The Core Values of Society According to the Hammurabi's Code

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Known by Hammurabi , “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, this code draws back to the early Middle East during ancient Mesopotamia. This idea thrived way before the Bible was created or ancient groups like the Greeks or Romans emerged. This exact law was reflected on a large inscribed stone along with other number of laws, judgments, or decrees. Hammurabi , ruler of the Babylon Empire, was best known among the other kings of Babylon for keeping structure and order throughout society. He ruled from 1795-1750 B.C.E where he sought, to specifically in his words, to bring out about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil- doers;so that the strong should not harm the weak, to further the well-being of mankind.

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Based on laws concerning a crime, followed a certain type of punishment and justice. If someone where to accuse a man of a crime, the accused would be bound to go to the river. However, if he sinks, the accuser would gain possession of the property of his house. Yet, the river could prove that the accuser is not guilty. Thus, if he were able to escape without being hurt, then the person who accused the man of the crime should be assassinated. This would allow the man who jumped into the river to acquire possession of the house. In addition, the third law states, “ If anyone brings an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what was charged, be put to death.’ In this sense, you will be put to death if you cannot prove what you accused, if its a capital offense. Further, another law, if a judge tries a case and reaches a conclusion, and presents his decision in writing, and it would be declared that there is an error that is his fault, then the judge shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case. The judge shall also be removed from the bench and never be allowed there again to make judgements.

The code focused immensely with the economic life of ancient Babylonians. The code governed the duties and rights of tenant farmers. Tenant farmers had to properly prepare and use land for crops and gardening as well as keeping any canals or ditches clean and in good repair. Those who were negligent of their jobs has to pay for the cost of damaged crops and could be sold into slavery. Other workers could also be punished for poor workmanship. For example, if a house built by a builder collapsed and killed the son of the owner, the son of the house builder would also be killed in retaliation.

In Hammurabi’s Code, a lady was viewed as the property of her dad or spouse, who regulated her endowment. In the event that a lady passed on, her endowment would return to her dad, to her siblings, or to her children. A lady’s sexuality was additionally profoundly watched, demonstrating that she was viewed as the property of her significant other. For instance, if a married women were seen as liable of infidelity, she could be suffocated or just spared helpless before her significant other. Infidelity conflicted with the laws of the network that viewed women as property. Nonetheless, women were managed a few insurances in the general public, especially on the off chance that they were mothers. A man with kids who left his significant other needed to give her authority of the kids just as the settlement and the utilization of a field or other property to help herself and her youngsters. Widows were additionally given a few securities, for example, the privilege to remain in their better half’s homes for whatever length of time that they needed unless if they decided to get married again. Laws 110-143 depict the life of how women were treated unequally and represented in Mesopotamia.

To conclude, Hammurabi’s Code provides us with a clear understanding of the mistreatment and inequality in ancient Babylon. Justice and equal punishment was only sought when the two sides were of equal rank. Though, the penalty for harming a woman or a slave would be less. Hammurabi’s vision was to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak. Yet, his vision was so far from this. Several laws called for violent punishments for nonviolent crimes. Also, it allowed no explanation from an accused person. However, in some ways Hammurabi’s Code can be ruled fair. It brought order and justice to society and regulated and maintained various activities from business to crimes.  

29 April 2022

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