The Code of Hammurabi and how people lived their lives according to it

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 1996

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In this paper I will focus on, The Code of Hummurabi and how the people of

Mesopotamia lived their lives according to the code.

The Code of Hummurabi contributed to the value of cultural progress in the Near Eastern

countries, during the historic age, which has influenced future generations. Such a legal structure

based on older collections of Sumerian and Akkadian laws was revised, adjusted, and expanded

by Hummurabi himself.1

The code backed the authority of Babylonian gods as well as the state. To

Mesopotamians, life was restless and uncertain due to the belief that natural catastrophes were

the work of the gods. The people of Mesopotamia believed the gods used nature to punish them.

For example, a flood, which would therefore, ruin crops and homes, was cast upon them because

of something bad they had done. People believed in order to insure a better life for themselves and

their families a man must please and appease the gods.

Hummurabi took this into strong


The Code of Hammurabi was implements with a legal procedure. Individuals brought their

complaints before a court. Written documents or witnesses were needed to support a case. The

accuser had to prove the defendant guilty. If he failed to do so he was put to death. This was to

prevent people from falsely accusing others. The code tried to guarantee a fair trial and a just

verdict. For example, a judge could not change his mind or he was fined heavily.3

After a long prologue describing the religious deeds of the king, at least 282 laws dealing

with prices and tariffs, family affairs, marriage and divorce sales, deposits, slavery and theft

are detailed. For example, punishments against whoever would deface the monuments or altar of

Marduk or "the just laws which Hammurabi, the efficient king,