The Law Code Of Hammurabi Essay

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The governing legal, moral and religious codes of ancient civilizations were written and enforced by a minority that exercised power and authority over the majority. This minority consisted of priests, rulers and elites with established power and influence in society. In these codes of early civilizations, there was an overarching emphasis on maintenance of structure and order in society. Simply put, while these codes reflect the conditions, needs and values of the times in which they were formulated, they also unveil the authors’ agendas to preserve their power by maintaining the status quo. Therefore, these codes acknowledge and uphold the prevailing social, gender and racial inequalities as natural conditions of human existence and reveal the manifold biases present in early civilizations.
The Law Code of Hammurabi was created by the ruler of Babylon, King Hammurabi, around the 18th century BCE (Law Code of Hammurabi, 30). It was written in the cuneiform script of the Akkadian language, which was the universal language of diplomacy at the time (Lecture 2 & 5). The efficiency of cuneiform and the growing use of the international Akkadian language led to the rapid spread of literacy which subsequently led to heightened government regulation (Lecture 5). The law code emerged in the midst of the growing importance of codified laws to maintain structure and regulate order in society. It disclosed the manifold inequalities functioning in Babylonian society at the time. However,

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