Throughout Hammurabi's Code, it is made clear that the ancient Near East had a patriarchal system in which laws were needed to be put in place to grant protection to women from abuse. Laws placed restrictions on women's dowries and the manner in which divorce could occur. The state, therefore, recognized that women needed certain legal protections from male authority. Unfortunately, while such legal protections are granted, women are constantly addressed as a piece of property similar to slaves. Therefore, there are a few major issues in Hammurabi's Code that demonstrate how the individual rights of women took a back seat to social order and stratification in the ancient Near East. It was believed that a woman's sexuality should be
Hammurabi’s code was not just because of it’s family laws. In the Epilogue, Hammurabi states “I will protect the weak citizens such as women, children, and slaves (Document B). He goes against that wish in laws 129 and 195. Law 129 states “If a woman is caught with another man, the man and the woman will be tied together and thrown into the water.” Hammurabi is not protecting women with this law. He also doesn’t give the woman and the man she is accused of cheating with a fair trial
At the time, it was cruel to give harsh punishments to the accused if he/she cause a minor problem and they don’t do anything to help the victim. The property laws are unnecessary to the accused and even if the accused did something on accident, they still maybe end up killing him/her. The personal injury laws don’t even help because the laws punishments are basically killing the accused or chopping off a body part. In that time, the people thought that these laws were fair, But all in all, this is why the laws in Hammurabi’s code were unjust to not only the victim and the accused, but to society as
The Code of Hammurabi was a strict, harsh, and unequal way of punishment that focused on current attainable penalties for Mesopotamian society. The society wasn’t religious, they did not have any affiliations with spiritual beings, which is why punishments were needed for the specific moment
Dowries are extremely important to consider when it comes to arranged marriages. A dowry is a gift that could be goods, money, or land that a bride’s family will give to the groom to marry the bride. Dowries could be used to bring two powerful families together by having their children marry, for example, royal arranged marriages. In the Biblical sense, a girl who is still a virgin is more of prize than one who is not. In a way dowries make the daughter or son feel as property as told by Sara Smolinsky, “to [my father] I was nothing but his last unmarried daughter to be bought and sold” (205). Mr. Smolinsky stated, “It’s not enough to take my Bessie without a dowry. You must pay me yet” (47). Mr. Smolinsky, being the stubborn man he is, decided when Berel Bernstein asked for Bessie’s hand in marriage without the need of a dowry, that Mr. Smolinsky should get a bride price as well. A bride price
The Law Code of Hammurabi is a native Babylonian text that served as the basic law code of society. The way of life was of the former Babylonians culture is totally different than what we are used to today. The text gives readers a vision of how ancient societies lived in these times. This law code gave society a diverse arrangement for citizens to follow. The social structure isn’t about wealth, they are judged by different standards (such as trial by ordeal). The husband is the dominant role of the house. The family structure is a patriarchal household and the power of the father is absolute. The Law Code of Hammurabi gives readers a clear thought of how unfair the earlier civilization of Babylonians existed through class structures, gender relations, and family structures.
In law 129 it states, “If a married lady is caught (in adultery) with another man, they shall bind them and cast them into the water.” (Doc C). This law will be just because in their time this punishment was fair and people shouldn’t disobey the law if they know the consequences. Law 148 states, “If a man has married a wife and a disease has seized her, if he is determined to marry a second wife, he shall marry her. He shall not divorce the wife whom the disease has seized. She shall dwell in the house they have built together, and he shall maintain her as long as she lives.” (Doc C). This was just because he was still married to her so she should have someone to take care of her. Also, Hammurabi states that “the strong might not injure the weak” so he needs to protect and take care of her (Doc B). When people still abided by these rules they were just so these laws were very much
“If a man violate the wife of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father’s house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless” (Hammurabi).
Hammurabi's code was itjust or unjust? The laws about personal injury and family laws clearly express his laws are unjust.In one of the family laws(DOC.C law 129) the law states “If a married lady is caught [In adultery] wITh another man, they shall bind them and cast them into the water.”This is unjust because binding people together and casting them into water means to tie them together and throw them in the water which would possibly drown them and that is a harsh punishment.Killing someone for a mistake is not fair and think about IT what if the husband forgives her and still wants her to be his wife would that be fair to the husband and the wife?Hammurabi’s code was not just to the accused, according to law 195(DOC C). “If a son shall
To begin with, the family laws in Hammurabi’s code are usually pretty unfair in the way they handle family disputes. One example of this is shown in Law 195 when the Code states, “If a son has struck his father, his hands shall be cut off”(Document C). This is unfair because it treats the son as lesser than the father since he gets a worse punishment than the original offense. Which shows that this law is an unbalanced punishment for the offense. Another example of an unfair law pertaining to family manners is when law 168 states, “If a man has determined to disinherit his son and has declared before the judge, “‘I cut off my son,’ the judge shall inquire into the son’s past, and, if the son has not committed a grave misdemeanor…, the father shall not disinherit his son”(Document C). This shows how a law can take something that should be decided by an individual, but instead is taken into a decision by the
In addition to these laws, Hammurabi’s laws were also gender biased .Laws for women were also unjust, gender biased and based on social classes. Women were not given an individual status according to these laws and also they weren’t allowed to trade and open their own business. Also, they did not have their individual rights. For instance, the law one hundred and twenty eight states that “ If a man take a woman to wife, but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him”. This law shows that the women were not treated equally and laws were based from the perspective of men and not the women. These laws also shows that how they were unjust to a women and suggest the social condition of them . Another law which states “If the "finger is pointed" at a man's wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband.” This was very wrong as it raised many questions about why only women were required to sacrifice and not men. Also, there was inequality between men and women as only men can choose their wife or perhaps buy her
They did not have the right to divorce their husbands, and almost all women were uneducated. In Mesopotamia, women were also treated very poorly. They were taught to attend to all of their husband’s needs, and could be punished severely if they did not do as their husband said. In Babylonia, during Hammurabi’s rule, there was even a law that stated that if a woman did not obey her husband or was unfaithful to him in any way, he was legally allowed to throw her in the river, ultimately drowning her.
Hammurabi’s code made matters worse by acting instead of trying to help the family’s problems. For example, in Law one hundred twenty-nine, if a woman was caught in adultery with another man they will just drown them both. In addition, Law one hundred ninety -five, if a son has struck his father his hands shall be cut off. Based on what i read, Law one hundred twenty-nine is not fair because they do not try to help the family instead they come up with the solution of killing the wife. This shows that in Law one hundred ninety-five the sun will have his hands cut off when they could havejust tried to help the son not be mad at the father or want to hit him. As you can see these laws are not fair and are a bit too jumpy.
Under this strict system, Renaissance marriage became a "system of fair market exchange" (Matchinske 156). The husband was expected to provide economically for his wife. In turn, the wife was obligated to render herself, her chastity, her silence, and her obedience unto her husband. Because of this system of exchange, "marriages of interest became the target of severe censure at the beginning of the century as a form of legalized prostitution" (Massai 71). Fathers exchanged their daughter's virginity for family connections, sons promised security in order to win a wife, and women were transferred from one lord to another.
While penalties for adultery appear very serious and severe, divorce seems to be a common occurrence in Babylon and punishments for incorrect divorce procedures mostly result in a fine. In addition to a man’s control over a woman’s sexuality, men held the power to divorce their wives for almost any reason in particular while the law required women to provide a sufficient reason to initiate divorce. For example, a man could divorce his wife simply for her inability to produce children. “If a seignior wishes to divorce his wife who did not bear him children, he shall give her money to the full amount of her marriage-price... and then he may divorce her” (Hammurabi). Women on the other hand, encountered many obstacles when attempting to divorce their spouses. “if a seignior’s wife, who was living in the house of the seignior, has made up her mind to leave in order that she may engage in business, thus neglecting her house…they shall prove it against her” (Hammurabi). For women, marriage consisted of a binding contract that included expectations of fertility, responsibility for the household, and compliance. These expectations of women dominated