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The Oldest Code of Laws in the World - The code of laws promulgated by Hammurabi, King of Babylon, B.C. 2285-2242
The Code of Hammurabi is one of the most important monuments in the history of the human race. Containing as it does the laws which were enacted by a king of Babylonia in the third millennium B.C., whose rule extended over the whole of Mesopotamia from the mouths of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates to the Mediterranean coast, we must regard it with interest. But when we reflect that the ancient Hebrew tradition ascribed the migration of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to this very period, and clearly means to represent their tribe father as triumphing over this very same Hammurabi (Amraphel, Gen. xiv. 1), we can hardly doubt that these very laws were part of that tradition. At any rate, they must have served to p. vimould and fix the ideas of right throughout that great empire, and so form the state of society in Canaan when, five hundred years later, the Hebrews began to dominate that region. Such was the effect produced on the minds of succeeding generations by this superb codification of the judicial decisions of past ages, which had come to be regarded as the right, that two thousand years and more later it was made a text-book for study in the schools of Babylonia, being divided for that purpose into some twelve chapters, and entitled, after the Semitic custom, Nnu ilu sirum, from its opening words. In Assyria also, in the seventh century b.c., it was studied in a different edition, apparently under the name of The Judgments of Righteousness which Hammurabi, the great king, set up. These facts point to it as certain to affect Jewish views before and after the Exile, in a way that we may expect to find as fundamental as the Babylonian influence in cosmology or religion. For many years fragments have been p. viiknown, have been studied, and from internal evidence ascribed to the period of the first dynasty of Babylon, even called by the name Code Hammurabi. It is just cause for pride that Assyriology, so young a science as only this year to have celebrated the centenary of its birth, is able to emulate astronomy and predict the discovery of such bright stars as this. But while we certainly should have directed our telescopes to Babylonia for the rising of this light from the East, it was really in Elam, at Susa, the old Persepolis, that the find was made. The Elamites were the great rivals of Babylonia for centuries, and it seems likely that some Elamite conqueror carried off the stone from a temple at Sippara, in Babylonia. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 17150
Author: Hammurabi, King of Babylonia
Release Date: Nov 25, 2005
Translator: Johns, C. H. W. (Claude Hermann Walter), 1857-1920
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