Talk:Code of Hammurabi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Iraq (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Iraq, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Iraq on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Assyria (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Assyria, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of Assyrian-related topics. If you would like to participate, or visit the project page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Law (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon


This article is within the scope of WikiProject Law, an attempt at providing a comprehensive, standardised, pan-jurisdictional and up-to-date resource for the legal field and the subjects encompassed by it.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Israel (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Israel, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Israel on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Politics (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Ancient Near East (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ancient Near East, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Ancient Near East related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
Wikipedia CD Selection
WikiProject icon Code of Hammurabi is included in the Wikipedia CD Selection, see Code of Hammurabi at Schools Wikipedia. Please maintain high quality standards; if you are an established editor your last version in the article history may be used so please don't leave the article with unresolved issues, and make an extra effort to include free images, because non-free images cannot be used on the DVDs.
 

Diorite or Basalt? Sippar or Susa?[edit]

The captioning on the file page showing the "diorite" stele claims it is made of Basalt, although 3 times in the article itself the same artifact is called "diorite". In the book 'Babylon' by Paul Kriwaczek, he states on page 178 that it is made of diorite. He also claims it was recovered in Susa, although the article says Sippar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.165.192.163 (talk) 23:35, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

What language?[edit]

What language is the code written in? Akkadian? can somebody provide a transcription of the text?

Old Babylonian

--Yak 16:50, May 26, 2004 (UTC)

A partial transcription may be found at wikisource: [1]. -Ben 19:53, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Old Babylonian? Again, do you mean Akkadian language? I don't know of a language called 'Old Babylonian', please link/explain, and do add to the article please. Thanks.

Old Babylonian is a dialect of the Akkadian language. Ben 15:53, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

There was a language called Cuneiform.

No there wasn't. See Cuneiform. -Ben 19:50, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

POV?[edit]

The way the article rejects the point of view that the Hebrews borrowed from the Code of Hammurabi seems a little POV-ish. I do not support one point of view or the other, and do appreciate the clear differences shown, but it does not seem to be enough to demonstrate that there were no borrowings -- it would be easy to borrow the idea of codified law but not any of the actual laws, for instance. Or somebody could have thought, "You know, some of these laws sound good, but instead I think they should focus on..." -- you get the idea. So I'd like some evidence supporting the other point of view, that the laws were borrowed. - furrykef (Talk at me) 21:23, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree that this section needs to be rewritten. In particular, it should explain why comparisons between Mosaic law and the CH are made or interesting. Instead, it skips over introducing the question and goes straight to a summary the evidence and the conclusion. As a reader, I'm left wondering why all this digression about a seemingly unrelated topic? Ben 04:58, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How can anyone say with certainty that the laws of Moses are "earlier" than the Code of Hammurabi, What about W. W. Davies', The Codes of Hammurbi & Moses, first published 1905 (reprinted by H. H. Waldo books, 1992?) who showed how the law code of Hammurabi profoundly influenced the later law code of the Hebrews in both style and content. But a new work due out this year looks like it takes a far more thorough look at the whole topic:

Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi by David P. Wright "Most scholars believe that the numerous similarities between the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23-23:19) and Mesopotamian law collections, especially the Laws of Hammurabi, which date to around 1750 BCE, are due to oral tradition that extended from the second to the first millennium. This book offers a fundamentally new understanding of the Covenant Code, arguing that it depends directly and primarily upon the Laws of Hammurabi and that the use of this source text occurred during the Neo-Assyrian period, sometime between 740-640 BCE, when Mesopotamia exerted strong and continuous political and cultural influence over the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and a time when the Laws of Hammurabi were actively copied in Mesopotamia as a literary-canonical text. The study offers significant new evidence demonstrating that a model of literary dependence is the only viable explanation for the work. It further examines the compositional logic used in transforming the source text to produce the Covenant Code, thus providing a commentary to the biblical composition from the new theoretical perspective. This analysis shows that the Covenant Code is primarily a creative academic work rather than a repository of laws practiced by Israelites or Judeans over the course of their history. The Covenant Code, too, is an ideological work, which transformed a paradigmatic and prestigious legal text of Israel's and Judah's imperial overlords into a statement symbolically countering foreign hegemony. The study goes further to study the relationship of the Covenant Code to the narrative of the book of Exodus and explores how this may relate to the development of the Pentateuch as a whole."

Neither are the wise sayings in the biblical book of Proverbs unique, some have even been shown to have been derived from wise sayings by an earlier book in the Ancient Near East, right down to the formatting of them. 68.208.148.87 (talk) 05:46, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Unless I missed something, nobody has ever said the Mosaic Laws were before Hammurabi. Whom are you arguing against? 70.105.31.33 (talk) 12:31, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Text of the Code to wikisource[edit]

Shouldn't the complete text of the code go to wikisource? It is, after all, source material, not an enciclopedic article. --AstroNomer 18:45, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

It should, provided the translation is in the public domain (the text was just copied from the external link, which says "Translated by L. W. King"). The translator must be dead for 75 years before this is the case. dab () 19:05, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree with furrykef, and I think a mistake has been made in the article. The penalty for incest in the bible is nót death. I checked it in my bible (Lev:18:29) and it says that whoever commits incest with a relative should be banished from the community, which makes it a perfect analogy with the Code of Hammurabi. Big mistake!

Readers of this article should be aware that the translations of the Hammurabi Code used are from around 1900 and are in many cases obsolete and misleading. Wiki furthermore will not permit the updating of translations. As a practicing assyriologist, who has repeatedly taught this text in elementary Akkadian classes, I tried, on 14 August 2009, to modernize just Laws 1 and 3 here, but the edit was rejected. This article, and others employing any of King's translations, really needs a prominent statement advising readers to seek out one of the many modern translations to avoid the spreading of misinformation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dubsarmah (talkcontribs) 14:15, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

All well and good, but if you make changes use a reference/citation then as to what you are quoting and where it came from as to example, and where it is located as to page and translation etc. - Then it does not just show up without any reference point, and it does not look like someone's opinion of text or translation. skip sievert (talk) 18:33, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Mosaic Law[edit]

Mosaic Law has nothing to do with the code of Hammurabi. Most modern historians place the old testament as being written some time about 300 BCE. Furthermore, as the rude anoyomous coward said (making good points), this is a comparison of multiple books written at different times to a single document.

1. Mosaic Law was made at a different time, and at a different place in the Mideast. 2. They were written with several thousand years in between. 3. It is the comparison of one work to many.

The only possible conclusion is that the Mosaic Law section is hopeless POV. Stargoat 02:31, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Anyone who says the Old Testament was written in 300 BC is seriously deluded! That is pure POV and revisionism at its worst. There is abundant evidence that whatever person (or entity) who came up with "Mosaic" Law was well aware of Hammurabi's code, or at least the principles behind it. I for one found the comparison most enlightening and helpful, and I hate to think of anyone being denied access to that information because some revisionist minimalists who think the Old Testament was written in 300 BC, and want to pretend "everyone else" agrees with them, want to suppress it. It should never have been blanked out, so I'm going to have to put it back and keep it up there. Someone did a lot of hard work on it, and I was even thinking of expanding it a bit myself.

And sorry, but I don't think your "rude coward" made any good points. He even signed off by writing "F*-ing Christian Jack-a*'s". Now I'm sure everyone agrees that it would be quite unacceptable for anyone to write "F*-ing Hindu Jack-a*'s" or "F*-ing Jewish Jack-a*'s" or "F*-ing Buddhist Jack-a*'s", or "F*-ing anything Jack-a*'s" on a talk page. But people of his ilk are now engaged in a massive campaign that is quite disturbing -- to brainwash everyone into thinking it is somehow "okay" or acceptable to say "F*-ing Christian Jack-a*'s". It's not. It's no different. Codex Sinaiticus 03:58, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Codex, you have not refuted any of my points. You have basically said that the man or god who came up with Mosaic Law may have been familiar with Hammurabi's Code or the concept behind it (justice). For the first, this is more or less impossible, as it had been forgotten in the Middle East by the time of the writing of the torah; there had been several different empires in the region between the writing of the code and the writing of the torah, even the different books in the torah). As As for the second, seeing as how most law codes are based on justice, your argument is identical to writing about the functions of a modern Beowulf Cluster, and then expounding on the history of an Apple II+, because they both computers. Furthermore, your point about hard work is irrelevant, as the word detracts from the article.
Codex, you have not refuted any of my points. You have not even addressed them. I, however, have refuted all of yours. Do not restore the article until you do. If necessary, we will hold a vote, and then go into arbitration. Stargoat 11:34, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
  • What are you talking about, Stargoat / 68.250.253.42, you haven't made any valid points at all. I am more than willing to take it as far as you like. First of all, if you blank out something like this from an article, wiki custom and courtesy dictates that you reproduce what you blanked on this discussion page. You obviously aren't going to do that, because your purpose is to keep anyone from seeing it at all, so I guess I'll have to.

Differences from Mosaic Law[edit]

Some parts of the Mosaic law are similar to certain sections of Hammurabi's Code, and because of this certain scholars claim that the Hebrews derived their law from it. Other authors, however, like Thomas (1958) state: "There is no ground for assuming any direct borrowing by the Hebrew from the Babylonian. Even where the two sets of laws differ little in the letter, they differ much in the spirit."

Here are some examples of the differences:

Hammurabi's Code Mosaic Law
Death penalty for theft of church or state property, or for receiving stolen goods. (Sect. 6) Thief punished by making compensation to victim. (Ex. 22:1-9)
Death for helping a slave to escape or harboring a fugitive slave. (Sect. 15, 16) "You must not hand over a slave to his master when he escapes from his master to you." (Deut. 23:15)
If a poorly built house causes the death of a son of the owner of the house, then the son of the builder is put to death. (Sect. 230) "Fathers should not be put to death on account of children, and children should not be put to death on account of fathers." (Deut. 24:16)
Mere banishment for incest: "If a seignior [man of rank] has had intercourse with his daughter, they shall make that seignior leave the city." (Sect. 154) Death penalty for incest. (Lev. 18:6, 29)
Class distinctions in judgment: Severe penalties for persons who harm others of a higher class. Mild penalties for harming members of a lower class. (Sect. 196–205) You must not treat the lowly with partiality, and you must not prefer the person of a great one. (Lev. 19:15)
  • This is an insightful table --- just a pity it's not complete. There also needs to be a comparison of the similarities. It should be included in the main text (or by reference to another page). The Mosaic law is a known point for comparison, and knowing the differences gives an understanding of the time in which the law was written. Sittingduck123 20:27, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
This used to be in the article, but was contested over a year ago, you can find it all in the history... Also, read on below... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 21:22, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Discussion continued[edit]

Aside from the above evidence, that is most valid to any study of Babylonian Law, there are many other aspects of Mosaic Law that show an intimate familiarity with Babylonian Law. You say this is not possible. How is it not possible? Mainstream Biblical students (not minimalists) think that Abraham was a contemporary of Hammurabi, and if he lived in Ur, he would have been ruled by this Code, or at least influenced by it. If he moved from there to Haran, he was still in the sphere of influence. If he moved from there to Canaan, he was still in the marginal sphere of influence of Mesopotamia, since Hammurabi and others campaigned there as well. Many classical sources, even pagan ones, allege that Abraham, or at least somebody like him, while spending time in Egypt and Africa, taught the Pharoahs a lot about Mesopotamian customs, but no doubt, being a minimalist and a skeptic, you would not suffer these classical sources to be admissible as evidence. Now if Abraham's descendants, Isaac and Jacob, lived in Canaan, they would not have strictly followed Hammurabi's laws, and would have come up with their own laws, but they were at a minimum influenced by its concepts. If Jacob's children moved to Egypt, they would have kept a lot of their Hebrew traditions intact, although they formed something like a millet within Pharoah's law, that was more autocratic and less code-based. If they were enslaved and finally made an Exodus, at that point (usually thought to be c. 1200 BC) they would have received "Mosaic Law" at Mt. Sinai. You have no right to brush off the billions of people who think this was a Divinely given Law as if they don't exist or their views don't count, but that's another question. Even if Moses wrote it himself, and this cannot be proved or disproved, there is a HUGE list of similarities that CAN prove that whoever wrote it, obviously took Hammurabi's Code, or at least the Babylonian practice of that Code, as a "starting point". I shall work up a list of these similarities and present them on this discussion page, perhaps even sometime today. Codex Sinaiticus 16:04, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

1. The Code of Hammurabi is not the earliest law code to have been discovered in the region, it is simply the most famous. The Code of Hammurabi has nothing to do with Mosaic Law. Codex, if you believe that Mosaic Law has something to do with the Code of Hammurabi, despite all evidence to the contrary, go muck up that article.
2. There are other law codes that have been found that were independently created of the Code of Hammurabi, such as the laws that appear in the torah, or those in China. There's a huge list of similarities there as well, if one ignore the differences, like Codex chooses to do.
3. Additionally, no one like Moses ever lived in Egypt, nor did Hebrew slaves. A story similar to that of Moses had been floating around the Middle East long before there was a Hebrew people. Egyptian references to Jewish slaves appeared after Jews entered the area in the 1st Millennia BCE (and their story is quite different from the story presented in the Bible, though both are fallacious). Furthermore, it has nothing to do with the argument (that being that the Code of Hammurabi has nothing to do with Mosaic Law. Bringing it up is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the topic.
4. Finally, you have yet to address any of my clearly defined points, even though I have again refuted all of yours. Stargoat 17:34, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  • OK Looks like we probably are going to have to go into arbitration, for the following reasons:

1. "no one like Moses ever lived in Egypt, nor did Hebrew slaves" is hardly a mainstream assessment, that is only your fringe pov that you are pushing; and 2. The above reply from the recent article history seems to indicate that I am dealing with at least a pair of socks here... Regards, Codex Sinaiticus 20:47, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

PS I have quite a bit of evidence that the author of Mosaic Law was indeed familiar with Hammurabi's Code, and am now preparing the list of similarities and extended differences. The codes of UruKAgina (not extant) and Ur-Nammu (extant) are indeed earlier than Hammurabi's, but did not have the pervasive influence throughout the Middle East that Hammurabi's did.

Note in Exodus 21 where it institutes slavery; it says a Hebrew could hold a slave for only 6 years then the "slave" was free. In Hammurabi's code, it does the same, only the term of service is 3 years. The corresponding phrase in Deuteronomy, "double the hire of a hireling" doesn't make sense unless you assume that whoever wrote it knew that a slave in Mesopotamia was indentured for 3 years. Codex Sinaiticus 20:47, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Even though you choose to ignore my points, I will still refute yours. I will even address your Post Script.
Codex point 1. I have no idea how you can say that is not a mainstream assessment, as it perfectly well is. It is a flat out wrong to say otherwise. There were no hebrew slaves in Egypt.
Codex point 2. A pair of socks. I am glad to see that you actually care. Generally though, a person who accuses someone of being a sockpuppet should be right. In this cause you are wrong.
Another, vaguely similar point. Codex, you still ignore that there is almost 1000 years of history in between the Code of Hammurabi and and the earliest possible edition of the Torah, and closer to 1300 years if we are not biased towards that particular religion. You also ignore the fact that the Code of Hammurabi had nothing to do with Mosaic Law. There was no way that it could. This is like arguing with a UFO fanatic. It doesn't matter how much proof is presented. Instead, arguments ignored and names called. Stargoat 22:36, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Stargoat, you speak of "300 BC" as the "earliest possible date for the Torah" as if this were unanimously agreed, and I were the only person in the scholastic world who thinks otherwise. That's not true. 95% of the scholastic world thinks otherwise. The current majority view is c. 1200 BC for the Torah, and c. 1650-1700 BC for Hammurabi. And as for your socks, the history of this discussion speaks for itself. You made extensive edits to, and even signed, the remarks of 68.77.14.81, which is in precisely the same ISP machine-range as both 68.250.253.42, who gave you a "me too!", and 68.23.224.34, who started the whole thing off by complaining about "Christians" in language disturbingly reminiscent of Mein Kampf's diatribes against Jews. Quite aside from your personal anti-religious resentments, there is ample justification for drawing comparisons with the similarities (and differences) between Hammurabi's and Moses' laws, as well as a number of other laws of the ANE, and hopefully you will be able to accept the outcome of arbitration, if nothing else will persuade you. Codex Sinaiticus 00:54, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
I am 68.77.14.81 and 68.250.253.42, but not 34. In fact, after realizing that I signed off with the dynamic IP address, I amended the post to reflect the person who posted it. Calling me a liar is rude. Furthermore, I would like to remind you of Godwin's Law, and ask you to refrain from bringing up Nazis where it does no good. You are not a martyr.
You still have not addressed any of my points, and I have refuted all of yours. You talk about Nazis, and make up statistics. Codex, this is ridiculous and your behavior appalling. Stargoat 02:55, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Interesting, by sheer coincidence you all seem to be logging in through Ameritech.net, including the foulmouthed .34 ... I am not a party to "Godwin's Law" and therefore am not bound by it. It's easy for you to claim that you have refuted all my points, but you may as well claim the moon is green cheese. Here's a few more for you to refute, once you've refuted the ones I've already made that you still haven't refuted yet.
Mosaic Law Influenced by Hammurabi's Code
  • Principle of Lex Talionis
You have not read your Bible carefully enough or you would know that Jewish law REQUIRES damages for battery and does not permit let alone require retaliation. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR CH. A doctor who injures a patient pays damages and is not put to death.

You are not arguing based on the text, you are arguing based on urban legends. 71.163.114.49 (talk) 10:23, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


  • Principle of Restitution (Ex 22:1 & Hamm. 8)
  • Hamm. 286 - Slave who denies master has ear cut off; Exodus 21:6 Slave who chooses to stay with master for life has ear pierced (the ear being the symbol of obedience in ANE)
  • Provisions for selling/freeing maidservants: compare Ex 21:8 and Hamm. 119
  • Ex. 21:13, Hamm. 206-7 both make the same distinction of whether manslaughter is intentional or unintentional, as does Hittite Code I.1-5
  • Hamm 14, Ex. 21:16 - capital punishment for kidnapping in both
  • Hamm 206, Ex. 21:19 - one guilty of assault must pay medical expenses of victim
  • Ex. 21:28-32 and Hamm 251-2. Both use an Ox as the example for owner's responsibility (these almost read word for word)
  • Ex. 22:5 and Hamm 57 f. Again, almost copied word for word
  • He who fails to prove his case, is reckoned as the guilty party and must be punished. Ex. 22:9. Hamm. 1-4.

So far I have only gone through Exodus chapter 21 and half of 22. I still haven't gone through the rest of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy. But maybe that's enough to chew on for now... Codex Sinaiticus 03:45, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Loser. You continue to over estimate the influence Hammurabi's Code had, but as it is to further your own ends, I suppose it is understandable. Or not. Quit your POV pushing. 68.23.224.34 21:04, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Codex, you are making up quotes. I did not call 300 BC the earliest possible date for the Torah. Being kind towards your delusion, I spoke of 650 BC. Of course, it did not occur to you to do the math, as you are too busy making yourself a martyr.
Furthermore, the Code of Hammurabi was not long lived after the death of Hammurabi. It certainly did not matter to anyone again until the 20th century. Shortly after the death of Hammurabi, the Kassites and then the Hittites invaded. The only possible reason for bringing up Biblical Law is to push POV. Stargoat 01:31, 27 July 2005 (UTC) BTW - you've still not addressed any of my points.

A different approach[edit]

Would either of you find it objectionable if the Mosaic Law section was replaced by a more comprehensive comparison with other Near Eastern law codes such as one often sees in e.g. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament and such? The limited comparison doesn't do much to illuminate CH's role within the world of the ANE -- certainly it has similarities with the Mosaic law, but more so with the various other Sumerian and Assyrian codes that are closer to it spatially.

This might refocus that section of the article, enhance the article as a whole, and keep the article and talk page from descending into a squabble over the historicity of Exodus. This squabble seems to be the inevitable result of the myopic comparison of CH with only one other ANE law code, which raises questions of influence and causality while ignoring the very evidence which might inform that discussion. -Ben 20:49, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I see two main ways this article could logically be expanded, with two subsections of each:

I) Other Codes or Laws influenced by Code of Hammurabi.
a) similarities
b) differences
II) Other Codes or Laws that influenced the Code of Hammurabi.
a) similarities
b) differences

Clearly, mention of the Torah would have to be made in I); some others would probably be the Assyrian and Hittite, etc.

II) would include earlier codes, eg. like that of Ur-Nammu (this will take research since it's not that well known and I haven't got the foggiest idea offhand what Ur-Nammu's code even says, or how big an influence it was or wasn't on Hammurabi...

Regards, Codex Sinaiticus 01:13, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm glad you're amenable. I would caution you, however, that the "codes that influenced" concept (and its attendant two subsections) is probably historically dodgy, as it seems to imply that the framers of each ANE law code had some subset of the other written codes sitting in front of them, conciously deciding which laws to borrow, which to modify, and which to jettison. It's probably more reasonable to view the law codes as documents that exist within the wider culture of laws and legal customs of the ANE, including the unwritten laws of many societies.
I realize that I'm advocating a method of interpretation here against your own, but think rather that presenting the other codes with that type of relationship to CH in mind will be both more faithful to the evidence and impose less interpretive baggage on the article. In other words, saying "X is similar to Y in way Z" and leaving it at that is both more accurate and less contention-provoking than saying "X copied Z from Y." I suspect that neither of you two would disagree with the first statement, while you could likely spend days arguing about the second.
I'll try to scare up some data for the comparison this weekend, and put it in a format similar to the one I used in Habiru/Sources, though I don't think I'll be able to do as thorough a job. -Ben 04:25, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Ben, the Code of Hammurabi has nothing to do with Mosaic Law. If there should be a topic about vague similarities between ancient law codes, it should have its own article. Stargoat 22:34, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Stargoat, the Code of Hammurabi and the Mosaic Law are both Ancient Near Eastern law codes written by Semitic peoples connected with each other (and with Elamites, Hittites, Egyptians, and especially the other Semitic inhabitants of the Mesopotamia/Syria/Palestine area) by trade, politics, and other mechanisms of cultural exchange. Despite later dates for final redaction of the Mosaic law, they were likely formulated within a milennium of each other. Their similarities are more than "vague", as a comparison with ancient Chinese or Germanic law would likely show.
The evidence may reveal that this article is an inappropriate place for comparitive ANE law. I actually suspect that that will be the likely result of my compilation. But it's certainly unreasonable to claim that the two codes have nothing to do with each other. -Ben 03:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
The evidence?
The Code of Hammurabi and Mosaic Law have far less to do with each other than modern law of Mongolia has to do with the Code of Napoleon. Certainly, the Code of Hammurabi had no conceviable influence from Mosaic Law, something even Codex could not argue with. The date of less than 1000 years I find highly questionable, but that is besides the point. The fact remains, the Code of Hammurabi has nothing to do with Mosaic Law. Stargoat 04:43, 25 July 2005 (UTC)


A caution[edit]

Editors from *both* camps contributing to this article are cautioned strongly against engaging in original research to support their claims. Please, rely on respected *scholarly* references to establish your arguments. To give but one example, it is not sufficient to go through the codes and point out similarities — it is a job for professional historians to decipher if such similarities are coincidental or if there is a phylogeny. If there is debate among the academic community, then present it in that light. Similarily with dates, etc., establish your arguments with reputable sources, and tell us what EXACTLY they are. Fawcett5 04:41, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Thank you! -Ben 13:14, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks! The examples I gave of similarities noted between the codes are not my original research; these similarities have been noted many times in the past in nearly every book ever published on either of these codes, as a little time spent in any library in the world should confirm. The specific source I used that draws section-by-verse parallels between the two is J. Coert Rylaarsdam's scholarly Introduction and Exegesis to the Book of Exodus. But unfortunately, there's no number of sources in the world that will be "scholarly" enough to satisfy someone who denies that an Exodus ever happened, and that's the pov we seem to be dealing with here.
The line about the legacy and influence of Hammurabi surviving into Islamic times was not my original either, but was culled from the 1911 Brittannica article now on wiki, Babylonian law. But that was blanked and countered with a summary statement that "Furthermore, the Code of Hammurabi was not long lived after the death of Hammurabi. It certainly did not matter to anyone again until the 20th century.".
Now, I do realize that in 1911, Hammurabi's Code (both the stele, and the copies in Ashurbabnipal's library) was still a new find, and everyone was still quite excited about it. Rylaarsdam, writing much later, notes this and is in fact far more cautious, stating:
"The relation between the Covenant Code [the Torah] and the Hammurabi and other ancient codes is an indirect one. There are no verbally parallel laws. Not a single law in the Covenant Code is an exact duplication of a law in the older Code of Hammurabi. The Hebrew legislators were unconscious of their dependence upon their Babylonian predecessors. The Covenant Code developed in Palestine in an environment long permeated by Babylonian cultural influences."
Now if there has been any more recent scholarly research or evidence that I am not aware of, that revises this assessment, I'd sure like to see it. Cheers, Codex Sinaiticus 16:07, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Another secondary source[edit]

Here's another secondary source, but there's really so many of them, I could keep this up for days... From The Peoples of the Ancient World by Swain and Armstrong, p. 31, we read:

Moreover, many of the laws in Hammurabi's code seem to have found their way into the Mosaic Law of the Hebrews, as well as other ancient codes of law. Hammurabi and his lawyers did their work so well that his code superceded all others, and more than 1000 years later men still studied "The Judgements of Righteousness which Hammurabi, the great king, set up."

This is a mainstream book on the ANE written by two history professors at U. Illinois, and hardly a religious POV. They also give the most famous example that I'm sure we've all heard before, Hamm. 196: "If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye." Regards, Codex Sinaiticus 17:15, 27 July 2005 (UTC)


Ancient Mesopotamia by A. Leo Oppenheim, p 158, ISBN 0226631877[edit]

One cannot possibly mention Hammurapi without referring to his code of laws25a, whose contents and social aims present a unique view of the Mesopotamia of that period. Still, one should bear in mind that this code -- as well as other, earlier, Akkadian and Sumerian codifications -- does not show any direct relationship to the legal practices of the time. Its contents are rather to be considered in many essential respects a traditional literary expression of the king's social responsibilities and of his awareness of the discrepancies between existing and desirable conditions. Ultimately, such codes represent an interesting formulation of social criticism and should not be taken as normative directions in the manner of post-biblical and Roman law.26
26. See J. J. Finkelstein, "Ammiṣaduqa's Edict and the Babylonian 'Law Codes', Journal of Cuneiform Studies, 15 (1961), 91-104.

-Ben 13:39, 1 August 2005 (UTC)


Ancient Semitic Civilizations by Sabato Moscati[edit]

p. 80:

Hammurapi's legislation was for long regarded as a highly original creation, but this judgement has since been modified thanks to the discovery of more ancient bodies of law, namely the Code of Bilalama, sovereign of Eshnunna about two centuries before the time of Hammurapi, contained in two tablets found between 1945 and 1947; the equally ancient code, in Sumerian, of Lipit-Ishtar of the dynasty of Isin, found, in four fragments, in Nippur at the end of the last century, but only recently identified and interpreted; and finally, most ancient of all, also in Sumerian, the laws of Ur-Nammu, founder of the third dynasty of Ur, around 2050 B.C., found in 1952. These new discoveries show that the importance of Hammurapi's legislation lies rather in its having collected and codified what was already traditional, than in the originality of its content. This however does not alter the fact that Hammurapi's Code enjoyed a most widespread difffusion and renown, and influenced all subsequent legislation.

p.156

In their content, Hebrew laws follow the common tradition of the ancient Near East; they show affinities with Babylonian, Assyrian, and Hittite laws, and in particular with the celebrated Code of Hammurapi. On the other hand, Hebrew law had beyond a doubt its own independent development, essentially bound up with the conditions of Hebrew life, which were very different from those of Mesopotamia. Whereas the latter were those of a settled form of life, in a highly-developed state, the Hebrews were still in half-nomadic conditions, between pastoral and agricultural life. In such conditions the law of property was less developed, commercial relations were more primitive, family organization was more patriarchal. In general the tribe loomed larger in the life of the community, and the resulting situation was much closer than the Mesopotamian to the ancient Semitic conditions.

-Ben 13:56, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Ancient Iraq, Georges Roux, ISBN 0140123523x[edit]

p. 202

The famous Code of Law issued by Hammurabi
To cause justice to prevail in the country
To destroy the wicked and the evil,
That the strong may not oppress the weak,
can no longer be considered as 'the most ancient in the world' — we now possess similar documents from the reigns of Ur-Nammu, Lipit-Ishtar and Bilalama, not counting the 'reforms' of Urukagina — but it is still the most complete and as such deserves more than a few words. It shoudl be stressed, however, that the word 'Code' is somewhat misleading, since we are not confronted here with a thorough legislative reform, nor with an exhaustive corpus of logically arranged legal dispositions, such as Justinian's Institutes or Napoleon's Code Civil. Indeed, the Mesopotamians were never ruled by any other system than a 'common law', handed down from reign to reign and occasionally modified to fit the social and economic conditions prevalent at a given period. [snipping section about 'mêšarum' -BWB] In all other matters the new king simply applied the laws of his predecessors, thereby ensuring a continuity in tradition which, in this domain as in others, was one of the main features of the Mesopotamian civilization.16 In the course of the reign, however, social and economic changes occurred which required the laws to be adjusted, and the king pronounced sentences on a number of isolated cases for which no precedent could be found. Thes royal decisions (dînat šarrim), duly recorded and eventually collected together to be used for reference by the judges of future generations, formed the so-called 'Codes of Law', and we possess several such copies of the Code of Hammurabi on clay tablets, ranging from the Old Babylonian period to the time of the Chaldean dynasty (sixth century B. C.).
Towards the end of his reign Hammurabi ordered his royal decisions to be carved on steles which were placed in temples, bearing witness that the king had performed his important function of 'king of justice' satisfactorily and had acted according to the gods' hearts.
16. G. R. DRIVER and G. C. MILES, Babylonian Laws, pp. 48ff.; F. R. KRAUS, 'Ein zentrales Problem des altmesopotamischen Rechtes: was ist der Codex Hammu-rabi?', Genava, VIII (1960), pp. 283-96. J. J. FINKELSTEIN, 'Ammiṣaduqa's edict and the Babylonian "Law Codes"', JCS, XV (1961), pp. 91-104; D. J. WISEMAN, 'The Laws of Hammurabi again', JSS, VII (1962), pp. 161-72.

-Ben 14:12, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

The Ancient Orient, Wolfram von Soden, ISBN 0-8028-0142-0[edit]

p. 131.

Whether all the common law precepts which determined practice were proclaimed by a king sometime in the distant past is unknown. Certainly, however, there were legal prescriptions for centuries before the first law codes were promulgated around 2000. None of these collections of laws is a "code" in the sense of the Code of Justinian, even though this term has become established in our usage. Even the Code of Hammurabi treats only a small portion of the legal material; it is a collectio of reform laws that were probably appended to long-established legal cases. In this respect, none of the legal collections is systematically ordered; cases of penal, civil, trade, and work law alternate with one another. Most of the laws are formulated casuistically and begin in Sumerian with tukumbi, "if," in Akkadian with $umma, and in Hittite with takku1. Thus, "If a man has committed robbery, he will be killed." By contrast, the apodictic formulation typical of religious laws (as, for example, the Ten Commandments) is a rare exception: for example, "A prostitute is not permitted to veil herself; her head must ramain bare." The tarriff cases found in Old Babylonian laws are similarly formulated.

-Ben 01:53, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Life in the Ancient Near East, Daniel C. Snell, ISBN 0-300-06615-5[edit]

p. 60:

The most impressive of these texts is Hammurapi's code, which apparently comes from late in his reign. It includes both a tariff of prices and wages and many provisions dealing wiht social life, including the rejected briegroom problem. The epilogue shows that the code, which is preserved on a seven-foot stone stel, was meant to be consulted for enlightenment about what justice was. But it was not intended particularly to be a collection of all kind of provisions that were to be enforced in Hammurapi's domains; neither was it a refor of the various city legal systems that Hammurapi united politically. If the Cod of Hammurapi is not really a code, it notetheless give s us many impressions of the range of possible activites that people in Babylon might pursue and of the royal view of what was just.51
...
Codes were never referred to in judicial texts, and courts ignored them when it came to making decisions, which were probably based not on what the king believed was just but on what local tradition said was just. but the codes do show that there was concern for social and economic norms, and especially from hammurapi's legal collection on egets the impression that the values of responsibility for oen's work and of trying to insure justice for the wak were cherished, ad least among Babylonian intellectuals. Royal power appears to have grown under Hammurapi and there may have been a sort of secularization as temple and judicial officials began to identify themselves, on their seals at least, as servants of the king, not the temple. 53
51. The date of the stele may be deduced from the list of places he has already conquered and the year names in which he celebrated these conquests; see, in general, H. Klengel, König Hammurapi und der Alltag Babylons, 188-89.
Kraus, "Was Ist," thought the stele was to serve enlightenment. This view is not universally shared, though it seems right ot me. For instances in which practice does seem to conform to the code, see R. Harris, "The naditu Laws of the Code of Hammurapi in Praxis'," OrNS 30 (1961): 163-69, and H. Petschow, "Die [Paragraphen] 45 und 46 des Codex Hammurapi. Ein Beitrag zum altbabylonischen Bodenpachtrecht und zum Problem: Was ist der Codex Hammurapi?" ZA 74 (1984): 181:212. Compare R. Westbrook, "Cuneiform Law Codes and the Origins of Legislation," ZA 79 (1989): 201-22, suggesting that codes may have been built up from practical decisions, like omen collections. Note, however, that it is not absolutely clear that omen collections derived necessarily from experienced omens; see my "The Mari Livers and the Omen Tradition,"Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 6 (1974): 117-23. On the connection between the code and later texts, see R. Westbrook, Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Law, 134-35.

-Ben 04:08, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Early Mesopotamia, J. N. Postgate, ISBN 0-415-11032-7[edit]

pp. 288-289:

Having outlined the operations of law in Mesopotamian society as a whole, we many now turn to look at the laws which have rightly attracted so much attention. The forty-two surviving columns of Hammurapi's stele called 'King of Justice' are the most informative single source for legal history before the classical world, but they raise enough questions to fill bolumes, and there is indeed a considerable literature on the part of legal historians, especially in German. One of the favorite topics is "What is the Code of Hammurapi?" — is it a code of laws, a literary composition of no practical application, or something in between? To answer that question, we have first to recognize that the Hammurapi text is only the most complete and longest of four such collections, of which the earliest belongs to the Ur III Dynasty, about three centuries before. They differ in details, but have to be treated as a single genre.531
They are not codes, if by that is meant that they deal comprehensively and methodically with all aspects of the law, but colelctions of individual provisions, some isolated and some grouped by their subject matter; but most of these provisions may be considered laws, in that they are fixing principles or practices to be applied in the administration of law, and we have seen that the legal mechanisms within which they would operate already existed. They are therefore modifications of an existing body of law — whether written or not — and are best considered as 'reforms'. Neverhteless, if we look in more detail at the contents, it is obvious that it is a mixed bag. Some of the laws are there because it is traditional to include them, and are repeated verbatim from one collection to the next. Others, such as those in the Code of Hammurapi regulating ilkum tenure or the property rightes of priestesses , would seem to be a responses to changes in contemporary society. These strongly suggest the hadn of the royal reformer, and the king's role is also explicit in some provisions which are in the nature of executive orders, notabily in the hire-fixing clauses. The codes are quite distinct from the 'edicts' of economic reform, though: those are purely retrospective, cancelling debts up to the day of their promulgation. The 'codes' (to use the convenient if sometimes misleading term) are prospective, laying down rules for the future.

-Ben 04:22, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Hammarabi's Law[edit]

Under the above name, an anon IP just created an article - it looked like vandalism, but I am not sure. Someone knowledgable may want to check that page and convert it into redirect. It also goes without saying that any useful info. may be added here. I'm not using merge tags for the simple reason that I suspect it to be vandaism. --Gurubrahma 17:20, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up... I wouldn't call that vandalism though, it does seem to be earnestly written info added by someone who probably didn't know about this page (not being able to spell Hammurabi, perhaps)... I'd say a redirect is in order; I don't really see much there that would need to be merged, that isn't already covered here... Cheers, ፈቃደ 17:25, 27 November 2005 (UTC)yaya

What about Police?[edit]

References in the currently "published" article mention Police/constables/law enforcement officials, but seem to skim past their role in the Hammurabi Texts. I intend to research this further for personal interest reasons, but thought I might point out that going into further detail (if possible) regarding this would be of interest to others as well. (What were they called, transliteration, what were their exact duties (did they apprehend, or just act as witnesses), etc.)

                                                                            by:joeyline heart  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.6.181.45 (talk) 11:33, 1 August 2010 (UTC) 

Law Examples[edit]

On the Mesopotamia page there were about 30 examples of the law. I have moved them here since I think this is their proper place. I really think this article should contain the entire set of laws (since it is not so big), and I will probably make an effort to do this (but not right now). If someone else feel the urge, it would be greatly appreciated. The entire set can be found here:

My regards, Dennis Nilsson. --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 11:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Why don't you put the whole set in the article? --Iwannafly 01:39, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Done. See Talk:Code_of_Hammurabi#The_complete_set_of_Laws below. --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 02:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

there is a law that says "must give them corn'" i thought corn was a south america crop and not part of the crescent? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.57.138.32 (talk) 04:32, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I independently noticed this: "If anyone opens his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and the water floods his neighbor's field, he shall pay his neighbor corn for his loss." --and came to this page to indicate that corn is a New World crop; it would have been unknown to Middle Easterners at the time of Hammurabi. I suspect the correct word is more like "barleycorn" (only because barley was a Fertile Crescent crop and the word "corn" can sometimes mean "kernels"/seeds). Perhaps the simplest fix for this translation is to just replace "corn" with "seeds", because then we don't have to worry about which species. V (talk) 14:25, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I just noticed the exact same thing. (Drn8 (talk) 01:46, 26 August 2011 (UTC))

I can see where 'corn' could be ambiguous especially between US / UK English, so I'll replace it with 'grain', that would be the most specifically accurate substitute. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:22, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Conflicting dates[edit]

It seems odd that Hammurabi's code was written in 1780bc, 52 years before Hammurabi's birth in 1728bc, both dates allegedly being of the short chronology. It would make more sense if it was 1780bc according to the middle chronology, 12 years after Hammurabi's ascension. I shan't pretend to know anything about it though, and so leave the final correction for someone who does.

I agree, unsigned friend. What's up with these dates? Middle chron. makes more sense in the case of the creation date. Jondy 03:07, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

BC or BCE?[edit]

Should dates be changed to BCE (Before Common Era) or kept as BC? (unsigned)

That's an easy one: kept as BC. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 20:13, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that is such an easy decision. Why shouldn't it be BCE? I believe that is should be BCE, considering that is what most modern textbooks are going by. 68.158.12.62 22:00, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
This is not the right place to hold a discussion on site-wide policy, like the one that says BC and BCE are equally acceptable, and should be consistent within an article, but changing an article from one to the other is not acceptable. If someone does, it is acceptable to change it back to whatever it was in the first place. This was a ceasefire agreement (modeled after the 'American vs. British spelling' ceasefire) since a slight majority in every poll has consistently favored the more familiar BC, and there is considerable debate with regard to your assertion about "modern textbooks", this usually stirs up a lot of heated argument on both sides (witness the recent uproar in Australia over this question) so we have a special page just for people to bicker about that, so it doesn't fill up every article discussion page. In the meantime, here we stick to the policy which is the ceasefire, that both forms are acceptable and not to be "corrected" from one to the other, violations to the ceasefire may be reverted at any time, so please leave this particular article as a BC article since that's what it already was. Til Eulenspiegel 23:35, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, violations of the ceasefire may be reverted at any time? So, if I see that someone has violated the ceasefire and I revert it, am I, too, violating the ceasefire or following the dictum that "violations of the ceasefire may be reverted at any time"? Wouldn't it be better to let consensus rule like it does with everything else on Wikipedia? Just thought I'd ask. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 03:35, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I think it could be either. --Iwannafly 01:43, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


I reverted changes to BCE as per discussion above but also it destroyed all the wikilinks that had been created. If changes are to be made (and I'm not arguing either way) then it needs for the editing to consider the general effect on format etc. - the result of just changing the BC/BCE bit meant that we would have to created lots more year pages or re-name the existing ones! etc johnmark† 17:13, 2 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnmarkh (talkcontribs)

Wrong. We don't need to create more year pages or rename the existing ones. All we have to do is pipe the existing links or create redirects. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 02:54, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

No Eye for an Eye[edit]

I find it odd that wikipedia users have not corrected the misconception regarding "an eye for an eye." There is nowhere in the tranlated text that states a law of "an eye for an eye," rather the code features similar examples of reciprocity but for the most part is based on social class.

I made this correction to the article last night detailing the misconception but my addition was deleted and an eye for an eye put back in. If anyone has a complete translation of Hammurabi's Code which features such a law I would like to know where I can get it so that I can compare it to my source.

RussellSG 17:42, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Here you go: Nr 196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. Original text (tr. L.W. King) found here: EAWC Anthology:Hammurabi's Code of Laws, and now also present in this wikipedia article. Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 03:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Information on Discovery[edit]

Can anyone provide discovery information for the actual archaeological dig conducted by the French in 1901? (And should this be part of the article?) --Frank8675309 16:00, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The complete set of Laws[edit]

I have bluntly copied the (almost) complete set of laws from this page: EAWC Anthology:Hammurabi's Code of Laws, and this should be no problem as the EAWC Copyright Page states that Individual files that do not bear a copyright statement contain text that is in the public domain. These texts may be copied freely. To emphasize: This is an EAWC text with a copyright statement (bottom of page). The set is "almost" complete as the 34 laws numbered 66-99 are stated as missing texts. I am of the opinion that this Wikipedia article benefits from having the entire set present, as it is of great historical interest and not too long. My regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 02:49, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Chosen by the gods[edit]

The text says "Hammurabi (ca. 1810 BC – 1750 BC) believed that he was chosen by the gods to deliver the law to his people." Do we have a cite? Not a cite for the claim of holy office, but a cite that he believed it. Royal proclamations often invoke divine right, but that doesn't mean kings believe in it.  Randall Bart   Talk  18:32, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

stele[edit]

The second paragraph begins 'At the top of the stele'. What stele? And what does it have to do with this article? And what is a stele for that matter? These were my first questions when I came to this page. Perhaps the first question here 'What stele?' needs to be addressed previous to the first sentence in the 2nd paragraph. Apparently Hammurabi's code is on one of these 'steles'? Noting that it is written 'the stele', one can deduce there to be only one, perhaps a famous one? To attempt to ease confusion perhaps it should be noted from the outset that Hammurabi's code was first found on a stele or whatever is the correct reference to 'the stele' at the 2nd paragraph 69.23.106.111 (talk) 01:31, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Psst. This is an encyclopedia. Try looking it up. Xihr (talk) 22:38, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Another one[edit]

The Museum of the Ancient Orient, part of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, also has the "Code of Hammurabi", dated 1750BC. This one is a small baked clay tablet (Room 5, Inv # Ni2358). Even good guide books (e.g., Blue Guide Istanbul) seem to confound it with the one in Paris ("The most historic of the inscriptions here is the famous Code of Hammurabi...the world's oldest recorded set of laws.") 81.215.74.162 (talk) 04:18, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Dated 1750? Maybe, but could you provide your source and a ref/link to the information? skip sievert (talk) 04:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
My source is my own eyes, and the aforementioned guidebook. 88.239.91.183 (talk) 17:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Your own eyes may not be notable as to sourcing, no offense. Also A small clay tablet cannot contain the code as claimed on the article page that you sourced to some info. That is not realistic. The guide book is for tourists and may not be accurate. I can tell you now, that the claim of the first legal code your source gave, is not accurate. That was several hundred years previous to that. skip sievert (talk) 03:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

(1) Never mind my eyes; (2) No one claimed the texts were exactly identical; (3) Actually, the Blue Guides are known for excruciating accuracy (in this case it described exactly what I saw in the museum... i.e., the museum's label text also said, basically, this is the Code of Hammurabi); (4) As to the book's claim that it's the "first legal code", all I can say is that I quoted the source correctly (which I wouldn't have needed to do if you hadn't pushed me to do it). Bottom line: It stays unless you can find a contravening citation ("the Istanbul Code of Hammurabi is a fake..." Or the like...) 85.104.45.0 (talk) 17:49, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Your source says this Freely, John, Blue Guide Istanbul (5th ed., 2000), London: A&C Black, New York: WW Norton, pg 121. ("The most historic of the inscriptions here [i.e., Room 5, Museum of the Ancient Orient, Istanbul] is the famous Code of Hammurabi (#Ni2358) dated 1750 BC, the world's oldest recorded set of laws.")
There is no real way to verify the source though because it is not online, and the way you have written or described this material does not make sense exactly. I would like to assume it is correct but... it is not the worlds oldest set of laws [2] may be close to that though [3], Urukagina, so the information is obviously way off base by several hundreds of years, so what is the point of adding inaccurate information to the article? Also, how may I ask, could you put the code of H. on one one small baked clay tablet? That does not really make sense. You maybe should wait for more input by other editors as to whether it is a good idea to put that info in the article.
As near as I can tell presently there are fragments of earlier codes in the museum in question and maybe there are fragments of Hammurabi... but that is very different than saying there is a copy of it on a small clay tablet and sourcing that to tourist information which looks to be inaccurate.
More info: The Job contribution, furthermore, was not Professor Kramer's only addition to Sumerology. In 1952, again working in Istanbul's Museum of the Ancient Orient, he also - on a tip from another cuneiform scholar - translated a tablet that turned out to be part of the Ur-Nammu code of law - which antedates the famous Code of Hammurabi by about 300 years.
Earlier, in 1947, one of Kramer's assistants had discovered a tablet in the Nippur Collection of the University Museum inscribed with a law code promulgated by the king Lipit-Ishtar which antedated Hammurabi's code by 150 years. In 1948, Taha Baqir, a former student of Professor Kramer's and then curator of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, announced the excavation of two tablets inscribed with a still earlier code, but written about a century later than the Ur-Nammu Code discovered in Istanbul [4] - skip sievert (talk) 13:52, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

You have now deleted my good faith contributions to this article a total of THREE times. Not very nice. Our dialogue is finished.... 81.215.88.63 (talk) 16:57, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I have deleted things that were either not sourced or done in an original research mode, or made no logical sense (in my opinion). There are at least two sentences that are unsourced o.r. in the present edit you did, and I will be adjusting those also accordingly. Nice? Sorry, this is an encyclopedia, and usually it is best not to personalize things beyond that. As to dialogue... every one does what they want to do, so that is your choice. Usually though talk pages are meant to discuss edits on the article, so editors can work out ideas positively. The best case scenario is if claims are presented civilly, made in good faith and attempts to resolve a dispute are used instead of escalating one. But, being civil should not be confused with being friendly or courteous, let alone charitable. skip sievert (talk) 22:24, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

The section "Purposes"[edit]

It adds little to the topic, is of poor quality, and not cited. I'd like to see it either cleaned up, or removed entirely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.220.174.70 (talk) 22:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)


Translation[edit]

Is there an English translation of the Code?

MacOfJesus (talk) 00:20, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

See the External links section of the article. There is also File:The_code_of_Hammurabi.pdf. -- 02:00, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I have found it. MacOfJesus (talk) 23:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

translation?[edit]

When was the translation done? This is as important as when it was found or when it dates to. The influence of Gilgamesh was limited until it was translated. If it was translated by the finder, say so. 71.163.114.49 (talk) 10:23, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this has much to do with Gilgamesh at all. Can you be clearer? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:24, 18 April 2013 (UTC)