywords: public international law, ancient world, diplomacy, treaties, war

Suggested Citation

Bederman, David J., International Law in the Ancient World (February 1, 2008). Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 08-32, Available at SSRN: or

David J. Bederman (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6822 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)

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