The Code of Hammurabi was a prominent and most complete written legal code. It was written by the Babylonian king Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792 to 1750 B.C.
Also, it is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world.
The Hammurabi code of law is a collection of 282 rules. It was set rules for commercial interactions, and set fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice.
Brief Details about the Code of Hammurabi
|When was the code of Hammurabi written?||1754 BC|
|Who wrote the code of Hammurabi?||King of Babylon Hammurabi|
|Where was the code of Hammurabi written?||Mesopotamia|
|The code of Hammurabi consisted of||282 Rules|
|The code of Hammurabi is a collection of what type of items||It contains the codes related to Commerce, family laws, fines, and punishments.|
|What language was the code of Hammurabi written in?||Akkadian language|
|Did the code of Hammurabi treat everyone equally?||No|
Who wrote the code of Hammurabi?
Babylonian King Hammurabi wrote the code of Hammurabi. He was the sixth king in the Babylonian Dynasty.
Hammurabi ruled in central Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) from 1892 BC to 1750 BC.
His family was descended from the Amorites, a semi-nomadic tribe in western Syria.
Hammurabi’s name reveals a mix of cultures: Hammu means “family” in Amorite, and Rapi means “great” in Akkadian in the everyday language of Babylon.
In the 30th year of his reign, Hammurabi began to grow his kingdom above and below the Tigris and Euphrates river valley. He overthrew the kingdoms of Assyria, Larsa, Eshunna, and Mari till the whole of Mesopotamia was under his rule.
Hammurabi combined his military and political approaches with irrigation projects and the construction of fortifications and temples celebrating Babylon’s patron deity, Marduk.
Now, the Babylon of Hammurabi is buried. But, the clay tablets found from different ancient sites show glimpses of the king’s character and diplomacy.
What was the significance on that period?
During that time, these codes were the guiding principle of Babylon. These codes helped them during commercial interactions, charging fines, and punishing the guilty.
Nearly half of the code administers with the matters of contract. For example, wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon.
Other provisions set the rules for a transaction, the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, or property that is damaged while left in the care of another.
A third of the code discusses matters concerning household and family relationships such as heritage, divorce, parenthood, and reproductive behavior.
Only one provision appears to impose responsibilities on a government official. This provision confirms that a judge who changes his judgment after it is written down is to be fined and removed from the bench forever. A few provisions address issues related to military service.
What is the significance in today’s world?
The code of Hammurabi helps us understand the social, economic, and mental structure of the people of that time. It is like looking through a window into ancient Babylon.
It also helps us to understand how they managed matters related to property and commerce including debt, interest, and collateral.
The code of Hammurabi tells us about different standards of justice for the three classes of Babylonian society – the propertied class, freedmen, and slaves, and what was the perspective of government toward them.
It also gives a glimpse of the status of women. How they were suppressed in the society. For example, men were allowed to have affairs with their servants and slaves, whereas married women would be harshly punished for committing adultery.
Rediscovery of Hammurabi’s Stele
In 1901 Jacques de Morgan, a French mining engineer, led an archaeological expedition with Egyptologist Gustave Jéquier to Persia. Their mission was to excavate the Elamite capital of Susa in Khuzestan, more than 250 miles from the center of Hammurabi’s kingdom.
The stele unearthed in 1901 had many laws scraped off by Shutruk-Naknunte. Early estimates pegged the number of missing laws at 34, however, the exact number is still not determined and only 30 have been discovered so far. The common belief is that the code contained 282 laws in total.
Read All 282 Codes from here: The Avalon Project: The Code of Hammurabi
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