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Hammurabi The Lawgiver

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    Hamburg will forever be remembered throughout history for being a diplomat, builder of temples, and a lawgiver, that epitomizes Mesopotamia society. In this paper, multiple aspects of Hamburg and Babylonian society will be addressed. First, how Hamburg took an insignificant city-state and through a series of wars with neighboring kingdoms, made it into a powerful empire which would control all of Mesopotamia.

    Second, how he realized that his empire needed control and order since it was so diverse that he formed a set of laws which old prove to the gods and people that he was doing his Job to uphold Justice and also to Inform citizens of their rights. Evidence suggests that Its purpose may also have been self-glorification of Hamburg. Third, how the Law Code he created reveals much about the harsh values and structure of this Babylonian society. Much of Hamburg’s legacy is still influential today in Christian and Islamic traditions.

    Babylon was at one time a rather irrelevant city-state with little importance among the ancient world. Hamburg became king of Babylon during this time when it was till disregarded as an Insignificant society. In order to develop and amplify Balloon’s power, Hamburg was left no choice but to become allies with the powerful king of Asher. He then conceded to letting king Asher defeat nearby cities. Along with many rulers and kings in this time, Hamburg had many secret allies in the other rival cities that kept him in the loop of any substantial changes or developments with his alliances or enemies (Lockhart 37).

    He was aware of any troop movements when they occurred and could tell precisely if and when enemies were seeking to invade his domain. This held huge advantages over the neighboring rivals. Hamburg was confident In his Intelligence and as a result, engaged In a long series of wars which would lead to conquering all of southern Mesopotamia and even much of the north to his dominion. He united the Amorist rulers of cities like Sipper and Kiss under his rule in Babylon. By uniting most of Mesopotamia Hamburg was able to increase his military, influence, and economic trade claims.

    Babylon was then a worthy opponent of neighboring Assyria and Elan. Eventually, he looked to confront his former ally king Asher, which was the strongest power In the region. He was successful with this objective as well. With such a vast empire to control came huge responsibility for Hamburg. The empire of Babylon was extremely diverse and with diversity came problems between citizens. He sought to make his empire one that would uphold Justice and create a moral universe for citizens to live in peace.

    According to the profile page of Hamburg In our textbook, “Hamburg compiled older laws, recent legal decisions, and social customs, arranged them systematically, and placed them on an 8-foot block of black basalt stone in the temple of Balloon’s patron god, Maraud. (Lockhart 37) This would come to be known as the “Law Code. ” Its purpose was to inform the empires citizens of their rights. And for Hamburg’s sake, it proved to his citizens that he was doing his Job as king to uphold Justice in their society.

    The Law Code contained an entire 282 laws and were usually considered by today’s standards to be rather harsh punishments. Nearly one-half of the Code deals with matters of A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family relationships such as inheritance, divorce, paternity and even sexual behavior. On a daily basis, Hamburg held daily meetings for petitioners who were seeking Justice. Many of these meetings concerned temple property and administration. (Lockhart 37) The introduction to the code, found on a translation by L.

    W. King, contains a long list of Hamburg’s achievements, suggesting that his legacy was an important factor for him. Also, many provisions of the Code seem to be his Judicial decisions over certain matters. (King) Because of this, one may wonder if he was memorizing his wisdom and Justice in the Code, and that its purpose may have been more about self- lowercasing of Hamburg rather than a modern legal code or constitution. As king, he had a vast responsibility to bring about Justice in his empire.

    He clearly wanted it to be known that he had done his duty and pleased the gods since he ordered his laws to be carved on huge steles. These steles were places in temples indicating he wanted to spread the perception that the Code was not merely his mortal view but rather the gods’ divine will. On the Hamburg profile page in our textbook mentioned earlier contains a picture of one of these steles. According to the book, it as Ft high and it “shows the powerful sun-god, Shamans, on his throne bestowing the great Law Code to King Hamburg. (Lockhart 37) This perhaps demonstrates that Hamburg wanted the Code to be looked on as a summary of the gods’ eternal commands. In the epilogue of the Code, found on a translation by L. W. King, Hamburg orders his teachings to be passed down, “In future time, through all coming generations, let the king, who may be in the land, observe the words of righteousness which I have written on my monument; let him not alter the law of the land which I have given, the edicts which I have enacted… King). This shows that Hamburg went through a lot of trouble Just to assure that this code would be viewed as valuable for many generations to come. Nonetheless, the Codes copying in subsequent generations indicates that it was used as a model of legal and Judicial reasoning whether its purpose may or may not have been Hamburg’s self- glorification. The Law Code Hamburg created reveals a lot about the values of and structure of Babylonian society under his rule.

    These laws range from class structure to the most basic human rights and also specific instructions on commercial contracts. According to the Code’s translation by King, law seven states, “If any one buy from the son or the slave of another man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if he take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to death. This was important because it sets the standard for rules of commerce and the role of government in managing lawfulness and honesty regarding the law of property. Laws like these, where the punishment for breaching simple formalities of buying and selling was capital crime, veal the Babylonians had to be an extremely organized society. This and the other laws, though may seem very harsh, were taken very seriously by the Babylonians. Another example of this would be law six, “If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death. (King) This also indicates that Hamburg wanted his people to regard crimes against the government to be more severe than follow and show respect for their government. The life-and-death decisions given to bureaucrats indicates that Hamburg believed that a powerful government was essential to a productive kingdom. Despite the Law Code being as harsh as it was, it got results, and the Babylonians lived in a fairly peaceful and prosperous society.

    The Code provides balance in family relations as well, and goes on to say that sons must show paternal respect and parental consent was required for marriage and told fathers what they were able to do about inheritance. (King) King Hamburg was at times, a warrior, diplomat, builder of temples, and a lawgiver. His legacy is most famous for being a lawgiver and creating the Law Code. Many aspects of Hamburg’s Code survived his death, and were still regarded as significant within Babylon centuries afterwards.

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