Hammurabi's Code- Was it Just?

I don't think so- I have a bunch of proof to show you!

First- What's Hammurabi's Code?

Hammurabi's code is a list of laws that King Hammurabi made to keep people from doing bad stuff- like stealing and killing. But these laws can be really unfair!

For Example:

One of his laws:
"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." (about 1750 BC)

That is totally unfair! The father could lie about the son's past and say he has done something very bad, that wouldn't be fair for the boy!


"If a man has borrowed money to plant his fields and a storm has flooded his field or carried away the crop, . . . in that year he does not have to pay his creditor."

(about 1754 BC)

Well, the man gets off easy. What about the creditor? He can't predict when the next big storm is coming! It's the man's fault that he burrowed money that year. He should pay his creditor at least half the money he borrowed.

Oh fine: one more

"If a man has broken through the wall [to rob] a house, they shall put him to death and pierce him, or hang him in the hole in the wall which he has made." (about 1750 BC)

WHAT? Just because he stole something? And broke a hole in the house? He has to be HANGED? Or PIERCED?

And if you're still not persuaded:

"If a son struck his father, his hands shall be crit off." (about 1750 BC)

It probably barely hurt when the father was struck! Aren't men supposed to be tough? And now the boy's hands have to be cut off. That must be so painful! Just think... And what if the son had just had a fit of anger or something? He didn't mean to...

Don't you feel like that is so not fair? Hey, me too!

Imagine if...

Imagine if Hammurabi was our king now. We probably would be very careful what we do... that means much less fun! We can't go and do stuff we normally would do because of the risk of getting our hands cut off. Ouch.