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Unlike ancient Rome, Egypt did not transmit any legal system to us, but rather an idea of justice our modern minds can hardly understand. In the ancient Egyptian world, almost all the texts and inscriptions speak of justice. All the texts of wisdom teach that one has to conform to Maat, an obscure and omnipresent concept that Egyptologists have translated into the expression "Goddess of Truth and Justice".
Egyptian justice is so different from ours that Egyptologists and historians of religions believe they have not yet fully understood its meaning. They regret this fact because understanding Maat would be a gateway to a deeper understanding of the ancient Egyptian world. As for lawyers, they have limited themselves to the Greco-Roman sources on the philosophy of Justice and the discoveries of Egyptologists in this philosophical field remain thoroughly ignored. Thanks to her experience in ancient history of law and her ability to understand ancient symbols, the author provides Egyptology with the missing pieces that were needed to form a coherent image of Maat. Once revealed, Maat sheds a new and unexpected light on the whole of Egyptian civilization. As a bridge between traditionally separate fields of academic research, this book is a useful and groundbreaking contribution to Egyptology, the history of religions and the modern philosophy of law.
Anna MANCINI, Ph. D