Carved in marble over the entrance of the Supreme Court building in



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Finding the Main Idea How do laws protect freedom?
THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
181
HISTORIC DOCUMENT
Hammurabi’s Code
The Babylonian ruler Hammurabi is
credited with putting together the ear-
liest know written collection of laws.
Written around 1780 BC, Hammurabi’s
Code was a collection of 282 laws that
set down rules for both criminal and
civil law, and informed citizens what
was expected of them. There were
laws on everything from trade, loans,
and theft to marriage, injury, and
murder. It contained some ideas that
are still found in laws today. Specific
crimes brought specific penalties.

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