The First Lasting Law Code I. Background of Hammurabi

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Code of Hammurabi

The First Lasting Law Code

I. Background of Hammurabi

A. Hammurabi: Man Of War

-Leader of the Amorites, or “_______________________________.”

-Created a new empire in the area that was Mesopotamia by employing a well-disciplined


= Soldiers carried bronze axes, spears, and daggers.

= Employed a __________________________________ method to gain control of


-Builds a new capital city with the city of _________________.

B. Hammurabi: Man Of Peace

-_____________________________ Mesopotamian culture with Sumerian ways to

create a larger, more stable culture.

-Was extremely interested in state-building, funding the building of ________________,

temples, _____________________________, and public buildings.

-Encouraged and protected both domestic and foreign trade.

II. The Code of Hammurabi

A. Origins

-Not the first code of laws in Mesopotamia, but most of the earlier laws survive in


-Provides insight into just about every aspect of Mesopotamian society and life.

-__________ law codes were carved into steles.
B. Criminal Codes


-Penalties were severe and _________________________________________________.


1. A crime against a member of the upper class (nobility) by a member of the lower

class (commoner) was punished more severely than the same offense against a

member of the lower class.
2. ________________________________________________________ applies.


-Only when the law applied for _________________________. Members of the

upper classes usually paid money for crimes against the lower members of

C. Responsibilities Of Public Officials

1. Governors of an area and city officials were expected to catch criminals.

-Failure to do so meant that the officials had to ______________________________

to the victims or their families. This was _________________________________.

2. Soldiers were expected to serve.

-If a soldier hired a substitute, the original soldier was ________________________

and the substitute given ___________________________________________.

D. Consumer Protection Laws

1. ___________________ were responsible for the buildings they constructed.

-If the building collapsed and killed a family member, a family member of the builder

was also killed.

2. Laws surrounding renting and owning farmland were also within the code.
3. ______________________________ because of the ____________ of Mesopotamia.
4. ________________________________________ were watched very closely.

-If a lender raised his interest rates after the loan was made, the lender ____________

_______________________ of the loan.
5. ___________________________ for different key laborers.
E. Marriage & Family Laws

-The largest category of laws.

1. Parents were to __________________________________ for their children and

both parties were to sign a _______________________________________.

-Consisted of a ______________________________ by the husband, as well as a

___________________ paid by the bride’s father.

2. Role of women.


-Had very little in the way of legal rights when married.

-Had some business rights, but not many.

-When the husband died, his property (at least in theory) was transferred directly

to her. The wife had the right to distribute the property as inheritance to her

children as she wished.
3. Divorce.

-The husband had most of the power over divorce.

-The woman was expected to _________________________________________,

or else the husband could divorce her and keep the dowry.

-However, if the woman had done nothing wrong and could prove it, then she

could have the dowry returned.

4. Sexual relations.

-Men were _________________________________________, women were not.

= Women who committed adultery were to be killed, but could receive a

_____________________ from her husband.


= Father who was caught was __________________________.

= Mother-son relations resulted in ____________________________.
5. Parental rights.

-Parents had ______________________________________________________.

-Could not disinherit their children arbitrarily, there had to be reason and it

needed to be brought before a court of law.

Code of Hammurabi Notes

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