The Hammurabi Code and how it affected the Society of Mesopotamia
There were many problems, which were experienced, during early civilization in Mesopotamia. Only few people enjoyed the benefits of political and economic power. The latter was brought about by society’s stratification and segmentation. The consequence was that conflict arose and the classes were affected by jealousy. The upper classes were constantly exploiting the lower classes in an extremely ruthless manner. A lot had to be done to ensure that the lower classes did not rebel. Many wars were experienced in the cities. Laws as well as civil bureaucracy were needed to ensure that order was maintained. The code of Hammurabi was in accordance with Old Testament biblical teachings. Most of the punishments were extremely severe, which later led to death of many people.
A Babylon King known as Hammurabi came into power and ensured that the region was in order. His position was extremely dominating, thus came up laws, which reorganized the region. Clay tablets had all the information regarding the codes. Also, the public was meant to view the codes, which were in a pillar, made of stone. The Hammurabi code had many advantages to the people of Mesopotamia. Since the laws were made public, everyone could easily access them. This means that imposters could not change the laws, since almost everyone had knowledge concerning the laws. The fact that the laws were in stone curving, made it difficult to change the laws. No one would have the excuse that they had no knowledge of the laws. The reason is that all regions of Mesopotamia had copies of the law. Since it is expensive to imprison people, the code was extremely effective in solving this problem. Most people believed that justice was delivered fairly by this code. Also, people were deterred from committing crimes due to this code. For example, builders ensured that they built homes, which were fit for living. This ensured that tenants were safe from houses, which could collapse. In case a house collapsed, the owner would be killed as punishment.
Also, many disadvantages came about due to the Hammurabi code. The punishments were deemed as being unfair. Different people were accorded punishment based in their society status. For example, poor people were the ones most vulnerable to punishment as compared to the rich. The latter could easily avoid punishment. There were no fair hearings and the punishments were extremely harsh. Those accused of committing crimes were not accorded a chance for defense. Instead, they were killed immediately. Many people, who were innocent, lost their lives due to this unfair code. The Mesopotamian society was extremely stratified, which means that some social classes were better off than others. Those who were rich were given lighter punishments as compared to the people who were poor. The judges who were involved in administering justice were not trained. The prescriptions, which existed, were not followed as they used their own judgment in determining cases. No human being is perfect and thus the judgments were often biased.
In conclusion, despite all the various impacts of the Hammurabi code, there was cultural unity in the empire of Babylon. Hammurabi’s empire became torn after around fifty years. Many Babylonians believed that Hammurabi’s rule was fair. His codes have since made him be recognized as one of history’s great law enforcers