Code of Hammurabi (Long Version)

(1752 BCE)

Context

Prior to Hammurabi's reign, Babylonia—then known as “Sumer and Akkad”—was in prolonged political turmoil. Many city-states were ruled by kings of Amorite descent (their origins being land west of Sumer and Akkad) who had seized power from native Sumerians and Akkadians during the political upheaval. Isin and Larsa were two of the most powerful cities. Each was able to build a small kingdom, yet neither ever controlled all the cities of Sumer and Akkad. Babylon, which before this period had been an unimportant town, was one of the cities that proved able to maintain its autonomy. The First Dynasty of Babylon began in 1894 BCE (dated according to the Middle Chronology used by most historians studying ancient Babylonia) with the reign of its first king, an Amorite named Sumu-abum. By the time Larsa conquered Isin one hundred years later, the kingdom of Babylon controlled much of northern Babylonia—including the cities of Sippar, Kish, and Borsippa—and rivaled Larsa in...

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Hammurabi (Library of Congress)

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