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Hammurabi code was unjust

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Madalyn Sica

on 3 November 2014

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Transcript of Hammurabi code was unjust

The Hammurabi Code was Unjust
By: Madalyn Sica
The Hammurabi Code was created by Hammurabi himself. He ruled from 1792-1750 B.C. His empire was called Babylon. Babylon was along the Euphrates River in the south east corner of Mesopotamia. He ruled there for a long time. The Hammurabi code was created to protect the weak. The code was also significantly important to history because set the first written laws in human history. It was also predicted to be the first language ever made and able to be written down.
My personal opinion on the Hammurabi code is that it is unjust. Why I think that is because Hammurabi said his code was meant to protect the weak, but in reality all of the laws were just harsh and unnecessary.

Hammurabi’s laws were based on the harsh “eye for eye, tooth for tooth," this is why I see this as being unjust. He placed this laws on large stone slabs around the empire. I don't think it was right to punish people who could not even read the code on the stones. Hammurabi said that his code was meant to protect the weak, but most of the laws are more unfair for the slaves and lower class men then the upper class men, if a commoner were to commit a crime, their hands would be cut off. If someone of a higher status committed the SAME crime, they would just have to pay a small fine. Hammurabi said that the god Shamash gave him the laws, but in the same speech he said that "I set up these precious words, written upon my memorial stone". Right there he is contradicting what he said. Some of the other laws were unfair as well; For instance Law 19, "If a son strike his father, his hands shall be cut off," is unjust. I believe they could of came up with a more reasonable punishment like making him a servant for half a year. Also Law 218 "If a surgeon has operated with the bronze lancet on a patrician for a serious injury, and has caused his death, his hands shall be cut off." If they cut the hands off the surgeons that killed someone, they will soon have no more people that would be willing to be surgeons. Law 48 it says that “If a man has borrowed money to plant his fields and storm has flooded his field or carried away the crop,…in that year he does not have to pay his creditor.” In Law 48 it is unfair to the creditor, he got cheated because he never got his money back.

Reasons Why It Was Just
Reasons Why It Was Unjust
Although I see Hammurabi's code as unjust there are a few reasons that it can be classified as just. During that time period life was seen different. Most of the punishments probably were not seen unfair. For instance Law 21 I can see as sort of just,"If an upper class man broke into a home through the wall, he shall be executed in front of the hole and then walled in." I can see where Hammurabi was going with this, showing the punishment might make the crime less frequent. Another law that can be seen as just is Law 14 "If any one steals the minor son of another, he shall be put to death." This one is more serious then the others and should be taken more seriously, so this one may be considered just. Also Law 215 "If a surgeon has operated with the bronze lancet on a patrician for a serious injury, and has cured him, he shall take ten shekels of silver." This law I can see as completely just because if the surgeon saved someones life they should be paid a lot. His laws are also fair because they brought order and justice to society. Law 122 states "If any one give another silver, gold, or anything else to keep, he shall show everything to some witness, draw up a contract, and then hand it over for safe keeping" I believe this law is fair because if the person loses the item the other person that gave it to him for safekeeping is not responsible for it, and won’t get into any kind of trouble. Law number 5 states "if a judge makes an error through his own fault when trying a case, he must pay a fine, be removed from the judge’s bench, and never judge another case." This law helped keep the good judges in court and helped kick out the bad ones. So in conclusion I will say that some things in Hammurabi's code were just.
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