A running journal of novels, plays, polemics and other books I have read.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi (Code of Hammurabi) is a well-preserved ancient law code, dating to ca. 1792 BC (middle chronology) in ancient Babylon. It was enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis) as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man.
One nearly complete example of the Code survives today, on a diorite stele in the shape of a huge index finger, 2.25 m or 7.4 ft tall (see images at right). The Code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, of the common people, using cuneiform script carved into the stele (on display in the Louvre).
Hammurabi (Akkadian from Amorite ʻAmmurāpi, "the kinsman is a healer," from ʻAmmu, "paternal kinsman," and Rāpi, "healer"; (died c. 1750 BC)) was the sixth king of Babylon from 1792 BC to 1750 BC middle chronology (1728 BC – 1686 BC short chronology) He became the first king of the Babylonian Empire following the abdication of his father, Sin-Muballit, extending Babylon's control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars against neighboring kingdoms. Although his empire controlled all of Mesopotamia at the time of his death, his successors were unable to maintain his empire.