The oldest surviving body of law from ancient Mesopotamia is the Code of your-Nammu from around 2100-2050 BC, which was established in the city of Ur by King your-Nammu (r. 2047-2030 BC) or his son Shulgi of Ur (r. 2029-1982 BC). These laws were written by a king who ruled over a homogeneous population and proceeded from a standard recognition of what was expected of citizens. At the time of Hammurabi`s reign, the population was more diverse, and his code of law reflects this in its precision to ensure that everyone understood what was expected of them. A third theory that has gained prominence in Assyriology is that the codex is not a real code, but an abstract treatise on how judgments should be formulated. This prompted Fritz Rudolf Kraus to name legal decisions in an early formulation of the theory. [107] Kraus suggested that it was a work of Mesopotamian science in the same category as collections of omens such as šumma ālu and ana ittišu. [107] Others have provided their own versions of this theory. [108] A. Leo Oppenheim noted that the Hammurabi Codex and similar collections of Mesopotamian law “represent an interesting formulation of social criticism and should not be considered a normative direction.” [109] Scheil speculated that the stele was brought to Susa by the Elamite king Shutruk-Nakhunte and that he ordered the removal of several columns of laws to write his legend.

[19] Roth suspects that the stele was taken as a plunder of Sippar,[21] where Hammurabi lived towards the end of his reign. [22] Unlike the Ur-Nammu Codex, the Lipit-Ishtar Code had to be more precise in order to meet the needs of a more complex society. Fines continue to act as a deterrent, but more detailed laws are needed for family law and commercial contracts. It could no longer be assumed that everyone under the law was acting with the same understanding of what was good behaviour. The Lipit-Ishtar code is also fragmentary, but among the laws were: The first copy of the text found, and still the most complete, is located on a stele 2.25 m (7 ft 4 + 1/2 in) long. The stele is now located on the ground floor of the Louvre, in room 227 of the Richelieu wing. [13] Scholars are divided on the material of the stele. Some, including the Louvre and Martha Roth, said it was basalt. [14] However, others, including Marc Van De Mieroop and Father Jean-Vincent Scheil – the French Dominican and Assyriologist who wrote the editio princeps of the Code – [15] have stated that it is diorite. [16] Above, an image of Hammurabi with Shamash, the Babylonian sun god and god of justice. Below the image are about 4,130 lines of cuneiform text: a fifth contains a prologue and an epilogue, while the remaining four-fifths contain what are commonly referred to as laws.

[17] At the bottom, seven columns of laws, each with more than eighty lines, were polished and erased in antiquity. [18] The stele was found and reconstructed in three large fragments. [19] It is 225 cm (7`4 + 1/2 in) tall, with a circumference of 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) at the top and 190 cm (6 ft 3 in) at the base. [19] Hammurabi`s painting is 65 cm (2 ft 1+1⁄2 in) high and 60 cm (1 ft 11+1⁄2 in) wide. [19] The Code is often cited as the first example of the legal concept that certain laws are so fundamental that they exceed even a king`s ability to change. In writing the laws on stone, they were immutable. This concept persists in most modern legal systems and has led to the term set in stone. The code of Hammurabi is carved from a cylindrical plate of black basalt, often called a stele. With a height of 2.25 meters and a width of 65 centimeters, the laws on the stele are considered those that ruled over ancient Babylonia. It was excavated by French archaeologists in the winter of 1901/1902. Since the codex refers to cities that were not part of Babylonia before Hammurabi`s thirty-first year in power, and because the codex refers to Hammurabi`s advanced age, the codex was written late in his reign.

It is not clear whether your-Nammu wrote and published his Code of Law or whether it was published by Shulgi after his father`s death, but the stability he offered continued during the Third Dynasty of Ur during the reign of Ibbi-Sin (c. 1963-1940 BC). AD), after which it was replaced by the Isin dynasty founded by Ishbi-Erra around 1953/1940. The kingdom had become progressively weaker even before Ibbi-Sin, but during his reign it was too weak to repel the invasions of the Amorites and Elamites, which eventually brought down the third dynasty from your to your. For there to be justice, society must know what the laws are. King Hammurabi of Babylon is believed to have been the first ruler to make the laws visible to all. The term “code” presupposes that the document must be applied as law. It was used by Scheil in his editio princeps,[89] and subsequently widely used. C.

H. W. Johns, one of the earliest and most prolific commentators on the document, proclaimed that “the codex deserves its name.” [40] Recent Assyriologists have used the term without comment,[90] as have scientists outside Assyriology. [91] But it is only if the text was conceived as coercive legislation that it can truly be considered a code and its provisions. Hammurabi (1728 BC – 1686 BC) felt that he had to write the code to please his gods. Unlike many previous and contemporary kings, he did not consider himself related to any god, although he described himself as “the favorite of the gods.” In the upper part of the stele, Hammurabi is depicted before the throne of the sun god Shamash. The Code of Hammurabi was an early and important step towards establishing the rule of law in a society. The rule of law is the belief that it is better to be governed by laws than to be governed by leaders who can act as they please. For example, dictators often wield absolute power without following any guidelines. When the law governs us, rulers cannot use their power at will. Political leaders, police and judges are subject to the same laws as everyone else. By establishing a code, Hammurabi helped ensure that the authorities` actions were not arbitrary, but followed a set of rules.

By publishing these rules, everyone could know what they were. Fragments of a second and possibly a third stele recording the code have been found with the Louvre stele in Susa. [23] More than fifty manuscripts containing the laws are known. They have been found not only in Susa, but also in Babylon, Nineveh, Assur, Borsippa, Nippur, Sippar, your, Larsa and more. [24] Copies were made during the reign of Hammurabi and thereafter when the text became part of the writing program. [25] Copies were found a thousand years after the manufacture of the stele,[18] and a catalogue from the library of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (685-631 BC). A.D.) lists a copy of the “Judgments of Hammurabi.” [26] The additional copies fill most of the original text of the stele, including much of the deleted section. [18] The Akkadian kings (actually not in the fictionalized form remembered by the original Nammu people) had suffered many rebellions precisely because they did not have the consent of the people. To avoid the same problems, your-Nammu claimed that the laws came from the gods and that your-Nammu was only the administrator, the intermediary, who transmitted the will of their gods to the people and carried out their commands. The laws all follow the model of conditional punishment, if-this-then-that, as in this short sample: Did you know? The Code of Hammurabi contains many severe punishments that sometimes require the removal of the offender`s tongue, hands, breasts, eyes or ear. But the Code is also one of the earliest examples of the presumption of innocence of an accused until proven guilty.

Regardless of the origin of the laws of Hammurabi`s code, the codex tells us that Hammurabi believed that the gods had brought him to power to create a system of justice that would prevent the strong from oppressing the weak. And the stele was not the only proof of this. When buildings were built in Babylonia, it was common for Hammurabi to commission inscriptions on these buildings explaining how the gods had chosen him as their leader and how he believed in justice. Another proof of Hammurabi`s commitment to justice are the names of the years of his reign. At that time, the years were not recorded by numbers, but by major events. The years of Hammurabi`s reign are dotted with names such as “justice established in his country” (first year) and “statue of Hammurabi, king of justice” (twenty-second year). Hammurabi was born around 1810 BC. A.D.

in Babylon, now in Iraq. He transformed an unstable collection of city-states into a powerful empire that spanned ancient Mesopotamia. Hammurabi`s lasting contribution to Western society was his series of laws, written on twelve stones and publicly displayed for all to see, the most common being “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” The laws are commonly known as the Code of Hammurabi. Law 238 states that a master, ship manager or charterer who has saved a ship from total loss is only required to pay half of the value of the ship to the shipowner. [175] [176] [177] In the Digesta seu Pandectae (533), the second volume of the codification of laws ordered by Justinian I (527-565) of the Eastern Roman Empire, a legal opinion of the Roman jurist Paul at the beginning of the crisis of the third century in 235 AD on the Lex Rhodia (“Rhodian law”) has been included, which articulates the general principle of the average of maritime insurance. on the island of Rhodes around 1000 to 800 BC As a member of the Doric hexapolis, plausible by the Phoenicians during the planned Doric invasion and emergence of the so-called Sea Peoples in the Greek Middle Ages (ca.