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Ariel Reaves

Due: 9/6/13
Hour: 8th
Assessment: Early Civilizations

The code of Hammurabi is very influential now as it was when it

was prominent. The laws of our society today have many lightened
aspects that can be associated with how Hammurabi wouldve handled
non-abiding citizens. We now use one of Hammurabis laws as a moral
code that we call the Golden Rule; which basically says: do onto others
as they would want them to do onto you. Theyre eternal.
Back in Hammurabis day, approximately 1772 BC, there was a
lot moving around, unlike now where people have where they live, and
usually where theyre going to stay. Hammurabi was the 6th Babylonian
king, and people sometimes would pillage areas that were either not
established governmentally, or that were unprotected. Hammurabi
used his harsh laws as a deterrent, trying to keep people from even
trying to get away with murder. Most of his laws have to do with
contract, establishing, dues to be paid to people, etc. Others had to do
with the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, or property that
was damaged while in the care of someone else other than the owner.
Also, a third of the laws cover issues of the domestic variety. There is
only 1 law that pertains to accusations against an official, ad some
pertain to military offenses. Our laws now are very similar to
Hammurabis in that we also try to use common problems in our trials
instead of processing frivolous cases. Hammurabis law codes dealt
with, as ours do also, real injustices against people.
Although Hammurabis law codes are very similar to our laws now
in what he considers actually breaking the law, and whats not,
Hammurabi had a more cynical way of punishing people who broke his
laws. Hammurabi believed that when you did something with your
hands, that meant that your hands had to be punished, if you stole,
your hand(s) were cut off from you. Hammurabi took the biblical
reference of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth in a more literal
way as we, now, would only take a life---maybe---when you took
someone elses. Otherwise, we just put you in jail, in the present day
we give people the benefit of the doubt in some sense; we give people
a chance to pay their debts to society, but we usually dont kill them
out the gate unless we consider what theyve done as either heinous
or inhumane. Both Hammurabi and we use laws to deter people from

committing crimes, but Hammurabi had a deathly stricter policy, but

we use his basis on how to judge and persecute people to this very
day. Hammurabis influence will forever be instrumental in our laws.