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Code of Hammurabi

Miscellaneous Laws

 

 

This law code was compiled during the reign of Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC), King of Babylon.  While there were earlier compilations of laws, this is the earliest extant one this extensive.

53. If anyone be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition and does not so keep it, if then the dam break and all the fields be flooded, then shall he in whose dam the break occurred be sold for money, and the money shall replace the grain which he has caused to be ruined.

54. If he be not able to replace the grain, then he and his possessions shall be divided among the farmers whose grain he has flooded.

55. If anyone open his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and the water flood the field of his neighbor, then he shall pay his neighbor grain for his loss.

56. If a man let in the water, and the water overflow the plantation of his neighbor, he shall pay ten gur of grain for every ten gan of land.

* * *

195. If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off.

196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. [ An eye for an eye ]

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. [ A tooth for a tooth ]

201. If he knock out the teeth of a freed man, he shall pay one-third of a gold mina.

202. If anyone 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 of equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina.

204. If a freed man strike the body of another freed man, he shall pay ten shekels in money.

205. If the slave of a freed man strike the body of a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.

206. If 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.


From the translation by L. W. King. Original e-text version at http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/hammurabi.htm Edited for classroom use.

Other portions of the Code of Hammurabi can be found at:

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