Hammurabi's Code and Laws Essay
846 Words4 Pages
HAMMURABI'S CODE AS AN INNOVATION
The Ancient Babylonian's lived under the assumption that the gods could do anything to humans that they wanted. Basically, if they felt like torturing a person for their amusement, they would do it, get bored and then move onto something else. The people also believed that if they were good and did what the gods wanted, they would be rewarded.
The Hammurabi Code of Law allowed swift, cut and dry justice. It was created to help keep everyone in line as well as give a quick judgment in cases of dispute or wrongful doing. Hammurabi took every common issue, wrote it down to specific details and listed the consequences for each action. It was a simple system that achieved positive and negative…show more content…
The punishment is different for each class.
Although the laws apply to everyone, the divisions in class are very apparent. You can also imagine that if an upper class person was on trial for murder, he/she would probably get off with a fine. Very similar to our modern society for those fortunate enough to afford high priced attorneys.
The upper class punishment for crimes against the upper class was usually equal. For crimes against the free citizens it was a monetary fine for a certain amount equal to the value of the loss. Crimes against slaves were either a small monetary fine or nothing at all.
The free citizens' punishment for crimes against the upper class was usually death or loss of a part of the body. For crimes against free citizens it could be a monetary fine, loss of a body part or death. For crimes against slaves, a small monetary fine or some other compensation was normal.
Slaves had some rights but not many. If a slave did any serious crime, death was the normal and expected punishment. Sometimes the slave would be reassigned to another master.
The common theme among the Code of Laws
Essay on The Code of Hammurabi
951 Words4 Pages
The “Code of Hammurabi” is considered to be one of the most valuable finds of human existence. In fact its very existence created the basis for the justice system we have come to rely on today. The creation of “the Code” was a tremendous achievement for not only Babylonian society but for the entire Mesopotamian region as King Hammurabi was ruler over all of that area. Its conception can be considered to be the first culmination of the laws of different regions into a single, logical text. Hammurabi wanted to be an efficient ruler and realized that this could be achieved through the use of a common set of laws which applied to all territories and all citizens who fell under his rule. This paper will discuss the Hammurabi Code and the…show more content…
Hammurabi improved on the measures implemented by Sargon through his idea of “centralization”. Instead of controlling trade routes and resources like Sargon, Hammurabi institutionalized regular taxation for all the territories. Hammurabi also ruled from within Babylon while extending his authority to other territories through the use of deputies placed in each territory. (Bentley and Zeigler, p. 29)
In regards to the Hammurabi Code of Law, Hammurabi claimed that the gods had picked him to “promote the welfare of the people …to cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and evil, so that the strong might not oppress the weak…” His intention was to hold those under his rule accountable for their actions and inspire “appropriate behaviors”. In fact, according to literature, the code functioned on the principle of “lex talionis” which basically translates as the “law of retaliation”. The idea was that the punishment would fit the crime, at least in theory. Similar to today’s laws, individual judges were allowed discretion and did not always follow the code specifically. Never the less, the code was always utilized as a reference for solution. (Bentley and Zeigler, p. 30)
The code prescribed punishment for various crimes to include lying, stealing, kidnapping, murder, fraud and bribery with the highest punishment of death being recommended for many actions considered to be criminal. Such crimes included