Elaborate legal enactments codified in Babylonia by the 10th century B.C. find striking parallels in Hebrew, late Jewish (Talmudic), Syrian and Mahommedan law, or in the unwritten usages of all ages; for even where there were neither written laws nor duly instituted lawgivers, there was no lawlessness, since custom and belief were, and still are, almost inflexible.
Like the high court, the court of burgesses had also its assizes 4 - a body of unwritten legal 4 As was noticed above, there were apparently separate assizes for the three principalities, in addition to the assizes of the kingdom.
The results are open to criticism in details, but form on the whole a remarkable achievement in the conversion of unwritten and highly technical law into a body of written law sufficiently clear to be administered by officers to many of whom its ideas and language are foreign.
The class of traders who made a living by disreputable means and attempted to keep a monopoly of the island on which they settled, became notorious under the name of " beachcombers," and for each of the many dark chapters in Polynesian history there must have been many more unwritten.