The present volume discusses primarily the development and acculturation of guardianship in the period between the early first millennium BCE and the first millennium CE. Guardianship was conceived, as a legal institution, in the Greek world. As soon as Greek culture became predominant in the Mediterranean world, during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was taken over and absorbed into neighboring legal and cultural environments. Since the social and demographic circumstances that elicited guardianship are universal, the question has also been posed how the problems confronted by guardianship were dealt with in societies in which the institution itself was not available. Two contributions, examining this problem in the context of second millennium BCE Mesopotamia and Pharaonic Egypt, prompt a possible answer. An introductory contribution examines guardianship from the perspectives of modern Israeli law.