Martha T. Roth

Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1979.
Teaching at Chicago since 1980.

Special Interests

Cuneiform Law, Mesopotamian Family History, Mesopotamian Social History.
Editor-in-charge of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary

Editor-in-Charge, Chicago Assyrian Dictionary.

Martha T. Roth, the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Oriental Institute; Dean of the Division of the Humanities; and Editor-in-Charge, Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. Roth researches and publishes on the legal and social history of the ancient Near East. Her primary interests have been on family law and on women's legal and social issues, and on the compilation and transmission law norms. Currently, she is working on a project on Mesopotamian law cases. 


B.A., Case Western Reserve University, 1974
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1979

Recent Publications


  • The Series An-ta-gal shaqu, Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon 17 (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1985).
  • Babylonian Marriage Agreements, 7th-3rd Centuries B.C., Alter Orient und Altes Testament 222 (Kevelaer: Butzon und Bercker, 1989).
  • Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, SBL Writings from the Ancient World (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), 2nd edition (1997); 2rd rev. edition (2000).

Articles (Selected):

  • "The Slave and the Scoundrel: CBS 10467, A Sumerian Morality Tale?" Journal of the American Oriental Society 103 (1983) 275-282, also published in Studies in Literature from the Ancient Near East , American Oriental Series 65, J.M. Sasson, ed. (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1984) 275-282.
  • "Homicide in the Neo-Assyrian Period," in Language, Literature, and History: Philological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner, American Oriental Series 67, F. Rochberg-Halton, ed. (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1987) 351-65.
  • "Age at Marriage and the Household: A Study of Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Forms," Comparative Studies in Society and History 29:4 (1987) 715-47.
  • " 'She will die by the iron dagger': Adultery and Marriage in the Neo-BabylonianPeriod," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 31 (1988) 186206.
  • "Womenin Transition and the bit marbani," Revue d'assyriologie 82 (1988) 131138.
  • "Marriage and Matrimonial Property in the First Millennium B.C.," in Women's Earliest Records from Ancient Egypt and Western Asia, Brown Judaic Studies 166, B.S. Lesko, ed. (Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1989) 245-260.
  • "A Case of Contested Status," in Studies Sj&oumlberg, H. Behrens, D. Loding, and M.T. Roth, eds. (Philadelphia, l989) 481-489.
  • "The Dowries of the Women of the Itti-Marduk-balatu Family,"Journal of the American Oriental Society 111 (1991) 19-37.
  • "Material Composition of the the Neo-Babylonian Dowry," Archiv f&uumlr Orientforschung 36/37 (1989/90 [pub. 1992]) 1-55.
  • "The Neo-Babylonian Widow," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 43-45 (1991-93 [pub. 1994]) 1-26.
  • “The Neo-Babylonian Family and Household,” The Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies Bulletin 28 (November, 1994) 19–29.
  • “Mesopotamian Legal Traditions and the Laws of Hammurabi,” Proceedings of the Robbins Collection & Chicago–Kent College of Law Conference on Ancient Law, UC Berkeley, March 1995, Chicago–Kent Law Review 71 (1995) 13–39.
  • “Law and Gender: A Case Study from Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Gender and Law in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, ed. V. Matthews, B. Levinson, and Tikva Frymer-Kensky (Sheffield Academic Press, 1998) 173–84.
  • “The Law Collection of King Hammurabi: Toward an Understanding of Codification and Text,” in La Codification des Lois dans L’Antiquité, Actes du Colloque de Strasbourg, 27–29 novembre 1997, ed. E. L&eacutevy (Travaux du Contre de Recherche sur le Proche-Orient et la Grèce Antiques 16, De Boccard, 2000) 9–31.
  • “The Priestess, the Prostitute, and the Tavern”, Munuscula Mesopotamica, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 267, ed. B. B&oumlck, E. Cancik-Kirschbaum, T. Richter (Kevelaer: Butzon und Bercker, 1999) 445–64.
  • “Taamatu-damqat and Daughters,” in Assyriologica et Semitica: Festschrift f&uumlr Joachim Oelsner, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 252 (M&uumlnster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2000) 387–400.
  • “Reading Mesopotamian Law Cases — PBS 5 100: A Question of Filiation,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 44 (2001) 244–92.