Hammurabi's Code

Topics: Law, Code of Hammurabi, Babylonia Pages: 1 (358 words) Published: October 20, 2012
Hammurabi's Code

After reading the codes of law set out by Hammurabi himself, sometime between the years of 1727 BCE and 1680 BCE, I have come to the conclusion that laws are necessary for many things, but especially to keep order and to keep society running. Without codes of law society would turn into a barbaric form of life. These laws are generally put into place based on common sense, but after reading Hammurabi's Code I found out they are also put in place to raise fear in the eyes of the offender. If the laws are set out, like Hammurabi did on a stela (stone pillar), then everyone in that civilization has the ability to see them and they then can weigh the pros and cons on whether doing the crime is worth it to them or not. The major purpose to the codification of law is to set guidelines for society. Without such guidelines society would turn to chaos and life would turn to survival for the fittest and everyman for himself. One of the major things that I got out of The Code of Hammurabi was that it gave the poor and weak protection from the wealthy and strong. The codes also addressed the rights of women, including their right to own property and the right to divorce. The Code of Hammurabi was discovered in 1901 by French archaeologist Jean-Vincent Scheil. The text is engraved into the stone in the Akkadian language and today is housed at the Louvre museum. This was not the only one and many more have been found throughout the Babylonian kingdom. The many laws in the Code of Hammurabi range from laws concerning matters of property and commerce, including debt and interest, laws concerning family, and laws that involve death as punishment for certain crimes. One of the most remembered codes of law is the one involving “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This concept is known as lex talionis or law of retribution. The laws set down by Hammurabi will forever be remembered as one of the first such laws for society.
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