YARON, REUVEN (1924– ), Israeli scholar of Roman and ancient Near Eastern law. Yaron, born in Vienna, settled in Palestine in 1939. He taught jurisprudence at the University of Aberdeen (1956–57) and in 1957 began to teach Roman law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and subsequently taught ancient Near Eastern law as well (from 1962). In 1967 he became dean of the law faculty at the Hebrew University. Yaron was an excellent Romanist and a leading historian of ancient Oriental law in the contemporary period, noted for his mastery of the sources and philology, methodological acumen, imaginative grasp of the legal milieu of antiquity, and selection of fundamental topics. His work testifies to the necessity of a background in non-Jewish legal developments for an understanding of Jewish ones. Yaron was appointed director of the Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem, in 1973, resigning in 1978 when he was appointed head of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
Yaron's works in English include Gifts in Contemplation of Death in Jewish and Roman Law (1960); Introduction to the Law of the Aramaic Papyri (1961); and The Laws of Eshnunna (1969, 19882). His Hebrew publications include Ha-Mishpat shel Mismekhei Yeb ("Laws of the Elephantine Documents," 1961) and Meḥkarim be-Mishpat Romi ("Studies in Roman Law," 1968).