Analysis Of The Code Of Hammurabi

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ESSAY 2: Prompt B Hammurabi ruled Mesopotamia from 1792-1750 and around 1752 he established the first written law ever to be created. The Book of the Dead is an Egyptian funeral text written around 1550 B.C. that tells Egyptian how to conduct their life in order to reach post-death paradise. Even though they are written long ago, these two writings allow scholars an insight look into Egyptian and Mesopotamia society. Through Code of Hammurabi, we can interpret that Mesopotamia is a society that values their modern laws, their hierarchy, and the citizens live day-by-day. While the book of the dead presents a society that values religion, the afterlife, and preparing one selves for the time after death. Although Code of Hammurabi, a law penal…show more content…
The importance of evidence to the Mesopotamia law is shown in the first law of this code. The rules states, “... brought charge of murder against him but has not proved it his accuser shall be put to death” (Code 1). The punishment for not having evidence is in the same magnitude as committing robbery, which is death. Citizens value that any charges that someone might impose is true and the only way it is true is that if there is sufficient amount of evidence. In Code ten it states “... has produced witnesses attesting to his lost property”. Like today 's modern law, citizens need bystander 's testimony in court of law to present an accurate case. Even something that cannot be proven with evidence, like sorcery, needs some form of evidence, even if it is as absurd as jumping into a river to prove one 's innocent (Code 2). Throughout the text, it is apparent that citizens must prove their claim in order to get the offender…show more content…
In Worlds Apart it states, “Social hierarchies were an important part of the fabric of Sumerian city-states”(World 53). Thus showing the importance of Code of Hammurabi in maintaining these social hierarchies. “If a male slave has said to his master, 'You are not my master ', his master shall prove him to be his slave and cut off his ear” (Code 282). This law allows slave owners to attain their social power over slaves by physically mutilating them if they try to throw off the social order. Another evidence that shows the repression of the lowest class, slaves, is code 252, which states “if it was a seignior 's slave [who he killed], he shall give one-third mina of silver” (Code 252). This is a light slap on the wrist for killing a slave, which is nothing compared to the punishment of killing a freed man, which ends in death. Interesting enough this social class actually value women in the social hierarchy. Code 39 allows men to give land custody to their wives and daughters. Even in early United States history, this was not allowed. Code 144 states that a husband cannot marry a “lay priestess”, second wife (Code 144). This shows that women were not slaves that husband were allowed to have multiple of. Other codes such as Code 130, which states that men are put to death if they try to rape other wives show that women were protected from rape, unlike other societies.

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