Unlike the Hebrews, the focus of Babylonian law was justice. Hammurabi, the king who created the Code of Hammurabi, based his judicial philosophy on, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Each law was paired with a specific consequence; however, consequences were not universal. Social status determined what penalty was received for certain actions. A person’s role in the community determined their position in the hierarchy. For instance, physicians and priests sat atop the social pyramid, while the base was composed of slaves. The Code of Hammurabi divided the citizens of Babylon with this method of governance, whereas the Ten Commandments sought to unite all Hebrew people. Nevertheless, the code of Hammurabi achieved the same basic goal of the Ten Commandments, to preserve the
The formers of the Hammurabi’s Code of Laws surely created strict rules with severe punishments for their violation. In fact, these laws played a big role in organization of Mesopotamian society. Reading these laws, reader may learn about ideals people of Mesopotamia had about crimes, their attitude to the lower and higher social classes, and legal rights between men and women. Reading the laws I noticed that many crimes were punished by death penalty. Many laws tell that guilty person has to pay the same price for the physical harm one did to another person or one’s relative. For instance: law 196 states (encyclopedia.com): “ If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.” In addition, at that time, people were penalized to death for many crimes or wrongdoings that almost never would be penalized with capital punishment at a modern time. Among such felony and misdemeanors are stealing, robbery, accusation, adultery, and desertion. Hammurabi’s Code also, reveals inequality between social classes. Slaves were not treated by the laws the same as free-born people. According to the Code of Hammurabi, women had some legal rights, but these rights were not equal to men’s. Married women had a right to divorce as well as men. In fact, in order to acquire the right for divorce, a woman has to find a reasonable explanation for her desire, and only than the divorce could be possible.
A woman was not seen as being equal to a man. This is clear in the laws dealing with marriage. Women were contractually obligated to remain with their husbands only, while their husbands were permitted to have a mistress or second wife. If a woman was caught with another man, she would be drowned (“The Code of Hammurabi”). Another thing that shows that women were not equal to men is the fact that they could be sold into slavery by their husbands at any time. Women did, however, have some rights such as the right to own property and the right to inherit and pass down that property. They also played very important roles in society. Some of these roles included shop owners, bakers, or scribes (Judge and Langdon,
The Code of Hammurabi was written by King Hammurabi, who began ruling the Babylonian Empire in about 1800 BC. Hammurabi came to power using his strengths as a military leader, conquering many smaller city-states to create his Empire. Hammurabi believed that the gods appointed him to bring justice and order to his people, and he took this duty very seriously. Not long after his ascent to power, he created his Code, 282 laws written to define all relationships and aspects of life in the kingdom. The laws were displayed in a public place so that all the people could have the opportunity to study them. The laws applied to everyone, though application of the laws and punishment differed according to social class. The punishments for disobeying the laws were swift and harsh, further encouraging compliance.
Throughout the world, people consider The Code of Hammurabi one of the most important codes of law ever recorded in the history of the world based on what it tells us about the history of early Babylon. The code gives people a way to see not only how the society of Babylon developed early on but also how other civilizations were developing complex societies, which were similar to the Babylonians. However, the code also shows us how the role of written documents and writing is effectively portrayed in Hammurabi’s laws. This is effectively observed by analyzing what types of documents the code provides evidence for, what are situations and reasons in which Babylonians used writing, and if writing is the only acceptable form of proof. The Code of Hammurabi is one of the most important codes ever recorded because it shows us evidence of early principles of justice, which provide proof for early legal documentation; gives us observable, physical proof of the Babylonian beliefs for future people to witness; and shows us how written works are the only acceptable form of proof because of the historical accuracy of the work.
First there is the justness of the family laws. This justess is displayed throughout the many documents however it is most clearly represented in Document C where one law requires a man taking a second to keep his sick first wife where “ shall dwall in the house they have built together, and he shall maintain her as long as she lives.” (doc C, law 148) as seen in this law it is clear that Hammurabi’s code was made to protect those who can’t
The laws gave men more freedom over their lives, unlike women. Lastly, if a woman killed another woman, her daughter would be put to death! However, if a man killed another man, he would be killed. The person who killed someone should have been put to death, because the kids were innocent. Overall, women were considered their “husband’s property,” and they were not considered a true wife until they had kids. The Hammurabi Code allowed more freedom for men.
The “Code of Hammurabi” is considered to be one of the most valuable finds of human existence. In fact its very existence created the basis for the justice system we have come to rely on today. The creation of “the Code” was a tremendous achievement for not only Babylonian society but for the entire Mesopotamian region as King Hammurabi was ruler over all of that area. Its conception can be considered to be the first culmination of the laws of different regions into a single, logical text. Hammurabi wanted to be an efficient ruler and realized that this could be achieved through the use of a common set of laws which applied to all territories and all citizens who fell under his rule. This paper will discuss the Hammurabi Code and the implications it had after its inception.
The code of Hammurabi was the first set of written laws to have been created. There were a collection of 282 laws which were recorded. Hammurabi states in his codes the reason for his laws. As stated in The Making of the West by Hunt, "to show Shamash that he had fulfilled the social responsibility imposed on him as a divinely installed monarch" (p.16). This meant that Hammurabi clearly felt that he was accountable for the justice and morals of his people, and that they should abide by them. One of the major points of the moral code included equal punishment under the same class. Code 196 states "If a noble man puts out the eye of another noble man, his eyes shall be put out." This clearly implies that the equal punishment law was severely followed by the Babylonians. Another important point was how woman were of lesser importance compared to men. Code 132 states how if a woman is not caught sleeping with another man she should jump in the water for the sake of her husband. This shows how woman were expected to be faithful and follow by their husbands side. While, if a man was to create adultery with his daughter he would only be exiled. The making of the West by Hunt states "A wife could divorce her husband for cruelty; a husband could divorce his wife for any reason" (p.16). This evidently shows how indisputably biased Hammurabi was towards woman in that society. Slaves' conducts and rules were also listed in the codes. They had absolutely no rights at all, even if they were to be killed by another being.
In the codes of Hammurabi, there is a generalization that defines most of the rules “An eye for an eye”(Code 196). It shows us that Hammurabi’s justice is processed in a harsh way. Is this fair enough? Was it satisfactory at that point of time? Did Babylonian society deserve it? These questions can’t be answered certainly, but several discussions should be done about it. Because, it is one of the unusual ways to rule in history.
The Hammurabi Code was a very strict, action and consequence series, whereas the Beatitudes are suggestions of the types of people who could easily enter Heaven. The Beatitudes are the blessings that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount, and they offer an entirely different moral code, one which is inviting rather than prohibitive. According to Dan Barker, “Five of the eight beatitudes have nothing to do with morality. They are more of a pep talk than a code of ethical behavior. None of them are truly ethical in themselves since they are all conditions for a future reward. A true ethical code might mention the benefits of certain actions, but should stress the inherent value of the behavior on its own merits before detailing the gain or loss for the individual.” The Hammurabi Code speaks of punishment, rather than moral values. The main principle was "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." This phrase, along with the idea of written laws, goes back to ancient Mesopotamian culture that prospered long before the Bible was written or the civilizations of the Greeks or Romans flowered. Hammurabi is the best known and most celebrated of all Mesopotamian kings. Although he was concerned with keeping order in his kingdom, this was not his only reason for compiling the list of laws. Hammurabi needed one universal set of laws for all of the diverse peoples he conquered. Hammurabi states that he wants "to make justice visible in the land, to destroy the wicked person and the evildoer, that the strong might not injure the weak." The laws themselves support this compassionate claim, and the vulnerable from being harmed or exploited. The phrase "an eye for an eye" represents what many people view as a harsh sense of justice based on revenge, but the entire code is much more complex than that one
Code of Hammurabi was established by Hammurabi, the king of Babylon, in order to create and maintain social order. Judging by these laws, I would say that the society defined by these laws consists of rather rigid structures and rules in the aspects of family, economics and justice system. It seems that the various social roles are very clearly defined in terms of what is expected of them, as well as the punishments they will receive as a result of not fulfilling their duties/responsibilities. For example, in the domestic realm, the father has the highest power in the family. This can be illustrated by the fact that he can sell off his wife and children as slaves if he could provide tangible evidence that this is fully warranted. Also, he could exile or even physically mutilate his children if such punishments are justified as a result of the children’s excessive rebellion. The father being the dominant figure in the family thus denotes a highly patriarchal society under these laws.
In ancient Babylon, male scribes wrote Hammurabi's Code around 1800 BCE. Hammurabi’s Code was a set of rules that Babylonians were expected to follow. Throughout the code, social hierarchy and patriarchy is shown. Because of this, we can infer the high class of males wielded the most political power in ancient Babylon. Awilu, the highest class of people in ancient Babylon was valued the most the Hammurabi’s code. The lower class of slaves was seen as worthless in the eyes of scribes. Social hierarchy can also be seen in ancient Rome. Their leaders believed marriage between patricians and plebeians was
Q2:What values or ideals governing the code are expressed in these excerpts? Hammurabi was the creator of the “eye for an eye” laws. However a hierarchy still exist inside these laws. If a crime occurs between two upper class citizens the punishment is equal to the crime. If a crime occurs between an upclass and lower class citizen a small payment is made for compensation.