During history, major civilizations have endured through a system of social, political, religious, and economic laws and traditions. Most of these laws and traditions were set up as guidelines for moral behavior, family life, education, government, and business. These basic principles were set forth by an early civilization known as the Babylonians. There are many aspects of modern day society which have their basis in the laws and teachings of Hammurabi. Hammurabi ruled Babylon from approximately 1792 to 1750 B.C. He published a list of 300 laws, which became known as the “Code” of Hammurabi. Hammurabi’s Code described laws and traditions that were established from earlier civilizations. Much of Hammurabi’s Code came from Mesopotamian culture which was developed many years earlier. Many of the laws of Moses were based on Hammurabi’s Code too, and on civilizations that came after Moses himself. Because little was really known about Hammurabi, his life became a symbol of the traditions and values of its civilizations.
The most famous aspect of the Code is its dependence on laws of vengeance. Hammurabi’s law stated that “If a man has put out the eye of a free man, they shall put out his eye" ("eye for an eye"). Similarly, the Hebrew laws summarize Hammurabi when they stated that if someone harms another, “then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, burn for burn, wound for wound, and strike for strike.” Other things include punishments for lying, forcing people to become slaves as payment for debts, and laws regarding marriage. Marital laws were important because they ensured the production of children and how property would be divided in case of divorce or death. The society also had a strong penalty for adultery.
The Babylonian people had a complex system of irrigation canals that went from one land to another. If a man allowed the canal on his land to break, the water wo