A Brief History on Contracts
Contracts have been constituted since the very first time a human transacted with another human, regardless of the form it was constituted. This week, we will take a closer look at the history of contracts before they transformed into the digital documents that they are today.
1. Contracts governed market economies.
Emerging economies tracing back to ancient civilizations like Egypt, Greece, Israel, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Rome had something in common: they all created enforceable agreements to support their market economies.
2. A written sales contract aged 4,300 years old was discovered by scholars.
This written sales agreement which can be traced back to 2300 B.C. is evidence of the advanced legal development around that period.
3. Contracts existed as early as 2250-550 B.C.
Being the cradle of civilizations, Mesopotamia had to be quick on their feet and craft regulations to maintain order among private, public and political lives. This gave birth to the following contracts:
- Sales and Purchases contracts (2300 B.C.-2000 B.C.)
- Rental Contracts(2000 B.C.)
- Labor Contracts (2200 B.C.)
- Co-Partnerships Contracts (2000 B.C.)
- Loans and Mortgages Contracts (611 B.C.)
- Bankruptcy Contracts (560 B.C.)
- Power of Attorney Contracts (561 B.C.)
- Code of the Assyrians (c. 1075 B.C.)
- Code of the Nesilim (Hittites, c. 1650-1500 B.C.)
4. The very first treaty was created in 1259 B.C.
The Egyptian-Hittite Peace Treaty was the first recorded treaty from ancient times. A treaty is a legal agreement between two or more nations, which becomes binding among said nations and part of international law.