In early times the son who denied his father had his front hair shorn, a slave-mark put on him, and could be sold as a slave; while if he denied his mother he had his front hair shorn, was driven round the city as an example and expelled his home, but not degraded to slavery. Claude Hermann Walter Johns, M. He could acquire property and even hold other slaves. If a carpenter has erected a poorly constructed house, so that the walls cave in and kill the homeowner, that carpenter shall be executed. If he failed to teach his son the craft, that son could prosecute him and get the contract annulled. Credit: How were the laws formed? When the Semitic tribes settled in the cities of Babylonia, their tribal custom passed over into city law. The author of the Code also makes some key assumptions while writing his laws.
May the kings who listen to my words be blessed with empires as large as mine, governing the world in justice. It is not clear that all lands paid tithe, perhaps only such as once had a special connexion with the temple. If a free person steals sacred property from a temple or palace, that person shall be executed, along with anyone who purchased the stolen property. Vestals frequently adopted daughters, usually other vestals, to care for their old age. If she were left without maintenance during her husband's involuntary absence, she could cohabit with another man, but must return to her husband if he came back, the children of the second union remaining with their own father. She shall keep the house in order, bring up the children, and not sell the house-hold utensils.
These by no means necessarily agree with the Code. There is little trace of serfs in Babylonia, unless the muskinu be really a serf. Other rank-based penalties were even more significant. It was only in 1901 that archaeologists discovered the diorite stele in Susa. A common way of doing business was for a merchant to entrust goods or money to a travelling agent, who sought a market for his goods. Children of slaves resulting from the marriage of sex between a free individual and a slave were considered free, the stigma of slavery having been removed. Enslavement befell the extravagant wife and unfilial children.
Punishments for someone assaulting someone from a lower class were far lighter than if they had assaulted someone of equal or higher status. One such law pertained to thefts of cattle and sheep. The carrier gave a receipt for the consignment, took all responsibility and exacted a receipt on delivery. Another reason is that many punishments were way to harsh for the crime. If there was no son capable, the state put in a locum tenens, but granted one-third to the wife to maintain herself and children. Two versions of the Code at the.
However the Code operated, there is little doubt that the pillar itself was intended for public display. Now, however, when urban citizens commonly rubbed shoulders with nomads following a completely different way of life, when speakers of several west Semitic Amurru languages, as well as others, were thrown together with uncomprehending Akkadians, confrontation must all too easily have spilled over into conflict. If the cultivator did not get a crop this would not cancel his contract. If the tenant neglected to reclaim the land the Code enacted that he must hand it over in good tilth and fixed a statutory rent. There was no birthright attaching to the position of eldest son, but he usually acted as executor and after considering what each had already received equalized the shares. If he died before arranging all of this his heirs were expected to do so before dividing the balance of the estate. His legacy as a lawgiver reflects his genuine concern for social justice and the betterment of the lives of his people.
A righteous law, and pious statute did he teach the land. The criminal must be taken in the act, e. His field, garden, and house shall not be given for the purchase of his freedom. A wife who abandoned her family could be either released by her husband, failing which, he could re-marry and the woman would be a slave in her pervious household. The importance of taking into account other documents and sources, is that it gives you a better understanding of the topic and time period. The Elamites stole the code and took it back to their homeland in the 12th Century B …. The statement below is from a U.
The accused could clear himself by oath where his own knowledge was alone available. We need to look at how the legal system attempted to redress this economic inequality. The judges might be satisfied of its existence and terms by the evidence of the witnesses to it, and then issue an order that whenever found it should be given up. Nothing is clear till date, though, we do get a hands-on information relating to the class of people Hammurabi ruled, their social structure, their culture and their economy. If he appropriated or sold the implements, impoverished or sublet the cattle, he was heavily fined and in default of payment might be condemned to be torn to pieces by the cattle on the field. Laws Concerning Economic Structures 7.
If it kill the son of the owner of the house, the son of that builder shall be put to death. Land was leased for houses or other buildings to be built upon it, the tenant being rent-free for eight or ten years; after which the building came into the landlord's possession. The Ancient World knew perfectly well that all of this left women at a certain disadvantage. Earlier collections of laws include the , king of c. Cattle were hired for ploughing, working the watering-machines, carting, threshing, etc. If a free person puts out the eye or breaks the bone of a civil-servant, that person shall pay one-half kilogram of silver.