Laws can tell us many important things about a society such as values, beliefs, and norms. The first leader to write down and codify a set of laws was Hammurabi. Hammurabi created The Code of Hammurabi. This tells us many things about the life of people in Mesopotamia. Hammurabi's code shows us that life in Mesopotamia was very difficult and unjust for the majority of the population (anyone that was not very wealthy). This is shown in the laws referring to professional standards, class structure and the nature of punishments. These three factors all come into play when looking at the difficult life of the people that lived in Mesopotamia.
The laws regarding professional standards are very strict and do not allow for accidental causes. If a surgeon operated with the bronze lancet on a patrician for serious injury, and causes death, or has removed a cataract for a patrician, with the bronze lance, and has made him loose his eyes, his hands shall be cut off (#218). This law displays the high standards for a physician in Mesopotamia. These standards do not allow for accident and make life for a surgeon very difficult especially in a time when surgery wasn't advanced and precise as it is with modern technology. Another example of this would be if a barber, without the knowledge of his master, cut the sign of a slave on a slave not to be sold, the hands of this barber shall be cut off (#226). The hands of a barber are his livelihood and the laws do not allow for a person to learn from their mistakes. By taking away the livelihood of someone on their first offence makes the society a very difficult place for people of that time.
Class structure as displayed in the laws of Hammurabi make life very difficult and unjust for citizens except the extremely wealthy ones. An example of this would be if any one strike the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip in public but on the other side if a free-born man strike the body of another free-born man of equal rank, he shall play one gold mina.