Was Hammurabi's Code Fair: Argumentative Essay

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This document was written by Hammurabi, who was the sixth king of the Babylonian Dynasty. After reading the document, along with the codes, I feel that some of the biases Hammurabi had were unfair due to some of his laws being unjust. It seems that his laws were gender biased. An example of this is the role of women. It looks like some of these laws did not give women individual rights. Law 128 says, “If a man takes a woman to wife, but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him.” This shows that women were not treated equally as laws were based on the perspective of men and not women. These laws were unfair towards gender, so Hammurabi was biased in gender among under things.

This was written in Babylon around 1750 B.C. During the reign of Hammurabi, he began to expand his kingdom along the Euphrates River, overthrowing other kingdoms in order to unite southern Mesopotamia. After his kingdom expanded, it looks like he didn’t consider his work done. I feel that he wanted to improve the way of life for all the people in his kingdom. So, this is what led him to create this set of laws.

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This document is basically describing all of Hammurabi’s code in his own word. All of the 282 laws are stated in the document as well as a message by him in the introduction and conclusion. I feel the reason why this was written was to establish control and justice towards his empire. Pretty much there is a political goal involved. I feel that the author wants people to follow his message. The intended audience at the time was the Babylonian people. So, Hammurabi made these laws thinking this was the best thing to do for the Babylonians in order to accept the authority of a king, in this case, him. He did it though, the way he wanted to. I can interpret that this kind of control was a selfish and unfair one because the king created these laws according to what he thought was right.

After reading this document, I learned that during that era, rules were much stricter and unfair than they are now. This set of laws stated in the document included all sorts of examples of unfairness towards gender and resulting punishments. Equality wasn’t a thing back then, so the level of control and discrimination was pretty high at the time.

Works Cited

  1. The Code of Hammurabi, The Avalon Project At the Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, Conn. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/hamframe.asp
  2. The Code of Hammurabi, History. Nov 9, 2009. https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/hammurabi
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Was Hammurabi’s Code Fair: Argumentative Essay. (2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/was-hammurabis-code-fair-argumentative-essay/
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