Hammurabi's Code Dbq Analysis

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Imagine a slave or lower class man accidentally knocking out an eye of a wealthy man. The consequence for this is to have their eye knocked out. Now picture a wealthy man who knocked out­ an eye of a slave on purpose during a fight. What happens to the man? Not much. Unlike the slave having his eye taken out, a wealthy man just needs to pay money. Although many believe this unfair, this would have occurred during Hammurabi’s reign. Hammurabi was the king of Babylonia who ruled for 42 years, starting his rule in 1792 BCE. He is well known for his written set of laws known as Hammurabi’s Code written around his 38th year of reign. Hammurabi’s Code is 282 laws about family life, agriculture, and theft and professional standards. These laws were…show more content…
Cases of inequity pertain to Laws 129, 195, and 218. Law 195 and 218 both have a punishment of having their hands cut off. Law 195 states, “If a son has struck his father, his hands shall be cut off.” (Doc C). Law 218 says, “If a surgeon has operated with a bronze lancet on a free man for a serious injury, and has caused his death, … his hands shall be cut off.” (Doc E). These two laws are examples of injustice to the accused because the consequences are too severe. Death occurred very frequently back then and it was hard to live if one had a large injury. Surgeons tried their best, but death was most likely to occur. It is cruel to cut off their hands when surgery was usually a failure. For a son to have his hands removed is also wrong, because it is very common for a son and father to have a quarrel. Law 129 declares, “If a married lady is caught [in adultery] with another man, they shall bind them and cast them into the water.” (Doc C). Death being the consequence of a woman committing adultery is harsh because when a man commits adultery, nothing happens to…show more content…
For example, Law 168 says, “If a man has determined to disinherit his son and has declared before the judge, “I cut off my son,” the judge shall inquire into the son’s past and, if the son has not committed a grave misdemeanor…, the father shall not disinherit his son.”(Doc C). This law is fair because then a father cannot disown his son for no apparent reason. Also, Law 53, 54 states, “If a man has opened his trench for irrigation and the waters have flooded his neighbor’s field, the man must restore the crop he has caused to lost.”(Document D). This law is also just, because the culprit takes responsibility and the government does not have to interfere. Although Hammurabi’s intentions were to have a civilized society, many of the laws had cruel punishments. Also , people were treated differently based on gender and class even though the laws were created to protect the weak. The three examples presented above: unfair to the victim, the accused, and the society proves that Hammurabi’s Code was

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