Hammurabi and the Babylonian Empire

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Throughout history there have been many great Kings and Rulers who have influenced their own kingdoms as well as others. One such king was Hammurabi, first king of the Babylonian Empire. He introduced his own code of laws that have impacted on both ancient and modern societies. His other achievements which greatly influenced his time and today include business ownership, astronomy, mathematics and other sciences.

Hammurabi was the first king of what he renamed Babylonia after the Amorites conquered Akkad and made Babylon their capital. Ascending the throne after his father, Sin-muballit, Hammurabi wanted to have his people obey him not just because they had to but because they genuinely supported him as their leader. He ruled during the 18th century B.C and was King from 1792 B.C until his death in 1750 B.C. Under Hammurabi the Amorites became known as the Babylonians. He appointed himself High Priest of the National God, Marduk restoring power to the palace instead of the religious temples. Hammurabi was also said to be a brilliant soldier and was called “King of Four Quarters” because of his conquests throughout Mesopotamia (located between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, spread across present day Iraq, Syria and Turkey) and for successfully united the chaotic and waring region.

Although, he successful united Mesopotamia under his rule he is most famous for his code of laws which he devised during his reign. The laws were carved into a 2 metre black basalt stela (column) with Hammurabi’s image carved on the top showing him being given the laws by the supreme god, Marduk. He created his own version of old Sumerian laws and implemented many of his own laws to complete his collection. The laws related to everyday life including labour, trade, property, family, criminal and civil law. The punishments varied depending on the severity of the offence and seemed harsh and sometimes cruel because some major offences were punishable by death or removal of some...
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