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Hammurabi’s Code, Was It Just?

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Autor:   •  March 11, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  4,906 Words (20 Pages)  •  83 Views

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Jeff Lee #8

10/3/17

6K

SS

Hammurabi’s Code, Was It Just?

The modern world is maintained by an organized system of law and order. However, this method was practiced many centuries ago. Hammurabi was the king of Babylon, which is a small city-state in central Iraq. He ruled about 4,000 years ago and according to thousands of clay tablets, he ruled for about 42 years. He created approximately 282 laws and wrote them on stone steles; these laws were created to maintain a healthy economy. After historians discovered Hammurabi’s code, many people claim that it was just because it was designed to help property owners, protect the weak, and always punished the wrong-doers.

One reason Hammurabi’s Code was just is that it tried to help property owners. According to Law 23, “If the robber is not caught, the man who has been robbed shall formally declare whatever he has lost before God, and the city and the mayor in whose territory or district the robbery has been committed shall replace for him whatever he lost.” Additionally, excerpts from Law 48 state that, “ If a man has borrowed money to plant his field and a storm has flooded his field or carried away the crop, … in that year he does not have to pay his creditor. Lastly, Law 53;54 states that “If a man has opened his trench for irrigation and the water have flooded his neighbor’s field, the man must restore the crop he has caused to be lost.” These laws demonstrate that Hammurabi tried to help property owners by giving them more time to pay-back their creditor, replace whatever the property owner had lost after a robbery, and if the abuser’s irrigation destroyed the victim’s crops, the abuser must pay the victim what he has lost. This concludes that Hammurabi’s Code just.

Another reason why Hammurabi's Code was just is that it intended to make these rules to protect the weak. According to Document B, it states that, “... Hammurabi, the protecting king am I...That the strong may not injure the weak, in order to protect the widows and orphans, … I set up these my precious words...” This law demonstrates that Hammurabi, purposely created these laws to overall protect the weak-widows and orphans. Since Hammurabi created these laws to overall shield the weak who could not defend themselves, this proves that Hammurabi’s Code was just.

As a matter of fact, Hammurabi always punished the wrong-doers, no matter who the victim was. According to Law 196, it states that “If a man has knocked out an eye of a free man, his eye shall be knocked out.” Also, according to excerpts from Law 199, it states that “If he has knocked out the eye of a slave… he shall pay half his value.” Nonetheless, Law 209 reads that “If a man strikes the daughter of a free man and causes her to lose the fruit of her womb, he shall pay 10 shekels of silver.” Furthermore, Law 213, clearly states that “If he has struck the slave-girl of a free man and causes her to lose the fruit of her womb, he shall pay 2 shekels of silver.” Lastly, Law 21, it reads that “ If a man has broken through the wall [to rob] a house, they shall put him to death and pierce him, or hang him in the hole in the wall he has made.” This statement proves that every human-being in Hammurabi’s city-state had rights, including slaves. According to Laws 209 and 213, if a man struck the fruit of a womb for both a slave-girl or a free man's daughter, he has to pay the free man 10 shekels of silver and pay the owner of the slave-girl 2 shekels of silver. This proves that Hammurabi always punished everyone fairly, no matter who the victim was.

In conclusion, Hammurabi’s Code was just because he always punished the wrongdoer regarding the victim, created these laws to protect the weak, and to assist property owners. This concludes that he just intended to overall give everyone rights, maintain a balance, and to assist everybody. These are the reasons why Hammurabi’s code was just.

Jeff Lee #8

10/3/17

6K

SS

Hammurabi’s Code, Was It Just?

The modern world is maintained by an organized system of law and order. However, this method was practiced many centuries ago. Hammurabi was the king of Babylon, which is a small city-state in central Iraq. He ruled about 4,000 years ago and according to thousands of clay tablets, he ruled for about 42 years. He created approximately 282 laws and wrote them on stone steles; these laws were created to maintain a healthy economy. After historians discovered Hammurabi’s code, many people claim that it was just because it was designed to help property owners, protect the weak, and always punished the wrong-doers.

One reason Hammurabi’s Code was just is that it tried to help property owners. According to Law 23, “If the robber is not caught, the man who has been robbed shall formally declare whatever he has lost before God, and the city and the mayor in whose territory or district the robbery has been committed shall replace for him whatever he lost.” Additionally, excerpts from Law 48 state that, “ If a man has borrowed money to plant his field and a storm has flooded his field or carried away the crop, … in that year he does not have to pay his creditor. Lastly, Law 53;54 states that “If a man has opened his trench for irrigation and the water have flooded his neighbor’s field, the man must restore the crop he has caused to be lost.” These laws demonstrate that Hammurabi tried to help property owners by giving them more time to pay-back their creditor, replace whatever the property owner had lost after a robbery, and if the abuser’s irrigation destroyed the victim’s crops, the abuser must pay the victim what he has lost. This concludes that Hammurabi’s Code just.

Another reason why Hammurabi's Code was just is that it intended to make these rules to protect the weak. According to Document B, it states that,

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