World Geography Hrs, Per. 3
13, March 2015
Hammurabi’s code, was it just?
In the eighteenth century, there was a Babylonian king named Hammurabi. The story goes that Hammurabi was visited by Shamash, the god of justice, who bestowed on Hammurabi the laws that we know as “Hammurabi’s Code”. Hammurabi used this very code on his own people at the time of his rule. When he died, a stele carved from black diorite was etched with a carving of Hammurabi and Shamash, a prologue, a collection of the two hundred eighty two laws, and an epilogue, stating how the laws should be followed.
Some of these laws people might call controversial, however, they are just in punishments and reasoning. For example, in law number 168, if a father wants to disown his son, he has to have proof, this is more reasonable. Other laws however, like law 129, which state that when a married woman commits adultery, she and the man will be drowned. So there are extreme punishments but they are all fair and just, due to how the consequence is administered. Some consequences are directly related to their laws, like when a man hits his son, his hands will be cut off. This is a somewhat extreme example. All in all, these laws are all just.
According to Hammurabi, he was instructed to create a monument, a monument that would help the generations to come. These instructions came from Shamash, a god, and so if a king did not follow the rules set by a god he would be cursed. This is not the worst fate under the code; in that aspect, one of the worst would have to be law 21. This law says that if a man has broken through a wall to rob a house, he shall be killed and hung in the hole he made. Say the robber was not caught, then the whole town would help give back to the one who was robbed.
Hammurabi was a wise and thoughtful king; because of the code that he set in place that had the average non-law breaking citizen in mind. He made sure to protect the weak,...
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