A leader in Civilization IV
|Introduced||Beyond the Sword|
Hammurabi (-1750 BCE) was the sixth king of Babylon (First Babylonian Dynasty) from 1792 BCE to 1750 BCE.
Hammurabi is known for the set of Hammurabi's Laws. Punishments for breaking these laws were varied. Smaller crimes and business infractions were typically dealt with via fines. Crimes dealing with theft or crimes of a more physical nature (assault, battery, murder) typically had harsher penalties involving death, slavery, or banishment. If proven guilty of a crime, the defendant could expect to receive a punishment nearly equivalent to the crime itself. This is quite possibly where the ancient idea of an Eye for an Eye, and the modern variation of A Tit for a Tat, came from.
But decisions were not draconian, and took into account circumstance. If a man was to kill another while defending himself, he might only be fined a small fee depending on the social stature of the deceased, instead of facing a sentence of death himself.
With a recorded set of responsibilities and consequences for any given action, punishment was no longer left up to the whim of those in power, and people could conduct their business with the assurance that they would not inadvertently commit a serious crime to which the punishment was unknown. This gave the Babylonian empire the much needed stability it required to flourish.
Hammurabi further covered his land with strongholds, police garrisons and civilian administrators. His intent was to enforce his laws so that a citizen in his empire could travel from Babylon to the coast of the Mediterranean without fear of harassment or unfair persecution. Safety, stability, and prosperity were to be Hammurabi's gift to his people.
Note: In the background, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are depicted, though it wasn't built in Hammurabi's time.