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The Code Of Hammurabi And How People Lived Their Lives According To It

837 words - 3 pages

In this paper I will focus on, The Code of Hummurabi and how the people ofMesopotamia lived their lives according to the code.The Code of Hummurabi contributed to the value of cultural progress in the Near Easterncountries, during the historic age, which has influenced future generations. Such a legal structurebased on older collections of Sumerian and Akkadian laws was revised, adjusted, and expandedby Hummurabi himself.1The code backed the authority of Babylonian gods as well as the state. ToMesopotamians, life was restless and uncertain due to the belief that natural catastrophes werethe work of the gods. The people of Mesopotamia believed the gods used nature to punish them.For example, a flood, which would therefore, ruin crops and homes, was cast upon them becauseof something bad they had done. People believed in order to insure a better life for themselves andtheir families a man must please and appease the gods. Hummurabi took this into strongconsideration.2The Code of Hammurabi was implements with a legal procedure. Individuals brought theircomplaints before a court. Written documents or witnesses were needed to support a case. Theaccuser had to prove the defendant guilty. If he failed to do so he was put to death. This was toprevent people from falsely accusing others. The code tried to guarantee a fair trial and a justverdict. For example, a judge could not change his mind or he was fined heavily.3After a long prologue describing the religious deeds of the king, at least 282 laws dealingwith prices and tariffs, family affairs, marriage and divorce sales, deposits, slavery and theftare detailed. For example, punishments against whoever would deface the monuments or altar ofMarduk or "the just laws which Hammurabi, the efficient king, set up", were sentenced to death,or faced with corporal punishment.4In addition, the code set up a social order based upon the principle; "The strong shall notinjure the weak." Babylonian society was therefore divided into three classes: aristocrats,commoners (free men), or slaves.5Fees and punishments varied according to the social condition. For example, the cost of alifesaving operation was fixed at 10 shekels of silver for an aristocrat, five shekels for a free man,and two shekels for a slave. Similarly, if a man has pierced the eye of an aristocrat, they wouldpierce his eye, but if he had pierced the eye or broken the bone of a free man, he would pay onemina of silver, and in the case of a slave, one-half of his value.6Hammurabi gave careful attention to marriage and family. The...

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