The Oldest Code of Laws in the World

The Oldest Code of Laws in the World

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The Oldest Code of Laws in the World-The code of laws promulgated by Hammurabi, King of Babylon, B.C. 2285-2242 is an ancient legal document. "The discovery and decipherment of this Code is the greatest event in Biblical Archaeology for many a day. A translation of the Code, done by Mr. Johns of Queens' College, Cambridge, the highest living authority on this department of study, has just been published by Messrs. T. & T. Clark in a cheap and attractive booklet. Winckler says it is the most important Babylonian record which has thus far been brought to light."--The Expository Times. The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian code of law of ancient Mesopotamia, dated back to about 1754 BC (Middle Chronology). It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a 2.25 metre (7.5 ft) stone stele and consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis)[1] as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man or woman.[2] Nearly half of the code deals with matters of contract, establishing, for example, the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon. Other provisions set the terms of a transaction, establishing the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, for example, or property that is damaged while left in the care of another. A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family relationships such as inheritance, divorce, paternity, and sexual behavior. Only one provision appears to impose obligations on an official; this provision establishes that a judge who reaches an incorrect decision is to be fined and removed from the bench permanently.[3] A few provisions address issues related to military service. The code was discovered by modern archaeologists in 1901, and its editio princeps translation published in 1902 by Jean-Vincent Scheil. This nearly complete example of the code is carved into a basalt stele in the shape of a huge index finger, [4] 2.25 m (7.4 ft) tall. The code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele. It is currently on display in the Louvre, with replicas in numerous institutions, including the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, the Clendening History of Medicine Library & Museum at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the library of the Theological University of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, the Pergamon Museum of Berlin, the Arts Faculty of the University of Leuven in Belgium, the National Museum of Iran in Tehran, and the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, the University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania, and Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 40 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 2mm | 68g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1508713944
  • 9781508713944

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650 ratings
3.43 out of 5 stars
5 21% (135)
4 23% (151)
3 38% (247)
2 14% (93)
1 4% (24)
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