Unauthorized use is prohibited. He instituted his famous code of laws (c. 1772 BCE), paid careful attention to the needs of the people, improved irrigation of fields and maintenance of the infrastructures of the cities under his control, while also building opulent temples to the gods. He (i.e. This illustrated graphic takes you through one of the greatest and most enigmatic engineering achievements of all time. Holding the city directly, instead of having to negotiate for resources, would be preferable to any ruler and certainly was so to Hammurabi. Everyone under the law was expected to already know what the gods required of them, and the king was expected simply to administer the god's will. Tales of evil sorcerers and sorceresses are found throughout many periods of Mesopotamian history and the writers of these tales always have them meet with a bad end as, it seems, they also did when submitted to the Ordeal. What information indicates: Students construct inquiry questions to investigate topics relevant to daily life in Babylonia and today. Begin this activity by showing students the Large Image of Hammurabi's Stela, available through the EDSITEment-reviewed web resource The Oriental Institute: The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. The success of Hammurabi's military operations expanded Babylon north along the Tigris and Euphrates and south to what is now called the Persian Gulf. This activity serves to establish an anticipatory set for what is to follow. He struck swiftly at Mari in 1761 BCE and, for some reason, destroyed it instead of simply conquering it. Larsa was the most lucrative trade center on the Persian Gulf and the profits from this trade enriched the city and encouraged expansion so that most of the cities of the south were under Larsa's control. In strife-torn Mesopotamia, such curses were often fulfilled.

Some Rights Reserved (2009-2022) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. Number sixty indicates the existence of something akin to a sharecropping system in which one person farms land in exchange for land in five years. A sculpture depicts Babylonian king Hammurabi and the deity Shamash. During his time as king he oversaw a great expansion of his kingdom from a city-state to an empire. What does this preamble state is the purpose of the code to follow? Religion was central to everyday life in Babylonia. Next, work through the following questions: In order to give the students a general overview of the pronouncements, ask the class to work on the following questions and tasks: Hammurabi's Code ends with an epilogue, a concluding statement. Submitted by Joshua J. In the hypothetical speech below, Hammurabi invokes some of the Babylonian gods (Anu Bel, Shamash), as he does in his Code. Large temples were central features in every city and wealthy homes likely included their own private chapels. Hammurabi's code differed from the earlier laws in significant ways. It is a stele, made of basalt (a hard black volcanic rock), standing taller than seven feet and measuring about six feet around at its base. In earlier Sumerian-Akkadian times, all communities had felt themselves to be joint members of the same family, all equally servants under the eyes of the gods. The fifth king of the dynasty, Sin-Muballit (r. 1812-1793 BCE), successfully completed many public works projects but was unable to expand the kingdom or compete with the rival city of Larsa to the south. (2018, April 16). Students will participate in a simulation in 35 groups. In this lesson, students learn about life in Babylonia through the lens of Hammurabi's Code. Related Content If it kill the son of the owner of the house, the son of that builder shall be put to death. Get streaming, digital, and print all in one subscription with Nat Geo Premium with Disney+. (CC BY-SA). Want to help Californias kelp forests? Adultery by a husband might go unpunished, but an unfaithful wife would be executed. The complete text of Hammurabi's Code is available from the EDSITEment-reviewed web resource the Avalon Project. The precise intention behind the inscription on Hammurabi's Stela remains unclear. That accomplished, he broke the alliance and swiftly took the cities of Uruk and Isin, previously held by Larsa, by forming alliances with other city-states such as Nippur and Lagash. We know from records on clay tablets that Babylonia had an organized justice system. Evaluate the relative influence of various causes of events and developments in the past. Conquered cities were absorbed into Hammurabi's kingdom & then repaired & improved upon. For instance, Hammurabi turned against his long-time ally the king of Mari, the ruler of a flourishing city on the upper Euphrates River. What can we learn about Old Babylonian society from Hammurabi's Code? Students will soon work independently with a few of Hammurabi's pronouncements. Bookmark them as necessary on your computer.

The epilogue states that the stone on which the Code is inscribed was set up in the E-Sagil temple in Babylon.

Allow time for the groups to meet and then present their recommendations. This was a method previously used by Hammurabi's father but with considerably less efficacy. As ancient communities grew larger, they needed a stronger central government to complete and take care of necessary public projects -- such as the canals that enabled Babylon to grow surplus foods -- and to maintain law and order for keeping life in cities running smoothly. Think about large public objects with which students might be familiar, such as the statue of Lincoln at his memorial. Scholars have long debated why Hammurabi would break his alliance with Zimri-Lim but the reason seems fairly clear: Mari was an important, luxurious, and prosperous trade center on the Euphrates River and possessed great riches and, of course, water rights. Read through the lesson plan and visit the websites you plan to have your students use. Mark, published on 16 April 2018. Read with the class the first three paragraphs (starting near the end of the first paragraph with the words "That the strong might not injure the weak") and the first sentence of the fifth paragraph. Ancient Syro-Mesopotamia ca. From Mari, Hammurabi marched on Ashur and took the region of Assyria and finally Eshnunna (also conquered by damming up of the waters) so that, by 1755 BCE, he ruled all of Mesopotamia. Challenge the groups to include information about Babylonian society that they have learned in this lesson in the script. He was the first ruler able to successfully govern all of Mesopotamia, without revolt, following his initial conquest. The code certainly favored people of wealth and rank, who were required only to pay a fine if they injured commoners. Now share with the class the brief section on Babylonia from the British Museum's Mesopotamia site's Introduction to Mesopotamia, accessible through the EDSITEment-reviewed web resource The Oriental Institute: The University of Chicago. Social structure (class, gender, etc.) World History Encyclopedia, 16 Apr 2018. For what purpose does the first paragraph say the gods called upon Hammurabi? The Code of Ur-Nammu certainly relies on the concept of joint members of the same family in that an underlying understanding by the people of proper behavior in society is assumed throughout. In what ways do the purposes for the code stated in the text fit with the placement and design of the stele? Documents from the time attest to the efficacy of Hammurabi's rule and his sincere desire to improve the lives of the people of Mesopotamia. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. Other conquered cities were absorbed into the kingdom and then repaired and improved upon. Initially, Hammurabi gave Rim Sin I no cause for alarm. What other document(s) do students know that has/have (a) preamble(s)? By 1755 BCE, when he was the undisputed master of Mesopotamia, Hammurabi was old and sick. Its purpose is to stimulate student thinking about the reasons behind Hammurabi's Code.

He began his reign by centralizing and streamlining his administration, continuing his father's building programs and enlarging and heightening the walls of the city. "Hammurabi." Since that time, however, earlier similar "codes" have been unearthed. The following discussion gives the students a general impression of the full text of Hammurabi's Code (Annotated) from the EDSITEment-reviewed website Avalon Project at Yale University. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. He also states that the purpose of the Code is "to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land so that the strong should not harm the weak." Now the students can begin to form their own hypotheses about the purpose of Hammurabi's Code. Tell the class we have quite a bit of information about this ancient stele, which you will share with them later, but, for now, you want them to consider the object itself. The Babylonian god Marduk was the chief god of the city of Babylonia. Many scholars now consider Hammurabi's Code part of a longstanding tradition of public display of representative royal pronouncements. In this exercise students will be hypothesizing what the meaning of the stele might be. Eat sea urchins. Analyze multiple factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras. Why design an object that large for display? NCSS.D2.His.2.6-8. It informs the reader that through these precepts one can find out "what is just." Hammurabi's code stipulates that: If a man's wife has been pointed out because of another man, even though she has not been caught with him, for her husband's sake she must plunge into the divine river. Historian Karen Rhea Nemet-Najat writes: The king was directly responsible for administering justice on behalf of the gods, who had established law and order in the universe. However, today he is most famous for a series of judgments inscribed on a large stone stele and dubbed Hammurabi's Code. In the prologue, Hammurabi claims that his authority comes directly from the gods. In the fifth paragraph, what does Hammurabi advise future kings to do? Such a system requires some standardization of the law as well as an educated class to serve as judges and court recorders. Like the ancient Israelites, the Amorites may once have applied the principle of an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth to those who harmed others. Hammurabi (r. 1792-1750 BCE) was the sixth king of the Amorite First Dynasty of Babylon best known for his famous law code which served as the model for others, including the Mosaic Law of the Bible.

Ask the students to each write a one-sentence hypothesis as to the purpose of Hammurabi's Code. Under him the petty warring states of the lower valley were forced into unity and peace, and disciplined into order and security by an historic code of laws. You may access directly the information about the stele, which is also from the Louvre. According to the first paragraph where did Hammurabi have the stele placed? The vast kingdom Hammurabi had built during his lifetime began to fall apart within a year of his death. He is also known as Ammurapi and Khammurabi and assumed the throne from his father, Sin-Muballit, who had stabilized the kingdom but could not expand upon it. All rights reserved. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and University of Missouri. He could be merciless to enemies, destroying cities that defied him. New discoveries reveal an era when awe-inspiring monuments were all the rage.


In their presentations to the class, students should point to the specific precepts from which they derived their conclusions. Mark, Joshua J.. Our publication has been reviewed for educational use by Common Sense Education, Internet Scout, Merlot II, OER Commons and School Library Journal. Why place the stele near temples? Each group will create a script for a hypothetical Babylonian trial based on one of the precepts from Hammurabi's Code listed below. In order to simplify matters, Hammurabi's code sought to prevent vendetta and blood feuds by stating clearly the crime - and the punishment which would be administered Once the groups have presented, help the class generalize what life was like in ancient Babylonian society as a whole during Hammurabi's reign. Depending on the translation you read, most or all of the pronouncements begin with "If." We care about our planet and contribute a share of our revenue to carbon removal from the atmosphere. NCSS.D2.His.16.6-8. Hammurabi, the governor named by Bel, am I, who brought about plenty and abundance. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. If desired, attempt to arrive at a class consensus in one sentence. Much about Babylonia can be learned from the precepts (rules or instructions designed as a guide) in Hammurabi's Code. When republishing on the web a hyperlink back to the original content source URL must be included. NCSS.D2.His.15.6-8.

NCSS.D2.His.5.6-8. This is a much greater mystery than why he would march against it in the first place. Unlike the earlier Code of Ur-Nammu, which imposed fines or penalties of land, Hammurabi's code epitomized the principle known as Lex Talionis, the law of retributive justice, in which punishment corresponds directly to the crime, better known as the concept of 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth', made famous from the later law code of the Old Testament, exemplified in this passage from the Book of Exodus: If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. The woman who did so and survived the ordeal would be recognized as innocent, but then her accuser would be found guilty of false witness and punished by death. It is marked as the "Law Codex of Hammurabi." Why would Hammurabi want his name associated with the names of gods? Hammurabi died in 1750 BCE, and Samsu-Iluna was left to hold his father's realm against the invading forces while also keeping the various regions of Babylonia under control of the city of Babylon; it was a formidable task of which he was not capable. Sin-Muballit led a force against Larsa but was defeated by their king Rim Sin I. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. Begin by informing students that Hammurabi became the sixth ruler in the First Dynasty of Babylon in the 18th Century BCE. Hammurabi is best remembered today as a lawgiver whose code served as a standard for later laws but, in his time, he was known as the ruler who united Mesopotamia under a single governing body in the same way Sargon the Great of Akkad had done centuries before. The historian Durant writes: At the outset of [Babylonian history] stands the powerful figure of Hammurabi, conqueror and lawgiver through a reign of forty-three years. Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts. Which precept appears to apply to which class (the amelu, mushkinu, or wardu)? Divide the class into five groups. Organize applicable evidence into a coherent argument about the past. NCSS.D2.His.3.6-8. Hammurabi's Code distinguishes between three classes in the application of justice: That there was an organized government? Please be respectful of copyright. Hammurabis Code was based partly on Sumerian laws but prescribed its own harsher penalties for some offenses, including death or mutilation for crimes by commoners resulting in bodily injury. A preamble, like the introduction to an essay, states the purpose of what follows. A second reading of the meaning of this stone may be found in the possibility that the image communicated to viewers that Hammurabi's position was one of an intermediary between the human world and the world of the gods. The success of Hammurabi's military operations expanded Babylon north along the Tigris and Euphrates and south to what is now called the Persian Gulf. Information and an image of the stele can be found by visiting the Louvre Museum, which is available through EDSITEment-reviewed resource The Oriental Institute: The University of Chicago. World History Publishing is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom.
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