The Hammurabi Code : Women 's Rights Essay

The Hammurabi Code : Women 's Rights Essay

Length: 1529 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Hammurabi Code: Women’s Rights is a paper I wrote for my Foundations of Western Civilization class taught by Dr. Munson. His goal was for all of his students to write a paper about a topic that interests us during a certain time era.



The Code of Hammurabi played a significant role in how women were treated, as well as their rights during Old Babylonian civilization. The Code of Hammurabi was created in 1780 B.C.E. and represents as the oldest written document in the development of human legislation. The “eye for an eye” principle comes from this code and states that if someone injures another person, then the person penalized to the same degree with the same action. Hammurabi’s code reflected three different classes which were; the commoners, the free people, and the slaves. This document provided laws and punishments that were applied to citizens depending on their social status and gender. According to the Code of Hammurabi women had three major rules to follow, the first rule being, focused on women’s family wealth and how it had to be administered by her husband or her father. The second rule was focused on women’s sexuality being sacrificed to ensure legitimacy. Lastly, the final, third rule was focused on the women whom were divorced and that needed society’s help.

A woman’s family wealth was very important during the Babylonian civilization. Women did not control her own wealth, so therefore, a woman’s family wealth, was controlled by her father or her husband. Law 128 in the Code of Hammurabi states, “If a man take a wife and do not arrange with her the (proper) contracts, that woman is not a (legal) wife.”1 (Hammurabi 45). A woman would receive a dowry once she was married and left her family. A dowry is a financ...


... middle of paper ...


...iece of property just as slaves were treated. Hammurabi’s Code demonstrated how the rights of women individually were not acknowledged as men’s rights were taken. King Hammurabi was the sixth Babylonian king and he gave all of the power to the men in the civilization. It can be proven that a woman, in Hammurabi time didn’t have as many rights, even right to defend herself. There are three major issues that were taken place during the Babylonian civilization. The first issue, was about a woman’s family wealth being controlled by her husband or her father. The second issue was about women’s sexuality being sacrificed to ensure legitimacy. The last issue talked about a woman needing society’s help if she was divorced. The Hammurabi Code describes all of women’s rights and clearly shows that women did not have many rights during this time in the Babylonian civilization.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Code Of Hammurabi And The Law Of Moses Essay

- We as people have always searched for a code of morals and conduct. It is what has held empires, nations, and families from falling into chaos. This is what the code of Hammurabi and the law of Moses instituted in maintaining order. Both laws have a strong foundation and way of promoting justice that rivals many systems today in regards to effectiveness. Many of the laws given were later used in future governments. There are many similarities and differences between these documents, and this analysis will share some of the those....   [tags: Law, Human rights, Marriage, Code of Hammurabi]

Better Essays
908 words (2.6 pages)

The Hammurabi Code Of Hammurabi Essay

- The Babylonian King, Hammurabi, established the Code of Hammurabi during his reign from 1792-1750 BCE, which held a compendium of 282 laws. The code recognized the Babylonian Empire into three distinct social classes: an upper class (royal family), a middle class (freemen), and a lower class (slaves). Under the Hammurabi code, Babylonian society was one of stringent sanctions for criminal offenses with punishment varying according to the wealth of an individual and gender. The code was unjust, due to its law of exact retaliation, gender bias, and the extremity of punishment....   [tags: Babylon, Law, Babylonia, Code of Hammurabi]

Better Essays
706 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Expansion of Babylon and the Code of Hammurabi

- Laws play a major role in the expansion of a nation. Justice is the upholding of those laws from an impartial standpoint. King Hammurabi managed to organize one of the first best preserved set of laws from ancient Babylonian times. The Code of Hammurabi was recorded on clay tablets standing eight feet high. This consisted of 282 provisions arranged under a variety of subjects ranging from family and personal property to trade and business. These laws established penalties with the philosophy that the punishment should fit the crime....   [tags: Code of Hammurabi, laws, ]

Better Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Women During The Time Of The Law Code Of Hammurabi Essay

- Women during the time of the law Code of Hammurabi had few freedoms under the authority of a man. In the Code of Hammurabi, there is evidence of the standing or role of women in their society when compared to men. From the time period of the Mesopotamian people to a development of women in the Greek society there are changes to the freedoms of women due to the differences in culture and societal norms. Greek women evolved in their society to have more freedoms and access to the community, but they also experience set expectations of women....   [tags: Woman, Marriage, Gender, Law]

Better Essays
879 words (2.5 pages)

The Code of Hammurabi the King of Babylon Essay

- 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....   [tags: law, social order, father, rights]

Better Essays
537 words (1.5 pages)

Hammurabi 's Code And The Social Structure Of Babylon Essay

- One of the most important aspects of any society is the ruling system. A society simply could not function without any sort of rules or regulations. With the tremendous growth of Babylonian society came the need for law systems. Perhaps one of the most well known law systems was Babylonian ruler Hammurabi’s compilation of Mesopotamian laws known as Hammurabi 's Code. Hammurabi 's Code contained laws pertaining to trade, marriage, property, crime, social class, and more (Judge and Langdon, 25). So much can be learned about early societies through this famous artifact....   [tags: Sociology, Law, Social stratification]

Better Essays
700 words (2 pages)

Essay about Hammurabi 's Code Concept Of Eyes For Eye Justice

- The law has some similarities with Hammurabi’s code concept of eyes for eye justice. In both sets of law a, “son was forfeited for son, daughter for daughter, eye for eye, limb for lib, tooth for tooth” (Roth 7). The concept of retaliation was alive and well in Mosaic Law. Execution was mentioned 36 different times in the Bible, and both genders could be executed like in Hammurabi’s code. For the most part, Mosaic Law is considered more compassionate but less advanced (Roth 6-7). Several parts of Mosaic Law have remained relevant today....   [tags: Law, United States Constitution, Common law]

Better Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Aristotle, Hammurabi And Machiavelli On Society Essay

- Who decided what was right or wrong and how order would be made in ancient societies. There couldn 't have just been a constitution that everyone followed in the beginning of time. People of ancient times must have come to some agreement to keep everyone well governed to prevent chaos and destruction to society. While undefined, I believe that most theorists addressed social order by defining social rules and ways of living that were believed to be fair for all. Such theorists as Aristotle, Hammurabi and Machiavelli were some of the many who had their own opinions on how the believed, “Government” per-say was created and how it should be ran....   [tags: Law, Political philosophy, Property, State]

Better Essays
1045 words (3 pages)

Essay The Significance Of Western Civilization

- The significance of knowing how western civilization developed is an important key to understanding how many elements from this time has impacted how we live today. The history of western civilization, as well as any other area of history, serves as lessons. We learn from past situations by analyzing their success and failures to promote success in the future. Because history is so important for us to understand, many things we commonly do and hear actually have a strong correlation with the past, even if we don’t always realize it....   [tags: Law, Property, Babylon, Code of Hammurabi]

Better Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

Hammurabis Code of Laws Essay

- Hammurabi was the sixth king of the first Amorite dynasty of Babylon. He supposedly ruled from 1792-1750 BC. During his rule, he wrote a code of law, which was the first to be translated from cuneiform. The code was written on several stone tablets so that all people could see them. It had a prologue, an epilogue, and 282 articles, and included rights for women, even though they didn’t have as many rights as men did. Hammurabi’s code was based on the saying ‘an eye for an eye’. This means that the retribution for the crime would roughly fit the severity of the crime....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)