What does Hammurabi’s Code tell us about the ancient Babylonian way of life?

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Hammurabi's Code is one of the most helpful windows that we have into examining Babylonian society. One thing we learn is that reputation was incredibly important as the Code specifically lays out punishments for slander (Law #127). Committing perjury in court could result in execution (#3). There are also a number of laws for the protection of business transactions from fraud. Taken together, we can see that honesty and speaking the truth was an important value of the Babylonians.

The Code illustrates that property and ownership were extremely important. The punishment for certain types of theft was death. All business transactions required a receipt (#104) so that proof of sale and ownership could be established. If someone is responsible for the destruction of someone else's property through their own negligence, they had to pay for the loss (#53). This all shows that the Babylonians cared deeply about the rightful ownership of property.

Personal responsibility is also clearly a...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 929 words.)

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