Posted by: danielfee | October 29, 2013

Weekly Travel Theme: Stone 10-29-2013

The Code of Hammurabi - Paris

The Code of Hammurabi – Paris

Here is my entry for this weeks travel theme “stone”, The Code of Hammurabi.  It is a well-preserved, nearly complete example of Babylonian law code, which dates back to about 1772 BC that is  on display in The Louvre in Paris. 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 human-sized stone.  This stone is in the shape of a huge index finger approximately 7.4 feet tall. The Code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script and consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man. Almost half of the Code deals with matters of contract, which include laws such as establishing 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. A handful of provisions address issues related to military service.




  1. No pressure, judges! Way to make sure justice, rather than popular opinion, prevails 😉 .

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