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The state governs the rules, and the rules govern the people. The people are thus governed by laws known as Hammurabi’s Code, as dictated by King Hammurabi, who was a descendant of the Amorites and was 6th in line of the throne! He ruled Mesopotamia from 1792-1750 BCE and had all 282 codes carved out onto a 7 and a half foot stele at the end of his reign (History, 2009). Some of these laws were stating the obvious, yet some of them gave further insight on the system that these ancient people had to live by. Hammurabi’s Code is one of the oldest and earliest form of law known, and its codes have influenced many civilisations and those that have yet to come.

We chose to zoom in on Hammurabi’s Code while keeping in mind the thought: “How then shall we live?” Hammurabi’s Code is one evident way in showing the lives of the Mesopotamian people, as it displays a historical significance to the laws in which the people have lived by. Yet to each his own, these laws can be deemed useful and beneficial when looked and heeded upon with the right perspective, in the right context in our present days.

We have gladly chosen to share with you a deeper insight on some law codes we have chosen out of the MANY(!!), through our favourite social media platform, Instagram! A picture (or gif in our case) paints more than a thousand words, so have a good stare at your phone screens my friends, you will be staring at these visuals for a meaningfully long time!


Link to our Instagram account:



Law Code #196

"If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy[s] the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one gold mine. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's slave he shall pay one-half his price."

Pretty CRAZY isn't it?!

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Law Code #22:

"If anyone is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death."

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Law Code #110

“If a "sister of a god" open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death.”

Meaning of Tavern: "a place where liquors are sold to be consumed on the premises."

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Law Code #218:

“If a physician make[s] a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off.”

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Law Code #105:

“If the agent is careless, and does not take a receipt for the money which he gave the merchant, he can not consider the unreceipted money as his own.”

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Law Code #265:

“If a herdsman, to whose care cattle or sheep have been entrusted, be guilty of fraud and make false returns of the natural increase, or sell them for money, then shall he be convicted and pay the owner ten times the loss."

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Reference List for SOURCES

Johns, C. H. (1999). Babylonian and Assyrian laws, contracts, and letters. Union, NJ: Lawbook Exchange.

Maloney, R. (1974). Usury And Restrictions On Interest-taking In The Ancient Near East. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 36(1), 1-20. Retrieved from

Spiegel, A.D. & Springer, C.R. Journal of Community Health (1997) 22: 69. doi:10.1023/A:1025151008571

writer873. “Hammurabi's Code: Babylonian Law Set in Stone,” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 04, 2011. /article/68/.

Yale Law School (2008). “The Avalon project: Code of Hammurabi

Webserver. (n.d). The Pillar Of Laws By Hammurabi. Accessed 1 April 2017.

Reynolds, J.B. (May 1914 to March 1915). Sex Morals and the Law in Ancient Egypt and Babylon. Retrieved from Staff. (2009). Hammurabi. Retrieved from

Reference List for MEDIA


Gabriele Barni, Code of Hammurabi 27 (30 December 2009), Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0. Modified and created by student, Gabriel Lee, via Glitche.

Law Code 196:

Cover Photo: Rob Koopman, Kop van de Mesopotamische koning Gudea Gudea of Lagash, RMO Leiden, 2100 BC, Diorite, Lagash Southern IRAQ (20 June 2009), Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0

Eye: Drawn and modified by student, Gabriel Lee, via Adobe Photoshop & Prisma. Gif created on Glitche.

Law Code 22:

Cover Photo: Concordia Tempel in Agrigent, Concordiatempelagrigent2 retouched (20 May 2007), Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5

Hangman: Drawn by student, Gabriel Lee. Gif created on Glitche.

Law Code 218:

Cover Photo: Dr. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, A pair of protective spirits, Apkallu, from Nimrud (29 January 2014), Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0

Hand: Drawn by student, Gabriel Lee, via Adobe Photoshop.

Scalpel: Pixabay, scalpel tool green surgical (24 April 2012), CC0 Public Domain. Gif created on Glitche.

Gif modified and created by student, Gabriel Lee, via Adobe Photoshop and Glitche

Law Code 110:

Cover Photo: Dr. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, Cylinder of Nabonidus from the temple of God Sin at UR, Mesopotamia (29 January 2014), Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0

Fire from burning tavern: Pixabay, beautitul fire flame (16 May 2015), CC0 License

Woman burning: Unknown, Woman brewing beer (19 November 2016), Public Domain

Gif modified and created by student, Gabriel Lee, via Adobe Photoshop

Law Code 105:

Cover Photo: Asana Mashouf, Persepolis recreated (27 August 2006), Creative Commons cc-by-sa-2.5

Receipt: Drawn and created by student, Gabriel Lee via Adobe Photoshop & Prisma

Law Code 265:

Cover Photo: Johannesburg, Wheatfield in South Africa (8 May 2005), Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0

Money Bag:, money bag (N.D.), Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

Modified and created by student, Gabriel Lee, via Adobe Photoshop & Prisma

Sheep: Jackhynes, Lleyn sheep (1 May 2005), Public Domain

Modified and created by student, Gabriel Lee, via Adobe Photoshop & Prisma