The Prologue to the Law Code of Lipit-Ishtar (1934-1924 B.C.) sets out the purposes of the Sumerian King's Administration and resembles, in form and substance, the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States more closely than any document produced during the centuries that separate the two.
The Sumerian Prologue
When An (and) Enlil
Had called (on) Lipit-Ishtar,
The Wise Shepherd,
Whose name had been pronounced by Nunamnir,
To the Princeship of the Land,
In order to:
Establish Justice in the Land,
To Banish Complaints,
To Turn Back Enmity (and) Rebellion
By the Force of Arms, (and)
To Bring Well-being to the Sumerians and Akkadians, . . .
Then I, Lipit-Ishtar . . . procured . . . Amargi (Liberty)
Of the sons and daughters of Sumer and Akkad
Upon whom ... Slaveship had been imposed.
The American Preamble
We The People of the United States,
In order to form a more perfect Union,
Insure Domestic Tranquility,
Provide for the Common Defence,
Promote the General Welfare and
Secure the Blessings of Liberty
To Ourselves and Our Posterity,
Do Ordain and Establish
This Constitution for the United States of America.
(James T. McGuire, The Sumerian Roots of the American Preamble, Lough Erene Press, 1994, pp. v, 3, 5; contributor: Kramer, Samuel N.; illustrator: McGuire, Cecilia.)