Code of Hammurabi

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The Code of Hammurabi

“To make justice visible in the land to destroy the wicked person and the evil-doer, that the strong might not injure the weak.” The Code of Hammurabi was a law code written by King Hammurabi. The code was carved in a black pillar and was placed in a temple. This was so the entire village had knowledge of it. It was written sometime between 1792 to 1750 B.C.E. and was partly based off of the Code of Lipit-Ishtar. People in the 1700’s were punished, although punishments weren’t meant to exceed the crime, women had less rights and lower social standing then men, and they highly valued family.

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” represents a harsh sense of justice based on revenge. King Hammurabi made his laws this way to prevent crimes from happening. Once a person knew penalty of a crime the likelihood of the person committing a crime greatly decreased. Also, he wanted this all people were not viewed as equals. The punishments for the same crime committed by a free man versus a slave were incredibly harsher towards the slave. “If a man knocked out the tooth of a man that is equal his tooth shall be knocked out,” whereas if a slave had knocked out the tooth of a free man he would have to pay one third of mina of silver. King Hammurabi may have wanted quality but he did not achieve it through his laws.

Woman may have played important roles in the Babylonian society, but they certainty were not treated this way. The Hammurabi Code is extremely gender bias towards women, the laws were meant to control the woman in the society. Women were viewed more as an arranged contract between the woman’s father and her suitor. “If a man has taken a wife and has not executed a marriage contract, that woman is not his wife.” If a wife is caught cheating in the act she can be strangled or become her husbands’ slave, whereas if a husband is caught cheating he has to pay said wife. Clearly, women were treated unfairly compared to men in this...
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