Dbq On Hammurabi Essay

794 words - 3 pages

Although Hammurabi's "eye for an eye" law code applied to all members of his society, the greatest amount of equity was reserved for the wealthier patriarchal members of his society. His set of laws was the world's first code of law, which established Babylon as the dominant city of its time. His code was based on principals, such as the weak should not injure the strong, and that the punishment should fit the crime. By creating the world's first set of organized laws, Hammurabi constituted a model set of moral codes for other civilizations to duplicate.Like most systems of law, Hammurabi's style of justice could be divided into a system of classes based on wealth, social status, and gender. For example, if a prosperous member of society was to destroy the eye of a common man, only a mina of silver would be required of the violator. However, if this very same man destroyed the eye of a member of the aristocracy, his eye shall also be destroyed. The punishment of a crime not only depended on the social status of those who committed offenses, but also on the social status of the injured party. A woman could file for divorce under the Code of Hammurabi, but would have to risk the chance of death if she was found at fault. If the husband had belittled her, coercing the reason for divorce, both would virtually be found as "innocent", meaning no punishment would have taken place. On the other hand, if the woman had belittled her husband, she would be put to death by the process of drowning. Wealthy men were on top of the "social pyramid", meaning they received punishments to a lesser degree. In addition, performing a crime on these "higher" people would result in a chastisement far greater in severity. Additionally, the complete antithesis would be true for those on the lower end on the social pyramid.In addition to the laws concerning the classes formed by social status, the government, along with other particular members of society, followed an assumed level of responsibility under Hammurabi's system of law and justice. To illustrate, if a salesman had not produced a profit on items received from a merchant, he would be forced to replay twice the amount. In addition, all witnesses during capital trials were expected to bear only the truth. Anything other than that would result in that witnesses'...

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