CODE OF HAMMURABI
How does Hammurabi represent himself and the origin of his laws/power in the Prologue?
He refers to himself as an exalted prince and worshipper of gods. He states that he was called upon by Anu (King of Annunaki) and Bel (Lord of heaven and earth) to bring justice in the land like the sun. This shows that the origin of his laws/power came from the gods themselves.
What does the Code of Hammurabi reveal about life in the Babylonian Empire? What can we infer about Mesopotamian culture from the kinds of laws and punishments in the Code of Hammurabi?
The code reveals that the life in Babylonian Empire was governed by the law that covered every aspect of life. It further suggests that Babylonia was a hierarchical society. Punishment for the slaves was more extreme as compared to the free men. Most of the punishments the perpetrator would receive were the same as the damage that he caused to the victim. It was an eye for an eye in most cases.
What role does social/economic class play in the Code? How does it appear to be applied? Site at least two examples where social/economic class play a role in the crime or punishment.
Free men were punished more leniently as compared to the slaves. Similarly crime against free men was punished more severely than that committed against a slave. For instance, if a person murdered a free man then that man will be punished to death but if a man murdered a slave he will have to provide a replacement for that slave. If a patient died at the hands of a physician then the fingers of the physician would be cut off. However; if the patient that died was a slave then the physician was required to provide a new slave as a replacement.
The expression of “an eye for an eye” comes from Hammurabi’s Code. Site at least two examples in which you see this form of punishment. What might be the pros and cons of this type of legal system?
1. If a man destroys the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye (Pg.6).
2. If one breaks a man’s bone, they shall break his bone (Pg.6).
In this kind of legal system, the victim would always get justice for the distress caused to them. However; a major downside would be that in case of an accident, the defender would also be blameless but regardless of that he would have to suffer the consequences.
What can we tell about the treatment/role of women in ancient Mesopotamia/the Babylonian Empire based upon the laws and punishments of Hammurabi’s Code?
The women were treated fairly by the law if she was blameless then she would be compensated and if she had committed a crime she would be punished accordingly.
Hammurabi. The Code of Hammurabi | Online Library of Liberty. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/hammurabi-the-code-of-hammurabi. Accessed 25 Sept. 2021.