Question description

Introduction:

The Code of Hammurabi was a very influential early code of law, and it influenced other systems of ancient law. The Code of Hammurabi is significant because it allowed all classes of society to read and understand the laws that governed their lives. However, the law treated different people differently, rather than holding them as equal. Thus studying the law allows us to try and understand the approach of Ancient Mesopotamians to justice, and also their worldview more generally.

Required Primary Source Reading:

Please read the Lawcode of Hammurabi before completing this discussion assignment: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/hamframe.asp

Initial Post Instructions:

For the purposes of this discussion, please select ONE role, and investigate how you would have fared under Hammurabi’s laws. Your options are the following:

  • a chieftain
  • a free woman
  • a child (son or daughter)
  • a freeman
  • a doctor
  • a judge
  • a slave
  • a priest
  • a farmer
  • a merchant or trader
  • an aristocrat
  • an elder
  • a criminal
  • a victim of crime

QUESTIONS:

  1. Based on the Code, what rights, responsibilities, and protections do you have?
  2. From the point of view of your role, does the Code provide equality for you relative to other members of the society given the culture of the times and place? Please provide examples to support your answer.
  3. Was it a just code in the context of the times and place? What does it show us about the Mesopotamian worldview? Cite specific examples from the Code to support your position.
 
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