10 Ancient Writings That Reveal Common Lives From Centuries Ago

9. A Babylonian Trader Struggled With A Powerful Merchant


A Babylonian man named Nanni holds the unique honor of writing history’s first letter of complaint in 1750 BC. Ea-nasir, a copper merchant, had tricked Nanni into buying a low-quality product. When Nanni’s messenger complained, he was told, “If you do not want to take them, go away!” He wasn’t refunded a single coin.

Nanni was furious, but there wasn’t much he could do. According to other translated documents, Ea-nasir was powerful in the copper business and a trader probably couldn’t succeed without going through Ea-nasir.

Still, Nanni furiously chiseled these words into his tablet: “Take cognizance that from now on, I will not accept here any copper from you!” Reality must have sunk in, though, because he added a meek “that is not of fine quality.”

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