Essay Exam 1
1. Trace the development of law from the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi to the Romans. Include in your discussion the Judaic concept of law and hot it differed from Both Babylon and Rome.
Throughout history laws have been in place to restore or keep order in society. Some laws are put into place to protect while some laws are made to punish. No matter the purpose, laws are put in place with the expectation they will be followed.
The Code of Hammurabi was commissioned by the Babylonian king Hammurabi. The prologue to his law states, “I established law and justice in the language of the land and promoted the welfare of the people.” (Salisbury and Sherman 13). These set of laws were established to regulate everything in daily life from building codes, to physician’s fees. These were the first set of laws that came with harsh punishments if broken. The penalties, however, differed depending on the social order of the law breaker. Retribution for broken laws was literally an eye for an eye.
Following Hammurabi’s code was the Code of Neslim by an unknown Hittites author. The codes were broken into two separate sections, beginning with the first few words of text, “If a man” and “If a vine” (Tanka). Like the code of Hammurabi, these rules were established to govern everyday life. But unlike the code of Hammurabi, there were not harsh punishments for the breaking of these laws.
Differing from any laws of the time were the Judaic laws. Their laws were said to be authored by a higher power. Collectively these laws are known as the Ten Commandments. These laws not only governed how the Jewish people should live and worship, but also set them apart from their neighbors with the law such as circumcision. The punishment for breaking these laws would result in harsh punishment not from man but by God.
The Roman law still is fundamental today in European law and laws of the United States. These laws were created to be fair to all men no matter their social class or status. Laws were passed through voting assemblies, whose decisions were legal and binding. If laws were found to be unfair or unnecessary, they could be voted down and replaced. Laws made by Emperors were termed constitutiones, singular, constitutio (Boatwritght, Gargola, & Talbert 418).
As longs as we’ve had people and laws you will have people who will try and circumvent the laws some will escape punishment other will not. Some people will learn their lessons while some will not. Some people can live their entire lives following the rules of the land. However, a land without laws would be a land of chaos. 2. What were the contributions made by Octavian Augustus to the Empire? Why is his reign considered the true beginning of the Pax Romana? Octavian Augustus’ reign is considered to be the beginning of the Pax Romana because of all the contributions he made to the Empire. The Romans generally spent most of their time at war, either with each other or other territories, to acquire power, wealth and prestige. First, Octavian had to convince the Romans all of these things could be acquired without going to war. Once peace was acquired, the young general spoke to the Senate advising them that he was now returning rule back to the Senate and the people. This form of government was called the principate. Out of gratitude, the Senate bestowed upon him the name “Augustus” in 27 B.C.E. (Salisbury & Sherman 137). Establishing peace was not an easy task. Octavian Augustus had to eliminate his adversaries. These included his co-emperors Lepidus, ruler of the North, and Marc Antony, ruler of the East. This left Augustus as the sole leader of the Roman world and in fact, the most powerful man that had ever lived. He first took on the task of reshaping Rome to be governed by one. He used his power to legally remove and appoint senators as necessary. He used leaders appointed by him, and not governors, to...