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Why Was Hammurabi Important

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Question 1: Why is the Hammurabi Code considered to be so important?
The Law Stele of Hammurabi or the Hammurabi code is perhaps one of the oldest, most comprehensive and influential codification of laws ever created in ancient times. The intricately chiselled basalt pillar (or Stele) upon which the codes are written is considered an historical work of art, history and literature which is now housed in the Louvre in Paris, France (André-Salvini, 2003). It towers over 7.5 feet tall and the text is chiselled into solid stone. King Hammurabi (c. 1792 – 1750 B.C.E.) commissioned its construction to create a sovereign authority of universal laws throughout the Babylonian empire and as a demonstration of his duty to the gods and the citizens (Roth, 1995). It is a collaboration of pre-existing laws gathered from around the Babylonian Empire. The Hammurabi code served as not only an educational tool to “enlighten the land [but also created legal precedent] to further the well-being of mankind” (Hammurabi, 1752 B.C.E).
The sheer height and shape of the structure alone is a testament to his …show more content…
This however was an arduous task in a culture dominated by men who possessed misogynistic perceptions of women’s roles in society and a proto-racist mentality of non-Athenians (O ’Pry, 2012). This is exemplified in Pericles’s (Pericles 451 BCE) proposal on the laws of citizenship (Walters, 1983). The ratification of the Athenian constitution expanded the eligibility criteria and recognised women as citizens and also children, on the provision their parents were Athenian (Issac, 2010, p.38). The citizenship law of Pericles however did not make provisions for slaves or metics, thus excluding them from the political theatre (Bakaoukas, 2005). This proto-racist and misogynistic culture infringed on basic human rights and freedoms which is not reflective of a true

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