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Hammurabi Essay

1274 words - 5 pages

Civilizations throughout history tend to rise because of a strong, firm leader who unifies his people. Hammurabi is one of these people. He came to power and stabilized his mother country which was previously torn by wars. He so effectively ruled his people, that the political and economical stature of his empire rivaled that of the untouched stable Egyptian empire. He established one of the first empires with an effective law code. He ruled and united his people by the use of fear and force. Both were effective in making a barbaric people more civilized.All prominent leaders, for the most part, throughout history used military force to conquer their foes. Hamurabi is no different. Being sixth in the line of Amorite sheikhs ruling Babylon, Hammurabi took the throne in 1750 B.C. Hammurabi was not only a king but also a militarist. For twenty five years Hammurabi built up his military and allies preparing for major takeovers. Hammurabi then conquered Larsa, which gave him control of most of southern and central Mesopotamia. Hammurabi then managed to take control of the western part of Mesopotamia, which the city-state Mari dominated. Hammurabi, knowing that he could not possibly defeat the northern city-state Assyria, instead defeated Eshnunna, which is right next to Assyria. In doing so he made Assyria give into Hammurabi's rule, buy surrounding the city-state from all around. He ruled much of the fertile crescent in between the Tigris and the Euphrates River.Hammurabi made a code of laws called "the Code of Hammurabi". These codes of laws were etched in big stone pillars and put out over all of Mesopotamia for all to see. There is one major problem with this. If something would arise in the set of laws then Hammurabi wouldn't be able to change them. Since they were etched in stone then it would be impossible for them to change the laws.Hammurabi's code is based on the saying "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."1 Hammurabi was credited for uniting all of Mesopotamia with these laws. These were forceful laws that made people fearful of Hammurabi and what might happen to them if they disobey them. An example of Hammurabi's code would be, "If a man strike the person of a man (i.e., commit an assault) who is his superior, he shall receive sixty stroke with an ox-tail whip in public."2 This is just one of the 282 sets of laws that was etched on stone and put throughout Mesopotamia. These laws are extremely forceful and harsh, that is how Hammurabi united all of Mesopotamia. Hammurabi's code was based on two principles. That the Punishment depended on the social rank of the violators and that the offenders are subjected to the same damages or injuries that they caused to others. The victims had the right to demand personal compensation from the persons who had caused them grief. Also people didn't have the same rights in the code as everyone did. Husbands had power over wives; fathers had power over children; rich had power over poor; and free...

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