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Full text of "The code of Hammurabi"

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T4 ' B 3 443 713 



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i TEXTS FOR STUDENTS. No, IS. 



ITHE CODE OF 
HAMMURABI 



BY 

PERCY HANDGOCK, M.A, 



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TEXTS FOR STUDENTS. No. 15 

GENERAL EDITORS: Caroline A. J. Skeel, D.Lit. ; 
H. J. White, D.D. ; J. P. Whitney, D.D.. D.CX. 



THE 

CODE OF HAMMURABI 

BY 

PERCY HANDCOCK, M.A. 

BARKISTER-AT-I.AW 

FORMERLY ASSISTANT TO THE KEEPER OF EGYPTIAN AND ASSYRIAN ANTIQUITIES, 

BRITISH MUSEUM 



LONDON 

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING 

CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE 

NEW YORK : THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

1920 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



INTRODUCTION 

Hammurabi, who is probably to be identified with the 
Amraphel of Gen. xiv. 1, was the sixth king of the first 
known dynasty of Babylon, and he reigned for forty-three 
years — about 2130-2088 B.C., as far as can at present 
be determined. He was a successful ruler and an able 
administrator. 

His Code of Laws is inscribed on a block of black diorite 
which was found on the acropolis of Susa by an expedition 
sent out by the French Government under M. de Morgan 
in 1901. At the top of the front side of the stele is a bas- 
relief representing Hammurabi receiving the code from 
Shamash, the Sun god. About one-eighth of the code (five 
columms) has been erased ; the remaining forty-four columns 
contain two hundred and forty-eight separate provisions. 
These provisions relate almost exclusively to civil and 
criminal law. 

The code represents a system of law and custom which 
had grown up in the country, and the ultimate origin of 
which is to be sought in the far remoter past. It is the 
most ancient code of laws at present known, and its rela- 
tion to other systems of law has been much discussed. 
We are, however, here only concerned with its relationship 
to Hebrew law. 

There cannot be the slightest doubt that some relation- 
ship does exist, but the connection is probably indirect ^ ^'/A' 
rather than direct. N " 

3 






437540 



THE G01>E OF HAMMURABI 



A close examination of the provisions in the Hebrew code 
which bear a similarity to provisions in the Babylonian 
code, leads to the conclusion that there was no direct 
borrowing on the part of the Hebrew legislators, but that 
the provisions which are similar in the two sets of laws 
represent independent codifications of ancient Semitic 
usage, their similarity being explained by the common 
ancestry of the two peoples. It is, of course, also possible 
that some knowledge of Hammurabi's laws reached the 
Hebrews through an indirect channel — e.g., through the 
Canaanites, upon whom Babylonian culture exercised an 
influence for some centuries — and determined the general 
character and terms of some of the Hebrew enactments. 
The subjects dealt with in the code are many and 
various : 

Sections 1-5. Penalties for false accusation, false 
evidence, and wrong legal decisions. ** 

Sections 6-14. Penalties for theft. 

Sections 15-20. Harbouring an escaped slave. 

Sections 21-25. Housebreaking, highway robbery, and 
robbery at a fire. 

Sections 26-41. Privileges and obligations of royal 
servants, judges, etc. 

Sections 42-65. Laws relating to landlord and tenant. 

Sections 66-99. Erased. 
*v^ections 100-126. Laws relating to trade and com-^ 
merce. 

^Sections 100-107. Laws relating to a merchant and his $. 
agent, 
►y Sections 108-111. Laws relating to wine-merchants. 

Section 112. Liabilities in respect of loss in the trans- ii 
port of goods. 

Sections 113-119. Laws relating to debt and distraint. • 

Sections 120-126. Law of bailment. 



THE CODE OF HAMMUEABI 



Sections 127-193. Family law. 

Sections 194-233. Criminal law : penalties for assaults, 
etc. 

Sections 234-240. Laws relating to navigation. 
—-Sections 241-277. Rates of payment for hire of animals, 
for work done, etc. 

Sections 278-282. The law as affecting slaves. 

A comparison of the Biblical references given in the foot-, 
notes with the provisions in the code, will enable the 
student to form a clear and independent idea of their 
relationship to each other. 

The translation of the code is (with a few minor altera- 
tions) taken from the late Professor R. F. Harper's Code 
of Hammurahi, by the courtesy of the University of 
Chicago Press and the Cambridge University Press. The 
latter work also contains an admirably produced autograph 
copy of the text, together with a transliteration and 
glossary. P. H. 



TRANSLATION 

PROLOGUE 

When the lofty Aim, King of the Anunnaki, and EUil, 
lord of heaven and earth, he who determines the destiny 
of the land, committed the rule of all mankind to Marduk, 
the chief son of Ea ; when they made him great among 
the Igigi ; when they pronounced the lofty name of 
Babylon ; when they made it famous among the quarters 
of the world and in its midst established an everlasting 
kingdom whose foundations were firm as heaven and earth 
— at that time, Anu and Enlil called me, Hammurabi, the 
exalted prince, the worshipper of the gods, ^to cause justice 
to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil, 
to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, to go 
forth like the Sun over the Black Head Race, -to enlighten 
the land, and to further the welfare of the people. 
Hammurabi, the Governor named by Enlil, am I, who 
brought about plenty and abundance ; who made every- 
thing for Nippur and Durilu complete ; the exalted 
supporter of E-kur ; the wise King, who restored Eridu to 
its place ; who purified the sanctuary (or " cult ") of 
E-apsu ; who stormed the four quarters of the world ; who 
made the fame of Babylon great; who rejoiced the heart of 
Marduk, his lord; who daily served in Esagila; of the 
seed royal, which Sin begat ; who filled the city of Ur with 
plenty ; the pious and suppliant one, who brought abun- 
dance to E-gis-sir-gal ; the diplomatic king, obedient to the 
mighty Shamash ; who refounded Sippar ; who clothed 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



with green the shrines of Malkat ; who decorated 
E-babbara, which is like a heavenly dwelling ; the warrior, 
the protector of I^arsa ; who rebuilt E-babbara for Shamash, 
his helper ; the lord who gave life to the city of Uruk ; 
who supplied water in abundance to its inhabitants ; who 
raised the turrets of Eanna ; who brought riches to Anu 
and Ishtar ; the divine protector of the land ; who collected 
the scattered people of Xisin ; who supplied E-gal-ma^ 
with luxurious abundance; the monarch, the city king, 
the brother of Za-ma ma ; who laid the foundations of the 
settlement of Kish ; who surrounded E-te-me-ur-sag with 
splendour ; who constructed the great shrines of Nana ; the 
patron of the temple of ^ar-sag-kalama, the grave of the 
enemy ; whose help brings victory ; who extended the 
limits of Cutha ; who enlarged Shid-lam in every way ; 
the mighty bull, who gored the enemy ; the beloved of Tutu ; 
who made the city of Borsippa beautiful ; the exalted one 
who was untiring for the welfare of Ezida ;/ the divine 
king, Vise and intelligent, who extended the settlements of 
Dilbat ; who stored up grain for the mighty Urash ; the 
lord adorned with sceptre and crown, whom the wise god 
Ma-ma has clothed with complete power ; who defined 
the confines of Kish ; who made sumptuous the splendid 
banquets in honour of Kintu ; the wise and perfect one, who 
determined the pasture and watering-places for Shirpurla 
(Lagash) and Girsu ; who provided large sacrifices for the 
Temple of Fifty ; who seizes the enemy ; the favourite of 
Telitim ; who put into execution the laws of Aleppo ; who 
makes joyful the heart of Anunit ; the illustrious prince, 
the lifting up of whose hands Adad recognizes ; who 
pacifies the heart of Adad, the warrior, in Karkar ; who 
re-established the appointments in E-u-gal-gal ; the king 
who gave life to the city of Adab ; the benefactor of 
the temple E-ma^ ; the lordly city king ; the soldier 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



who has no equal ; who presented life to the City of 
Mashkan-shabri ; who poured out abundantly over Mish- 
1am ; the wise governor who (?), who provided a hiding- 
place for the people of Malgi in their misfortune ; who 
founded dwelling-places for them in plenty ; who deter- 
mined for all time the splendid sacrifices for Ea and 
Dam-gal- nun na, who had extended his dominion ; the city 
king first in rank ; who subdued the settlements along the 
Euphrates (?) ; the warrior of Dagan, his creator ; who pro- 
tected the people of Mera and Tutul ; the exalted prince, 
who makes the face of Ishtar to shine ; who established 
splendid banquets for Nin-a-zu; who helps his people in 
time of need ; who establishes in security their property 
in Babylon ; the shepherd of his people, whose deeds are 
pleasing to Anunit; who installed Anunit in E-ul mash 
in Agane broad way ; who made justice prevail and who 
ruled the race with right; who returned to Ashur its 
gracious protecting deity ; who cast down the . . . the 
king who made the name of Nana glorious in E-mish- 
mish in Nineveh ; the exalted one, who makes supplication 
to the great gods ; the descendant of Sumulailu, the 
powerful son of Sinmu-ballit, the ancient seed of royalty, 
the powerful king, the Sun of Babylon, who caused light 
to go forth over the lands of Sumer and Akkad ; the king, 
who caused the four quarters of the world to render 
obedience ; the favourite of Ishtar, am I. f When Marduk 
sent me to rule the people and to bring help to the 
country, I established law and justice in the land and 
promoted the welfare of the people 



q 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



THE CODE 

1. If a man bring an accusation against a man, and 
charge him with a (capital) crime, but cannot prove it, he, 
the accuser, shall be put to death. 

2. If a man charge a man with sorcery, and cannot prove 
it, he who is charged with sorcery shall go to the river) 
into the river he shall throw himself, and if the river over- 
come him his accuser shall take to himself his house (estate). 
If the river show that man to be innocent, and he come 
forth unharmed, he who charged him with sorcery shall be 
put to death. He who threw himself into the river shall 
take to himself the house of his accuser. ^ 

3. If a man, in a case (pending judgment), bear false 
witness, or do not establish the testimony that he has 
given, if that case be a case involving life, that man shall 
be put to death. 2 

4. If a man (in a case) bear witness for grain or money 
(as a bribe), he shall himself bear the penalty imposed in 
that case.^ 

5. If a judge pronounce a judgment, render a decision, 
deliver a verdict duly signed and sealed, and afterward 
alter his judgment, they shall call that judge to account 
for the alteration of the judgment which he had pro- 
nounced, and he shall pay twelvefold the penalty which 
was in said judgment; and, in the assembly, they shall 
expel him from his seat of judgment, and he shall not 
return, and with the judges in a case he shall not take 
his seat. 

6. If a man steal the property of a god (temple) or 
palace, that man shall be put to death ; and he who 

^ Of. Exod. xxii. 18 ; Deut. xviii. 10 ; Jer. xxvii. 9. 
a Of. Deut. xix. 19 ; Exod. xxiii. 8. 



10 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



receives from his hand the stolen (property) shall also be 
put to death. ^ 

7. If a man purchase silver or gold, man-servant or 
maid-servant, ox, sheep, or ass, or anything else from a 
man's son, or from a man's servant without witnesses or 
contracts, or if he receive (the same) in trust, that man 
shall be put to death as a thief.^ 

8. If a man steal ox or sheep, ass or pig, or boat — if it 
be from a god (temple) or a palace — he shall restore thirty- 
fold ; if it be from a freeman, he shall render tenfold. If 
the thief have nothing wherewith to pay, he shall be put 
to death. ^ 

9. If a man who has lost anything find that which was 
lost in the possession of (another) man, and the man in 
whose possession the lost property is found say : " It was 
sold to me ; I purchased it in the presence of witnesses ;" 
and the owner of the lost property say : " I will bring 
witnesses to identify my lost property ;" if the purchaser 
produce the seller who has sold it to him and the witnesses 
in whose presence he purchased it, and the owner of the 
lost property produce witnesses to identify his lost 
property, the judges shall consider their evidence. The 
witnesses in whose presence the purchase was made, and the 
witnesses to identify the lost property shall give their 
testimony in the presence of the god. The seller shall be 
put to death as a thief ; the owner of the lost property shall 
recover his loss ; the purchaser shall recover from the 
estate of the seller the money which he paid out.* 

10. If the purchaser do not produce the seller \\ho sold 
it to him and the witnesses in whose presence he purchased 
it, (and) if the ow^er of the lost property produce witnesses 

^ Cf. Gen. xxxi. '32 ; Josh. vii. 1/. 

2 Gf. Gen. xxiii. 10/. ; Ruth iv. 2/. 

3 Cf. Gen. xl. 9 ; Exod. xxi. 37, xxii. 1/., 9 ; 2 Sam. xii. 6. 
^ Cf. Exod. xxii. 7-9 ; Lev. vi. 3. 



THE CODE OF HAMMUEABI 11 

to identify his lost property, the purchaser shall be put to 
death as a thief ; the owuer of the lost property shall 
recover his loss.^ 

11. If the owner (claimant) of the lost property do not 
produce witnesses to identify his lost property, he has 
attempted fraud (has lied), he has stirred up strife 
(calumny), he shall be put to death. ^ 

12. If the seller has gone to (his) fate {i.e.^ have died), 
the purchaser shall recover damages in said case fivefold 
from the estate of the seller. 

13. If the witnesses of that man be not at hand, the 
judges shall declare a postponement for six months ; and 
if he do not bring in his witnesses within the six months, 
that man has attempted fraud, he shall himself bear the 
penalty imposed in that case. 

14. If a man steal a man's son, who is a minor, he shall 
be put to death. ^ 

15. If a man aid a male or female slave of the palace, or 
a male or female slave of a freeman, to escape from the 
city gate, he shall be put to death. 

16. If a man harbour in his house a male or female 
slave who has fled from the palace or from a freeman, and 
do not bring him (the slave) forth at the call of the com- 
mandant, the owner of that house shall be put to death. "^ 

17. If a man seize a male or female slave, a fugitive, in 
the field, and bring that (slave) back to his owner, the 
owner of the slave shall pay him two shekels of silver.^ 

18. If that slave will not name his owner, he shall bring 
him to the palace, and they shall inquire into his ante- 
cedents, and they shall return him to his owner. 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. 7-9 ; Lev. vi. 3. 

2 Cf. Deut. xix. 16/. 3 cf_ Exod. xxi. 16 ; Dent. xxiv. 7. 
* Cf. Deut. xxiii. 15/. ; 1 Sam. xxx, 15. 

^ Cf. Gen. xvi. 7/ ; Deut. xxiii. 16 ; 1 Kings ii. 39. 



12 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



19. If he detain that slave in his house, and later the 
slave be found in his possession, that man shall be put 
to death. 

20. If the slave escape from the hand of his captor, that 
man shall so declare, in the name of the god, to the owner 
of the slave, and shall go free. 

N^ 21. If a man make a breach in a house, they shall put 
him to death in front of that breach, and they shall thrust 
him therein.^ 

22. If a man practise brigandage and be captured, that 

man shall be put to death. 

I — ' 23. If the brigand be not captured, the man who has 

I been robbed shall, in the presence of the god, make an 

\ itemized statement of his loss, and the city and the 

I governor, in whose province and jurisdiction the robbery 

I was committed, shall compensate him for whatever was 

Llost.2 

J( 24. If it be a life (that is lost), the city and governor 
shall pay one mana of silver to his people.^ 

25. If a fire break out in a man's house, and a man who 
goes to extinguish it cast his eye on the property of the 
owner of the house and take the property of the owner of 
the house, that man shall be thrown into that fire. 

26. If either an officer or a constable, who is ordered to 
go on an errand of the king, do not go, but hire a sub- 
stitute, and despatch him in his stead, that officer or 
constable shall be put to death ; his hired substitute shall 
take to himself his (the officer's) house. 

27. If an officer or a constable, who in a garrison of the 
king, be captured, and afterward they give his field and 
garden to another, and he conduct his business — if the 
former return and arrive in his city, they shall restore to 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. 2. 3. ^ qj-^ ^eut. xxi. i./. 

3 C/, Deut. xxi. 1 f. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 13 

him his field and garden, and he himself shall conduct 
his business. 

28. If an officer or a constable, who is in a fortress of 
the king, be captured, (and) his son be able to conduct the 
business, they shall give to him the field and garden, and 
he shall conduct the business of his father. 

29. If his son be too young, and be not able to conduct 
the business of his father, they shall give one-third of the 
field and of the garden to his mother, and his mother 
shall rear him. 

30. If an officer or a constable from the beginning of 
(or, on account of) (his) business neglect his field, his 
garden, and his house, and leave them uncared for, (and) 
another after him take his field, his garden, and his house, 
and conduct his business for three years — if the former 
return and desire (or, would manage) his field, his garden, 
and his house, they shall not give them to him ; he who 
has taken (them) and conducted the business shall continue 
(to do so). 

31. If he leave (them) uncared for but one year and 
return, they shall give him his field, his garden, and his 
house, and he himself shall continue his business. 

32. If a merchant ransom either an officer or a constable 
who has been captured on an errand of the king, and 
enable him to reach his city, if there be sufficient ransom 
in his house, he shall ransom himself; if there be not 
sufficient ransom in his house, in the temple of his city he 
shall be ransomed ; if there be not sufficient ransom in the 
temple of his city, the palace shall ransom him. In no 
case shall his field or his garden or his house be given for 
his ransom. 

33. If a governor or a magistrate take possession of the 
men of levy (or pardon a deserter), or accept and send a 



14 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

hired substitute on an errand of the king, that governor or 
magistrate shall be put to death. 

34: If the governor or a magistrate take the property of 
an officer, plunder an officer, let an officer for hire, present 
an officer in a judgment to a man of influence, take the 
gift which the king has given to an officer, that governor 
or magistrate shall be put to death. 

35. If a man buy from an officer the cattle or sheep 
which the king has given to that officer, he shall forfeit 
his money. 

36. In no case shall one sell the field or garden or house 
of an officer, constable, or tax-gatherer. 

37. If a man purchase the field or garden or house of an 
officer, constable, ory tax-gatherer, his deed-tablet shall be 
broken (cancelled), and he shall forfeit his money, and he 
shall return the field, garden, or house to its owner. 

38. An officer, constable, or tax-gatherer shall not make 
over to his wife or daughter the field, garden, or house, 
which is his business (i.e., which is his by virtue of his office), 
nor shall he assign them for debt. 

39. He may make over to his wife or daughter the field, 
garden, or house which he has purchased and (hence) 
possesses, or he may assign them for debt. 

40. A woman, merchant, or other property-holder may 
sell field, garden, or house. The purchaser shall conduct 
the business of the field, garden, or house which he has 
purchased. 

41. If a man have bargained for the field, garden, or 
house of an officer, constable, or tax-gatherer, and given 
sureties, the officer, constable, or tax-gatherer shall return 
to his field, garden, or house, and he shall take to himself 
the sureties which were given to him. 

42. If a man rent a field for cultivation and do not 
produce any grain in the field, they shall call him to 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 15 

account because he has not performed the work required 
in the field, and he shall give to the owner of the field 
grain on the basis of the adjacent (fields). 

43. If he do not cultivate the field and neglect it, he 
shall give to the owner of the field grain on the basis of 
the adjacent (fields) ; and the field which he has neglected 
he shall break up with hoes, he shall harrow, and he shall 
return it to the owner of the field. 

44. If a man rent an unreclaimed field for three years 
to develop it, and neglect it and do not develop the field, 
in the fourth year he shall break up the field with hoes, he 
shall hoe and harrow it, and he shall return it to the 
owner of the field, and shall measure out 10 gur of grain 
per GAN. 

45. If a man has given his field to a tenant for crop-rent, 
and receive the crop-rent of his field, and later Adad {i.e., 
the Storm God) inundate the field and carry away the 
produce, the loss (falls on) the tenant. 

46. If he have not received the rent of his field, and he 
have rented the field for either one- half or one-third (of 
the crop), the tenant and the owner of the field shall 
divide the grain which is in the field according to agree- 
ment.^ 

47. If the tenant give the cultivation of the field into 
the charge of another — because in a former year he has 
not gained a maintenance — the owner of the field shall not 
interfere. He would cultivate it, and his field has been 
cultivated, and at the time of harvest he shall take grain 
according to his contracts. 

48. If a man owe a debt, and Adad inundate his field 
and carry away the produce, or^ through lack of water, 
grain have not grown in the field, in that year he shall not 
make any return of grain to the creditor, he shall alter his 

1 C/. Gen. xlvii. 24. 

2 



16 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



contract-tablet, and he shall not pay the interest for that 
year. 

49. If a man obtain money from a merchant, and give 
(as security) to the merchant a field to be planted with 
grain and sesame, (and) say to him : " Cultivate the field, 
and harvest and take to thyself the grain and sesame 
which is produced ;" if the tenant raise grain and sesame 
in the field, at the time of harvest the owner of the field 
shall receive the grain and sesame which is in the field, 
and he shall give to the merchant grain for the loan which 
he had obtained from him and for the interest and for the 
maintenance of the tenant. 

50. If he give (as security) a field planted with (grain) 
or a field planted with sesame, the owner of the field shall 
receive the grain or the sesame which is in the field, and 
he shall return the loan and its interest to the merchant. 

51. If he have not the money to return, he shall give to 
the merchant (grain or) sesame, at their market value 
according to the scale fixed by the king, for the loan and 
its interest which he has obtained from the merchant. 

52. If the tenant do not secure a crop of grain or sesame 
in his field, he shall not cancel his contract. 

53. If a man neglect to strengthen his dyke and do not 
strengthen it, and a break be made in his dyke and the 
water carry away the farm-land, the man in whose dyke 
the break has been made shall restore the grain which he 
has caused to be lost. 

54. If he be not able to restore the grain, they shall sell 
him and his goods, and the farmers whose grain the water 
has carried away shall share (the results of the sale).^ 

55. If a man open his canal for irrigation and neglect 
it, and the water carry away an adjacent field, he shall 
measure out grain on the basis of the adjacent fields. 

» Cf. Exod. xxii. 3 ; Lev. xxv. 39/ 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 17 



56. If a man opened up the water, and the water carry 
away the improvements of an adjacent field, he shall 
measure out 10 GUR of grain per gan. 

57. If a shepherd have not come to an agreement with 
the owner of a field to pasture his sheep on the grass ; and 
if he pasture his sheep on the field without the consent of 
the owner, the owner of the field shall harvest his field, 
and the shepherd who has pastured his sheep on the field 
without the consent of the owner of the field shall give 
over and above 20 GUR of grain per gan to the owner of 
the field.i 

58. If, after the sheep have gone up from the meadow 
and have crowded their way out (?) of the gate into the 
public common, the shepherd turn the sheep into the field 
and pasture the sheep on the field, the shepherd shall 
oversee the field on which he pastures, and at the time of 
harvest he shall measure out 60 gur of grain per gan to 
the owner of the field. 

59. If a man cut down a tree in a man's orchard, with- 
out the consent of the owner of the orchard, he shall pay 
one-half mana of silver. 

60. If a man give a field to a gardener to plant as an 
orchard, and the gardener plant the orchard and care for 
the orchard four years, in the fifth year the owner of the 
orchard and the gardener shall share equally ; the owner 
of the orchard shall mark off his portion and take it. 

61. If the gardener do not plant the whole field, but 
leave a space waste, they shall assign the waste space to 
his portion. 

62. If he do not plant as an orchard the field which was 
given to him, if corn be the produce of the field, for the 
years during which it has been neglected the gardener 
shall measure out to the owner of the field (such produce) 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. 4/. 



18 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

on the basis of the adjacent fields, and he shall perform 
the required work on the field, and he shall restore it to 
the owner of the field. 

63. If the field be unreclaimed, he shall perform the 
required work on the field and he shall restore it to the 
owner of the field, and he shall measure out 10 GUR of 
grain per GAN for each year. 

64. If a man give his orchard to a.gardener to manage, 
the gardener shall give to the owner of the orchard two- 
thirds of the produce of the orchard as long as he is in 
possession of the orchard ; he himself shall take one-third. 

65. If the gardener do not properly manage the orchard 
and he diminish the produce, the gardener shall measure 
out the produce of the orchard on the basis of the adjacent 
orchards. 

Here five columns of the stele (representing about 
thirty-five clauses) have been cut off the stone. 

100. ... he shall write down the interest on the 
money, as much as he has obtained, and he shall reckon 
its days, and he shall make returns to his merchant. 

101. If he do not meet with success where he goes, the 
agent shall double the amount of money obtained, and he 
shall pay it to the merchant. 

102. If a merchant give money to an agent as a favour, 
and the latter meet with a reverse where he goes, he shall 
return the principal of the money to the merchant. 

103. If, when he goes on a journey, an enemy rob him 
of whatever he was carrying, the agent shall take an oath 
in the name of the god and go free. 

104. If a merchant give to an agent grain, wool, oil, or 
goods of any kind with which to trade, the agent shall 
write down the value and return (the money) to the 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 19 

merchant. The agent shall take a sealed receipt for the 
money which he gives to the merchant. 

105. If the agent be careless and do not take a receipt 
for the money which he has given to the merchant, the 
money not receipted for shall not be placed to his account. 

106. If an agent obtain money from a merchant and 
have a dispute with the merchant (i.e., deny the fact), that 
merchant shall call the agent to account in the presence 
of the god and witnesses for the money obtained, and the 
agent shall give to the merchant threefold the amount of 
money which he obtained. 

107. If a merchant lend to an agent, and the agent 
return to the merchant whatever the merchant had given 
him ; and if the merchant deny (receiving) what the agent 
has given to him, that agent shall call the merchant to 
account in the presence of the god and witnesses, and the 
merchant, because he has had a dispute with his agent, 
shall give to him sixfold the amount which he obtained. 

108. If a wine-seller do not receive grain as the price of 
drink, but if she receive money by the great stone, or 
make the measure for drink smaller than the measure for 
corn, they shall call that wine-seller to account, and they 
shall throw her into the water. 

109. If outlaws collect in the house of a wine-seller, and 
she do not arrest these outlaws and bring them to the 
palace, that wine-seller shall be put to death. 

110. If a votary, who is not living in a convent, open 
a wine-shop or enter a wine-shop for a drink, they shall 
burn that woman. ^ 

111. If a wine-seller give 60 ka of drink ... on credit, 
at the time of harvest, she shall receive 50 KA of grain. 

112. If a man be on a journey and he give silver, gold, 
stones, or portable property to a man with a commission 

^ Cf. Gen. xxxviii. 24 ; Lev. xxi. 9. 



20 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

for transportation, and if that man do not deliver that 
which was to be transported where it was to be transported, 
but take it to himself, the owner of the transported goods 
shall call that man to account for the goods to be trans- 
ported which he did not deliver, and that man shall deliver 
to the owner of the transported goods fivefold the amount 
which was given to him.^ 

113. If a man hold a (debt of) grain or money against a 
man, and if he take grain without the consent of the owner 
from the heap or the granary, they shall call that man to 
account for taking grain without the consent of the owner 
from the heap or the granary, and he shall return as much 
grain as he took, and he shall forfeit all that he has lent, 
whatever it be. 

114. If a man do not hold a (debt of) grain or money 
against a man, and if he seize him for debt, for each seizure 
he shall pay one-third mana of silver. 

115. If a man hold a (debt of) grain or money against a 
man, and he seize him for debt, and the one seized die in 
the house of him who seized him, that case has no penalty. 

116. If the one seized die of abuse or neglect in the 
house of him who seized him, the owner of the one seized 
shall call the merchant to account; and if it be a man's 
son (that he seized) they shall put his son to death ; if it 
be a man's servant (that he seized), he shall pay one-third 
mana of silver and he shall forfeit whatever amount he 
had lent. 

117. If a man be in debt and sell his wife, son, or 
daughter, or bind them over to service, for three years 
they shall work in the house of their purchaser or master; 
in the fourth year they shall be given their freedom.^ 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. If. ; Lev. vi. 2/. 

2 Cf. Gen. xxxi. 41, xlvii. 19 ; Exod. xxi. 2, 7 ; Lev. xxv. 39 /. ; 
Deut. XV. 12, 14, 18; 2 Kings iv. 1; Noh. v. 5 /". ; Isa. xvi. 14, 
xxi. 16, 1. 1 ; Jer. xxxiv. 8 ; Amos ii. 6, 8. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 21 

118. If he bind over to service a male or female slave, 
and if the merchant transfer or sell such slave, there is no 
cause for complaint. 

119. If a man be in debt and he sell his maid-servant 
who has borne him children, the owner of the maid- 
servant (i.e., the man in debt) shall repay the money which 
the merchant paid (him), and he shall ransom his maid- 
servant. 

120. If a man store his grain in bins in the house of 
another and an accident happen to the granary, or the 
owner of the house open a bin and take grain, or he raise 
a dispute about (or deny) the amount of grain which was 
stored in his house, the owner of the grain shall declare 
his grain in the presence of the god, and the owner of the 
house shall double the amount of the grain which he took 
and restore it to the owner of the grain. ^ 

121. If a man store grain in the house of another, he 
shall pay storage at the rate of 5 KA of grain per GUR 
each year. 

122. If a man give to another silver, gold, or anything 
else on deposit, whatever he gives he shall show to 
witnesses, and he shall arrange the contracts (and) then he 
shall make the deposit.^ 

123. If a man give on deposit without witnesses or 
contracts, and at the place of deposit they dispute with 
him [i.e., deny the deposit), that case has no penalty. 

124. If a man give to another silver, gold, or anything 
else on deposit in the presence of witnesses, and the latter 
dispute with him (or deny it), they shall call that man to 
account, and he shall double whatever he has disputed 
and repay it. 

125. If a man give anything of his on deposit, and at 
the place of deposit either by burglary or pillage he sufifer 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. 6/. 2 cy^ ^xod. xxii. 7. 



22 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

loss in common with the owner of the house, the owner of 
the house who has been negligent and has lost what was 
given to him on deposit shall make good (the loss) and 
restore (it) to the owner of the goods ; the owner of the 
house shall institute a search for what has been lost and 
take it from the thief. ^ 

126. If a man have not lost anything, but say that he 
has lost something, or if he file a claim for loss when 
nothing has been lost, he shall declare his (alleged) loss in 
the presence of the god, and he shall double and pay for 
the (alleged) loss the amount for which he made claim. ^ 

127. If a man point the finger at a votary or the wife 
of another and cannot justify it, they shall drag that man 
before the judges and they shall brand his forehead. 

128. If a man take a wife and do not arrange with her 
the (proper) contracts, that woman is not a (legal) wife. 

129. If the wife of a man be taken in lying with another 
man, they shall bind them and throw them into the wateri 
If the husband of the woman would save his wife, or if the 
king would save his male servant (he may).^ 

130. If a man force the (betrothed) wife of another who 
has not known a male and is living in her father's house, 
and he lie in her bosom and they take him, that man shall 
be put to death and that woman shall go free.^ 

131. If a man accuse his wife and she has not been taken 
in lying with another man, she shall take an oath in the 
name of the god and she shall return to her house. 

132. If the finger have been pointed at the wife of 
a man because of another man, and she have not been 
taken in lying with another man, for her husband's sake 
she shall throw herself into the river. ^ 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. 7. 2 Qf^ Exod. xxii. 9. 

3 Cf. rien. xxxviii. 24 ; Lev. xx. 10 ; Dent. xxii. 22/ 

* Cf. Exod. xxii. 16; Deut. xxii. 23/. 

B Cf. Num. V. 12/ 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 23 

133. If a man be captured and there be maintenance in 
his house and his wife go out of her house, she shall 
protect her body (?) and she shall not enter into another 
house. 

133a. (If) that woman do not protect her body and 
enter into another house, they shall call that woman to 
account and they shall throw her into the water. 

134. If a man be captured and there be no maintenance 
in his house, and his wife enter into another house, that 
woman has no blame. 

135. If a man be captured and there be no maintenance j 
in his house, and his wife openly enter into another house 
and bear children ; if later her husband return and arrive 

in his city, that woman shall return to her husband (and) 
the children shall go to their father. 

136. If a man desert his city and flee, and afterwards 
his wife enter into another house ; if that man return and 
would take his wife, the wife of the fugitive shall not 
return to her husband, because he hated his city and fled. 

137. If a man set his face to put away a concubine who 
has borne him children, or a wife who has presented him 
with children, he shall return to that woman her dowry and 
shall give to her the income of field, garden, and goods, and 
she shall bring up her children ; from the time that her 
children are grown up, from whatever is given to her 
children, they shall give to her a portion corresponding to 
that of a son, and the man of her choice may marry her. 

138. If a man would put away his wife who has not 
borne him children, he shall give her money to the amount 
of her marriage settlement, and he shall make good to her 
the dowry which she brought from her father's house and 
then he may put her away. ^ 

139. If there were no marriage settlement, he shall give 
to her 1 mana of silver for a divorce. 

1 Cf. Deut. xxiv. 1. 



24 THE CODE OF HAMMUKABl 



140. If he be a freeman, he shall give her one-third 
mana of silver. 

141. If the wife of a man who is living in his house set 
her face to go out and play the part of a fool, neglect her 
house, belittle her husband, they shall call her to account ; 
if her husband say : ** I have put her away," he shall let 
her go. On her departure nothing shall be given to her 
for her divorce. If her husband say : '* I have not put 
her away," her husband may take another woman. The 
first woman shall dwell in the house of her husband as a 
maid-servant. 

142. If a woman hate her husband, and say: "Thou 
shalt not have me," they shall inquire into her antecedents 
for her defects, and if she have been a careful mistress and 
be without reproach, and her husband have been going 
about and greatly belittling her, that woman has no blame- 
She shall receive her dowry and shall go to her father's 
house. 

143. If she have not been a careful mistress, have 
gadded about, have neglected her house, and have belittled 
her husband, they shall throw that woman into the water. 

144. If a man take a wife and that wife give a maid- 
servant to her husband and she bear children ; if that man 
set his face to take a concubine, they shall not countenance 
him. He may not take a concubine. ^ 

145. If a man take a wife and she do not present him 
with children and he set his face to take a concubine, that 
man may take a concubine and take her into his house. 
That concubine shall not rank with his Avife. 

146. If a man take a wife and she give a maid-servant to 
her husband, and that maid-servant bear children and 
afterwards would take rank with her mistress, because she 
has borne children, her mistress may not sell her for 

1 Cf. Gen. xvi. 1/., xxi. 10/., xxx. 3/., 9/. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 25 

money, but she may reduce her to bondage and count her 
among the maid-servants. * 

147. If she have not borne children, her mistress may 
sell her for money. 

148. If a man take a wife and she become afflicted with 
disease, and if he set his face to take another, he may. 
His wife, who is afflicted with disease, he shall not put 
away. She shall remain in the house which he has built 
and he shall maintain her as long as she lives. 

149. If that woman do not elect to remain in her 
husband's house, he shall make good to her the dowry 
which she brought from her father's house, and she may go. 

150. If a man give to his wife field, garden, house, or 
goods, and he deliver to her a sealed deed, after (the 
death of) her husband, her children cannot make claim 
against her. The mother after her (death) may will to 
her child whom she lov^es, but to a brother she may not. 

151. If a woman, who dwells in the house of a man, 
make a contract with her husband that a creditor of his 
may not hold her (for his debts) and compel him to deliver 
a written agreement ; if that man were in debt before he 
took that woman, his creditor may not hold his wife, and 
if that woman were in debt before she entered into the 
house of the man, her creditor may not hold her husband. 

152. If they contract a debt after the woman has entered 
into the house of the man, both of them shall be answerable 
to the merchant. 

153. If a woman bring about the death of her husband 
for the sake of another man, they shall impale her. 

154. If a man have known his daughter, they shall 
expel that man from the city. 

155. If a man have betrothed a bride to his son and his 
son have known her, and if he (the father) afterward lie 

i Cf. Gen. xvi. -i/., xxi. 10 ; Deut. xxi. 14 ; 1 Sam. i. 1 f. 



26 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

in ber bosom and tbey take bim, tbey sball bind tbat man 
and tbrow bim into tbe water. ^ 

156. If a man bave betrothed a bride to bis son and bis 
son bave not known ber, but be bimself lie in ber bosom, 
be sball pay ber one-balf mana of silver and be sball make 
good to ber wbatever sbe brougbt from tbe house of her 
father, and tbe man of her choice may take her.^ 

157. If a man lie in the bosom of his mother after (the 
death of) bis father, tbey shall burn both of them.^ 

158. If a man, after (the death of) his father, be taken 
in tbe bosom of tbe chief wife (of his father) who has borne 
children, that man sball be cut off from his father's bouse.* 

159. If a man, who has brought a present to tbe house 
of his father-in-law and has given the marriage settlement, 
look with longing upon another woman and say to bis 
father-in-law, "I will not take thy daughter"; the father 
of the daughter shall take to himself wbatever was brougbt 
to him.^ 

160. If a man bring a present to the house of his father- 
in-law and give a marriage settlement, and the father of 
the daughter say, " I will not give thee my daughter " ; he 
(i.e., the father-in-law) shall double the amount which was 
brought to bim and return it. 

161. If a man bring a present to the house of his father- 
in-law and give a marriage settlement, and his friend 
slander him ; and if bis father-in-law say to the claimant 
of the wife, "My daughter thou shalt not bave," he (the 
father-in-law) shall double the amount which was brought 
to him and return it, but his friend may not have his wife. 

162. If a man take a wife and she bear him children, 

» Cf. Gen. xxiv. 4/ 

2 Cf. Exod. xxii. 16 ; Lev. xx. 12 ; Deut. xxii. 28. 

3 Cf. Lev. XX. 14. 4 Cf. Lev. xx. 11 ; Deut. xxii. 30. 
'^ Of. Gen. xxiv. 53/., xxxi. 15. 



THE CODE OF HAMMUEABI 27 

and that woman die, her father may not lay claim to her 
dowry. Her dowry belongs to her children.^ 

163. If a man take a wife and she do not present him 
with children, and that woman die ; if his father-in-law 
return to him the marriage settlement which that man 
brought to the house of his father-in-law, her husband 
may not lay claim to the dowry of that woman. Her 
dowry belongs to the house of her father. 

164. If his father-in-law do not return to him the 
marriage settlement, he may deduct from her dowry the 
amount of the marriage settlement and return (the rest) 
of her dowry to the house of her father. 

165. If a man present field, garden, or house to his 
favourite son, and write for him a sealed deed ; after the 
father dies, when the brothers divide, he shall take the 
present which the father gave him, and over and above 
they shall divide the goods of the father's house equally. ^ 

166. If a man take wives for his sons, and do not take 
a wife for his youngest son, after the father dies, when the 
brothers divide, they shall give from the goods of the 
father's house to their youngest brother, who has not 
taken a wife, money for a marriage settlement in addition 
to his portion, and they shall enable him to take a wife. 

167. If a man take a wife and she bear him children, 
and that woman die, and after her (death) he take another 
wife and she bear him children, and later the father die, 
the children of the mothers shall not divide (the estate). 
They shall receive the dowries of their respective mothers 
and they shall divide equally the goods of the house of the 
father. 

168. If a man set his face to disinherit his son, and say 

1 Gf. Gen. xxxi. 16. 

2 Gf. Gen. xxiv. 36, xxv. 5, xxvii. 29, 37, xlviii. 22 ; 
Luke XV. 31. 



28 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

to the judges : " I will disinherit my son," the judges shall 
inquire into his antecedents, and if the son have not com- 
mitted a crime sufficiently grave to cut him off from son- 
ship, the father may not cut off his son from sonship.^ 

169. If he have committed a crime against his father 
sufficiently grave to cut him off' from sonship, they shall 
condone his first (offence). If he commit a grave crime a 
second time, the father may cut off his son from sonship.2 

170. If a man's wife bear him children and his maid- 
servant bear him children, and the father during his life 
time say to the children which the maid-servant bore him : 
" My children," and reckon them with the children of his 
wife, after the father dies the children of the wife and the 
children of the maid-servant shall divide the goods of the 
father's house equally. The child of the wife shall have 
the right of choice at the division.^ 

171. But if the father during his lifetime have not said 
to the children which the maid-servant bore him : " My 
children," after the father dies, the children of the maid- 
servant shall not share in the goods of the father's house 
with the children of the wife. The maid-servant and her 
children shall be given their freedom. The children of 
the wife may not lay claim to the children of the maid- 
servant for service. The wife shall receive her dowry 
and the gift which her husband gave and deeded to her on 
a tablet, and she may dwell in the house of her husband 
and enjoy (the property) as long as she lives. She cannot 
sell it, however, for after her (death) it belongs to her 
children.^ 

172. If her husband have not given her a gift, they 
shall make good her dowry and she shall receive from the 

1 Cf. Deut. xxi. 18/ » Qf^ Dgut. xxi. 21. 

3 Cf, Gen. xvi. 15, xxi. 10, xxv. 6. 

* Cf. Gen. xxvii. 37, xxxi. 16 ; Exod. xxi. 10/. ; Deut. xxi. 16/. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 29 

goods of her husband's house a portion corresponding to 
that of her son. If her children scheme to drive her out 
of the house, the judges shall inquire into her antecedents 
and if the children be in the wrong, she shall not go from 
her husband's house. If the woman set her face to go out, 
she shall leave to her children the gift which her husband 
gave her ; she shall receive the dowry of her father's 
house, and the husband of her choice may take her.^ 

173. If that woman bear children to her later husband 
into whose house she has entered and later on that woman 
die, the former and the later children shall divide her 
dowry. 

174. If she do not bear children to her later husband, 
the children of her first husband shall receive her dowry. 

175. If either a slave of the palace or a slave of a free- 
man take the daughter of a man (gentleman) and she bear 
children, the owner of the slave may not lay claim to the 
children of the daughter of the man for service. 

176. And if a slave of the palace or a slave of a freeman 
take the daughter of a man (gentleman) ; and if, when he 
takes her, she enter into the house of the slave of the 
palace or the slave of the freeman with the dowry of her 
father's house ; if from the time that they join hands, they 
build a house and acquire property ; and if later on the 
slave of the palace or the slave of the freeman die, the 
daughter of the man shall receive her dowry, and they 
shall divide into two parts whatever her husband and she 
had acquired from the time they had joined hands ; the 
owner of the slave shall receive one-half and the daughter 
of the man shall receive one-half for her children. 

176a. If the daughter of the man had no dowry they 
shall di-\dde into two parts whatever her husband and she 
had acquired from the time they joined hands. The 
1 Cf. Exod. xxi. 9. 



30 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

owner of the slave shall receive one-half and the daughter 
of the man shall receive one-half for her children. 

177. If a widow, whose children are minors, set her face 
to enter another house, she cannot do so without the 
consent of the judges When she enters another house, 
the judges shall inquire into the estate of her former 
husband, and they shall intrust the estate of her former 
husband to the later husband and that woman, and they 
shall deliver to them a tablet (to sign). They shall 
administer the estate and rear the minors. They may not 
sell the household goods. He w^ho purchases household 
goods belonging to the sons of a widow shall forfeit his 
money. The goods shall revert to their owner. 

178. If (there be) a votary or a devotee to whom her 
father has given a dowry and written a deed of gift ; if in 
the deed which he has written for her, he have not written 
"after her (death) she may give to whomsoever she may 
please," and if he have not granted her full discretion ; 
after her father dies her brothers shall take her field and 
garden and they shall give her grain, oil, and wool accord- 
ing to the value of her share, and they shall make her 
content. If her brothers do not give her grain, oil, and 
wool according to the value of her share and they do not 
make her content, she may give her field and garden to 
any tenant she may please and her tenant shall maintain 
her. She shall enjoy the field, garden, or anything else 
which her father gave her as long as she lives. She may 
not sell it, nor transfer it. Her heritage belongs to her 
brothers. 

179. If (there be) a votary or a devotee to whom her 
father has given a dowry and written a deed of gift ; if in 
the deed which he has written for her, he have written 
"after her (death) she may give to whomsoever she may 
please," and he have granted her full discretion ; after her 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 31 

father dies she may give it to whomsoever she may please 
after her (death). Her brothers may not lay claim against 
her. 

180. If a father do not give a dowry to his daughter, a 
bride or devotee, after her father dies she shall receive as 
her share in the goods of her father's house the portion of 
a son, and she shall enjoy it as long as she lives. After 
her (death) it belongs to her brothers. 

181. If a father devote a votary or hierodule or virgin to 
a god and do not give her a dowry, after her father dies she 
shall receive as her share in the goods of her father's house 
one-third of the portion of a son, and she shall enjoy it as 
long as she lives. After her (death), it belongs to her 
brothers. 

182. If a father do not give a dowry to his daughter, a 
votary of Marduk of Babylon, and do not write for her 
a deed of gift ; after her father dies she shall receive as 
her share with her brothers one- third the portion of a son 
in the goods of her father's house, but she shall not con- 
duct the business thereof. A votary of Marduk, after 
her (death), may give to whomsoever she may please. 

183. If a father present a dowry to his daughter, who 
is a concubine, and give her to a husband and write a deed 
of gift; after the father dies she shall not share in the 
goods of her father's house. ^ 

184. If a man do not present a dowry to his daughter, 
who is a concubine, and do not give her to a husband ; 
after her father dies her brothers shall present her a dowry 
proportionate to the fortune of her father's house and they 
shall give her to a husband. ^ 

185. If a man take in his name a young child as a son, 

1 Cf, Gen. XXV. 6 ; Judg. xi. 2. 

2 Of. Gen. XXV. 6 ; Deut. xxi. 15/. 



32 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

and rear him, one may not bring claim for that adopted 
son.^ 

1 86. If a man take a young child as a son, and when he 
takes him he is rebellious towards his father and mother 
(who have adopted him), that adopted son shall return to 
the house of his father. 

187. One may not bring a claim for the son of a NER. 
SE. GA, who is a palace guard, or the son of a devotee. 

188. If an artisan take a son for adoption and teach him 
his handicraft, one may not bring claim for him. 

189. If he do not teach him his handicraft, that adopted 
son may return to his father's house. 

190. If a man do not reckon among his sons the young 
child whom he has taken for a son and reared, that 
adopted son may return to his father's house. 

191. If a man who has taken a young child as a son and 
reared him, establish his own house and acquire children, 
and set his face to cut off the adopted son, that son shall 
not go his way- The father who reared him shall give to 
him of his goods one-third the portion of a son and he 
shall go. He shall not give to him of field, garden, or 
house. 

192. If the son of a ner. se. ga, or the son of a devotee, 
say to his father who has reared him, or his mother who 
has reared him : " My father thou art not," "My mother 
thou art not," they shall cut out his tongue. 

193. If the son of a ner. se. ga, or the son of a devotee, 
identify his own father's house and hate the father who 
has reared him and the mother who has reared him and 
go back to his father's house, they shall pluck out his eye.^ 

194. If a man give his son to a nurse and that son die 
in the hands of the nurse, and the nurse substitute 
another son without the consent of his father or mother, 

1 Cf. Gen. xlviii. 5. 2 cf. Prov. xxx. 17. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 33 

they shall call her to account, and because she has substi- 
tuted another son without the consent of his father or 
mother, they shall cut off her breasts. 

195. If a son strike his father, they shall cut off his 
fingers.^ 

196. If a man destroy the eye of a man (gentleman), ] 
they shall destroy his eye.^ 

197. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his 
bone. 

198. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the 
bone of a freeman, he shall pay 1 mana of silver. 

199. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave, or break a 
bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half his price.^ 

200. If a man knock out a tooth of a man of his own 
rank, they shall knock out his tooth.* 

201. If one knock out the tooth of a freeman, he shall 
pay one-third mana of silver. 

202. If a man strike the person of a man — i.e., commit 
an assault — who is his superior, he shall receive 60 strokes 
with an ox-tail whip in public. 

203. If a man strike another man of his own rank, he 
shall pay 1 mana of silver. 

204. If a freeman strike a freeman, he shall pay 10 
shekels of silver. 

205. If a man's slave strike a man's son, they shall cut 
off his ear. 

206. If a man strike another man in a quarrel and 
wound him, he shall swear : " I struck him without 
intent," and he shall be responsible for the physician.^ 

207. If (he) die as the result of the stroke, he shall 

1 Cf. Exod. xxi. 15, 17. 

2 Cf. Exod. xxi. 23-25 ; Lev. xxiv. 20 ; Deut. xix. 21 : Matt. v. 38. 
^ Cf. Exod. xxi. 26/. * Of. Exod. xxi. 24. 

5 Cf. Exod. xxi. 18/. ; Xura. xxxv. 16/. ; Deut. xix. 4/ 



34 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

swear (as above), and if he be a man, he shall pay one-half 
mana of silver. ^ 

208. If (he) be a freeman, he shall pay one-third mana 
of silver. 

209. If a man strike a man's daughter and bring about 
a miscarriage, he shall pay 10 shekels of silver for her 
miscarriage.'-^ 

210. If that woman die, they shall put his daughter to 
death. ^ 

211. If, through a stroke, he bring about a miscarriage to 
the daughter of a freeman, he shall pay 5 shekels of silver. 

212. If that woman die, he shall pay one-half mana of 
silver. 

213. If he strike the female slave of a man and bring 
about a miscarriage, he shall pay 2 shekels of silver.^ 

214. If that female slave die, he shall pay one-third 
mana of silver.^ 

215. If a physician operate on a man for a severe wound 
(or make a severe wound upon a man) with a bronze lancet 
and save the man's life ; or if he open an abscess (in the 
eye) of a man with a bronze lancet and save that man's eye, 
he shall receive 10 shekels of silver (as his fee). 

216. If he be a freeman, he shall receive 5 shekels. 

217. If it be a man's slave, the owner of the slave shall 
give 2 shekels of silver to the physician. 

218. If a physician operate on a man for a severe wound 
with a bronze lancet and cause the man's death ; or open 
an abscess (in the eye) of a man with a bronze lancet and 
destroy the man's eye, they shall cut off his fingers. 

219. If a physician operate on a slave of a freeman for a 

1 Cf. Exod. xxi. 18/ ; Num. xxxv. 16 /. ; Deut. xix. 4 f. 

2 Cf. Exo<l. xxi. 22. 

3 (Jf. Exod. xxi. 23 ; Dent. xxiv. 16. 

* Gf. Exod. xxi. 20. « Cf. Exod. xxi. 22. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 35 

severe wound with a bronze lancet and cause his death, he 
shall restore a slave of equal value. 

220. If he open an abscess (in his eye) with a bronze 
lancet, and destroy his eye, he shall pay silver to the 
extent of one-half of his price. 
^ 221. If a physician set a broken bone for a man or cure 
his diseased bowels, the patient shall give 5 shekels of 
silver to the physician. 

222. If he be a freeman, he shall give 3 shekels of 
silver. 

223. If it be a man's slave, the owner of the slave shall 
give 2 shekels of silver to the physician. 

^ 224. If a veterinary surgeon operate on an ox or an ass 
for a severe wound and save its life, the owner of the ox 
or ass shall give to the physician, as his fee, one-sixth of a 
shekel of silver. 

225. If he operate on an ox or an ass for a severe wound 
and cause its death, he shall give to the owner of the ox or 
ass one-fourth its value. 

226. If a brander, without the consent of the owner of 
the slave, brand a slave with the sign that he cannot 
be sold, they shall cut off the fingers of that brander. 

227. If a man deceive a brander, and he brand a slave 
with the sign that he cannot be sold, they shall put that 
man to death, and they shall cast him into his house. The 
brander shall swear: "I did not brand him knowingly," 
and he shall go free. 

228. If a builder build a house for a man and complete 
it, (that man) shall give him 2 shekels of silver per SAR 
of house as his wage. 

229. If a builder build a house for a man and do not 
make its construction firm, and the house which he has 
built collapse and cause the death of the owner of the 
house, that builder shall be put to death. 



36 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



230. If it cause the death of a son of the owner of the 
house, they shall put to death a son of that builder.^ 

231. If it cause the death of a slave of the owner of the 
house, he shall give to the owner of the house a slave of 
equal value. 

232. If it destroy property, he shall restore whatever is 
destroyed, and because he did not make the house which 
he built firm and it collapsed, he shall rebuild the house 
which collapsed from his own property {i.e., at his own 
expense;. 

233. If a builder build a house for a man and do not 
make its construction meet the requirements and a wall 
fall in, that builder shall strengthen that wall at his own 
expense. 

234. If a boatman build a boat of 60 gur for a man, he 
shall give to him 2 shekels of silver as his wage. 

235. If a boatman build a boat for a man and he do not 
make its construction seaworthy and that boat meet with 
a disaster in the same year in which it was put into 
commission, the boatman shall reconstruct that boat and 
he shall strengthen it at his own expense, and he shall 
give the boat when strengthened to the owner of the boat. 

236. If a man hire his boat to a boatman and the boat- 
man be careless and he sink or wreck the boat, the 
boatman shall replace the boat to the owner of the 
boat. 

237. If a man hire a boatman and a boat, and freight it 
with grain, wool, oil, dates, or any other kind of freight, 
and that boatman be careless and he sink the boat or 
wreck its cargo, the boatman shall replace the boat which 
he sank and whatever portion of the cargo he wrecked. 

238. If a boatman sink a man's boat and refloat it, 
he shall give silver to the extent of one-half its value. 

1 C/\ Deut. xxiv. 16. 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 37 

239. If a man hire a boatman he shall give him 6 gur 
of grain per year. 

240. If a boat under way strike a ferryboat (or boat at 
anchor) and sink it, the owner of the boat whose boat was 
sunk shall make declaration in the presence of the god 
of everything that was lost in his boat and (the owner) of 
(the vessel) under way which sank the ferryboat shall 
replace his boat and whatever was lost. 

241. If a man seize an ox for debt, he shall pay one- 
third mana of silver.^ 

; 242, 243. If a man hire (an ox) for a year, he shall give 
to its owner 4 GUR of grain as the hire of a draught ox 
(and) 3 GUR of grain as the hire of a milch cow. 

244. If a man hire an ox or an ass and a lion kill it 
in the field, it is the owner's affair. 

245. If a man hire an ox and cause its death through 
neglect or abuse, he shall restore an ox of equal value 
to the owner of the ox."^ 

246. If a man hire an ox and he break its foot or cut its 
hamstring (?), he shall restore an ox of equal value to the 
owner of the ox.^ 

247. If a man hire an ox and destroy its eye, he shall 
pay silver to the owner of the ox to the extent of one-half 
its value. ^ 

248. If a man hire an ox and break its horn or cut off 
its tail or injure the flesh (through which) the ring (passes), 
he shall pay silver to the extent of one-fourth (?) of its 
value .^ 

249. If a man hire an ox and the god strike and it die, 
the man who hired the ox shall take an oath before the 
god and go free."^ 

1 Cf. Exod. xxii. 25, 26 ; Deut. xxiv. 6, 17 ; Job xxiv. 2. 

2 Cf. Exod. xxii. 10/. ; Lev. xxiv, 21. 

3 Cf. Exod. xxii. 10/. 



38 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



250. If a savage bull, in his charge, gore a man and bring 
about his death, this case has no penalty. ^ 

251. If a man's bull have been wont to gore, and they 
have made known to him his habit of goring and he have 
not protected his horns or have not tied him up, and the 
bull gore the son of a man and bring about his death, he 
shall pay one-half mana of silver.^ 

252. If it be the servant of a man, he shall pay one-third 
mana of silver. ^ 

253. If a man hire a man to oversee his farm and furnish 
him with seed-grain and entrust him with oxen and contract 
with him to cultivate the field, and that man steal either 
the seed or the crop and it be found in his possession, they 
shall cut off his fingers. 

254. If he take the seed-grain and overwork the 
oxen, he shall restore the quantity of grain which he has 
hoed. 

255. If he let the oxen of the man on hire, or steal the 
seed -grain" and there be no crop in the field, they shall call 
that man to account, and he shall measure out 60 GUR 
of grain per gan. 

256. If he be not able to meet his obligation, they shall 
leave him in that field with the cattle. 

257. If a man hire a field-labourer, he shall pay him 
8 GUR of grain per year. 

258. If a man hire a herdsman, he shall pay him 6 GUR 
of grain per year. 

259. If a man steal a watering-machine in a field, he 
shall pay 5 shekels of silver to the owner of the watering- 
machine. 

260. If a man steal a watering-bucket or a harrow, he 
shall pay 3 shekels of silver. 

1 Cf. Exod. xxi. 28. 2 Qf^ Exod. xxi. 29/. 

3 Cf. Exod. xxi. 32 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 39 

261. If a man hire a herdsman to pasture oxen or 
sheep, he shall paj him 8 GUR of grain per year. 

262. If a man, an ox, or a sheep to . . . 

263. If he lose an ox or sheep which is given to him, he 
shall restore to their owner ox for ox, sheep for sheep. ^ 

264. If a shepherd, to whom oxen or sheep have been 
given to pasture, receive as his hire whatever was agreed 
upon (?) and be satisfied, and he let the cattle or sheep 
decrease in number, or lessen the birth-rate, according to 
his contracts he shall make good the birth-rate and the 
produce. 

265. If a shepherd, to whom oxen or sheep have been 
given to pasture, have been dishonest or have altered the 
price, or sold them, they shall call him to account, and he 
shall restore to their owner oxen and sheep tenfold what 
he has stolen. 

266. If a visitation of god happen to a fold, or a lion 
kill, the shepherd shall declare himself innocent before 
the god, and the owner of the fold shall suffer the damage. ^ 

267. If a shepherd be careless and he bring about an 
accident in the fold, the shepherd shall make good in 
cattle and sheep the loss through the accident which he 
brought about in the fold, and give them to their owner.^ 

268. If a man hire an ox to thresh, 20 ka of grain is its 
hire. 

269. If he hire an ass to thresh, 10 ka of grain is its 
hire: 

270. If he hire a young animal (goat) to thresh, 1 ka of 
grain is its hire. 

271. If a man hire oxen, a wagon, and a driver, he 
shall pay 180 ka of grain per day. 

272. If a man hire a wagon only, he shall pay 40 KA 
of grain per day. 

1 Of. Lev. xxiv. 18. 2 qj^ Exod. xxii. 10/. ; John x. 12. 

3 Of. Exod. xxii. 12. 



40 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

273. If a man hire a labourer, from the beginning of the 
year until the fifth month, he shall pay 6 SE of silver per 
day ; from the sixth month until the end of the year he 
shall pay 5 SE of silver per day. 

274. If a man hire an artisan, the wage of a ... is 
5 SE of silver ; the wage of a brickmaker (?) is 5 SE of 
silver ; the wage of a tailor is 5 SE of silver ; the wage 
of a stone-cutter is ... SE of silver ; the wage of a . . . 
is ... SE of silver ; the wage of a ... is ... SE of 
silver ; the wage of a carpenter is 4 SE of silver ; the wage 
of a (1) is . . . SE of silver ; the wage of a . . . is . . . 
SE of silver ; the wage of a mason is ... SE of silver ; so 
much per day shall he pay. 

275. If a man hire a . . . its hire is 3 SE of silver per 
day. 

276. If he hire a sail-boat (1), he shall pay 2 J SE of silver 
per day as its hire. 

277. If a man hire a boat of 60 gur (tonnage), he shall 
pay one-sixth of a shekel of silver as its hire per day. 

278. If a man sell a male or female slave, and the slave 
have not completed his month, and the hennu fever fall 
upon him, he (the purchaser) shall return him to the 
seller, and he shall receive the money which he paid. 

279. If a man sell a male or female slave and there be 
a claim upon him, the seller shall be responsible for the 
claim. 

280. If a man purchase a male or female slave of a man 
in a foreign country, and if, when he comes back to his 
own land, the (former) owner of the male or female slave 
recognize his male or female slave — if the male or female 
slave be a native of the land, he shall grant them their 
freedom without money. ^ 

281. If they be natives of another land, the purchaser 

1 Cf. Exod. xxi. 8. 



THE CODE OF HAMMUEABI 41 

shall declare before the god the money which he paid (for 
them), and the owner of the male or female slave shall 
give to the merchant the money which he paid out, and he 
(the owner) shall receive into his care his male or female 
slave. 

282. If a male slave say to his master : " Thou art not 
my master," his master shall prove him to be his slave, 
and shall cut off his ear. 

EPILOGUE. 

The righteous laws, which Hammurabi, the wise king, 
established and (by which) he gare the land stable support 
and pure government. Hammurabi, the perfect king, am 
I. I was not careless, nor was I neglectful of the Black 
Head people, whose rule Enlil presented and Marduk 
delivered to me. I provided them with a peaceful country. 
I opened up difficult barriers and lent them support. With 
the powerful weapon which Za-mama and Nana entrusted 
to me, with the breadth of vision which Ea allotted to me, 
with the might which Marduk gave me, I expelled the 
enemy to the north and south ; I made an end of their 
raids ; I brought health to the land ; I made the populace 
to rest in security ; I permitted no one to molest them. ^., 

The great gods proclaimed me, and I am the guardian 
governor, whose sceptre is righteous and whose beneficent 
protection is spread over my city. In my bosom I carried 
the people of the land of Sumer and Akkad ; under my 
protection I brought their brethren into security ; in my 
wisdom I restrained (hid) them ; that the strong might 
not oppose the weak, and that they should give justice to 
the orphan and the widow, in Babylon, the city whose 
turrets Anu and Enlil raised ; in Esagila, the temple whose 
foundations are firm as heaven and earth, for the pro- 



42 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 



nouncing of judgments in the land, for the rendering of 
decisions for the land, and for the righting of wrong, my 
weight}^ words I have written upon my monument, and in 
the presence of my image as king of righteousness have 
I establishod. ( 

The king, who is pre-eminent among city kings, am I. 
My words are precious, my wisdom is unrivalled. By the 
command of Shamash, the great judge of heaven and 
earth, may I make righteousness to shine forth in the land. 
By the order of Marduk, my lord, may no one efface my 
statues, may my name be remembered with favour in 
Esagila for ever. 

(Col. 41.) Let any oppressed man, who has a cause, 
come before my image as king of righteousness ! Let 
him read the inscriptions on my monument ! Let 
him give heed to my weighty words ! And may my 
monument enlighten him as to his cause, and may he 
understand his case ! May he set his heart at ease ! (and 
he will exclaim) : "Hammurabi indeed is a ruler, who is 
like a real father to his people ; he has given reverence to 
the words of Marduk, his lord ; he has obtained victory 
for Marduk in north and south ; he has made glad the 
heart of Marduk, his lord ; he has established prosperity 
for the people for all time and given a pure government to 
the land." Let him read the code and pray with full 
heart before Marduk, my lord, and Zarpanit, my lady, 
and may the protecting deities, the gods who enter 
Esagila, daily in the midst of Esagila look with favour on 
his wishes (plans) in the presence of Marduk, my lord, and 
Zarpanit, my lady ! 

In the days that are yet to come, for all future time, 
may the king who is in the land observe the words of 
righteousness which I have written upon ray monument ! 
May he not alter the judgments of the land which I have 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 43 

pronounced, or the decisions of the country which I have 
rendered ! May he not efface my statues ! If that man 
have wisdom, if he wish to give his land good government, 
let him give attention to the words which I have written 
upon my monument ! And may this monument enlighten 
him as to procedure and administration, the judgments 
which I have pronounced, and the decisions which I have 
rendered for the land ! And let him rightly rule his 
Black Head people ; let him pronounce judgments for 
them and render for them decisions ! Let him root out 
the wicked and evildoer from his land ! Let him promote 
the welfare of his people ! 

Hammurabi, the king of righteousness, whom Shamash 
has endowed with justice, am I. My words are weighty ; 
my deeds are unrivalled. . . . 

(Col. 42.) and the bringing to honour. 

If that man pay attention to my words which I have 
written upon my monument, do not efface my judgments, 
do not overrule my words, and do not alter my statues, 
then will Shamash prolong that man's reign, as he has 
mine, who am king of righteousness, that he may rule his 
people in righteousness. 

If that man do not pay attention to my words which 
I have written upon my monument ; if he forget my curse 
and do not fear the curse of god ; if he abolish the 
judgments which I have formulated, overrule my words, 
alter my statues, efface my name written thereon and 
write his own name ; on account of these curses, com- 
mission another to do so— as for that man, be he king or 
lord^ or priest-king or commoner, whoever he may be, may 
the great god, the father of the gods, who has ordained 
my reign, take from him the glory of his sovereignty, may 
he break his sceptre and curse his fate ! 

May Enlil, the lord, who determines destinies, whose 



44 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

command cannot be altered, who has enlarged my dominion, 
drive him out from his dwelling through a revolt which 
his hand cannot control and a curse destructive to him! 
May he determine as his fate a reign of sighs, days few in 
number, years of famine, darkness without light, death 
staring him in the face ! The destruction of his city, the 
dispersion of his people, the wresting away of his dominion, 
the blotting out of his name and memory from the land, 
may Enlil order with his potent command ! 
• May Belit, the august mother, whose command is potent 
in E-kur, who looks with gracious favour upon my plans, 
in the place of judgment and decisions pervert his words 
in the presence of Enlil ! May she put into the mouth of 
Enlil, the king, the ruin of his land, the destruction of his 
people, and the pouring out of his life like water ! 

May Ea, the great prince, whose decrees take pre- 
cedence, the leader of the gods, who knows everything ; 
who prolongs (Col. 43) the days of my life, deprive him of 
knowledge and wisdom ! May he bring him to oblivion, 
and dam up his rivers at their sources ! May he not 
permit corn, which is the life of the people, to grow in his 
land! 

May Shamash, the great judge of heaven and earth, 
who rules all living creatures, the lord (inspiring) con- 
fidence, overthrow his dominion ; may he not grant him 
his rights ! May he make him to err in his path, may he 
destroy the mass (foundation) of his troops ! May he 
bring to his view an evil omen of the uprooting of the 
foundation of his sovereignty, and the ruin of his land ! 

May the blighting curse of Shamash come upon him 
quickly ! May he cut off his life above (upon the earth) ! 
Below, within the earth, may he deprive his spirit of water ! 

May Sin, the lord of heaven, my divine creator, whose 
scimitar shines among the gods, take away from him the 



THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 45 

crown and throne of sovereignty ! May he lay upon him 
heavy guilt and great sin, which will not depart from him ! 
May he bring to an end the days, months, and years of 
his reign with sighing and tears ! May he multiply the 
burdens of his sovereignty ! May he determine as his 
fate a life like unto death ! 

May Adad, the lord of abundance, the agent of heaven 
and earth, my helper, deprive him of the rain from heaven 
and the water-floods from the springs ! May he bring his 
land to destruction through want and hunger ! May he 
break loose furiously over his city and turn his land into 
a heap left by a whirlwind ! 

May Za-md-ma, the great warrior, the chief son of 
E-kur, who goes at my right hand, shatter his weapons on 
the field of battle ! May he turn day into night for him, 
and place his enemy over him ! 

May Ishtar, goddess of battle and conflict, who makes 
ready my weapons, the gracious protecting deity, who 
loves my reign, curse his dominion with great fury in her 
wrathful heart, and turn good into evil for him (Col. 44) ! 
May she shatter his weapons on the field of battle and 
conflict ! May she create confusion and revolt for him ! 
May she strike down his warriors, may their blood water 
the earth ! May she cast the bodies of his warriors upon 
the field in heaps ! May she not grant his warriors 
[burial (?)] ! May she deliver him into the hands of his 
enemies, and may they carry him away bound into a 
hostile land ! 

May Nergal, the mighty among the gods, the warrior 
without an equal, who grants me victory, in his great 
power, burn his people like a raging fire of swamp-reed ! 
With his powerful weapon, may he cut him off and may he 
break his members like an earthen image ! 

May Nin-tu, the exalted mistress of the lands, the mother 



46 THE CODE OF HAMMURABI 

who bore me, deny him a son ! May she not let him hold 
a name among his people, nor beget an heir ! 

May Nin-kar-ra-sa, the daughter of Ann, who commands 
favours for me in E-kur, cause to come upon his members 
until it overcomes his life a grievous malady, an evil 
disease, a dangerous sore, which cannot be cured, which 
the physician cannot diagnose, which he cannot allaywith 
bandages, and which, like the bite of death, cannot be 
removed ! May he lament the loss of his vigour ! 2 

May the great gods of heaven and earth, the Anunnaki 
in their assembly, curse with blighting curses the wall of 
the temple, the construction of the E-babbarra, his seed, 
his land, his army, his people, and his troops ! 

May Enlil with his command, which cannot be altered, 
curse him with a powerful curse, and may it come upon 
him speedily ! 



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