This book, part of a series aiming to investigate the legal systems of ancient societies through a document-based, comparative approach, focuses on the study of archives and archival records and their interplay with the workings of administrative and political systems. The papers are arranged in four sections dealing with the Ancient Near East, Classical Greece, the Persian Tradition and the Hellenistic World, and the Roman Empire. The themes touched upon chronologically span from the early second millennium B.C. to the late Roman Empire and geographically range from Mesopotamia to the Western Mediterranean. The archives considered, public and private, are conspicuous for their variety and reflect diverse archival concepts and traditions but a number of common patterns also emerge in respect to their physical organization, to the classification of texts, the function of record-keeping and the role of seals. We are entitled to speak of a recurring ‘archival behaviour’.