Mesopotamian Laws

by Evan Jackson


Laws in Mesopotamia were very important. Without laws, we likely wouldn't have innovations or cuneiform because then nothing would have been able to be invented without peace and order. Laws keep order and peace in a community.

How were laws used in Mesopotamia

Laws were invented by a king in Babylon called Hammurabi, and influenced the rest of society. Laws were used differently then they are now. Laws were based off of an eye for an eye which means the law of retaliation, the person who did it should be punished in similar fashion as fits the crime.

Here are some of the of laws that were invented by a king called Hammurabi (more on Hammurabi's laws):

  • If a man destroyed the eye of another man, his eye shall be destroyed.
  • If he breaks another man's bone, his bone shall be broken.
  • If a man knocked out the teeth of an equal, his teeth shall be knocked out.
  • If a man's house collapsed and killed the man, the builder shall be put to death.
  • If the son is killed, then the builders son shall be put to death.

The development of laws

With the development of writing, people started to record laws. The best known set of laws in Mesopotamia is the code of Hammurabi. He brought prosperity and peace to the cities and he ruled throughout Mesopotamia. He claimed the gods had told him to write down the laws to make sure that the strong would not oppress the weak.

The legacy of laws

Laws have helped us the most out of all the legacy's of Mesopotamia. They have helped in a way that, without them, there wouldn't be the world as we live in it today. We would most likely live like pack animals or like a pride of lions.

Mesopotamians would not have made cuneiform, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, or any incredible innovations like transportation, without laws it would be survival of the fittest, the human race would fail to evolve.