The Justification of the Greatness and Fairness of the The Code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian Law Code of Ancient Mesopotamia
Back in the B.C. era people punched pregnant women on the streets and nuns attended church drunk until Hammurabi’s Code came into play and changed everything in Babylonia. Hammurabi’s Code was a spectacular set of laws that ensured peace, kindness, and that only the bad would get punished so citizens could sleep easily without fear of getting being or getting punched by somebody. There were many laws that reduced crime significantly; for example, if Hammurabi’s Code was not created then there would be surgeons who accidentally killed their patients. Undoubtedly, Hammurabi’s Code was great and fair.
Hammurabi’s Code was great because it brought order and justice to society and it regulated many activities. This was true because no normal person would commit the crimes that were in Hammurabi’s Code therefore only bad citizens received punishments. For example, one of Hammurabi’s laws was about striking a pregnant woman, but who would commit such a horrific act of violence?
Another one of Hammurabi’s laws was about a person robbing a burning house, but doesn’t that seem a little strange? If someone robbed a burning house, they were obviously dumb or desired an item in that house so much because A: he or she could get killed by the fire or the house collapsing, B: If the house was on fire it would attract people trying to put out the fire and a crowd of spectators so he or she probably would be caught, and C: If he or she was caught, he or she would be subject to justice and thrown into the fire of the burning house so he or she would die.
Yet another law was about if the wife of one man loves another married man and they kill their current spouses then both of them would be impaled. Why would a woman kill her husband and his new girlfriend? If the punishment was to get impaled no sane person would do that.
Further evidence of fairness in Hammurabi’s Code was the fact that the punishment fitted the crime. For example, in Hammurabi’s Code, if a builder built a faulty house and it killed the owner, then the builder was killed and if it killed the owner’s son then the builder’s son died. This law clearly shows that the punishment fitted the crime because the builder killed someone so the builder was killed, but in our world that doesn’t happen because we avoid killing people. One of Hammurabi’s famous quotes was “an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth”. This means that if a citizen punched somebody’s tooth out, the criminal’s punishment is to have his or her tooth punched out. Another law was if a veterinary surgeon performed a serious operation on a donkey or an ox and killed it, then the veterinary surgeon had to pay 1⁄4 of the value of it. This made sense because the surgeon had to pay for killing the animal, but only 4 because the surgeon still tried to save the animal, so the surgeon didn’t have to pay full value. Also the laws are fair because the punishment fits the crime just as Hammurabi’s eye for eye expression because what you did happens to you which is very fair and keeps balance in Babylonia.
Justification that Hammurabi’s Code was extremely great and fair was because the punishment prevents the crime from happening again. For example, if a surgeon performed surgery on a patient and killed him, then his/her hands were cut off and he/she would never again perform surgery and risk another patient’s life. Another law states that if a robber was caught robbing then he/she was killed so he or she can’t steal. One last law that prevented crime was if a son struck his father, then the son’s hands were cut off. Moreover, the punishments scared people who had common sense so they did not commit crimes because they didn’t want to lose a limb, die, or lose money. Certainly Hammurabi’s Code ensured that people were kept safe from criminals because of its fair laws.
Some might argue that Hammurabi’s Code was cruel and unfair, but they are naysayers who don’t understand what true fairness means. They probably say that because of one slightly bad law against women. : if a woman wanted out of her marriage but the husband wanted to keep the dowry, the courts had to be involved, and if she wasn’t proven guilty, then she could leave and take her dowry and children but if she is the slightest bit guilty then the husband got to take the dowry and children. If the wife is extremely guilty, then she shall be thrown into the river for the river test. If she sunk then they believed the river god thought she’s guilty and if she floated then they believed the river god thought she was innocent. That particular law did not make Hammurabi’s Code horrible because there were many other laws that are good about women plus she got what she deserves because there is an enormous chance she was guilty if she gets punished. One favorable law about women was if a woman’s husband mistreated her, she could take her dowry and leave, so she doesn’t have to deal with him anymore. This proves that women have several laws on their side; plus, Hammurabi’s Code allowed women to own property. Women definitely loved Hammurabi’s Code!
Therefore, Hammurabi’s Code respected women and enabled them to be nearly equal to men. Hammurabi’s Code made sure only bad people were punished, the punishments always proceeded to be fair, the punishments stop people from committing crimes again, and the punishments scared people into not committing crimes. These critical reasons add up to the fact that Hammurabi’s Code was truly fair and great, and provided justice to Babylonia.
February 2, 2023
February 2, 2023