Essay on The Code of Hammurabi
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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…show more content…
Hammurabi improved on the measures implemented by Sargon through his idea of “centralization”. Instead of controlling trade routes and resources like Sargon, Hammurabi institutionalized regular taxation for all the territories. Hammurabi also ruled from within Babylon while extending his authority to other territories through the use of deputies placed in each territory. (Bentley and Zeigler, p. 29)
In regards to the Hammurabi Code of Law, Hammurabi claimed that the gods had picked him to “promote the welfare of the people …to cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and evil, so that the strong might not oppress the weak…” His intention was to hold those under his rule accountable for their actions and inspire “appropriate behaviors”. In fact, according to literature, the code functioned on the principle of “lex talionis” which basically translates as the “law of retaliation”. The idea was that the punishment would fit the crime, at least in theory. Similar to today’s laws, individual judges were allowed discretion and did not always follow the code specifically. Never the less, the code was always utilized as a reference for solution. (Bentley and Zeigler, p. 30)
The code prescribed punishment for various crimes to include lying, stealing, kidnapping, murder, fraud and bribery with the highest punishment of death being recommended for many actions considered to be criminal. Such crimes included
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The people of ancient Babylon lived their lives not how they wanted to, but by "The Code of Hammurabi". The code was the major reflector and shaper in the ancient Babylonian society. If there was something they wanted to do, they had to make sure that it wasn't against the code, because if it was, the consequences were serious, and could mean their life. But without the code, their society would be much more uncivilized and inhumane. Without the code, they wouldn't have been as advanced and as knowledgeable as they were.
The code of Hammurabi reflected many things about the Babylonian society. It reflects that stealing was a very bad thing to do, in more than one way. For example, if someone stole an ox, a…show more content…
If a wife hadn't been economical, and neglected and humiliated her husband, she would be thrown in the river. If a man hit his father, his hand would be cut off. They also had several rules like: eye for an eye, limb for a limb, etc. Responsibility was also important because if a builder built a house, and it collapsed and killed the owner, the builder would be put to death, but if a slave were killed, the builder would have to give the owner a slave. This is what the code of Hammurabi reflected about the Babylonian society.
The code of Hammurabi helped shape up the Babylonian society to make it more civilized and a more pleasant and happier place to live. Because stealing was unlawful, people didn't have to be worried about all of their stuff being stolen. If honesty wasn't prohibited, lots of people would be lying and the society they had been living in would be a more questionable place of uncertainty. Since adultery was unaccepted in their society, people wouldn't have to be worried about getting sexually transmitted diseases, and wouldn't lose their spouse's trust. Respect was another great thing that shaped up the Babylonian society, and it made them more civilized, rather than living like animals. Responsibility was also a big part of their society so people wouldn't have to be worried about their house falling on them, because the builder hadn't built it correctly. People also wouldn't have to be worried about getting killed