Hammurabi of Babylon
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Hammurabi of Babylon

By (author) Dominique Charpin

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Hammurabi was the sixth king of ancient Babylon and also its greatest. Expanding the role and influence of the Babylonian city-state into an imperium that crushed its rivals and dominated the entire fertile plain of Mesopotamia, Hammurabi (who ruled c. 1792-1750 BCE) transformed a minor kingdom into the regional superpower of its age. But this energetic monarch, whose geopolitical and military strategies were unsurpassed in his time, was more than just a war-leader or empire-builder. Renowned for his visionary Code of Laws, Hammurabi's famous codex - written on a stele in Akkadian, and publicly displayed so that all citizens could read it - pioneered a new kind of lawmaking. The Code's 282 specific legal injunctions, alleged to have been divinely granted by the god Marduk, remain influential to this day, and offer the historian fascinating parallels with the biblical Ten Commandments. Dominique Charpin is one of the most distinguished modern scholars of ancient Babylon. In this fresh and engaging appraisal of one of antiquity's iconic figures, he shows that Hammurabi, while certainly one of the most able rulers in the whole of prehistory, was also responsible for pivotal developments in the history of civilization.

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  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 30mm | 557.92g
  • 15 Jun 2012
  • I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
  • I.B.Tauris
  • London
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 1848857527
  • 9781848857520
  • 551,545

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Author Information

Dominique Charpin is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History and Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne, Paris. An internationally recognized authority on the Ancient Near East, his books include Lire et ecrire a Babylone (2008) and Hammu-rabi de Babylone (2003), both written and published in French.

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Review quote

'A thorough introduction to the life and times of one of the most prominent rulers in the history of ancient Mesopotamia, presented by one of the masters of Old Babylonian studies. In addition to detailing Hammurabi's military and political achievements, Dominique Charpin lucidly sketches the society and economy over which he ruled and of course discusses his famous "Law Code." Numerous translated excerpts from the original documents afford the reader a vivid picture of life in Babylonia.' Gary Beckman, Professor of Hittite and Mesopotamian Studies, University of Michigan. 'A first-rate study of this important Babylonian ruler by one of the world's leading Assyriologists.'- Andrew R George, FBA, Professor of Babylonian, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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