Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Code of Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi was created in 1760 BC and is one of the earliest extent sets of laws, and one of the best preserved examples of this type of document from ancient Babylon.

King Hammurabi was an Amorite. He was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon from 1792-1750 BC, the world’s first metropolis.

He referred himself as the ‘Divine City King, wise and intelligent’ and ‘the wise and perfect one’.

He added new lands to his Kingdom, eventually ruling over all Mesopotamia. Hammurabi extend his control from core are around Babylon by defeating rivals from the east, west and most significantly, the heavily populated south.

To control the 24 great cities over which he ruled, he created a strong central government.

King Hammurabi sent government to all his lands supporting them military commanders, tax collectors and judges. Toward the end of his rule, he gave his kingdom a consistent code of laws – the contribution for which he is best known today.

He brought together all aspects of Babylonia law and orders scribes to etch his laws in the tablets of diorite.

His code of law is inscribed on a block of black diorite which was found on the acropolis of Susa by an expedition sent out by the French Government under M. de Morgan in 1901.

It was found in three pieces, which were readily rejoined. Upon it was engraved the Code of Hammurabi, consisting of forty-five volume of some thirty-six hundred lines.

The code represents a system of law and custom which had grown up in the country and the ultimate origin to which is to be sought in the far remoter past. It is the most ancient code of laws at present known.

The laws in Hammurabi’s code were not new. What at made them important was their consistency. Laws tend to develop locally in response to individual cases. So the law developed in one area may not be the same as those in a neighboring area; they may even contradict each other.
The Code of Hammurabi
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