preview

Essay on King Hammurabi’s Efforts to Unify Mesopotamia

Decent Essays
During this era, ancient Mesopotamia was under the rule of theocratic monarchies. It was believed that the sole ruler was governing specifically for the gods and catering to their wishes. Mesopotamians were polytheistic, or worshippers of multiple gods, and extremely devout in their faith. They believed that the gods determined all situations and occurrences. As a ruler, King Hammurabi found Mesopotamia to be tremendously divided. At the time of his rule, Mesopotamia was dissected into separate city-states that were often feuding. The creation of King Hammurabi’s code of laws was a means to provide unification for all of the people of Mesopotamia. It was King Hammurabi’s hope that a central system of laws would bind the separate…show more content…
This can be seen with law 200, which stipulates that if one is to knock out the teeth of someone in equal social class status, the same will be done to him. This law also demonstrates the immense importance that was placed on social class. The judiciary system deemed punishments based on the offender and victim’s social classes. This can be seen with laws 197, 198, and 199. Although the crime is the same in all these three laws, breaking someone’s bones or damaging his eyes, the punishment is drastically reduced with decreasing social class of the victim. The subject matter of the laws clearly signify the importance that ancient Mesopotamian society placed upon agriculture. Law 53 notes that if a man’s dam is faulty and breaks and then subsequently floods the surrounding fields, he is at fault. As punishment, the man’s dam will be sold to pay for the damage. Law 53 elaborates on this law, noting that if the man can not replace the damaged grain of the surrounding fields, his possessions will be equally divided between those whose crops have been damaged in the wake of his error. These laws are quite strict in their punishment, noting the vitality that agriculture was to an average Mesopotamian’s wellbeing and livelihood. King Hammurabi’s laws were also quite personal. The laws delved
    Get Access