Babylon: The Code of Hammurabi

645 Words3 Pages
Hammurabi ruled as king of the Babylonian Empire from 1795-1750 BCE. Hammurabi is best known for his code of law, known simply as Hammurabi's Code, which outlines the basic philosophy of Babylonian criminal justice. Most notably, the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" mentality was codified in Hammurabi's doctrine. This doctrine would go on to influence the Hebrew culture and criminal justice system. It is possible that Hebraic codes of law were derived from those of Babylon during the captivity (Johns, 1911). Hammurabi's Code also included issues related to social and fiscal contracts, revealing the high level of sophistication in Babylonian society. Babylonian culture was heterogeneous, diverse, and complex, necessitating a formal system of codes that King Hammurabi installed. The Code of Hammurabi also reveals the social hierarchies extant in Babylonian society. For example, the code outlines the different rights and privileges afforded to different classes of citizens (Johns, 1911). The code shows that there were indeed slaves in Babylonian society. However revolutionary the code seems, there were doubtlessly predecessors throughout the region that also influenced the code of Hammurabi (Johns, 1911). King Hammurabi simply became one of the most powerful and influential leaders in the ancient Near East. Pharaoh is a term that refers to the most powerful leaders of ancient Egypt. The pharaoh was more than a king, because he was viewed as being endowed with divine powers
Open Document