Hammurabi, Code of


Hammurabi, Code of

Most complete and perfect extant collection of Babylonian laws, developed during the reign (c. 1792–50 BC) of Hammurabi. It consists of 282 of his legal decisions, collected toward the end of his reign and inscribed on a diorite stela set up in the temple of Marduk. The text is in the Akkadian language. Despite a few references to family solidarity, trial by ordeal, and the lex talionis (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth), it represents an advance over tribal custom in that it recognizes no blood feud, private retribution, or marriage by capture. The principal portion of the code is preserved in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

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