Law Code of Hammurabi
Formerly a region of much conflict, the Babylonian Kingdom unified Sumerian and Akkadian city-states under King Hammurabi. King Hammurabi was the first king of Babylon, he reigned from 1792-1750 B.C.E. (Arts and Culture).During his reign Babylon became a great metropolis. Hammurabi’s code was a legal document that is today considered not only the earliest known written body of laws, but also historic art. The law codes are inscribed on to a stele, which is a slab of stone set vertically. It stands seven feet approximately, and is Basalt (Arts and Culture).At the top of the stone King Hammurabi is shown talking to the sun god Shamash. He is standing and Shamash is seated and is larger than the King. This clearly signifies the greater of the two. Shamash represented righteousness and justice, thus making the right god for a code of laws (Arts and Culture). Hammurabi believed that he was chosen by the god specifically to write these laws. The laws were based on an-eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth concept. The penalties varied and were determined by the social class of the harmed (Arts and Culture). The laws were publicly displayed, and arranged in orderly groups. It was setup this way so that all might read and know what was required of them. (http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/hammurabi.htm)The law code of Hammurabi consists of 282 laws arranged in six chapters: 1 personal property; 2 land; 3; Trade; 4 Family; 5 Maltreatment; and 6 Labor (including the fixing of wages) (Arts and Culture). These laws unlike our laws today, where you are innocent until proven guilty. It seems with the Hammurabi's law you are guilty until proven innocent. For example: If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the...
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