The Origins and Organization of Hammurabi’s Code Questions
Sohum Dalal, Pd. 1
1. What did Hammurabi gain by issuing a law code?
A: The Hammurabi Code probably helped Hammurabi maintain order and a basis of peace in his regime. The laws were limits and constraints on his people to follow in order to maintain a peaceful and orderly society. 2. Is Hammurabi’s Code a reflection of life in an urbanized society? A: It seems as so. The laws pertain to markets, merchants, and small businesses and consumers. These are things one would see in an urbanized environment, making it seem likely that the code was intended to be enforced in a busy trade center or town, so it does reflect life in an urbanized society. 1. Is the code specific enough to help modern historians reconstruct a social structure or other aspects of daily life in Hammurabi’s Babylon? A: Judging from the laws and codes, it seems like a good portion can be reconstructed. The currency (corn), agriculture, technology, and even some religious beliefs can be derived from some of the laws listed. It should be possible to gain a mediocre understanding on how civilization was under Hammurabi’s regime. 2. Does the code distinguish between the value of life depending on wealth and/or social status? A: The code is definitely biased on social status. There are many laws in which if a slave commits a crime, he or she will be mutilated or have body parts chopped off. However, is one is free and commits a crime; they will have to pay a monetary fine, but usually not be subjected to physical harm. 3. What are some of the occupations in the kingdom?
A: Physicians, merchants, veterinarians, barbers, masons (builders), shipbuilders, and sailors. 4. What do we learn about the economic system in Babylon by reading the code? A: Corn seems to have a lot of value and equally valuable as currency in bulky quantities. There also seemed to be a stressed relationship between merchants and farmers, as many laws involved...
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