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The code of Hammurabi

The code of Hammurabi was written by the king of a semitic group of people in Mesopotamia
who conquered Babylon He reigned from 1792-1750B.C. He expanded the city-state of Babylon
along the Euphrates River to untied all of the southern Mesopotamia. He believed that the gods
appointed him to bring order and justice to the people. He took his kingship seriously. He created
his 282 laws not long after came into power. Hammurabis Code was proclaimed at the end of his
reign and carved onto a stone stela.
A little about the king Hammurabi. He was the sixth king in Babylonia which is central
Mesopotamia. During his reign, he expanded his kingdom over Larsa, Eshunng, Assyria, And
Mari. He became the most famous law given in Mesopotamia. He said that he was helping the
weak. Hammurabis laws were based on getting justice. an eye for a eye. He protected the
weak from the strong.
His subjects were the intended audience of his laws. The poor and the weak were happy with the
change in the laws, because the wealth, would also be held accountable for their actions. The rich
and wealthy might be mad and unhappy because they could no longer accuse a poor man and get
away with it without being able to prove it.
When he became king he only had control over about 50 square miles of territory. As his
kingdom grew he saw the need for order for the people he controlled. So, he came up with the
Hammurabi Code. The code was to protect the poor, free people from the wealthy and rich who
thought that they could push them around. Hammurabi make no distinction between if you are
wealth or poor if a man has accused a free man p20. Whereas, some of that actions in these

laws seemed more from the upper class If a seignior has charged a man with sorcery against
another seignior, but has not proved it, the one against whom the charge of sorcery was brought,
upon going to the river, shall throw himself into the river, and if the river has overpower him, his
accuser shall take over his estate, if the river has shown that seignior to be innocent and he has
accordingly come forth safe, the one who brought the charge of sorcery against him shall be put
to death. pg.20.more likely clergy or religious organization would accuse civilians of sorcery
based on their beliefs.
Some of the laws were about women. If a woman so hated her husband that she has declared,
you may not have me, her record shall be investigated at her city council, and if she was
careful and was not at fault, even though her husband has been going out and disparaging her
greatly, that woman, without incurring any blame at all, may take her dowry and go off to her
fathers house. If, she was not careful, but was a gadabout, thus neglecting her house and
humiliating her husband, they shall throw that woman into the river.
If a man wishes to divorce his wife who did not bear him children, he shall give her money to
full amount of her marriage-price and he shall also make good to her dowry which she brought
from her fathers house and then he may divorce her. If there was no marriage-price, he shall
give her one mina of silver as the divorce-settlement. If he is a peasant, he shall give her onethird mina of silver.
If a mans wife, who was living in the house of the man, has made up her mind to leave in order
that she may engage in business, thus neglecting her house and humiliating her husband, they
shall prove it against her, and then her husband may decide to divorce her, with nothing to be
given her as her divorce-settlement, upon departure. If her husband has not decided on her

divorce, her husband may marry another woman, with the former woman living in the house of
her husband like a maidservant. Back then women didnt have many rights
If a man has helped either a male slave of the state or a female slave of the state or a male slave
of a private citizen or female slave of a private citizen to escape through the city-gate, he shall be
put to death. If a man has harbored in his house either a fugitive male or female slave belonging
to the state or to a private citizen and has brought him forth at the summons of the police, that
householder shall be put to death. Slavery was important back then, They didnt like it when kind
people were trying to help slaves escape.
Hammurabis Code of the ancient society is important because it sets down the first written
laws in human history. It was the first ever legal document, it teaches us about the
Mesopotamian society with its class divisions, political, and economic factors, as well as it is the
basis of our modern day legal code.