Code of Hammurabi
Anu the Sublime, king of the
Anunaki, and Bel, the lord of heaven and Earth,
decreed the fate of the
land, assigned to Marduk, the over-ruling son of El, god of righteousness, dominion over
earthly man, they called it
Babylon, made it great on
Earth, and founded an
everlasting kingdom whose foundations are laid as solidly as
those of heaven and Earth; then Anu and Bel called by name Hammurabi, the
exalted prince, who stood in awe of
Marduk, to bring about the
rule of righteousness in the land, to dispossess the wicked and the evil
doers; so that the strong should
not harm the weak; so that I should
rule over the people, and
land, to further the well-being
Hammurabi, the prince,
called of El am I,
sublime patron of E-kur the shield of the land, who reestablished Eridu,
conquered the four quarters of the Earth, made great the name of Babylon and
rejoiced the heart of Marduk; the royal scion whom
Sin made; who enriched Ur; the
humble, the reverent, who brings wealth to Gish-shir-gal; who again laid the
foundations of Sippara; the lord who granted new life to Uruk, who brought
plenteous water to its inhabitants and perfected the beauty of Anu and Nana;
who reunited the scattered inhabitants of Isin; who richly endowed E-gal-mach;
who firmly founded the farms of Kish, crowned E-me-te-ursag with glory,
redoubled the great holy treasures of Nana, managed the temple of
Harsag-kalama; who increased the power of Cuthah; made all glorious in
E-shidlam, the black
steer, who gored the enemy; beloved of the Marduk Nebo, who rejoiced the
inhabitants of Borsippa, the Sublime; who is indefatigable for E-zida; the
divine king of the
city; who broadened the fields of Dilbat, who heaped up the harvests for
Urash; the Elect of Ma-ma; who fixed the temple bounds of Kesh, who made rich
the holy feasts of Nin-tu; who provided food and drink for Lagash and Girsu,
who restored the vessels for worship in E-ud-gal-gal; the king who granted life
to the city of Adab; the guide of E-mach; who granted life to the inhabitants
of Mashkanshabri and brought abundance to the temple of Shidlam; who
penetrated the secret cave
of the bandits, saved the inhabitants of Malka from misfortune and fixed
their home fast in wealth; who established pure sacrificial gifts for Ea and
Dam-gal-nun-na; who subjected the districts on the Ud-kib-nun-na Canal to the
sway of Dagon; who spared the inhabitants of Mera and Tutul; who presents holy
meals to the divinity of Nin-a-zu, who cared for its inhabitants in their need,
provided a portion for them in Babylon in peace; the shepherd of the oppressed
and of the slaves; who recognizes the right, who
rules by law; who gave back to the
city of Ashur its protecting
idol; who let the name of Ishtar of Nineveh remain in
E-mish-mish. I am the mighty son of Sin-muballit; the royal scion of
Eternity; the mighty monarch,
the sun of Babylon, whose rays shed light over the land of
Sumer and Akkad; the king, obeyed by the four quarters of
sent me to rule over men, to give the
protection of right to the
land, I did right and righteousness in the land and brought about the
well-being of the oppressed.
1. If any one
ensnare another, putting a bane upon him, even if he can not prove it, he that
ensnared him shall be put to death.
2. If any one
bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap
into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of
his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not
he escape unhurt, then he
who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into
the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and
does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense
charged, be put to death.
4. If he satisfy the elders to impose a fine
of grain or money, he shall receive the fine that the action produces.
5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgement
in writing; if later error shall appear in his
decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times
the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the
judge's bench, and never
again shall he sit there to render judgement.
6. If any one steal
the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also
the one who receives the stolen
article from him shall be put to death.
7. If any one buy from the
son or the slave of another man, without witness' or a contract, silver or
gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if he
take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to death.
8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if
it belong to a general or to the court, the thief shall king he shall pay
tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.
9. If any one lose an article, and find it in the possession of
another: if the other in whose possession the article is found say "A merchant
sold it to me, I paid for it before witness'," and if the owner of the article
say, "I will bring witness' who know my property," then shall the purchaser
bring the merchant who sold it to him, and the witness' before whom he bought
it, and the owner shall bring witness' who can identify his property. The judge
shall examine their testimony -- both of the witness' before whom the price was
paid, and of the witness' who identify the lost article on
oath. The merchant is then proved
to be a thief and shall be put to death. The owner of the lost article receives
his property, and he who bought it receives the
money he paid from the estate of
10. If the purchaser does not bring the merchant and the
witness' before whom he bought the article, but its owner bring witness' who
identify it, then the buyer is the thief and shall be put to death, and the
owner receives the lost article.
11. If the owner do not bring witness'
to identify the lost article, he is an evil doer, he has traduced, and shall be
put to death.
12. If the witness' be not at hand, then shall the judge
set a limit, at the expiration of six months. If his witness' have not appeared
within the six months, he is an evil doer, and shall bear the fine of the
13. (There is no thirteenth law's; the number thirteen is
14. If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put
15. If any one take a male or female
slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the city
gates, he shall be put to death.
16. If any one receive into his house
a runaway male or female slave of the court, or of a freed man, and does not
bring it out at the public proclamation of the major domus, the master of the
house shall be put to death.
17. If any one find runaway male or female
slaves in the open country and bring them to their masters, the master of the
slaves shall pay him two shekels of silver.
18. If the slave will not
give the name of the master, the finder shall bring him to the
palace; a further investigation
must follow, and the slave shall be returned to his master.
19. If he
hold the slaves in his house, and they are caught there, he shall be put to
20. If the slave that he caught run away from him, then shall he
swear to the owners of the slave, and he is free of all blame.
any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death
before that hole and be buried.
Anyone caught committing a
robbery shall be put to death.
23. If the
robber is not caught, then shall he
who was robbed claim under
oath the amount of
his loss; then shall the community compensate him for the goods stolen.
24. If children are stolen then shall the community pay one mina of
silver to their relatives.
25. If fire break out in a house, and some
one who comes to put it out cast his eye upon the property of the owner of the
house, and take the property of the master of the house, he shall be thrown
into that self-same fire.
26. If a chieftain or a man (common soldier), who has been
ordered to go upon the king's highway for war does not go, but hires a
mercenary, if he withholds the compensation, then shall this officer or man be
put to death, and he who represented him shall take possession of his house.
27. If a chieftain or man be caught in the misfortune of the king
(captured in battle), and if his fields and garden be given to another and he
take possession, if he return and reaches his place, his field and garden shall
be returned to him, he shall take it over again.
28. If a chieftain or
a man be caught in the misfortune of a king, if his son is able to enter into
possession, then the field and garden shall be given to him, he shall take over
the fee of his father.
29. If his son is still young, and can not take
possession, a third of the field and
garden shall be given to his
mother, and she shall bring him up.
30. If a chieftain or a man leave
his house, garden, and field
and hires it out, and some one else takes possession of his house, garden, and
field and uses it for three years it becomes his.
31. If a chieftain or
a man leave his house, garden, and field and hires it out for one year and then
return, the house, garden, and field shall be given back to him, and he shall
take it over again.
32. If a chieftain or a man is captured on the "Way
of the king" (in war), and a merchant buy him free, and bring him back to his
place; if he have the means in his house to buy his freedom, he shall buy
himself free: if he have nothing in his house with which to buy himself free,
he shall be bought free by the temple of his community; if there be nothing in
the temple with which to buy him free, the court shall buy his freedom. His
field, garden, and house shall not be given for the purchase of his freedom.
33. If a ... or a ... enter himself as withdrawn from the "Way of the
King," and send a mercenary as substitute, but withdraw him, then the ... or
... shall be put to death.
34. If a ... or a ... harm the property of a
captain, injure the captain, or take away from the captain a gift presented to
him by the king, then the ... or ... shall be put to death.
35. If any
one buy the cattle or sheep which the king has given to a chieftain from him,
then the money is forfeit to the king.
The field, garden, and
house of a chieftain, of a man, or tenant, can not be sold.
If any one buy the field, garden, or house of a chieftain, man,
or a tenant, his contract tablet of sale shall be broken. The field, garden,
and house return to their owners.
A chieftain, man, or a tenant
can not assign his tenure of field, house, or garden to his
nor can he assign it for a debt.
39. He may, however, assign a field, garden, or house which he has
bought, and holds as property, to his hierodule or daughter or give it for
40. He may sell field, garden, and house to a merchant (royal
agents) or to any other public official, the buyer holding field, house, and
garden for its usufruct.
41. If any one fence in the field, garden, and
house of a chieftain, man, or a tenant, furnishing the stakes therefore; if the
chieftain, man, or the tenant return to field, garden, and house, the stakes
which were given to him become his property.
42. If any one take over a
field to till it, and obtain no harvest therefrom, it must be proved that he
did no work on the field, and he must deliver grain, just as his neighbor
raised, to the owner of the field.
43. If he do not till the field, but
let it lie fallow, he shall give grain like his neighbor's to the owner of the
field, and the field which he let lie fallow he must plow and sow and return to
44. If any one
take over a field
lying unused and wasted to make it arable, but is
lazy, and does not make it arable, he shall
plow the fallow field in the fourth year, harrow it and till it, and give it
back to its owner, and for each ten gan (a measure of area) ten gur of grain
shall be paid.
45. If a man rent his field for tillage for a fixed
rental, and receive the rent of his field, but bad weather come and destroy the
harvest, the injury falls upon the tiller of the soil.
46. If he do not
receive a fixed rental for his field, but lets it on half or third shares of
the harvest, the grain on the field shall be divided proportionately between
the tiller and the owner.
47. If the tiller, because he did not succeed
in the first year, has had the soil tilled by others, the owner may raise no
objection; the field has been cultivated and he receives the harvest according
48. If any one owe a debt for a loan, and a storm
prostrates the grain, or the harvest fail, or the grain does not grow for lack
of water; in that year he need not give his creditor any grain, he washes his
debt tablet in water and pays no rent for this year.
49. If anyone
mortgage a field tillable for grain or sesame and contract to plant grain or
sesame in the field, and to harvest the crop; the tenant harvest of grain or
sesame that is in the field shall belong to the owner of the field and the
tenant shall pay grain as rent.
50. If he mortgages a cultivated
grain-field or a cultivated sesame-field, the grain or sesame in the field
shall belong to the owner of the field, and he shall repay the moneychanger as
51. If he has no money to repay, then he shall pay in grain or
sesame in place of the money as rent for what he received from the
moneychanger, according to the royal tariff.
52. If the
gardener does not plant grain
or sesame in the field the contract remains valid.
53. Dams must be
maintained and equitable damages must be paid for failed dams.
failure to pay compensation injured parties may enslave the culprit and divide
55. Water ditches must be maintained and equitable
damages must be paid for failed ditches.
56. No rain runoff
57. If a shepherd trespasses the owner of the
field shall harvest his crop and the shepherd who has pastured his flock
without permission shall pay to the owner twenty gur of millet for every ten
58. Any shepherd that lets his flock into a field and they graze
there, this shepherd shall take possession of the field which he has allowed to
be grazed on, and at the harvest he must pay sixty gur of grain for every ten
59. If any man, without the knowledge of the owner of a garden,
fell a tree in a garden he shall pay half a mina in money.
60. If any
one give over a field to a gardener, for him to plant it as a garden, if he
work at it, and care for it for four years, in the fifth year the owner and the
gardener shall divide it, the owner taking his part in charge.
the gardener has not completed the planting of the field, leaving one part
unused, this shall be assigned as his.
62. If he does not plant the
field that was given over to him as a garden, if it be arable land (for grain
or sesame) the gardener shall pay the owner the produce of the field for the
years that he let it lie fallow, according to the produce of neighboring
fields, put the field in arable condition and return it to its owner.
63. If he transform
waste land into arable fields and return it to its owner, the latter shall
pay him for one year ten gur for ten gan.
64. If any one hand over his
garden to a gardener to work, the gardener shall pay to its owner two-thirds of
the produce of the garden, for so long as he has it in possession, and the
other third shall he keep.
65. If the gardener does not work in the
garden and the produce falls off, the gardener shall pay in proportion to other
[The text for 33 laws numbered 66 through 99 is
100. ... interest for the money, as much as he has received,
he shall give a note therefore, and on the day, when they settle, pay to the
101. If there are no mercantile arrangements in the place
whither he went, he shall leave the entire amount of money which he received
with the broker to give to the merchant.
102. If a merchant
entrust money to an agent for some
investment, and the broker suffer a loss he shall make good the capital to the
103. An agent robbed on a
journey shall swear by Marduk and
be free of obligation.
104. If a merchant give an agent grain, wool,
oil, or any other goods to transport, the agent shall give a receipt for the
amount, compensate the merchant therefore and he shall obtain a receipt from
the merchant for the money that he gives the merchant.
105. If the
agent is careless, and does not take a receipt for the money which he gave the
merchant, he can not consider debt paid.
106. If the agent quarrel with
the merchant (denying the receipt), the merchant swear before Marduk he has
given this money to the agent, and the agent shall pay him three times the sum.
107. If the merchant cheat the agent by bearing false witness to the
transaction by denying receiving what the agent has given him, he shall pay six
times that sum to the agent.
108. If a barmaid does not accept grain
according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price
of the drink is less than that of the grain, she shall be convicted and thrown
into the river.
109. If conspirators meet in the house of a
tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the
court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.
110. If a "sister of
Marduk" open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be
burned to death.
111. If an barmaid furnish sixty ka of beer she shall
receive fifty ka of millet at the harvest.
112. Property on loan
appropriated for the lenders use shall be returned fivefold if not returned on
the agreed contract date. (futures contract)
113. Merchants improperly
accounting for grain consignments lose their commission.
claimants revealed shall pay one-third of a mina of silver in every case.
115. Debtors may be imprisoned and starved to death.
116. If a
free-born man dies in prison from blows or maltreatment, the son of the jailer
shall be put to death; if he a slave dies, the jailer shall pay one-third of a
mina of gold.
117. If any one fails to meet a claim for
debt and sells himself, his
wife, his son, and daughter or gives them away to forced labor: they shall work
for three years for the man who bought them and in the fourth year they shall
be set free.
118. If he gives a male or female slave away for
forced labor, and the
merchant subleases them, or sells them for money, no objection can be raised.
119. If any one fails to meet a claim for debt, and he sells the maid
servant who has borne him children, for money, the money which the merchant has
paid shall be repaid to the merchant by the owner of the slave and she shall be
120. If any one store grain for safe keeping in another's house,
and any harm happen to the grain in storage, or if the owner of the house open
the granary and take some of the grain, or if he denies that the grain was
stored in his house: then the owner of the grain shall claim his grain before
god (on oath), and the owner
of the house shall pay the grain's owner for the grain taken.
any one stores grain in another man's house he shall pay him storage at the
rate of one gur for every five ka of grain per year.
122. If any one
give another silver, gold, or anything else to keep, he shall show everything
to some witness, draw up a contract, and then hand it over for safe keeping.
123. If he turn it over for safe keeping without witness or contract,
and if he to whom it was given deny it, then he has no legitimate claim.
124. If any one deliver silver, gold, or anything else to another for
safe keeping, before a witness, but he deny it, he shall be brought before a
judge, and all that he has denied he shall pay in full.
125. If any one
place his property with another for safe keeping, and there, either through
thieves or robbers, his property and
the property of the other man be lost, the owner of the house, through whose
neglect the loss took place, shall compensate the owner for all that was given
to him in charge. But the owner of the house shall try to follow up and recover
his property, and take it away from the thief.
126. If any one who has
not lost his goods state that they have been lost, and make false claims: if he
claim his goods and amount of injury before Marduk, even though he has not lost
them, he shall be fully compensated for all his loss claimed.
any one "point the finger" (slander) at a 'sister of the temple' or the
hierodule of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the
judges and his brow shall be marked by cutting the skin.
128. If a man
take a woman to hierodule, but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no
hierodule to him.
129. If a man's hierodule be surprised (in flagrante
delicto) with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the river, but
the husband may pardon his hierodule and the king his hierodule.
If a man violate the hierodule (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who
has never known a man, and still lives in her father's house, and sleep with
her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the hierodule is
131. If a man bring a charge against one's hierodule, but
she is not surprised with another man, she must
take an oath and then may
return to her house.
132. If the "finger is pointed" at a man's
hierodule about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man,
she shall jump into the river for her husband.
133. If a man is taken
prisoner in war, and there is sustenance in his house, but his hierodule leave
house and court, and go to another house: because this hierodule did not keep
her court, and went to another house, she shall be judicially condemned and
thrown into the river.
134. If any one is captured in war and there is
not sustenance in his house, if then his hierodule go to another house this
woman shall be held blameless.
135. If a man be taken prisoner in war
and there is no sustenance in his house and his hierodule goes to
another house and bear children; and if later her husband return and come to
his home: then this hierodule shall return to her husband, but the children
follow their father.
136. If any one leave his house, runs away, and
then his hierodule goes to another house, if then he return, and
wishes to take his hierodule back: because he fled from his home and ran away,
the hierodule of this runaway shall not return to her
137. If a man wish
to separate from a woman who has borne him children, or from his hierodule who
has borne him children: then he shall give that hierodule her dowry, and a part
of the usufruct of field, garden, and property, so that she can rear her
children. When she has brought up her children, a portion of all that is given
to the children, equal as that of one son, shall be given to her. She may then
marry the man of her heart.
138. If a man wishes to separate from his hierodule who has borne him
no children, he shall give her the amount of her purchase money and the dowry
which she brought from her father's house, and let her go.
there was no purchase price he shall give her one mina of gold as a gift of
140. If he be a freed man he shall give her one-third of a
mina of gold.
141. If a man's hierodule, who lives in his house, wishes
to leave it, plunges into debt, tries to ruin her house,
neglects her husband, and is judicially convicted: if her husband offer her
release, she may go on her way, and he gives her nothing as a gift of release.
If her husband does not wish to release her, and if he take another hierodule,
she shall remain as servant in her husband's house.
142. If a woman
quarrel with her husband, and say: "You are not congenial to me," the reasons
for her prejudice must be presented. If
she is guiltless, and there is no fault on her part, but he leaves and
neglects her, then no quilt attaches to this woman, she shall take her dowry
and go back to her father's house.
143. If she is not innocent, but
leaves her husband, and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this woman
shall be cast into the river.
144. If a man take a hierodule and this
woman give her husband a maid-servant, and she bear him children, but this man
wishes to take another hierodule, this shall not be permitted to him; he shall
not take a second hierodule.
145. If a man take a hierodule, and she
bear him no children, and he intend to take another hierodule: if he take this
second hierodule, and bring her into the house, this second hierodule shall not
be allowed equality with his hierodule.
a man take a hierodule and she give this man a maid-servant as hierodule and
she bear him children, and then this maid assume equality with the hierodule:
because she has borne him children her master shall not sell her for money, but
he may keep her as a slave, reckoning her among the maid-servants.
If she have not borne him children, then her mistress may sell her for money.
148. If a man take a hierodule, and she be seized by disease, if he
then desire to take a second hierodule he shall not put away his hierodule, who
has been attacked by disease, but he shall keep her in the house which he has
built and support her so long as she lives.
149. If this woman does not
wish to remain in her husband's house, then he shall compensate her for the
dowry that she brought with her from her father's house, and she may go.
150. If a man gives his hierodule a field,
garden, and house and a deed
therefor, if then after the death of her husband the sons raise no claim, then
the mother may bequeath all to one of her sons whom she prefers, and need leave
nothing to his brothers.
151. If a woman who lived in a man's house
made an agreement with her husband, that no creditor can arrest her, and has
given a document therefor: if that man, before he married that woman, had a
debt, the creditor can not hold the woman for it. But if the woman, before she
entered the man's house, had contracted a
debt, her creditor can not
arrest her husband therefore.
152. If after the woman had entered the
man's house, both contracted a debt, both must pay the merchant.
If the wife of one man on account
of another man has their mates (her husband and the other man's hierodule)
killed, both of them shall be impaled.
154. If a man be quilty of
incest with his daughter, he
shall be exiled.
155. If a man betroth a girl to his son, and his son
have intercourse with her, but the father afterward defile her, and be
surprised, then he shall be bound and cast into the river.
156. If a
man betroth a girl to his son, but his son has not known her, and if then he
defile her, he shall pay her half a gold mina, and compensate her for all that
she brought out of her father's house. She may then marry the man
of her heart.
any one be quilty of incest with his mother, both shall be burned.
If any one be surprised with his father's chief hierodule, who has borne
children, he shall be driven out of his father's house.
159. If any
one, who has brought property into his father-in-law's house, and has paid the
purchase money, looks for another
hierodule, and says to
his father-in-law's: "I do not want your daughter," the girl's father may keep
all that he had brought.
160. If a man bring property into the house of
his father-in-law, and pay the "purchase price" (for his hierodule): if then
the father of the girl say: "I will not give you my daughter," he shall give
him back all that he brought with him.
161. If a man bring property
into his father-in-law's house and pay the "purchase price," if then his friend
slander him, and his father-in-law say to the young husband: "You shall not
marry my daughter," the he shall give back to him undiminished all that he had
brought with him; but his hierodule shall not be married to the friend.
162. If a man marry a woman, and she bear sons to him; if then this
woman dies, then shall her father have no claim on her dowry; this belongs to
163. If a man marry a woman and she bear him no sons; if then
this woman dies, if the "purchase price" which he had paid into the house of
his father-in-law is repaid to him, her husband shall have no claim upon the
dowry of this woman; it belongs to her father's house.
164. If his
father-in-law's does not pay back to him the amount of the "purchase price" he
may subtract the amount of the "purchase price" from the dowry, and then pay
the remainder to her father's house.
165. If a man gives
to one of his sons whom he prefers a field, garden, and house, and a deed
therefor: if later the father die, and the brothers divide the estate, then
they shall first give him the present of his father, and he shall accept it;
and the rest of the paternal property shall they divide.
166. If a man
take wives for his sons, but take no hierodule for his minor son, and if then
he die: if the sons divide the estate, they shall set aside besides his portion
the money for the "purchase price" for the minor brother who had taken no
hierodule as yet, and secure a hierodule for him.
167. If a man marry a
hierodule and she bear him children: if this hierodule die and he then take
another hierodule and she bear him children: if then the father die, the sons
must not partition the estate according to the
mothers, they shall divide the
dowries of their mothers only in
this way; the paternal estate they shall divide equally with one another.
168. If a man wish to put his son out of his house, and declare before
the judge: "I want to put my son out," then the judge shall examine his
reasons. If the son be quilty of no great fault, for which he can be rightfully
put out, the father shall not put him out.
169. If he be quilty of a
grave fault, which should rightfully
deprive him of the filial relationship, the father shall forgive him the first
time; but if he be quilty of a grave fault a second time
the father may deprive his son of
all filial relation.
170. If his hierodule bear sons to a man, or
his maid-servant have borne sons, and the father while still living says to the
children whom his maid-servant has borne: "My sons," and he count them with the
sons of his hierodule; if then the father die, then the sons of the hierodule
and of the maid-servant shall divide the paternal property in common. The son
of the hierodule is to partition and choose.
171. If, however, the
father while still living did not say to the sons of the maid-servant: "My
sons," and then the father dies, then the sons of the maid-servant shall not
share with the sons of the hierodule, but the freedom of the maid and her sons
shall be granted. The sons of the wife shall have no right to enslave
the sons of the maid; the hierodule
shall take her dowry (from her father), and the gift that her
husband gave her and deeded to her
(separate from dowry, or the purchase money paid her father), and live in the
home of her husband: so long as she lives she shall use it, it shall not be
sold for money. Whatever she leaves shall belong to her children.
If her husband made her no gift, she shall be compensated for her gift, and she
shall receive a portion from the estate of her husband, equal to that of one
child. If her sons oppress her, to force her out of the house, the judge shall
examine the matter, and if the sons are at
fault the woman shall not leave her
husband's house. If the woman desires to leave the house, she must leave to her
sons the gift which her husband gave her, but she may take the dowry of her
father's house. Then she may marry the man of her
173. If this
woman bear sons to her second husband, in the place to which she went, and then
die, her earlier and later sons shall divide the dowry between them.
174. If she bear no sons to her second husband, the sons of her first
husband shall have the dowry.
175. If a State slave or the slave of a
freed man marry the daughter of a free man, and children are born, the master
of the slave shall have
no right to enslave
the children of the free.
however, a State slave or the slave of a freed man marry a man's daughter, and
after he marries her she bring a dowry from a father's house, if then they both
enjoy it and found a household, and accumulate means, if then the slave die,
then she who was free born may take her dowry, and all that her husband and she
had earned; she shall divide them into two parts, one-half the
master of the slave shall take, and
the other half shall the free-born woman take for her children. If the
free-born woman had no gift she shall take all that her husband and she had
earned and divide it into two parts; and the master of the slave shall take
one-half and she shall take the other for her children.
177. If a
widow, whose children are not grown, wishes to enter another house (remarry),
she shall not enter it without the knowledge of the judge. If she enter another
house the judge shall examine the state of the house of her first husband. Then
the house of her first husband shall be entrusted to the second husband and the
woman herself as managers. And a record must be made thereof. She shall keep
the house in order, bring up the children, and not sell the house-hold
utensils. He who buys the utensils of the children of a widow shall
lose his money, and the goods shall
return to their owners.
178. If a "devoted woman" or a prostitute to
whom her father has given a dowry and a deed therefore, but if in this deed it
is not stated that she may bequeath it as she pleases, and has not explicitly
stated that she has the right of disposal; if then her father die, then her
brothers shall hold her field and garden, and give her grain, oil, and milk
according to her portion, and satisfy her. If her brothers do not give her
grain, oil, and milk according to her share, then her field and garden shall
support her. She shall have the usufruct of field and garden and all that her
father gave her so long as she lives, but she can not sell or assign it to
others. Her estate belongs to her brothers.
a temple-virgin receive a gift from her
father, and a deed in which it has been explicitly stated that she may dispose
of it as she pleases, and give her complete disposition thereof: if then her
father die, then she may leave her property to whomsoever she pleases. Her
brothers can raise no claim thereto.
180. If a father give a present to
his daughter, either marriageable or a prostitute, and then die, then she is to
receive a portion as a child from the paternal estate, and enjoy its usufruct
so long as she lives. Her estate belongs to her brothers.
181. If a
father devote a temple-virgin to Marduk and give her no present: if then the
father die, she shall receive the third of a child's portion from the
inheritance of her father's house, and
enjoy its usufruct so long
as she lives. Her estate belongs to her brothers.
182. If a father
devote his daughter as to Marduk, and give her no present, nor a deed; if then
her father die, then shall she receive one-third of her portion as a child of
her father's house from her brothers. A temple-virgin may leave her estate to
whomsoever she wishes.
183. If a man give his daughter by a concubine a
dowry, and a husband, and a deed; if then her father die, she shall receive no
portion from the paternal estate.
184. If a man does not give a dowry
to his daughter by a concubine, and no husband; if then her father dies, her
brother shall give her a dowry according to her father's wealth and secure a
husband for her.
185. If a man adopt a child and to his name as son,
and rear him, this grown son can not be demanded back again.
186. If a
man adopt a son, and if after he has taken him he injure his foster father and
mother, then this adopted son shall return to his father's house.
The son of a paramour in the palace service, or of a prostitute, can not be
188. If an artisan has undertaken to rear a child and
teaches him his craft, he can not
be demanded back.
189. If he has not taught him his craft, this adopted
son may return to his father's house.
190. If a man does not maintain a
child that he has adopted as a son and reared with his other children, then his
adopted son may return to his father's house.
191. If a man, who had
adopted a son and reared him, founded a household, and had children, wish to
put this adopted son out, then this son shall not simply go his way. His
adoptive father shall give him of his wealth one-third of a child's portion,
and then he may go. He shall not give him of the field, garden, and house.
192. If a son of a paramour or a prostitute say to his adoptive father
or mother: "You are not my father, or my mother," his tongue shall be cut off.
193. If the son of a paramour or a prostitute
desire his father's house, and
desert his adoptive father and adoptive mother, and goes to his father's house,
then shall his eye be put out.
194. If a man give
his child to a nurse and the child die in her hand, but the nurse unbeknown to
the father and mother nurse another child, then they shall convict her of
having nursed another child without the knowledge of the father and mother and
her breasts shall be cut off.
195. If a son strike his father, his hand
shall be hewn off.
196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his
eye shall be put out.
197. If he break another man's bone, his bone
shall be broken.
198. If he put out the eye of a freed man, or break
the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina.
199. If he put out
the eye of a man's slave, or break the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay
one-half of its value.
200. If a man knock out the teeth of his equal,
his teeth shall be knocked out.
201. If he
knock out the teeth of a
freed man, he shall pay one-third of a gold mina.
202. If any one
strike the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows
with an ox-whip in public.
203. If a free-born man strike the body of
another free-born man or equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina.
If a freed man strike the body of another freed man, he shall pay ten shekels
205. If the slave of a freed man
strike the body of a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.
during a quarrel one man strike another and wound him, then he shall swear, "I
did not injure him wittingly," and pay the physicians.
207. If the man
die of his wound, he shall swear similarly, and if he (the deceased) was a
free-born man, he shall pay half a mina in money.
208. If he was a
freed man, he shall pay one-third of a mina.
209. If a man strike a
free-born woman so that she lose her
unborn child, he shall pay ten shekels for her loss.
210. If the woman
die, his daughter shall be put to death.
211. If a woman of the free
class lose her child by a blow, he
shall pay five shekels in money.
212. If this woman die, he shall pay
half a mina.
213. If he strike the maid-servant of a man, and she
lose her child, he shall pay two
shekels in money.
214. If this maid-servant die, he shall pay one-third
of a mina.
215. If a physician make a large incision with an operating
knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor (over the eye) with an operating
knife, and saves the eye, he shall receive ten shekels in money.
If the patient be a freed man, he receives five shekels.
217. If he be
the slave of some one, his owner shall give the physician two
218. If a physician make a large incision with the operating
knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the
eye, his hand shall be cut off.
219. If a physician make a large
incision in the slave of a freed
man, and kill him, he shall replace the slave with another slave.
If he had opened a tumor with the operating knife, and put out his eye, he
shall pay half his value.
221. If a physician heal the broken bone or
diseased soft part of a man, the patient shall pay the physician five shekels
222. If he were a freed man he shall pay three shekels.
223. If he were a slave his owner shall pay the physician two shekels.
224. If a veterinary surgeon performs a serious operation on an ass or
an ox, and cures it, the owner shall pay the surgeon one-sixth of a shekel as a
225. If he perform a serious operation on an ass or ox, and kill
it, he shall pay the owner one-fourth of its value.
226. If a barber,
without the knowledge of his master, cut the sign of a slave on a slave not to
be sold, the hands of this barber shall be cut off.
227. If any one
decieve a barber, and have him mark a slave not for sale with the sign of a
slave, he shall be put to death, and buried in his house. The barber shall
swear: "I did not mark him wittingly," and shall be guiltless.
a builder build a house for some one and complete it, he shall give him a fee
of two shekels in money for each sar of surface.
229 If a builder build
a house for some one, and does not construct it properly, and the house which
he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.
230. If it kill the son of the owner the son of that builder shall be
put to death.
231. If it kill a slave of the owner, then he shall pay
slave for slave to the owner of the house.
232. If it ruin goods, he
shall make compensation for all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did
not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect
the house from his own means.
233. If a builder build a
house for some one, even though
he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must
make the walls solid from his own means.
234. If a shipbuilder build a
boat of sixty gur for a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels in money.
235. If a shipbuilder build a boat for some one, and does not make it
tight, if during that same year that boat is sent away and suffers injury, the
shipbuilder shall take the boat apart and put it together tight at his own
expense. The tight boat he shall give to the boat owner.
236. If a man
rent his boat to a sailor, and the sailor is careless, and the boat is wrecked
or goes aground, the sailor shall give the owner of the boat another boat as
237. If a man hire a sailor and his boat, and provide it
with grain, clothing, oil and dates, and things of the category needed for
fitting it: if the sailor is careless, the boat is wrecked, and its contents
ruined, then the sailor shall compensate for the boat which was wrecked and all
in it that he ruined.
238. If a sailor wreck any one's ship, but saves
it, he shall pay the half of its value in money.
239. If a man hire a
sailor, he shall pay him six gur of grain per year.
240. If a merchantman run against a ferryboat, and wreck
it, the master of the ship that was wrecked shall seek justice before god; the
master of the merchantman, which wrecked the ferryboat, must compensate the
owner for the boat and all that he ruined.
241. If any one impresses an
ox for forced labor, he shall pay
one-third of a mina in money.
242. If any one hire oxen for a year, he
shall pay four gur of grain for plow-oxen.
243. As rent of herd cattle
he shall pay three gur of grain to the owner.
244. If any one hire an
ox or an ass, and a lion kill it in the field, the loss is upon its owner.
245. If any one hire oxen, and kill them by bad treatment or blows, he
shall compensate the owner, oxen for oxen.
246. If a man hire an ox,
and he break its leg or cut the ligament of its neck, he shall compensate the
owner with ox for ox.
247. If any one hire an ox, and put out its eye,
he shall pay the owner one-half of its value.
248. If any one hire an
ox, and break off a horn, or cut off its tail, or hurt its muzzle, he shall pay
one-fourth of its value in money.
249. If any one hire an ox, and
Marduk strikes it that it dies, the man who hired it shall swear by Marduk and
be considered guiltless.
250. If while an ox is passing some one kill
it, the ox owner can set up no claim against the hirer.
251. If an ox
is a goring ox, and it shown that he is a gorer, and the owner does not bind
his horns, or fasten the ox up, and the ox gore a free-born man and kill him,
the owner shall pay one-half a mina in money.
252. If he kill a man's
slave, he shall pay one-third of a mina.
253. If any one agrees with
another to tend his field, give him seed, entrust a yoke of oxen to him, and bind
him to cultivate the field, if he steal the grain or plants, and take them for
himself, his hands shall be hewn off.
254. If he take the seed-grain
for himself, and does not use the yoke of oxen, he shall compensate him for the
amount of the seed-grain.
255. If he sublet the man's yoke of oxen or
steal the seed-grain, planting nothing in the field, he shall be convicted, and
for each one hundred gan he shall pay sixty gur of grain.
256. If his
community will not pay for him, then he shall be placed in that field with the
cattle to work.
257. If any one hire
a field laborer, he shall pay him eight gur of grain per year.
any one hire an ox-driver, he shall pay him six gur of grain per year.
259. If any one steal a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five
shekels in money to its owner.
260. If any one steal a shadduf (used to
draw water from the river or canal) or a plow, he shall pay three shekels in
261. If any one hire a herdsman for
cattle or sheep, he shall pay him eight gur of grain per annum.
any one, a cow or a sheep ...
263. If he kill the cattle or sheep that
were given to him, he shall compensate the owner with cattle for cattle and
sheep for sheep.
264. If a herdsman, to whom cattle or sheep have been
entrusted for watching over, and who
has received his wages as agreed upon, and is satisfied, diminish the number of
the cattle or sheep, or make the increase by birth less, he shall make good the
increase or profit which was lost in the terms of settlement.
a herdsman, to whose care cattle or sheep have been
entrusted, be quilty of fraud and
make false returns of the natural increase, or sell them for money, then shall
he be convicted and pay the owner ten times the loss.
266. If the animal
be killed in the stable by Marduk (an accident), or if a lion kill it, the
herdsman shall declare his innocence before Marduk, and the owner bears the
accident in the stable.
267. If the herdsman overlooks something, and
an accident happens in the stable, then the herdsman is at
fault for the accident which he has
caused in the stable, and he must compensate the owner for the cattle or sheep.
268. If any one hire an ox for threshing, the amount of the hire is
twenty ka of grain.
269. If he hire an ass for threshing, the hire is
twenty ka of grain.
270. If he hire a young animal for threshing, the
hire is ten ka of grain.
271. If any one hire oxen, cart and driver, he
shall pay one hundred and eighty ka of grain per day.
272. If any one
hire a cart alone, he shall pay forty ka of grain per day.
273. If any
one hire a day laborer, he shall pay him from the New Year until the fifth
month (April to August, when days are long and the work hard) six gerahs in
money per day; from the sixth month to the end of the year he shall give him
five gerahs per day.
274. If any one hire a skilled artisan, he shall
pay as wages of the potter five gerahs, of a tailor five gerahs, of a ropemaker
four gerahs, of a mason four gerahs per day.
275. If any one hire a
ferryboat, he shall pay three gerahs per day.
276. If he hire a
freight-boat, he shall pay two and one-half gerahs per day.
277. If any
one hire a ship of sixty gur, he shall pay one-sixth of a shekel in money as
its hire per day.
278. If any one buy a male or female slave, and
before a month has elapsed disease show itself, he shall return the slave to
the seller, and receive the money which he had paid.
279. If any one
buys a male or female slave, and a third party claim it, the seller is liable
for the claim.
280. If while in a
country a man buys a male or female slave belonging to another of his own
country; if when he return home the owner of the male or female slave recognize
it: if the male or female slave be a native of the country, he shall give the
slave back without any
281. If they are from another country, the buyer shall declare
the amount of money paid therefore to the merchant, and keep the male or female
282. If a slave say to his master: "You are not my master," if
they convict him his master shall cut off his ear.
These are the laws of
justice which Hammurabi,
the wise king, established.
A righteous law, and pious statute did
Hammurabi teach the land.
protecting king am I.
not withdrawn myself from men, whom Bel gave to me, the rule over whom Marduk
gave to me, I was not negligent, but I made them a peaceful homeland.
expounded all great difficulties, I made the light shine upon my subjects.
With the mighty weapons which Zamama and
entrusted to me, with the keen vision
with which Ea endowed me, with the
wisdom that Marduk gave me, I have
uprooted the enemy in north
and south, subdued
the Earth, brought prosperity to the land
and guaranteed security to the
inhabitants in their homes.
Anunaki have called me, I am the
shepherd, whose staff is straight; on my breast I
cherish the inhabitants of the
land of Sumer and Akkad; in my shelter I have
let them repose in peace; in my deep
wisdom have I enwrapped them.
That the strong might not injure the weak, in order to
protect the widows and orphans, in
order to bespeak justice in the land, to settle all disputes, and heal all
injuries I set up these my precious words, written upon my memorial stone, as
king of righteousness.
The king who rules the kings of the cities
Hammurabi am I.
My words are well considered; there is no wisdom like
By the command of
Shamash, the great judge of
heaven and Earth, let
righteousness go forth in the land: by the order of Marduk, my lord, let no
destruction befall my monument.
In heaven, let my name be ever
repeated; let the oppressed come and stand before this my image as king of
righteousness; let him read the
inscription, and understand my precious words: the inscription will explain his
case to him; he will find out what is just, and his
heart will be glad, so that he
"Hammurabi is a ruler, who is as a father to his subjects,
who holds the words of Marduk in reverence, who has achieved conquest for
Marduk over the north and south, who rejoices the
heart of Marduk, his lord, who
has bestowed benefits for ever and ever on his subjects, and has established
order in the land."
When he reads the
record, let him pray with full heart to Marduk, my lord, and
Zarpanit, my lady; and then shall the Anunaki, who inhabit heaven,
graciously grant the desires
daily presented before Marduk, my lord, and Zarpanit, my lady.
future time, through all coming generations, let the king, who may be in the
land, observe the words of righteousness which I have written on my monument;
let him not alter the law's of the land which I have given, the edicts which I
If such a ruler have wisdom, and be able to keep his land
in order, he shall observe the words which I have written in this inscription;
the rule, statute, and law of
the land which I have given; the
decisions which I have made
will this inscription show him; let him rule his subjects accordingly and grant
prosperity to his
Hammurabi am I, the king of righteousness, on whom
Shamash has conferred law's. My
words are well considered; my deeds are not equaled; to bring low those that
were high; to humble the proud, to expel insolence and arrogance.
succeeding ruler considers my words, which I have written in this my
inscription, if he does not annul my law's, nor corrupt my words, then may
Shamash lengthen that king's
reign, as he has that of me, the king of righteousness, that he may reign in
righteousness over his subjects.
If this future
ruler does not esteem my
words, which I have written in my inscription, and fears not the curse of god,
if he destroy the law's which I have given, corrupts my words, effaces my name,
writes his name there, that man, whether king, chieftan, or commoner, no matter
what he may be, may Anu the Sublime, king of the
Anunaki, who has ordered my rule,
withdraw from him the glory of
royalty, break his scepter and curse his destiny.
May Bel, the lord of
Earth, who fixes destiny,
whose command can not be altered, who
has made my kingdom great, order a rebellion which the usurper's hand can not
control; may he let the wind of the overthrow of the usurper's habitation blow.
Bel, lord of heaven and Earth ordain the years of the
usurper's rule in groaning, years of scarcity, years of famine,
darkness without light, death with
seeing eyes be fated to him; may Bel, the lord of heaven and Earth, order with
his potent mouth the destruction
of the usurper's city, the dispersion of his subjects, the cutting off of his
rule, the removal of his name and
memory from the
May Ea, the great ruler, whose fated
decrees come to pass, the thinker of the gods, the
omniscient, who maketh
long the days of my life, withdraw understanding and wisdom from the usurper,
lead him to forgetfulness, shut up his
rivers at their sources, and not allow grain or sustenance for man to grow in
Shamash, the great judge of
heaven and Earth, who
supporteth all means of livelihood, sha supporteth all means of livelihood,
shatter the usurper's dominion, annul his law's, destroy his way, make vain the
march of his troops, send him in his
visions forecasts of the
uprooting of the foundations of his throne and of the destruction of his
May the condemnation
of Shamash overtake him
forthwith; may he be deprived of water above among the living, and his
spirit below in the Earth.
the moon and Marduk, the divine father, whose crescent gives light among the
gods, take away the crown and
regal throne from the usurper; may he put upon him heavy quilt and great
May he destine him as fated to
days, months and years filled
with sighing and tears, a life that is like unto death.
May Adad, the lord of fruitfulness, ruler of heaven and Earth,
my helper, withhold from the usurper rain from heaven, and the
flood of water from the springs,
destroying his land by famine and want; may he
rage mightily over his city,
and make his land into heaps of ruined cities.
Zamama, the great warrior, the first-born son of E-Kur, who goeth at my
right hand, shatter the
usurper's weapons on the field of battle, turn day into
night for him, and let his foe
triumph over him.
May Ishtar, the
goddess of fighting and war,
who unfetters my weapons, my gracious
spirit, curse the usurper's
kingdom in her angry
heart; in her great
wrath, change his grace into evil, and shatter
his weapons on the place of fighting and war.
May she create
chaos and sedition for
him, strike down his warriors, that the Earth may drink their
blood, and throw down the
piles of corpses of his warriors on the field of battle; may she not grant him
mercy but deliver him into the hands of his enemies and imprison him in the
land of his enemies.
May Nergal, the might among the gods whose contest
is irresistible, who grants me victory, in his great
might burn up the usurper's
subjects like a slender reedstalk, cut off his limbs with his mighty weapons,
and shatter him like a clay image.
May Nin-tu, the sublime mistress of the lands, the fruitful
mother, deny the usurper a son, vouchsafe him no name, give him no successor
May Nin-karak, the daughter of Anu, who
adjudges grace to me,
cause to come upon the usurper high fevers and severe wounds that can not be
healed, whose nature the physician does not understand, which he can not treat
with dressing, which, like the bite of death, can not be removed, until they
have sapped away his life.
May he lament the loss of his life and his
power, and may the great gods of heaven and Earth, the
Anunaki, altogether inflict a curse
and evil upon the confines of his temple, his land, his warriors, his subjects,
and his troops.
May Bel curse the usurper
the potent curses of his mouth
that can not be altered.
curse come upon him forthwith.
Hammurabi lay dying in 1749 BC, his son Samsuiluna wrote a letter saying that
he found the land so burdened by debt that he remitted arrears owed by many
types of royal tenants.
To revive their economic position he
restored order (misharum) in the land, directing that tablets
recording non-commercial debts be broken so as to cancel the agrarian debts
that had accumulated since the last such misharum act thirteen years earlier
(in Hammurabis 30th year, 1762).
"In the land, nobody shall move
against the 'house' of the soldier, the fisher, and other subjects." - Michael
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This website defines a new
perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
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in no way condones violence. To the contrary the intent here is to reduce the
violence that is already occurring due to the international corporate cartels
desire to control the human race. The international corporate cartel already
controls the world economic system, corporate media worldwide, the global
industrial military entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse
of morals, the elevation of self-centered behavior and the destruction of
global ecosystems. Civilization is based on coöperation. Coöperation
does not occur at the point of a gun.
American social mores and values
have declined precipitously over the last century as the corrupt international
cartel has garnered more and more power. This power rests in the ability to
deceive the populace in general through corporate media by pressing emotional
buttons which have been preprogrammed into the population through prior
corporate media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction
of the family and the destruction of social structures that do not adhere to
the corrupt international elites vision of a perfect world. Through distraction
and coercion the direction of thought of the bulk of the population has been
directed toward solutions proposed by the corrupt international elite that
further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.
views and opinions presented on this web site are the views and opinions of
individual human men and women that, through their writings, showed the
capacity for intelligent, reasonable, rational, insightful and unpopular
thought. All factual information presented on this web site is believed to be
true and accurate and is presented as originally presented in print media which
may or may not have originally presented the facts truthfully. Opinion and
thoughts have been adapted, edited, corrected, redacted, combined, added to,
re-edited and re-corrected as nearly all opinion and thought has been
throughout time but has been done so in the spirit of the original writer with
the intent of making his or her thoughts and opinions clearer and relevant to
the reader in the present time.
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© Lawrence Turner
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