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Hammurabi’s Code of Law
Objective, Do Now, Homework • Objective: SWBAT answer the question: Why did Hammurabi’s Code provide justice for Ancient Babylon? • Do Now: Agree or disagree – “an eye for an eye, a life for a life. ” Explain. • HW: Create a set of ten laws, and their punishments for the classroom.
King Hammurabi • Sixth King of Babylon from 1792 BC to 1750 BC • He extended Babylon’s control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars again neighboring kingdoms.
What is he Known For? • Hammurabi is known for the set of laws called Hammurabi’s Code, the first written code of law in recorded history. • These laws were written on a stone tablet standing over eight feet tall that was found in 1901.
Purpose of Creation • First ever written entire body of laws, arranged in orderly groups, so that all men might read and know what was required of them. • The law code was in those days regarded as a subject for prayer, though the prayers here are chiefly cursings of whoever shall neglect or destroy the law. • The judge who lies in a law case is to be removed from his position forever, and heavily fined. • • This is where the Hebrews learned their law of "an eye for an eye”.
Hammurabi’s Code of Law I. Babylonian Empire [2000 BC – 1680 BC] 1. Nomadic warriors overtook the Sumerians. II. Hammurabi’s Code 1. In 1790 BC, king wrote the world’s first large collection of laws. III. Legal Principles of Hammurabi 1. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. ” A. 282 specific laws. 2. Punishments would be based upon social class of lawbreaker. A. Wealthy citizens would pay fines, commoners would face physical punishment. B. Government had a responsibility for what occurred in society.
Civil vs Criminal Law • Civil law- branch of law that deals with private matters • Criminal lawbranch of law that deals with offenses against others
Examples: • If a son strikes his father, they shall cut off his hand
If a freeman brings false testimony in a case that carries the death sentence, he shall be put to death.
• If a builder builds a house and does not make the construction firm and the house collapses and causes death of the owner, that builder shall be put to death.
If a freeman wants to disinherit his son but the judges find the son has done no grave wrong, the father may not disinherit his son.
• If the woman has not been careful but has gadded about, neglecting her house and belittling her husband, they shall throw that woman into the water.
If a freeman rents a field but does not cultivate it, he shall pay the owner grain based on the yield of adjoining fields.
If a trader borrows money from a merchant and then denies it, and the merchant can prove this loan was made, the trader shall pay the merchant three times the amount he borrowed.
• If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. • If he breaks another man's bone, his bone shall be broken. • If he puts out the eye of a freed man, or breaks the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina. • If he puts out the eye of a man's slave, or break the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half of its value.
Political Impact of Hammurabi’s Code • First written code of laws, – It created a sense of order – Established a coherent “rule of law” which was independent of ethnic or tribal custom or even familial or monarchical whim.
• Until this law, what passed for “law” was simply custom or the wish of whoever was ruling at the time. The law could change from generation to generation – even minute to minute.
Legal Impact of Hammurabi’s Code • For the first time, the notion of a separate judiciary as part of the overall government – This is a modern hallmark of modern democratic governments the world over.