- File Size: 208 KB
- Print Length: 53 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: MacMay22 (April 6, 2008)
- Publication Date: April 6, 2008
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0017HNV1U
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- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,030 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Babylonian Laws- The Oldest Code of Laws in the World Kindle Edition
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This copy, which was published in or around 1903 by C.H.W. Johns (1857 - 1920) contains all the know elements of this code. Some of the material here is rather fragmented and much has been lost down through the ages. After all, this work was created around B.C. 2285 - 2242.
In this particular work we are given a very nice forward by C.H.W. Johns who was an Assyriologist and Church of England Clergyman. Johns has quite a number of academic papers under his belt, this being one of them.
After the introduction the actual code, or what we know if it, is recorded in all of its known sections. I personally found this to be an interesting read. I must admit to having never read the Code in its entirety before and this gave me a golden opportunity to do so.
The reader will find that almost all aspects of society at that time were covered. Quite a number of the situations found during those times no longer exists, but on the other hand many do and for me it is interesting to note that mankind has not changed all that much down through the ages.
It is of particular note the various punishments required for infractions of many of these laws. I covered the first 15 or so pages and I fear to tell you that had I lived at that time my life would have been rather short due to the fact that the death penalty seemed to be the main form of punishment...with drowning and burning being at the top of the list as to methodology.
These laws, while quite primitive in our eyes, covered trade, marriage, slave ownership, concubine management, farming, trade, social interaction and on and on.
This is not a good forum to discuss all of these laws item by item as a large number of volumes have been published down through the years addressing this code and most have easy access to these works - if of course, there is interest.
For those that are familiar with our current laws (those that possess a far greater understanding than I care to have) will be fascinated as to how this Code has influenced the laws of various societies down through the years.
This, as I said, is a free down load and it is a most worthwhile download. This is a part of our history ergo, we all need to be at least somewhat familiar with it.
Punishments ranged from paying a fine (in money or goods/animals), to somewhat much more severe, like having a hand cut off, all the way to death. Some of the things I found most interesting are as follows:
Threaten a witness? You die.
Judge makes a mistake in giving the penality? Out of a job.
Steal. Depends who you steal from. If you're rich, you pay 30 times the amount stolen; if poor, you pay ten times the amount stolen. The laws seemed to be fairly balanced in this way, the penalty in money or goods higher for the rich person than for a poor person.
If a woman opens a wine house? She dies.
If a wife has sex with some other guy and is caught, they are tied together and drowned.
If a wife is very ill, the guy can take another wife but must still take care of the first one.
If a son has sex with his mother and they are caught, both are burnred to death.
If a son strikes a father, one of his hands is cut off.
If a guy causes another guy to lose an eye or break a limb, the same will be done to him.
If a guy hits a pregnant woman and she dies, thus losing the baby, then, if the guy has a daughter, she dies.
There's also a whole section on the fees various people can charge, including doctors, vets, house builders and ship builders.
All-in-all a very harsh system of laws, but in some ways, especially the rich paying a much stiffer penalty than the poor, most fair than today's laws.
You might be drowned in a river, you might be struck dead for taking possession of stolen property.
Whatever you're doing in Ancient Babylon, you're probably going to die for it. So don't get caught.
Hammurabi's Code would be the best RPG of all time!