Hammurabi Laws

993 Words4 Pages
The Code of Hammurabi was laws made up by the King of Babylon whose name was, in fact, Hammurabi. His reign started in 1792 BCE and ended in 1750 BCE. He believed that by enacting his 282 laws, life on Earth would become increasingly better for his people. This is because the god of righteousness, which rules over the people of earth, would be pleased, and life on Earth would coincide with the afterlife in Heaven. Ultimately, uniting all of southern Mesopotamia under a centralized government. At the time these codes were written, no other full set of legal laws existed. This makes it very plausible that this Mesopotamian civilization was far more advanced than any other of its time. Along with all of this, he wanted to make sure people saw…show more content…
Most ended with the phrase, “Shall be put to death.” For some things, I could understand that being the consequence. However, things like, telling lies about another person and unauthorized trade should have had a less severe retribution. Hammurabi might have gone a tad bit crazy on the executions. For the most part, though, I feel that the outcomes stand as they should. An example of this can be seen in law twenty-seven which states, “If a chieftain or man be caught in the misfortune of the king (captured in battle), and if his fields and garden be given to another and he take possession, if he return and reaches his place, his field and garden shall be returned to him, he shall take it over again.” This is only fair. If someone escapes bondage and returns to their old life, they shouldn’t have to worry about another man taking his possessions over. This reiterates the point of protecting the weak. Some people of this time period obviously considered women to be weak. From previous knowledge about the society, men had more power than women did. King Hammurabi evidently felt that because of this, he needed to provide a way to protect women from overbearing males. As you read these laws, you come to a few that mention divorce. Apparently this was a huge problem in the Babylonian society, and King Hammurabi wanted to fix it. If a man already had children with a women, he was forbidden to leave her. With this…show more content…
They weren’t a very merciful people. If you made a mistake, you would immediately have to pay for it. No leniency was given. King Hammurabi wanted to make sure that crime was stopped, or at least reduced. Another point made about their civilization, at the top of the hierarchy ladder was the King. These were his laws that he had a scribe write down to his exact liking. People under his rulings just went along with whatever he said. Did they have choice? Probably not. Did they try to raise question over his authority? Once again, probably not due to the fact that they would probably be faced with some type of cruel punishment. At the bottom of society sat the slaves. We know they had them because many times you can find them mentioned throughout the piece. Plus, it is indisputable to argue with the fact they were on the bottom social rank. This is because they weren’t cared about as much as higher class people. If you killed a free woman, it was the end of the world and you were sentenced to death, but if you killed a maid, notice might be taken but the punishment would not be as cruel. This was a very meticulous group of people. They liked things to run a specific way. Distinct procedures on how to conduct business and bring about justice for yourself were laid out among the codes. Not only that, but every crime had a certain punishment that was to be carried out how it was stated. This must have been a rough

More about Hammurabi Laws

Open Document