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Hammurabis Code Of Laws Essay

725 words - 3 pages

     Hammurabi was the sixth king of the first Amorite dynasty of Babylon. He supposedly ruled from 1792-1750 BC. During his rule, he wrote a code of law, which was the first to be translated from cuneiform. The code was written on several stone tablets so that all people could see them. It had a prologue, an epilogue, and 282 articles, and included rights for women, even though they didn’t have as many rights as men did.
     Hammurabi’s code was based on the saying ‘an eye for an eye’. This means that the retribution for the crime would roughly fit the severity of the crime. For example, if someone poked someone’s eye out, someone would poke that someone’s eye out. I think this is fair because it doesn’t make sense any other way. For instance, if one was jailed ten years for a minor theft (a purse, a bike, etc.) and someone else was jailed ten years for a major theft (robbing the bank, stealing a valuable painting, etc.), that wouldn’t be reasonable. In Hammurabi’s ‘an eye for an eye’ theory, all the punishments are equal to the crime, which is very practical. Most of his laws are based on this.
     In Hammurabi’s code, there were different fines for crimes on certain classes of people. For instance, if one freeborn man were to hit another freeborn man or someone of equal rank, the first freeborn man would have to pay one gold mina in gold. However, if a freed man were to hit another freed man, the first freed man would only have to pay ten shekels of money. Also, if a slave of a freed man hit the body of another freed man, his ear would be cut off. If anyone were to hit someone with a higher rank, then that person would be hit sixty times with an ox-whip in public. I think this is unjust because someone shouldn’t have to pay less or receive a less harsher punishment just because they’re richer or have a better job. I feel that all the fines should be equal, so that if a free man were to hit someone of a higher rank, he would pay the same fine that a free man who hit a free man would...

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