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The purpose and legal authority of the Code have been challenged since the mid-20th century. [87] Theories fall into three broad categories: it is legislation, whether it is a code of law or a set of laws; whereas it is a kind of legal report containing files of past cases and judgments; and that it is an abstract work of jurisprudence. Legal theory has found a lot of support within Assyriology. [88] Much has been written about what the Code says about the old Babylonian society and its legal system. For example, if it shows that there were no professional lawyers[123] or that there were professional judges. [124] Researchers who view the Code as a stand-alone document waive such claims. [125] Fragments of a second and possibly a third stele recording the code were found with the Louvre stele in Susa. [23] More than fifty manuscripts containing the laws are known. They have been found not only in Susa, but also in Babylon, Nineveh, Assur, Borsippa, Nippur, Sippar, your, Larsa and more. [24] Copies were made during the reign of Hammurabi and thereafter when the text became part of the writing program. [25] Copies were found a thousand years after the making of the stele,[18] and a catalogue in the library of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (685-631 BC) lists a copy of the “Judgments of Hammurabi.” [26] The additional copies fill most of the original text of the stele, including much of the deleted section. [18] It is not clear whether your-Nammu wrote and published his Code of Law or whether it was published by Shulgi after his father`s death, but the stability he offered continued during the Third Dynasty of Ur during the reign of Ibbi-Sin (c.

1963-1940 BC). AD), after which it was replaced by the Isin dynasty. which was founded by Ishbi-Erra around 1953/1940. The kingdom had become progressively weaker even before Ibbi-Sin, but during his reign it was too weak to repel the invasions of the Amorites and Elamites, which eventually brought down the third dynasty from your to your. At first glance, the document looks like a very organized code similar to the Code of Justinian and the Code of Napoleon. [92] There is also evidence that the dīnātum, which sometimes refers to individual “laws” in the Hammurabi Code, has been applied. [93] A copy of the codex calls it ṣimdat šarrim, “royal decree,” which is a kind of forced legislation. [94] There is a relief portrait of Hammurabi above the doors of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Capitol, as well as portraits of 22 other people “known for their work in establishing the principles underlying American law.” [189] There are replicas of the Louvre stele in institutions around the world, including: the United Nations headquarters in New York,[190] the Peace Palace in The Hague (seat of the International Court of Justice),[191] the National Museum of Iran in Tehran,[192] the Pergamon Museum in Berlin,[193] the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, [194] University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, [195] University of Kansas Library of History of Medicine,[196] and Corban University`s Prewitt-Allen Archaeological Museum. [197] The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text written around 1755-1750 BC.

It is the longest, best organized and best preserved legal text in the ancient Middle East. It is written in the old Akkadian Babylonian dialect, supposedly by Hammurabi, the sixth king of the first dynasty of Babylon. The main copy of the text is inscribed on a basalt or diorite stele 2.25 m (7 ft 4 + 1/2 in.) high. The stele was discovered in 1901 at the site of Susa in present-day Iran, where it had been looted six hundred years after its creation. The text itself has been copied and studied by Mesopotamian writers for more than a millennium. The stele is now in the Louvre. The term “code” presupposes that the document must be applied as law. It was used by Scheil in his editio princeps,[89] and subsequently widely used. He was the son of Edward W. Johns, one of the earliest and most prolific commentators on the document, who proclaimed that “the codex deserves its name.” [40] Recent Assyriologists have used the term without comment,[90] as have scientists outside Assyriology. [91] But it is only if the text was conceived as coercive legislation that it can truly be considered a code and its provisions. The Code of Hammurabi was one of the many laws of the ancient Middle East.

Most of these legal texts, which come from similar cultures and racial groups in a relatively small geographical area, necessarily have passages that are similar. For example, the laws found in the later Hittite Code of Law (c. 1300 BC) have individual laws that have a temporary resemblance to those found in the Code of Hammurabi, as well as other codices of the same geographical area. The ancient your-Nammu, from the productive written literature of the your-III dynasty (21. He also produced a codex of laws, some of which are similar to specific laws of the Code of Hammurabi. The later Mosaic law (according to the modern documentary hypothesis c. 700-500 BC – under Hezekiah/Josiah; traditionally around 1200 BC) – under Moses) also has laws similar to the Hammurabi Codex, as well as other legal texts of the region. Every society needs laws to protect itself and its members. Even ancient civilizations had laws that were part of their religious rituals and tribal customs. These were transmitted by example and word of mouth. The Code is often cited as the first example of the legal concept that certain laws are so fundamental that they exceed even a king`s ability to change. In writing the laws on stone, they were immutable.

This concept persists in most modern legal systems and has led to the term set in stone. A third theory that has gained prominence in Assyriology is that the codex is not a real code, but an abstract treatise on how judgments should be formulated. This prompted Fritz Rudolf Kraus to name legal decisions in an early formulation of the theory. [107] Kraus suggested that it was a work of Mesopotamian science in the same category as collections of omens such as šumma ālu and ana ittišu. [107] Others have provided their own versions of this theory. [108] A. Leo Oppenheim noted that the Hammurabi Codex and similar collections of Mesopotamian law “represent an interesting formulation of social criticism and should not be considered a normative direction.” [109] If someone breaks another man`s limb and does not apologize, the other man can break the first man`s limb in return. A second theory is that the Code is a kind of legal report and, as such, contains records of previous cases and judgments, albeit formulated in abstract terms. This would explain the casuistic format of “laws”; Jean Bottéro thought he had found a file of a case that inspired him. [103] However, despite the extent of the Mesopotamian body of law, such discoveries are inconclusive and very rare. [104] Moreover, in Mesopotamia, court decisions were frequently recorded that reproduced the facts of the case without generalizing them. [105] These judgments dealt almost exclusively with questions of fact, leading Martha Roth to remark, “I know of only one case out of a thousand, which could be said to revolve around a question of law.” [106] The oldest written body we know of is the Code of Hammurabi.