Code of Hammurabi

As the Codex Hammurabi, or Code of Hammurabi (Codex Hammurabi and Hammurabi’s Code also) refers to a collection of sayings right from the 18th Century BC [1] . You will also serve as one of the most important and famous literary works of ancient Mesopotamia , is a major source for the study of cuneiform rights . The text goes back to Hammurabi , the sixth king of the first Dynasty of Babylon . He is about thirty Tontafelabschriften from the second and first millennium BC, on several basalt stele fragments as well as an almost completely preserved 2.25 m high Dioritstele handed. Also this stele itself is often called “Code of Hammurabi” means. It is now in the Louvre in Paris and has been issued, as well as the fragments of basalt columns by French archaeologists in Susa found, while in 12 it Century BC was abducted from Babylonia. Because of this rich array of sources, the text is now fully known.

The text consists of about 8000 words on the stela preserved in 51 columns, each with 80 rows in monumental old Babylonian cuneiform were written. It can be roughly divided into three sections: a prologue of around 300 lines of scope, which sets out the divine legitimacy of the king, a main part with according to the modern classification 282 legal records, and a comprehensive 400-line epilogue that praises the righteousness of the king and subsequent rulers calling for adherence to the rules of law. The law sets included taking about eighty percent of the total text relate to public law, real estate law, contract law, matrimonial law, estate planning, criminal law, tenancy law and livestock and slaves.

Since its first publication in 1902 to deal primarily Assyriologists and lawyers with the text, its place in life could not be clarified until today. The original assumption that it is a Gesetzeskodifikation , was rejected early on. Since then, it was discussed whether it is a law book and was merely pattern decisions, reform laws, a teaching text or simply a linguistic work of art. These discussions could not be completed until today and depend to a considerable extent with the technical and cultural background of the respective authors together. Even the theology showed a strong interest in the Code of Hammurabi, and especially the possible reception of the same in the Bible has been controversial.

Again and again, the Code of Hammurabi is known as the oldest “law” of humanity, a thesis that since the discovery of the older codices of Ur-Nammu and Lipit-Ishtar -. independently of said controversy – no longer can keep.

Tradition History
Of the surrounding text

The about 3800 year old text of the Code of Hammurabi is (orientales Department of Antiques, inventory number Sb 8) mainly due to the now in the Louvre located diorite stele known. This was in winter 1901/1902 by Gustave Jéquier and Jean-Vincent Scheil during a French expedition to Persia, led by Jacques de Morgan on the Acropolis of Susa found in three fragments. Already in April 1902, these were again assembled into a stele placed in the Paris Museum, and edited their inscription in the same year by Jean-Vincent Scheil and translated into French. [2] Scheil It established a paragraph numbering, on to initiate word Summa (German: “if”). oriented, giving a total of 282 paragraphs of the text – a count that is used to this day [3] In the same year, the first German translation followed by Hugo Winckler , of Scheils paragraph classification took over. [4]

The exhibited in the Louvre stela shows the top of a relief showing King Hammurabi before the enthroned sun, truth and justice God Šamaš shows. Hammurabi takes on a well-known also from various other representations arm position of a petitioner, during his reign of God is probably about symbols. By some investigators also been argued that the God represented the Babylonian city god rather Marduk was. [5] Below is the text of the Code of Hammurabi carved into columns 51 to 80 lines each. As characters like the Old Babylonian monumental font was used, even more significantly the Sumerian cuneiform similar as the Old Babylonian italics, which is known from numerous documents of that period.

Part of the text of the stele was already chiseled in the ancient world, but it can be reconstructed on the basis of comparison pieces so that all the text is known today. This Chiselling goes to the Elamites back, under the King Šutruk-nahhunte the stele along with numerous other works of art, such as the well during the campaign to Mesopotamia Naram-Sin stele , in their capital in present-day Iran deported. The original site of the stele is not known, but it is always back to the Babylonian city of Sippar referenced. Nine other fragments found in Susa basalt suggest that at least three other pillars with the Codex existed, which were then well established in other cities. [6]

In addition to the main text in the form of stelae inscribed the Code of Hammurabi is also known from a number of clay tablets, quote the parts of the text. These were partly already in the 19th Century, but in part also discovered after the discovery of the stele in Susa. You are now in the British Museum , the Louvre, the Museum of the Ancient Near East in Berlin and in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. In 1914, a large copy of § § 90-162 was found on a clay tablet of the museum in Philadelphia, from which the ancient division of the paragraph stating which differs in some places from the Scheil’schen classification used today. [7] copies of the text but also come from the following eras and different regions of the ancient Near East until Neo-Babylonian period, the ancient “Paragraph classification” quite varied. [7]
Structure
Clay tablet with the prologue of the Code of Hammurabi in the Louvre, inv. AO 10237

The Code of Hammurabi follows the well-known from other ancient Near Eastern law collections division into three prologue, body and epilogue. The prologue includes it in the text of the stele from Susa, 300 lines, 400 lines of the epilogue. In between is the main part of the text with the actual rules of law and a circumference of about 80% of the total work.
Prologue

The prologue of the Code of Hammurabi is one prevailing opinion the most important literary works of the ancient Orient. It can be divided into three sections sense, which are typical in this order for the ancient Oriental codices: [8]

Theological part
Historical-political part
Moral-ethical part.

The theological part is the explanation of the divine legitimacy Hammurapi and as long Time clauses constructed. This is first explained that the Babylonian city god Marduk by Anu and Enlil , the supreme gods of the Sumerian-Akkadian pantheon, was appointed to rule over mankind. It followed that Babylon also been determined as his city to the center of the world. So that a just order in the country there, evildoers, and an end to oppression of the weak and would find it doing well man, King Hammurabi was chosen to rule over the people then. A Neo-Babylonian copy of the prologue (BM 34914) shows that several variants of this text templates, with this Neo-Babylonian copy differs mainly in the theological part of the printed version of the stele from Susa. So in this version of Hammurabi is authorized directly by Anu and Enlil, Marduk, while there is no mention. Instead Babylon Nippur determines the center of the world and the rule of order goes directly from Enlil, the city of God Nippurs out. It is possible that this is a concession from the King to the religious center of Nippur. [9]

This is followed by the historical-political part as a self-representation of the king with his political career, in the form of a collection of his actions in cities and sanctuaries as epithets is stylized. Since these cities list corresponds to the cities in his 39th Year government were to Hammurapi Empire, this represents a terminus post quem for the dating of the stele from Susa represents a Tontalfelabschrift (AO 10327) contains a different version of this list of cities that the 35th Year government can be assigned. It is clear that the stele does not contain the oldest version of the Code of Hammurabi. [8] The only clue for an alternative dating of the text is the annual Name of the 22 Year government Hammurapi mu alam Hammurabi (SAR Lugal) Kittim (Ni-SI SÁ) (dt: Year – Hammurapi statue as king of justice). Since this stele mentioned in the text of the Code of Hammurabi and their existence is thus provided, the 21 Year of the reign of Hammurabi as an alternative terminus post quem used. [10]

The moral-ethical-part follows the preceding, without a geographical reference was made. So he first lays his filiation from the founder of the dynasty Sumulael and his father, Sin-muballit represents and refers to the guidance issued by Marduk from an order which he carried establishment [11] Law and Order:’ve followed (acoustic kittum u mīšarum). Completing the prologue is the word inūmīšu (German: at that time), after which follow the actual rules of law.
Law sets

With the actual legal rules are employed a variety of Assyriologists and lawyers who tried especially to understand the system behind them and open up in this way also their nature. Here in the course of time were presented different approaches, but gained no general acceptance because of various defects. This is especially true for the early attempts to create a classification by logical or legal-dogmatic aspects, such as those by the Frenchman Pierre Cruveilhier [12] have been made.

One of the most important experiments of this kind was that of Josef Kohler , who found first true that the law sets were mainly characterized by a relationship on “Religion and kingship” at the beginning of the text. This should then “rules on trade and commerce”, in particular agriculture, transport and law of obligations to be followed, after which arrangements have been for family and criminal law before shipping, rental and service conditions and slavery would have rounded the text. [13] In contrast, turned especially David G. Lyon , with an alternative classification proposal. [14] He asserted that the Code of Hammurabi to the introduction of three main sections (§ § 1-5), property (§ § 6-126) and persons (§ § 127-282) was divided, the portion of stuff in the subsections private property (§ § 6-25), real estate, trade and business (from § 26) would collapse and the people in the section Subsections family (§ § 127-195), rights violations (§ § 196-214) and work (§ § 215-282). At this division, which was already rejected several times, [15] and later leaned Robert Henry Pfeiffer in order to compare the Codex Hammurabi with biblical and Roman law can. So he named the § § 1-5 as ” jus Actionum “, § § 6-126 as” ius rerum “and § § 127-282 as” jus personam “, which he latter section is still” jus familiae “( § § 127-193) and ” obilgationes “(§ § 194-282) divided. [16]

Generally, however, was the attempt by Herbert Petschow [17] most approval. He noted that the order of the sentences was right by subject, which legally separated from each other belong together standards. Within individual subject groups, the arrangement of the legal principles based on chronological criteria weight of the treated goods, frequency of cases, social status or simply people affected by the event counter event schema. Petschow succeeded but also demonstrate that single law sets were arranged primarily by legal considerations; purpose as part of the strict separation of contractual and non-contractual legal relationship . [18] In principle, the Code of Hammurabi can be divided according Petschow into two main sections:
Public Order

The first 41 rules of law relating to the public sphere, characterized by the monarchy, religion and people. They can be divided into several sections more sense.

The first of these sections is formed from § § 1-5, which deal with the people who are heavily involved in the judicial finding: plaintiffs, witnesses and judges. For this reason, Petschow gave this first section, entitled ‘realization of justice and righteousness in the land ” [19] and herein saw an immediate Build on the most recently expressed in the prologue pertinent concerns. These five rules of law threaten false accusation and false testimony with penalties after the Talionsprinzip ; corrupt judge for a dismissal of the judge and a twelve-fold process of the object was comprehensive asset penalty provided.

The second section includes § § 6-25 and treated for the public viewed as particularly dangerous “capital offenses”. [19] This is mainly for property offenses that are against public property (temple or palace) or against the social class the muškēnu addressed. In addition there are some other offense, either as a public danger or were considered due to attractions were sorted at this point. [20] All legal records of this section have in common is that they have the death penalty provision for offenders.

, § § 26-41 then form the third section, which deals with “duties” [21] employs. The duties (Akkadian Ilku) are often inaccurate with feudal translated because the service obligor did his compulsory service normally provided for this purpose on a lot. After the determination of penalties for disciplinary offenses, rules and regulations of the fate of Ilku-good in the case of a prisoner of war or escape of conscripts are taken. Finally, a type is legal transactions available power of indentured set about his Ilku-Good.
“private law”

The remaining legal principles relate primarily to the individual sphere of the individual citizen. This larger set of legal rules dealing with property, family and inheritance law, but also with questions of labor and physical integrity. Although they are clearly separated by their compilation from the previous section, the content is however on the theme “Agriculture” to connect.

The first section here is the form § § 42-67, the “private property rights ” [22] have as their object, namely succession fields, gardens and houses. Initially contractual legal relations are treated, mainly in the form of regulations on lease – and lien happens. Then follow rules for non-contractual liability for damage .

In this law sets rules on the “fulfillment of debt obligations” are repeatedly [23] inserted, which then in § § 68-127 is the dominant theme and thus represents a new section. Same subject matter is primarily the tamkarum (Kaufmann). In addition there are also regulations on the sabītum (landlady) before this section with the subject garnishment and Schuldversklavung is closed.

, § § 128-193 form a clearly identifiable section that deals with “marriage, family and inheritance law” [24] is concerned. Here one after the marital trust obligations of the woman, the maintenance and care responsibilities of the husband and, finally, the property consequences of marriage for both spouses are first treated. [25] This is then followed by a series of offenses of a sexual nature, before finally the possibilities for resolution of a Marriage and the pecuniary consequences are discussed.

This section then follow the rules of law inheritance , in which the succession dowry when the woman’s death and the assets are treated after the death of the father. In the latter, the law of succession is further differentiated into legitimate children, the surviving widow and children of a mixed marriage. The inheritance of daughters as a special case is separated by procedural provisions thereof. Rounding out this group of legal rules through adoptions and duties under company law provisions. [26]

Another section, which essentially deal with “violations of bodily integrity and property damage” [27] employed consists of § § 194-240. Again, contractual and non-contractual legal relations are strictly separated, [28] where the first tort law justified circumstances be treated. It penalties are threatened by the Talionsprinzip usually turn. Then, injuries and property damage are treated that have been committed in the performance of contractual relationships, in which case the provisions skillfully executed activities were always preceded. At the end of the section are legal rules that deal with liability issues in boat hire, and thus represent a transition to the final section.

This consists of § § 241-282 and treats the “livestock and rental service”. [28] The law sets are sorted chronologically according to the timing of the construction field from the field order to harvest. Within these groups was in turn differentiated according to contractual and non-contractual liability. At the end of this section general Rental rates are set before the legal sentences end with provisions for slave law.
Epilogue

The epilogue begins on the stele with a new column to remove him from the legal records. He first starts with a colophon reminiscent formula:

“Legal principles of justice which Hammurabi, the able king has set in and (through it), the country can take right order and good leadership.”

– Back, Kolume 24, lines 1-5.

The following are success stories that represent a partial fulfillment of the orders mentioned in the prologue. In the epilogue, but also detailed information on the stele are then given himself. So this is by writing the Codex, in Esagila in Babylon before the “Hammurapi statue as king of justice” have been adopted. It is concluded by some authors that the stele found in Susa originally from Babylon, not from Sippar. [29]

This is followed by wishes of Hammurapi about the realization of his justice, his own memory and for dealing with the relief. Of this section is taken also for the Interpretation of the Code as law relied on passage:

“A man to whom wrong is done, and the case shall be, may come before my statue, king of righteousness’ and have them read my stele described and hear my words and my sublime stela may show him the case. His judgment may he seen ”

– Rear, column 25, lines 3-17.

At the end of the epilogue are exhortations to future rulers to preserve the legal principles and not to change, which will be confirmed with the desire for a blessing of the following ruler by Šamaš. This is followed by a long collection of curse formulas, which together occupy the largest part of the epilogue and is directed against any influential person who does not follow the admonitions. These curses follow a fixed pattern, which consists of the name of the deity, their epithets, her relationship with Hammurabi and a matching curse.
The Hammurabi Stele
The relief in the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi shows before Šamaš
Detail of inscription on the stele

Compared to the text of the Code of Hammurabi stele found in Susa itself was rather only marginally subject of further scientific investigations. This is partly attributable to the fact that the professional world of illustration at the head of the stele had not attach greater importance and you denied an artistic value. [30] On the other hand, is Near Eastern Archaeology traditional art history oriented and therefore focused on style analysis, design research and investigation of features with the goal of dating, so mainly descriptive, contemplative art works were created, while cultural and historical interpretations of the stele remain the exception. The most cited attempt such an interpretation was founded in 2006 by Gabriele Elsen-Novák and Mirko Novák presented. [31]

The total of 2.25 m high stele made of black, shiny polished diorite and has at its upper end a 60 x 65 cm big relief field. It is a shortened version of since the Ur III period from the glyptic so-called famous introduction scene : A male figure, Hammurabi, stands in front of an enthroned deity Šamaš . Here, a hand of the king is collected, what the basis of literary evidence, with the Adoration may be associated deities. [32] Of other portraits from this period, the Hammurabi stele raises the profile view of the heads from which only the Investiture of Zimri-Lim has a parallel. As in the latter, the king is presented by God, a ring and a rod whose interpretation has been controversial. It is possible that the ring is a general Machtinsignie, while the rod a stylus could be. [33]

From iconology considerations it follows that the relief sought and presented to the public for posterity especially the divine legitimacy of the ruler. [34]
Nature and Function of the Code of Hammurabi

Since the publication of the text was over 100 years ago in the altorientalistischen and legal history research controversially discussed about its nature and function. The discovery of the Code of Hammurabi was the time when many European countries new civil codes, including the Civil Code in Germany, came into force and the importance of comprehensive codification applicable law in the public consciousness was present. [35] Added to this was the temporal position of this text, which made ​​him look for a long time as the oldest of laws of humanity, the Roman Twelve Tables was preceded by more than a millennium.

As already interpreted Scheil the published text of him as a “code of Hammurabi de lois” (Book of the Laws of Hammurabi). As such he was and is often used as an example of early Gesetzeskodifikationen that at Talionsprinzip traded oriented. [36] This interpretation is given to this day that the Code of Hammurabi, according to the above-quoted passage on the back, a source of knowledge for the litigants had. He also come from a time when a need for a rich uniform legal system had existed in the construction of the Old Babylonian Empire, and has to be seen as legislative reform. [37] But even that process documents in the result of the views of the Code of Hammurabi says, match. This may at least lead to the conclusion that at that time the law was held in the Codex. This makes the text, depending on the focus of the author, as enacted law , law reform or law book called, possibly in terms of a collection of royal right decisions.

On this interpretation, the Assyriologists expressed Wilhelm Eilers and Benno Landsberger in the war for the first time doubts, [38] which to this day is not ended controversy began. This criticism may be, in particular, rely on the fact that designated in the Codex standards are not consistent with contemporary contracts, the Codex is also also in any one of the numerous legal document as a source of law is cited, and overall it just a eclectic has character. [37] , however, is striking the widespread use of text in scribal schools, which could indicate that the Codex was primarily a linguistic work of art. [39] Furthermore, it is the text in the 20th Year of King emerged remarkably late. Along with the artistic design and the valuable material, this could speak for a pure character of the memorial stele. [40] The text carved on it so could have served above all the propaganda of the king.

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