Hammurabi First Class
¯ The law seems to recognize three, defined as
¤ Free born
¯ The Britannica article recognizes three, defined as
¤ Amelu: Patrician? Includes artisans
¤ Muskinu: Landless man?
¤ Ardu: Slave
¯ The Britannica isnÕt limited to the codeÑlots of other surviving material.
v Making sense of quantities, prices, etc.
¤ Different units
á Gur of corn
á Ka of corn
¤ Units of weight used as money
á Mina of gold
á Mina of silver
á Mina of money???
á Shekel, Gerah similarly
¤ Web search which tells us
á Mina about a poundÑsurviving weights!
á 60 shekels to the mina
á 20 Gerah to the shekel, at least in Israel
á gur = aprox 300 liters
á sar = 36 square meters
á gold about 12 times the value of silver by weight
¤ Internal consistency
á Some wages are given in gur of corn/year, some in gerah/day
¬ So you can calculate a conversion between them
¬ Assuming how many days people work
¬ And from that to shekels
á Hire of oxen, cart and driver is 180 ka of corn/day
¬ Ox for threshing 20 ka
¬ cart alone is 40 ka
¬ so driver is 100 ka/day
¯ if we assume two oxen
¯ and assume that oxen for threshing cost the same rental as oxen to draw a cartÑwhich may be wrong
¬ 60 ka/day if four oxen, other assumptions the same
¬ which should be around 60-100 shekels/year, the ordinary wage rate suggested from other sources
á fines in mina and closely related fines in shekels
¬ striking the body of another
¯ 1 gold mina for freeborn striking body of another free born of equal rank
¯ 10 shekels if freed man strikes the body of another freed man
¯ so shekel must be gold shekel, makes it 1/3 instead of 1/36 the amount.
¬ Strike a woman, she loses the child
¯ 10 shekels if a free born woman
¯ 5 shekels if freed
á fines in mina of gold and closely related fines in mina
¬ Accidental death from injury in a quarrel, free born, 1/2 mina
¬ Putting out the eye of a freed man, 1 gold mina
¬ Suggests that ÒminaÓ means gold
¬ Goring ox kills a free born man, 1/2 mina in money
¬ Suggests that that also means gold.
á Mina is always gold unless specified as silver
á Ditto for shekel
¤ 1 calculation suggests 60-100 shekels/year, but É
¤ A boat with displacement of 20 tons only two shekels to build?
¤ Hire of a boat about a shekel a week!
¤ Serious injury (eye or fracture) of a freed man 60 shekelsÑfits.
¤ Negligently killing a free born man, 30 shekelsÑtoo low.
¤ Strikes a woman, she loses her child, 5-10 shekels.
¤ If she dies, 20-30 shekels
¤ Physician heals a fracture, 2-5 shekels, operation 2-10 shekels
á Depending on rank of patient
á Risk of losing his hands if he kills or blinds the patient
á Or having to replace patient if a slave (or half if lost an eye)
¯ Value of life
¤ For upper class, eye for an eye for serious offenses
¤ Fines start at 1 mina for freed, 1/2 mina for free born woman
v Analyzing the code
¯ Sort it into criminal, tort, property, family, etc.
¯ Try to make sense of each
¯ Recognizing that our classification may not fit theirs very well.
¯ Death penalty for lots of things
¤ Ensnare but not proofÑsome sort of false accusation
¤ Bring a capital accusation but not prove it
¤ Steal the property of temple or courtÑor receive the stolen property
á But steal cattle, sheep, ass, pig or goat
¬ from god or court, pay thirty fold
¬ ten fold if a freed man of the king (?)
¬ death if he canÕt pay
¤ merchant who sells stolen property
¤ or possessor if he canÕt prove he bought it from a merchant
¤ or putative owner, if he canÕt prove he owned it!
¤ Buying something from someoneÕs son or slave without witness or contract, a thief, capital
¤ Stealing a minor son
¤ Taking someone elseÕs slave (court or freed man) outside the city gates
¤ Harboring such a slave
¤ Breaking into a house
¤ Caught committing a robbery.
¯ Trial by ordealÑleap into the river.
¯ Accuser gets the fine!
¯ Judge who is culpably wrong pays 12 times the fine, is fired