Hardly ever is intellectual history accused of being too "flat". After all, it usually moves between ancient Greece and the present and thus spans two and a half millennia. But what if this venerable self-perception as a long-term oriented discipline is confronted with new historical developments in “deep history”, meaning the history of the whole human species? What if there are additions to make that come from early civilizations like Mesopotamia? Or even from a previous time, from the oral steppe cultures of the Indo-Europeans? Using the example of early legal ideas and practices, the aim of the lecture is to examine how deep intellectual history can go backwards, what relevance this has for a global legal history, and which methodological difficulties, but also opportunities, arise.