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Which of the Babylonian Code of Law Was the First Full Set of Written Laws in Recorded History

This lack of unity has made city-states easy prey for invaders. The Hittites invaded in 1595 BC. AD and shortly after the Kassites and then the Elamites around 1150 BC. AD under their king Shutruk Nakhunte. At that time, it is believed, the codex stele was returned from Hammurabi to Elam, where it was found broken in 1901 AD. However, his influence is notable in the creation of later legal texts such as the laws of the Middle Assyrian, the Neo-Babylonian laws, and the Mosaic law of the Bible, all of which follow the same pattern as the Hammurabi Codex in giving people an objective and universal directive on how to treat others and how one should expect to be treated in a civilized society. Van de Mieroop writes that the answer to this riddle seems to lie in the epilogue of the stele, a section of scripture after the laws were given. Hammurabi makes two main points, one is that everyone in his kingdom can come to the statue, see (or hear) the words on it, and “understand his problem and be satisfied in his heart.” In other words, it was a monument to the king`s sense of justice and a way to make his subjects feel better when they felt unfairly treated. The laws of Hammurabi reflect the shock of an unprecedented social environment: the multi-ethnic and tribal Babylonian world. In earlier Sumerian-Akkadian times, all communities felt common members of the same family, all equally servants under the eyes of the gods. In such circumstances, disputes can be resolved through a collectively accepted value system in which blood is thicker than water and just reparation is more desirable than revenge.

Now that city dwellers usually encountered nomads who followed a completely different way of life, being thrown together as speakers of several Western Semitic Amurru languages as well as others with unsympathetic Akkadians, the confrontation must have too easily turned into conflict. Quarrels and bloody quarrels often had to threaten the cohesion of the empire. (180) The 300-line prologue begins with an etiology of the royal authority of Hammurabi (1-49). Anum, the Babylonian god of heaven and king of the gods, granted Marduk dominion over humanity. Marduk chose the center of his earthly power as Babylon, who worshipped him in the real world as his patron god. Marduk established the office of kingship in Babylon. Finally, Anum, along with the Babylonian god of wind Enlil Hammurabi, elected king of Babylon. Hammurabi was to rule “to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak” (37-39: dannum enšam ana lā ḫabālim). Like Shamash, they were to rise above the Mesopotamians (the ṣalmāt qaqqadim, literally the “black-headed people”) and illuminate the land (40-44).

[59] [Note 1] The concept of law as an institution that protects the weak from the strong, as a force before which all people are equal, fosters respect and admiration not only for the laws, but also for the legislature. Although Hammurabi conquered the cities by conquest, there is no sign of revolt or dissent during the last five years of his reign. People realized that the laws of Hammurabi worked in their own interest and maintained them, promoting greater stability and allowing cultural progress. At first glance, the document looks like a very organized code similar to the Code of Justinian and the Code of Napoleon. [92] There is also evidence that the dīnātum, which sometimes refers to individual “laws” in the Hammurabi Code, has been applied. [93] A copy of the codex calls it ṣimdat šarrim, “royal decree,” which is a kind of forced legislation. [94] Van de Mieroop also notes that “in the extensive documentation of court cases decided during Hammurabi`s reign and thereafter, no reference is given to a set of laws that served as the basis for a decision.” The penalties for a judge who tried to change a sealed sentence were severe, “he must pay 12 times the loss that caused the trial,” according to the law in question. If a man`s wife has not given him children, but a woman in the public place has given him children, he must provide them with grain, oil, and clothing. The children who gave birth to him will be his heirs, and as long as his wife lives, she will not live with her.

The Codex of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text written around 1755-1750 BC. It is the longest, best organized and best preserved legal text in the ancient Middle East. It is written in the old Akkadian Babylonian dialect, supposedly by Hammurabi, the sixth king of the first dynasty of Babylon. The main copy of the text is inscribed on a basalt or diorite stele 2.25 m (7 ft 4 + 1/2 in.) high. The stele was discovered in 1901 at the site of Susa in present-day Iran, where it had been looted six hundred years after its creation. The text itself has been copied and studied by Mesopotamian writers for more than a millennium. The stele is now in the Louvre. Hammurabi was not the first Middle Eastern leader to write laws. Dominique Charpin, professor at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris, writes in his book “Writing, Law and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia” (University of Chicago Press, 2010) that researchers are aware of the existence of three legal texts established by the kings who preceded Hammurabi. The term “code” presupposes that the document must be applied as law.

It was used by Scheil in his editio princeps,[89] and subsequently widely used. C. H. W. Johns, one of the earliest and most prolific commentators on the document, proclaimed that “the codex deserves its name.” [40] Recent Assyriologists have used the term without comment,[90] as have scientists outside Assyriology. [91] But it is only if the text was conceived as coercive legislation that it can truly be considered a code and its provisions. The Code of Hammurabi was introduced throughout the country and united people under the law and not just through conquest. Unlike the Akkadian Empire, which found it necessary to place handpicked officials to administer their conquered cities, Hammurabi controlled his empire by law. In the prologue to his code, he makes it clear not only that these are divine laws, but that in their application only the good of the people was at the heart of him: the stele was packed and shipped to the Louvre in Paris, and in less than a year it was translated and widely published as the first example of a written code of law – one, which was older, but had striking parallels with the laws established in the Hebrew Old Testament. Black codes were restrictive laws designed to restrict the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as cheap labor after slavery was abolished during the Civil War.

Although the Union victory gave freedom to about 4 million slaves, the Union won the freedom of the Slave Victory in the Army. Fragments of a second and possibly a third stele recording the code were found with the Louvre stele in Susa. [23] More than fifty manuscripts containing the laws are known. They have been found not only in Susa, but also in Babylon, Nineveh, Assur, Borsippa, Nippur, Sippar, your, Larsa and more. [24] Copies were made during the reign of Hammurabi and thereafter when the text became part of the writing program. [25] Copies were found a thousand years after the creation of the stele,[18] as well as a catalogue from the library of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (685-631 BC). A.D.) lists a copy of the “Judgments of Hammurabi”. [26] The additional copies fill most of the original text of the stele, including much of the deleted section. [18] The purpose and legal authority of the Code have been challenged since the mid-20th century. [87] Theories fall into three broad categories: it is legislation, whether it is a code of law or a set of laws; whereas it is a kind of legal report containing files of past cases and judgments; and that it is an abstract work of jurisprudence. The Codex ruled over the people who lived in its growing empire. At the time of Hammurabi`s death, his empire included much of present-day Iraq, stretching from the Persian Gulf along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

The laws are expressed in the casuistic format: they are conditional judgments, with the case described in the protasis (“if” clause) and the remedy in the apodosis (“then” clause). Protasis begins šumma “if”,[138] unless it supplements circumstances already provided for in a previous law (e.g.

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