Hammurabi’s Code King Hammurabi of Babylon conquered the entire area of Mesopotamia between 1793 BCE and 1750 BCE.
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1. What do these laws tell us about class divisions or social distinctions in Babylonian society? 2. What can we learn from these laws about the roles of women and men? 3. Which laws or punishments seem unusual today? What does that difference suggest to you about ancient Babylon compared to modern society? Use this codes below. Hammurabi’s Code King Hammurabi of Babylon conquered the entire area of Mesopotamia between 1793 BCE and 1750 BCE. His law code provides us with a rare insight into the daily life of ancient urban society. Law codes give us an idea of a people’s sense of justice and notions of proper punishments. This selection includes only parts of Hammurabi’s code, so we cannot conclude that if something is not mentioned here it was not a matter of legal concern. We can, however deduce much about Babylonian society from the laws mentioned in this code. Theft 6. If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death. 8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ox, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold therefore; if they belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death. 22. If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death. 23. If the robber is not caught, then shall he who was robbed claim under oath the amount of his loss; then shall the community, and . . . on whose ground and territory and in whose domain it was compensate him for the goods stolen. Family 127. If any one “point the finger” (slander) at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked. (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair.) 128. If a man take a woman to wife, but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him. 129. If a man’s wife be surprised (in flagrante delicto) with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the water, but the husband may pardon his wife and the king his slaves. 130. If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father’s house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless. 131. If a man bring a charge against one’s wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an oath and then may return to her house. 149. If this woman does not wish to remain in her husband’s house, then he shall compensate her for the dowry that she brought with her from her father’s house, and she may . If the wife of one man on account of another man has their mates (her husband and the other man’s wife) murdered, both of them shall be impaled. Assault 195. If a son strike his father, his hands shall be cut off. 196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.[An eye for an eye] 197. If he break another man’s bone, his bone shall be broken. 198. If he put out the eye of a freed man, or break the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina. 199. If he put out the eye of a man’s slave, or break the bone of a man’s slave, he shall pay one-half of its value. 200. If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out. [ A tooth for a tooth ] 201. If he knock out the teeth of a plebeian, he shall pay one-third of a gold mina.