Tell It to the Federal Trade Commission "To our lords, the administrator, and Nabu-aha-iddin:

Concerning the 400 [measures of] barley . . . he has given only 300, saying: 'I owe no more barley and I will not give you any more barley than this.' The lords should know this.

We have heard the instructions of our lords . . . about the man in charge of measuring barley, saying: 'He cheats when he measures.' By Bel and Nabu, we swear that he has done nothing wrong in this respect. He has measured only one and not more because we said, 'Do not measure any more, we are going to measure the barley ourselves.' They wrongly informed our lords. Let us hear quickly the instructions of our lords."

From the book Letters from Mesopotamia: Official, Business, and Private Letters on Clay Tablets from Two Millenia translated by A. Leo Oppenheim.Reprinted with permission from University of Chicago Press, 1967.

-- Letter of Zera-ukin and Nabu-karabi-sime, Neo-Babylonian period