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            Many people may not know it, but they have heard part of Hammurabi's Law Code before. It is where the fabled "eye-for-an-eye" statement came from. However, this brutal way of enforcing laws was not always the case in ancient Mesopotamia, where Hammurabi ruled. The Laws of Ur-Nammu are much milder and project a greater sense of tolerance in an earlier time. The changing Mesopotamian society dictated this change to a harsher, more defined law that Hammurabi ruled from. It was the urge to solidify his power in Mesopotamia that led Hammurabi to create his Law Code. It must first be noted that the Laws of Ur-Nammu were written some time around 2100 B.C., around three hundred years before Hammurabi's Code. Because of this, The Laws of Ur-Nammu are much less defined in translation as well as more incomplete in their discovery. However, it is apparent from the text that these laws were concerned with establishing Mesopotamia as a fair society where equality is inherent. In the prologue before the laws, it is stated that "the orphan was not delivered up to the rich man; the widow was not delivered up to the mighty man; the man of one shekel was not delivered up to the man of one mina." This set forth that no citizen answered to another, or even that each citizen answered to each other, no matter their wealth, strength, or perceived power. This distinction of an equal society was important to the growing territory that was Mesopotamia. It allowed each person to feel important to their community because they were not lorded over by a superior class. Also, the sheer amount of different bands of people that made up the initial Mesopotamian society dictated that no distinction between origin or race could be made without destroying the careful balance that was set up. The Laws of Ur-Nammu were also distinct in that most penalties were fines or payments. One law stated that "if someone severed the nose of another man with a copper knife, he must pay two-thirds of a mina of silver.

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