What Were Hammurabi`s Laws

The Code is often referred to in case law, where its provisions are adopted as law, and the document is considered a true code of law. This also applies outside of science. [181] Some authors falsely claim that the Hammurabi Code is the oldest legal code. [182] All emphasize its importance and positive qualities: the Louvre, for example, calls it “the emblem of Mesopotamian civilization.” [13] The Iraqi human rights organization Hammurabi was named after the code. [183] Persons were not equal before the law; Not only age and occupation, but also class and gender dictated the punishment or remedy they received. Three main types of people, awīlum, muškēnum and wardum (male)/amtum (female), are mentioned throughout the codex. A wardum/amtum was a male/female slave. As for awīlum and muškēnum, although disputed, it seems likely that the difference was a difference in social class, awīlum meaning something like “gentleman” and muškēnum meaning something like “bourgeois”. [126] The penalties were not necessarily harsher for a muškēnum than for an awīlum: the life of a muškēnum may have been cheaper, but so could some of his fines. [127] There were also inequalities within these classes: Laws 200 and 202, for example, show that one awīlum could have a higher rank than another.

[128] In the prologue to the code, Hammurabi states that he wants to “make justice visible in the country, destroy evil and evil, so that the strong do not harm the weak.” The main laws covered by the Code are defamation, trade, slavery, employee duties, theft, liability and divorce. Nearly half of the code focused on contracts, such as wages payable, terms of dealing, and liability for property damage. One-third of the code focused on domestic and family matters, including inheritance, divorce, paternity and sexual behavior. There is an article that states that a judge who decides an issue incorrectly may be permanently removed from office. Some sections deal with military service. Although the Codex of Hammurabi was the first collection of Mesopotamian law to be discovered, it was not the first to be written; Several earlier collections have been preserved. These collections were written in Sumerian and Akkadian. They also claim to have been written by leaders. There were almost certainly more such collections, as statements by other rulers suggest that the custom was widespread. [8] The similarities between these statutes make it tempting to assume a coherent underlying legal system.

[8] However, as with the Codex Hammurabi, it is difficult to interpret the purpose and underlying legal systems of these earlier collections, leading many scholars to question whether this should be attempted. [9] Preserved collections include: A second theory is that Codex is a kind of legal report and, as such, contains records of past cases and judgments, albeit formulated in an abstract manner. This would explain the casuistic format of “laws”; Jean Bottéro thought he had found a file of a case that inspired him. [103] However, despite the extent of the Mesopotamian body of law, such discoveries are inconclusive and very rare. [104] Moreover, in Mesopotamia, court decisions were frequently recorded that reproduced the facts of the case without generalizing them. [105] These judgments dealt almost exclusively with questions of fact, leading Martha Roth to remark, “I know of only one case out of a thousand, which could be said to revolve around a question of law.” [106] During the reign of Hammurabi, there were three social classes. The Amelu was originally an elite person enjoying all civil rights, whose birth, marriage and death were registered. While he enjoys certain privileges, he is also responsible for harsher penalties and higher fines. The king and his court, high officials, experts and craftsmen belonged to this group. The Mushkenu was a free man who may have been landless.

He had to accept financial compensation, paid minor fines and lived in a separate part of the city. The Ardu was a slave whose master provided for himself, but also took his compensation. Ardu could own property and other slaves and buy his own freedom. Black codes were restrictive laws designed to restrict the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as cheap labor after slavery was abolished during the Civil War. Although the Union victory gave freedom to about 4 million slaves, the Union won the freedom of the Slave Victory in the Army. Read more The laws deal with commercial contracts and reasonable prices of property, as well as family law and criminal law. Each crime inscribed on the stele is followed by the sentence to be imposed. No one could claim that they did not know the law, since the stele more than seven feet high was erected publicly. Above it was engraved an image of Shamash, the god of justice, handing over the laws to Hammurabi, and the following text makes it clear that they are laws of the gods, not arbitrary rules created by mortals. The first Mesopotamian law was the Urukagina Code of Law (c.

24th century BC), which exists today only in fragments. The Ur-Nammu Codex, although fragmentary in modern times, is still coherent enough to give a clear understanding of what the laws dealt with. The laws were written in cuneiform on clay tablets and follow a pattern perhaps first established by the Urukagina Codex, which also incorporated the later laws of Eshnunna (c. 1930 BC), the Code of King Lipit-Ishtar (r.