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Word Count: 546
Hammurabi Code of I INTRODUCTION Hammurabi Code of collection of the laws and edicts of the Babylonian king Hammurabi and the earliest legal code known in its entirety A copy of the code engraved on a block of black basalt that is 225 m 7 ft 5 in in height was unearthed by a team of French archaeologists at Susa Iraq formerly ancient Elam during the winter of 1901 to 1902 The block broken in three pieces has been restored and is now in the Louvre in Paris II COMPOSITION OF THE CODE The divine origin of the written law is emphasized by a bas-relief in which the king is depicted receiving the code from the sun god Shamash The quality most usually associated with this god is justice The code is set down in horizontal columns of cuneiform writing 16 columns of text on the obverse side and 28 on the reverse The text begins with a prologue that explains the extensive restoration of the temples and religious cults of Babylonia and Assyria The code itself composed of 28 paragraphs seems to be a series of amendments to the common law of Babylonia rather than a strict legal code It begins with direction for legal procedure and the statement of penalties for unjust accusations false testimony and injustice done by judges then follow laws concerning property rights loans deposits debts domestic property and family rights The sections covering personal injury indicate that penalties were imposed for injuries sustained through unsuccessful operations by physicians and for damages caused by neglect in various trades Rates are fixed in the code for various forms of service in most branches of trade and commerce III A HUMANE CIVIL LAW The Code of Hammurabi contains no laws having to do with religion The basis of criminal law is that of equal retaliation comparable to the Semitic law of an eye for an eye The law
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