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Law and Social Strata

The stratification of society was an established feature of the Persian society in the social relationships of ancient Iran. This feature had spread its roots so deeply into all the various aspects of society that, according to Herodotus, it was be possible to guess the social class of two people only by observing the manner in which they greeted each other on the streets. Moreover, it would be naïve to rule out the influence of social stratification on the legislation of laws and the fact that these laws had been formulated without taking into consideration the various social classes. On the other hand, care should also be taken to avoid any undue stress on the level of the influence of social stratification on the laws of ancient Iran. The legislative system of Darius, according to which the powerful and influential members of society were prevented from oppressing the weaker elements, is indicative of the fact that the legislator had paid due attention to safeguarding the rights of the weaker classes of society. It should be emphasized here that as testified by Greek historians, from among the noble professions, agriculture and warfare were given special importance by the Persian kings.

 

* source: Pakatchi , Ahmad "Iran Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 ,pp.621

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