The Epic of Gilgamesh

Topics: Polytheism, Mesopotamia, Code of Hammurabi Pages: 5 (1742 words) Published: December 18, 2012
Jon Bosco
Professor Byczkiewicz
World Civilization 1 Final Paper
For my final paper I will be comparing and contrasting how women were affected and regulated by the Code of Hammurabi and the Laws of Manu, and will examine the mythological evidence and materials related to Ancient Mesopotamian polytheism, Egyptian polytheism, and Hinduism. The Laws of Manu were compiled over the years between 200 - 400 C.E. While the position of women in early Vedic India had been good, these laws illustrate the efforts of the Brahmin elite to restrict women’s legal independence in this later period. Both the laws of Manu and Hammurabi were related to marriage, family law, and the ways in which female behavior is regulated in both legal codes. Hammurabi was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon, the world's first metropolis, The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code that dates back to about 1772 BC. The code was carved upon a black stone monument, eight feet high, it was clearly intended to be reared in for the public to view. The Code of Hammurabi was one of several sets of laws in the ancient near east. The stone was found in the year 1901 in a city of the Persian mountains. The early collections of the code include the Code of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (ca. 2050 BC), the Laws of Eshnunna (ca. 1930 BC) and the codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (ca. 1870 BC), the later laws included the Hittite laws, the Assyrian laws, and Mosaic Law. Both the Code of Hammurabi and The laws of Manu provided freedoms for women and they provided protection for them, overall I believe the laws of Manu provided better protection and freedom to the women.

During the time period of (1792-1750B.C.) was Hammurabi first two decades of his forty two year reign, during this time Hammurabi fortified several cities in northern Babylonia. In 1764, Babylon defeated the coalition of Elam, Subartu and Eshnunna. By 1762, Hammurabi claimed to have "established the foundations of Sumer and Akkad, a phrase borrowed from Sumerian royal hymns to express the ideal of pan-Babylonian rule. With the conquest of Mari in 1759, virtually all of Mesopotamia had come under Babylonian rule. The purpose of the Code of Hammurabi was to encourage people to accept authority of a king, who was trying to give common rules to govern the subject’s behavior. Five of the laws in the Code of Hammurabi consisted of one, “If a man has taken a wife and has not executed a marriage contract, that woman is not a wife.” This law benefited woman’s rights because it gave them the right to choose who they wanted to marry. The second law is, “If a man has married a wife and a disease has seized her, if he is determined to marry a second wife, he shall marry her. He shall not divorce the wife whom the disease has seized.” This law also benefited women, many females back in this time would catch diseases and this law protected them from their spouses of throwing them out and living on the streets. In the home they made together she shall dwell, and he shall maintain her as long as she lives. The third law that benefited women in the Code of Hammurabi is, “If a man has ravished another's betrothed wife, who is a virgin, while still living in her father's house, and has been caught in the act, that man shall be put to death; the woman shall go free.” This law benefited women benefited women because it protected them from men trying to take advantage of whoever they could, and it kept them from being prosecuted for something they may have had no control over. The forth law that benefited women in the Code of Hammurabi was, “If a man's wife has been accused by her husband, and has not been caught lying with another, she shall swear her innocence, and return to her house.” This law protected women from being beat by their husbands to the point where they wouldn’t need to be punished for doing so. The last law I founded that...
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