Ancient Babylon Essay

This essay has a total of 1293 words and 5 pages.

Ancient Babylon


The code of Hammurabi was one of the most important documents in Babylon history. It was
adopted from many Sumerian customs that had been around for a while before the
Babylonians. Though many of the Laws were adopted from Sumeria they were published by
Hammurabi and thus known as the code of Hammurabi. This code had four main parts to it.
They were: Civil Laws, Commercial Laws, Penal Laws, and the Law of procedures.

The Civil Law was an important one to the people. It set up a social class system based on
a hierarchy based on wealth. The Babylonians had three classes according to the code. They
were the freeman or wealthy people, the semi- freeman who were able to become slaves at
any time, and the slaves who were of course the lowest class.

The next section in the code was the Commercial Law. This had to do with business
transactions and most things relating to business. It set up 20% interest rates. There was
a political economy based on economic status. The wealthy classes were the creditors and
the poorer class was the debtors.

After the Commercial Law came the Penal Law. This had to do with the issue of crime. The
laws were unusually harsh do to their ineducation. Despite this the wealthy class usually
enjoyed more freedom from the law than the lower classes. There was no jury in the court
back in the times of Babylon. The code of Hammurabi was like an eye for an eye punishment.
If you killed someone than you would be killed.

The last law was the Law of Procedures. This dealt with the way all of the other laws were
carried out. It also had to do with the way ceremonies were carried out. These ceremonies
could include marriage and other religious ceremony.

The first group of people to take over the Mesopotamia region was the Akkadians. They took
over around 200 BC and they were lead by their leader Sargon the Great. Sargon was not a
good leader and Akkad the empire they built was not organized at all. It had no society
and no civilization.

Soon after the Akkadians came the Amorites. They were also known as the old Babylonians.
They built the city of Babylon and made it one of the biggest trade centers in the Middle
East. Hammurabi was the King of the Amorites and was famous for the code of Hammurabi.
This brought structure and order to Babylon. This is something the Akkadians did not have.
The Amorites had a society based on hierarchy and were very diverse. In fact one of the
reasons that they were conquered was because they could not communicate well because there
were so many different languages. The bible says that the Amorites attempted to build a
tower so they could reach heaven so he made them all speak different languages. After King
Hammurabi there was no sufficient leaders and Old Babylon soon fell. This appears to be a
pattern in history because this is very similar what happened to Egypt.

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