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The Code of Hammurabi (also Hammurapi), the most complete and perfect extant collection of Babylonian laws,
was developed during the reign of Hammurabi (r. 1792-1750 B.C.) of the first
dynasty of Babylon. The code consists of Hammurabi’s legal decisions, which
were collected toward the end of his reign and inscribed on a diorite stele
set up in Babylon’s Temple of Marduk, a temple named for the national god of
Babylon. The 282 case laws include economic provisions (prices, tariffs, trade,
and commercial regulations), family law (marriage and divorce), as well as
provisions dealing with criminal law (assault, theft) and civil law (slavery,
debt). Penalties for breaking the laws varied according to the status of the
offender and the circumstances of the offense. The code survives only in the
Semitic Akkadian tongue, but it is clear that it was also meant to apply to
the non-Semitic Sumerians, representing an integration of the traditions of
both peoples. Hammurabi’s Code is the most complete record of ancient law in
Edition of the Code
The Code of Hammurabi King of Babylon about 2250 B.C.
Autographed Text Transliteration Translation Glossary Index of Subjects Lists
of Proper Names Signs Numerals Corrections and Erasures with Map Fronticepiece
and Photograph of Text, by
Robert Francis Harper (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1904).
Works about the Code
Wigmore, John. A Panorama of the World's Legal Systems. 3 vols. Saint
Paul: West Publishing Company, 1928.
The information about the text originally appeared on The
Goodrich Room: Interactive Tour website.