The Code of Hammurabi : Christian Courier The Code of Hammurabi : Christian Courier

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I completed the glory of Anu and Ninni. I extended the dwellings of the people in security. My words are precious, my power has no rival. The longest chapter concerns the family, which formed the basis of Babylonian society. I scattered my enemies. The Hammurabi stele, in a more indirect manner, hints of the same principle.

The Code of Hammurabi

With his powerful weapon may he drink him up, with his fevers crush him like a statue of clay. The stele is now at the Louvre. If a man has caught either a male or female runaway slave in the open field and has brought him back to his owner, the owner of the slave shall give him two shekels of silver.

The verdicts could be very harsh indeed, and Columbia University professor Marc van de Mieroop notes in his book "King Hammurabi of Babylon" Blackwell Publishing, that the death penalty is listed as punishment no fewer than 30 times.

If a man has borne false witness in a trial, or has not established the statement that he has made, if that case be a capital trial, that man shall be put to death.

Hammurabi was not the first ruler in the Middle East to write down laws.