Code of Hammurabi
The first thing that I noticed upon analyzing the Code of Hammurabi is that Hammurabi claims that the god Marduk commanded him to provide just ways for the Babylonian’s to behave appropriately; establishing truth and justice to enhance the well-being of the people. This passage shows a great faith in religion of the people, and that they believed their gods would justify their laws. This was pretty common in ancient societies. Many cultures took their cues on how to live and their code of conduct from their religious leaders, texts, and deities. Even the United States were founded on the principles of the religion of the settlers. The laws set forth by the Code of Hammurabi also suggest that they did not necessarily place value on human life. Many of the laws state that violators or even their accusers who are found to be unjust can be killed according to the code. Their very strict penalties for seemingly innocent offenses show that Babylonian society placed a very high value on truth, honor, and justice. They felt that something as seemingly small such as a barber shaving the hair of a slave not belonging to him, or a child striking their father, carried strict penalties such as cutting off the violator’s hand. There are also laws specifically designed for the protection of women such as laws against forced incest. Because of the severity of the punishments for violating the laws I would think that would equate to a relatively safe society.
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