He may sell field, garden, and house to a merchant royal agents or to any other public official, the buyer holding field, house, and garden for its usufruct. If a man kills the cattle or sheep that were given to him, he shall compensate the owner with cattle for cattle and sheep for sheep. In 1901, Egyptologist , a member of an expedition headed by , found the stele containing the Code of Hammurabi during archaeological excavations at the ancient site of Susa in Khuzestan. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Even grammatical and lexicographical texts contain many extracts or short sentences bearing on law and custom.
He became king in 1792 B. One law stated that any slave that struck a free citizen would have his ear cut off. C, whereas, the Lipit-Ishtar of Isin law code was drawn up two centuries before Hammurabi came up with his own set. University of Michigan Library, 2009, originally published in 1916 by American Sunday-School Union p. If he was a freed man, he shall pay one-third of a mina.
The laws varied according to social class and gender. It also contains some important ideas like having people provide evidence of a crime, innocent until proven guilty, and protection for the weak. The Amorites spread through more of Mesopotamia. Around the same time, native Akkadian speakers threw off Amorite Babylonian rule in the far south of Mesopotamia, creating the , in more or less the region of ancient Sumer. Angered by Larsa's failure to come to his aid, Hammurabi turned on that southern power, thus gaining control of the entirety of the lower Mesopotamian plain by c. Hammurabi used his power to undertake a series of public works, including heightening the city walls for defensive purposes, and expanding the temples.
The Code of Law The actual code of law was divided up into groupings. This may be due to the lack of an effective bureaucracy, as his active participation on regional wars meant that he did not focus on establishing an administrative system that would ensure the continual running of his empire after his death. If any one owe a debt for a loan, and a storm prostrates the grain, or the harvest fail, or the grain does not grow for lack of water; in that year he need not give his creditor any grain, he washes his debt-tablet in water and pays no rent for this year. If a man bring a charge against one's wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an oath and then may return to her house. Even the king could not borrow and forget. If a noble destroyed the eye of another noble he might have his own eye put out, or if he broke the bone of another noble he had one of his own bones broken.
Any kind of dispute between two parties was settled before an authority, like modern laws. There is reason to believe that this was his personal decision, probably based on a different view of the nature of kingship, setting a precedent for the concept of kingship until Hellenistic times. The instructions of Ptahhotep, Sharia Law, and Mosaic law also include certifications for professionals like doctors, lawyers and skilled craftsmen which prescribe penalties for malpractice very similar to the code of Hammurabi. The code is also one of the earliest examples of the idea of , and it also suggests that both the accused and accuser have the opportunity to provide. The lack of effective administration might have been one reason for the fast deterioration after his death of what he had achieved in military terms. Thus was Babylon quickly reduced to the small and minor state it had once been upon its founding.
At the time of , the 's was named after the ancient king as part of an effort to emphasize the connection between modern Iraq and the pre-Arab Mesopotamian cultures. If a man hire an ox and he break its leg or cut the ligament of its neck, he shall compensate the owner with ox for ox. Apart from these, there is another 1700 B. If anyone who has not lost his goods state that they have been lost, and make false claims: if he claims his goods and amount of injury before God, even though he has not lost them, he shall be fully compensated for all his loss claimed. If anyone steals a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner.
If the son of a paramour or a prostitute desire his father's house, and desert his adoptive father and adoptive mother, and goes to his father's house, then shall his eye be put out. If anyone deceive a barber, and have him mark a slave not for sale with the sign of a slave, he shall be put to death, and buried in his house. For example, when two parties had a dispute, legal protocol allowed them to bring their case before a judge and provide evidence and witnesses to back up their claims. Women could also receive punishments that their male counterparts would not, as men were permitted to have affairs with their servants and slaves, whereas married women would be harshly punished for committing adultery. He conquered all of Mesopotamia and established the first Babylonian Empire. The code remained in use for another couple of centuries. If a man marry a wife and she bear him children: if this wife die and he then take another wife and she bear him children: if then the father die the sons must not partition the estate according to the mothers, they shall divide the dowries of their mothers only in this way; the paternal estate they shall divide equally with one another.
One such law pertained to thefts of cattle and sheep. If anyone hires a herdsman for cattle or sheep, he shall pay him eight gur of corn per annum. His army crushed the Elamites. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter. If there was no purchase price he shall give her one mina of gold as a gift of release. He ousted , the king of , and forced his son to pay tribute, bringing almost all of under rule.
If a free-born man strikes the body of another free-born man or equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina. Strictest but not the oldest Image Credit: One very commonly held belief about these set of laws is that they are the oldest law codes from the ancient world. After the empire was destroyed completely in 1595 B. Like other emperors, Hammurabi operated a protection racket, offering towns he captured the security of his superior military might in exchange for their obedience and tribute payment of taxes. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul The Code of Hammurabi is not the earliest surviving law code; it is predated by the , the , and the.
If a builder build a house for someone and complete it, he shall give him a fee of two shekels in money for each sar of surface. The earliest, created by the Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu of the city of Ur, dates all the way back to the 21st century B. He reassembled the pieces and spent 6 months translating the text. Historians believe the Elamite King Shutruk-Nahhunte plundered the four-ton slab during a 12th century B. He may, however, assign a field, garden, or house which he has bought, and holds as property, to his wife or daughter or give it for debt. Histor … ical inscriptions, royal charters and rescripts, dispatches, private letters and the general literature afford welcome supplementary information. Two explanations are likely: it was either again a fight over water rights or an attempt by Hammurabi to gain control over Mari's excellent location at the crossroads of the ancient Middle East's overland trade.