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Aspects of Hammurabi's Code

            Hammurabi's Code is the oldest known record of written law. This set of laws was written by King Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, who ruled for for 43 years; 1792 to 1750 BCE. Hammurabi's code was written circa 1772 BCE, and it has approximately 282 codes which range from laws regarding property, agriculture, marriage, women's rights, and punishments for each individual crime. These laws were written on stone tablets which were approximately eight feet tall. In theory, these regulations were established so that everyone would be judged on an equal measure. .
             One of the most discussed laws of Hammurabi's Code is "if a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out"(Code 196). But justice was not equal from person to person, and punishment was enforced for some people and not for others. In later codes it is specified that if it was a slave's eye then the punishment was to pay a fine. This gives an idea of how social classes influenced the judicial system. The rich and powerful were above the slaves and the working class. Modern civilizations no longer have such harsh punishments but justice is more equal. The possible reason why the punishments were so harsh was to deter the population from doing them. On the other hand, maybe the amount of crimes was overwhelming that King Hammurabi needed laws that could punish the criminal and send a message to the rest of the population.
             Hammurabi's codes were created to implement a sense of control over the working and poor classes. The majority of the laws protected wealthy men and most of Hammurabi's laws could be divided into class and gender. It can easily be deduced that Babylon was a patriarchal society where wealthy men were above everyone else within that particular social class. Women were expected to respect their father, and later their husbands. The exception to that was clear in code 134: "If any one be captured in war and there is no sustenance in his house, if then his wife go to another house this woman shall be held blameless".

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