“Hittite Law Code” and the “Code of the Assyrians”
In this paper, I’ll compare both law codes of the Hittites and Assyrians by comparing the two aspects dealing with sexual conduct and relations. Also, I’ll examine their differences and similarities and consider why regulating sexuality was so important to both the Hittites and Assyrians.
When examining the Hittite and Assyrian law codes, I thought there was a big difference. The first thing I noticed was that the Hittite laws were stricter and focused more on men, where the Assyrians laws were more punishable to women. A majority of the laws written by the Hittites only involved punishment towards men. Yes Assyrians also had punishments but not as largely targeted towards men as the Hittites. For example there is a Hittite law saying “If a man have intercourse with a cow, it is a capital crime, he shall die. They shall lead him to the king's hall. But the king may kill him; the king may grant him his life. But he shall not approach the king.” As said in the “Hittite Law Code: excerpts from The Code of the Nesilim.” There is nothing in the Assyrian code mentioning anything about a man committing bestiality. The Assyrians are opposite compared to the Hittites; their laws are mainly targeted at women rather than men. According to “Excerpts from the Code of the Assyrians,” there is a law stating, “If a man have relations with the wife of a man at her wish, there is no penalty for that man. The man shall lay upon the woman, his wife, the penalty he wishes.” From my understanding, they do not focus on what the man did but rather just what the woman has done. The women alone will take punishment for the act. Examining the two laws makes me believe the difference between the two groups is the harshness towards men or women.
However, the Hittites and Assyrians do have similarities. There are two laws that are closely comparable regarding a man raping a woman. The Hittite law states, “If a...