Hammurabi's Code

-City-States in Mesopotamia #9
Hammurabi’s Code
Have Vocabulary Sheet out.
Chapter 1 Reading Questions due tomorrow
Warm Up
Agree or disagree
– “an eye for an
eye, a life for a
life.” Explain.
Sumerians invented:
Brick technology
Base 60 – using the circle . . . 360 degrees
Time – 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in
a minute
12 month lunar calendar
When heaven above was not yet named, nor earth below
pronounced by name, Apsu, the first one, their begetter and maker
Tiamat, who bore them all, had mixed their waters together, but
had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds. When yet no
gods were manifest, nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed,
then gods were born within them.
Sumerian Writing: cuneiform
Cuneiform is created by pressing a pointed
stylus into a clay tablet.
Hammurabi’s Code of Law
I. Babylonian Empire [2000 BC – 1680 BC]
1. Nomadic warriors overtook the Sumerians.
II. Hammurabi’s Code
1. In 1790 BC, king wrote the world’s first large
collection of laws.
III. Legal Principles of Hammurabi
1. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
A. 282 specific laws.
2. Punishments would be based upon social class of
A. Wealthy citizens would pay fines, commoners
would face physical punishment.
B. Government had a responsibility for what
occurred in society.
Partnered Students Handout
Hammurabi, the king of righteousness,
On whom Shamash has conferred the Law,
am I.
When Marduk sent me to rule over men,
to give the protection of right to the land,
I did right and in righteousness brought about
the well-being of the oppressed.
Below are situations Hammurabi faced.
You and your partner decide what you think to be a fair way to deal with the problem.
Then together we’ll view what Hammurabi actually declared.
We’ll find out if Marduk, the supreme god, will be pleased with your decisions?
What should be done to the carpenter who builds a house that falls and kills the owner?
What should be done about a wife who ignores her duties and belittles her husband?
What should be done when a "sister of god" (or nun) enters the wine shop for a drink?
What should be done if a son is adopted and then the birth-parents want him back?
What happens if a man is unable to pay his debts?
What should happen to a boy who slaps his father?
What happens to the wine seller who fails to arrest bad characters gathered at her shop?
How is the truth determined when one man brings an accusation against another?
Compiled and Illustrated by
Phillip Martin
copyright 1998
If a freeman brings false
testimony in a case that
carries the death sentence,
he shall be put to death.
If a builder builds a house and
does not make the construction
firm and the house collapses and
causes death of the owner, that
builder shall be put to death.
If a freeman wants to disinherit his
son but the judges find the son
has done no grave wrong, the
father may not disinherit his son.
If a freeman rents a field but does
not cultivate it, he shall pay the
owner grain based on the yield of
adjoining fields.
If a trader borrows money from a
merchant and then denies it, and
the merchant can prove this loan
was made, the trader shall pay
the merchant three times the
amount he borrowed.