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Title: 'Answer me Properly!'
Subtitle: Diplomatic Strategy and Subterfuge in the Treaty Texts from Mari
Author(s): DAVIS, Andrew R.
Journal: Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Volume: 50    Date: 2013   
Pages: 243-254
DOI: 10.2143/ANES.50.0.2975515

Abstract :
This article examines how the exchange of unilateral treaty tablets in the Mari period was an opportunity for one treaty partner to exert or resist the political power of another. Building on D. Charpin’s model, according to which drafts of a treaty ('small tablets') were exchanged first and were followed by final copies ('large tablets'), this study considers how this process plays out in the diplomatic texts from Mari. Some texts reveal the strategies and tactics - such as omitting unfavorable terms of the treaty, or delaying the process altogether - by which treaty partners sought to gain an advantage in the negotiations. In other texts one partner forestalls accusations of subterfuge by underlining his sincerity. All of these examples demonstrate the complexity of treaty negotiations and the opportunities it afforded for advancing political interests.

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