Hamurabis Code Essay

Hammurabi, king and chief priest of Babylonia from 1792-1750 B.C., expanded his empire greatly before focusing his energies toward wealth and justice for his people. He created a code protecting all classes of Babylonian society, including women and slaves called Hammurabi’s Code. He sought protection of the weak from the powerful and the poor from the rich. The carving on the stone suggests he received the code of laws from the sun god.

Having a consistent and documented, although harsh, set of rules stabilized their society. People had guidelines for behavior and could plan their lives a little better. The were probably fewer private feuds and vendettas and injustices as a result for these codes. Although considered severely harsh by todays Standards, Hammurabi’s code punished evildoers and rewarded the good doers. The actual laws range from public to private matters, with humane approaches to human problems.

There were three classes in the Babylonian society: the patrician, who were the free men and women; the plebeians, who were the commoners; and the slaves. While the patricians were protected by the law of retaliation, the lower classes received only monetary compensation. The laws include almost everything from marriage and family relations to protection of property. Although compared to todays standards some may consider Hammurabi’s laws harsh, threatening severe punishments for crimes against property, land, and commerce The impact of Hammurabi’s code made the kingdom stronger and secured.

The Code of Hammurabi is significant because its creation allowed men, women, slaves, and all others to read and understand the laws that governed their lives in Babylonia. The code of laws encouraged people to accept authority of a king, who was trying to give common rules to govern the subjects’ behavior. Although it follows the practice of “an eye for an eye”, it does not allow for vigilante justice, but rather demands a trial by judges. It also glorifies acts of peace and justice done during Hammurabi’s rule.

It symbolizes not only the emergence of justice in the minds of men, but also man’s rise above ignorance and barbarism toward the peaceful and just societies still pursued today. In the words of Hammurabi as carved on the stone, “Let any oppressed man who has a cause come into the presence of my statue as king of justice, and have the inscription on my stele read out, and hear my precious words, that my stele may make the case clear to him; may he understand his cause, and may his heart be set at ease!”

Read also  The Stele of Hammurabi

In conclusion, Humurabi’s code were a code of laws created for the bablylonians by their king and ruler, Hammurabi. These codes were created to protect all the classes of the Babylonian people and make life easier to live day to day. The code of laws applies to the entire Babylonian society. The penalties of the code varied according to the status of the victim. The purpose of the Code of Hammurabi was to use political power to create common bonds among the diverse people of the society. It greatly influenced a total dependence on the power of their one ruler, and it was a conscious effort to exalt the king as the source, the only source, of earthly powers. It unified the empire by offering the standards for moral values, class structure, gender relationships, and religion. It was the most important of all Mesopotamian contributions to civilization.

More Essays

  • An Analysis of Hammurabi’s Code of Law

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind". This was said by Gandhi many years after the fall of the Babylonian empire. Judging by the laws of the Babylonian people, there was no insightful Mahatma Gandhi to spread his thoughts on equality and forgiveness. Though they were an advanced and organized...

  • The Importance of the Achievements of Mesopotamian Society

    Through the development of writing, mathematics, metalworking, detailed law codes, and the wheel, Mesopotamians have shown their ingenuity with many different achievements. The world as we know it could not survive without writing. I am writing right now in order to do this paper, and the economy and so...

  • The Stele of Hammurabi

    Dating back to 1792 B.C.E. the Stele of Hammurabi is a significant piece of history known worldwide. This specific piece of art is known for contributing the longest deciphered writings which allows for others to learn significantly about Babylonian art, history, code, and governing. Throughout my paper I...

  • Historical Laws and Security

    Historical Laws and Security Checkpoint CJS/250 April 24, 2013 Historical Laws and Security Checkpoint The Babylonian King Hammurabi established the code of Hammurabi. It was established by the king himself in 1750 B.C. and discovered intact in 1901. It contains 282 clauses variety of obligations,...

  • History of Babylonia

    Babylon is Akkadian "babilani" which means "the Gate of God(s)" and it became the capital of the land of Babylonia. The etymology of the name Babel in the Bible means "confused" (Gen 11:9) and throughout the Bible, Babylon was a symbol of the confusion caused by godlessness. The name Babylon is the Greek...

  • Furman V. Georgia

    The death penalty or capital punishment has been part of our humanity for years and years. Existed since ancient times, according to people a person who has committed an atrocious act, was sentence to death penalty or capital punishment. The death penalty begins back in the 18th century B.C. in the code of...

  • Death Penalty

    Death penalty has been an inalienable part of human society and its legal system for centuries, regarded as a necessary deterrent to dangerous crimes and a way to liberate the community from dangerous criminals. However, later on this type of punishment came to be regarded as a crime against humanistic...

  • Professional Regulation and Criminal Liability Paper

    The principle of the Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding documents in history. The oath states: I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them. I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I...

  • Egypt and Mesopotamia Comparison

    Egypt and Mesopotamia not only differed in their trade and culture, but also in their politics and form of government. Despite the differences though, one is able to notice several similarities between the two civilizations. First of all, Mesopotamia was ruled by kings and queens and nobles could usually...

  • Human Trafficking

    Human trafficking is a very prevalent issue in today's societies throughout the world. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. The extremely high demand for sex and cheap labor are two of the leading factors in the expansion...

Read also  An Analysis of Hammurabi's Code of Law