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Ancient Laws and the Code of Hammurabi

            Laws are the written rules of a society that act to maintain the order and well-being of its habitants. Though they are not always implemented properly, laws are important in order to unite the members of a society and keep that society running smoothly. While the concept of a law has been dynamic through the previous millennia, the definition, for the most part, has held true. The resemblance and correlation might not be overly visible; the first written law is the foundation for the law of modern 1st world societies. The Babylonians, the Roman's and the Carolingians were all successful civilizations with a specific written law. As apparent in these societies, law changed over time. The Babylonians Code of Hammurabi was very literal and cruel, while Charlemagne's Medieval Source book was similar in ways, it sought to serve a higher power in the way that it organized its citizens. The law of a civilization says a lot about its way of life and the quality of living for its citizens.
             Famously known for "an eye for an eye," the Code of Hammurabi was implemented by the Babylonian king Hammurabi in approximately 1800 BCE. Hammurabi proposed the law so that its purpose was "to promote the welfare of the people" (Carriedo 7). The Code holds true to its reputation of cruelty with a majority of crimes ending in death. For example, rule 15 says, "If anyone take a male or female slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the city gate [to escape], he shall be put to death" (Brians). However the code did possess ideas that would have been considered out of the ordinary at the time, to include rights for woman and the oppressed. For example, rule number 131 states, "if a man bring charge against his wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an oath and then may return to her house" (Brians). With over 200 written rules, The Code of Hammurabi was very specific.

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