Hammurabi History

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People are continuously improving by learning from their past experiences. Such, that many of the laws across the world and articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are either inspired or completely based on previous laws and rights. Hammurabi’s Code is no exception. Although the basis and theme of the code was based on the idea of “An eye for and eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”, these pre-Biblical laws helped shape Babylonian life and still have a large influence on modern rights and laws. Hammurabi’s Code was written back in ancient Mesopotamia, long before the Greek or Romans civilizations existed and is one of the earliest and most complete ancient legal codes, beaten only by the Code of Ur-Nammu, which originated with either…show more content…
Firstly, the punishments for crimes were too harsh and are unusual and foreign to a modern society. The death penalty for a crime is listed more than 30 times throughout the code and for situations which are considered to be a minor crime nowadays. An article from the Code is: “If anyone is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death.”, when compared to how in some European countries thieves when caught red-handed are not allowed to be hurt as they might have an important reason for committing the crime, it shows how ruthless the Code can be when compared to present-day. Secondly, the father of a family is the ruler, and anyone opposing the father can be punished severely; “If a son strikes his father, his hands shall be hewn off.” is an article in the set of laws. Last but not the least, the laws were unequal and varied according to social class and gender. "If a man has destroyed the eye of a man of the gentleman class, they shall destroy his eye .... If he has destroyed the eye of a commoner ... he shall pay one mina of silver. If he has destroyed the eye of a gentleman's slave ... he shall pay half the slave's price." is an example of the…show more content…
First of all, differences. Modern day rights and laws try to focus on equality and freedom between all humans regardless of their differences, as seen in articles 1 “We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.” and 7 “The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.” of the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights. However, both of these qualities are lacking in the Code of Hammurabi, as it rightfully allows slaves and also the slaves or generally anyone with a lower social status gets treated less fairy in comparison to someone with higher social status. Also, doctors get lower wage when treating slaves or even freed slaves when compared to someone with a higher status, as seen in articles 221-223: “If a physician (doctor) heal the broken bone or diseased soft part of a man, the patient shall pay the physician five shekels in money… If he were a freed man he shall pay three shekels… If he were a slave his owner shall pay the physician two shekels.” Furthermore, some laws were gender-biased, with accusations and punishments generally tending to favor men over women for the same crime. “If a man’s wife has the finger pointed at her on account of another, but has not been caught lying with him, for her husband’s sake, she shall plunge into the sacred river (Euphrates river).” is an example where
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