Hammurabi

(reigned ca. 1792-1750 b.c.)
   An important early king of Babylon who created the first Babylonian empire and became even more famous for issuing an extensive law code. Hammurabi was the sixth king of an Amorite dynasty that had been established in Babylon in about 1850 b.c. At first he controlled only that city and a few others in the immediate area, including Kish, Sippar, and Borsippa. The early years of his reign were largely peaceful, as he concentrated on strengthening Babylon's administrative institutions, building local irrigation canals, and forging alliances with neighboring city-states, including Mari, Larsa, and Eshnunna.
   It is unknown whether these agreements were part of a long-standing secret plan to put these states off guard or whether Hammurabi simply grew more aggressive and ambitious as he aged. In any case, in the late 1760s b.c. he suddenly initiated a policy of military and imperial expansion. one by one, he captured and absorbed neighboring Mesopotamian cities, first Larsa, which gave him control of most of southern Mesopotamia, then Esh-nunna and Mari, which was largely leveled circa 1759 b.c. Not long afterward, Hammurabi attacked and seized Ashur, Nineveh, and the other Assyrian strongholds. These conquests made him the first ruler since Sargon of Akkad to rule over all of Mesopotamia.
   Hammurabi was not only an ardent imperialist and skilled military commander. He was also a highly capable administrator who took an interest in a wide range of domestic, economic, and other affairs. During his reign trade flourished throughout Mesopotamia, which made Babylon wealthy and allowed the king to erect many new religious shrines and canals. In addition, he ordered the old Sumerian creation myths to be recited at the New Year's festival of the Babylonian god Marduk and encouraged scholarly pursuits.
   Most importantly, Hammurabi issued a major law code, based to some extent on earlier Sumerian and Akkadian models. The Code of Hammurabi became the most famous and influential set of laws before those created by the Greeks and Romans in the first millennium b.c. In addition to the laws themselves, the code contains a lengthy introduction and epilogue in which the king presents a rationale for issuing his laws. These sections of text are priceless relics in that they are among the few surviving statements that came directly from the lips of one of Mesopotamia's greatest rulers. In this excerpt from the epilogue, Hammurabi speaks not only to his subjects but also in a sense to the ages, declaring that his extreme wisdom, piety, and righteousness, bolstered by the sanction of the gods, have compelled him to create laws for the good of his people:
   A righteous law, and pious statute did he teach the land. Hammurabi, the protecting king am I. . . . The great gods have called me. I am the salvation-bearing shepherd, whose staff is straight, the good shadow that is spread over my city; on my breast I cherish the inhabitants of the land of Sumer and Akkad; in my shelter I have let them repose in peace; in my deep wisdom have I enclosed them. . . . The king who rules among the kings of the cities am I. My words are well considered; there is no wisdom like unto mine. By the command of Shamash, the great judge of heaven and earth, let righteousness go forth in the land. By the order of Marduk, my lord, let no destruction befall my monument. ... Let my name be ever repeated; let the oppressed, who has a case at law, come and stand before this my image as king of righteousness; let him read the inscription, and understand my precious words. The inscription will explain his case to him; he will find out what is just, and his heart will be glad, so that he will say: "Hammurabi is a ruler, who is as a father to his subjects, who holds the words of Marduk in reverence, who has achieved conquest for Marduk over the north and south, who rejoices the heart of Marduk, his lord, who has bestowed benefits for ever and ever on his subjects, and has established order in the land."
   Hammurabi also appointed judges, who reported directly to him, to administer these laws. He did not live to see widespread application of these laws, however, for he died shortly after introducing them.

Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hammurabi — • The sixth king of the first Babylonian dynasty Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Hammurabi     Hammurabi     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Hammurabi — ] Hammurabi died and passed the reins of the empire on to his son Samsu Iluna in ca. 1750 BC. [harvnb|Arnold|2005|p=42] Code of lawsHammurabi is best known for the promulgation of a new code of Babylonian law: the Code of Hammurabi. This was… …   Wikipedia

  • Hammurabi (Mc) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Hammurabi Información personal Nombre real Javier Abad Nacimiento 1983 Origen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hammurabi — (1792 a.C. 1750 a.C.) Rey de Babilonia. Su reinado representó la ascensión de Babilonia y de los nómadas amorreos, que se habían instalado en la región, a una posición preponderante entre las ciudades de Mesopotamia. Hammurabi se dedicó a… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hammurabi (MC) — Hammurabi Datos generales Nombre real Javier Abad Nacimiento 1983 Origen Madrid …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hammurabi — (genauer Chammurabi), der sechste der elf Könige zählenden ersten babylonischen Dynastie, um 2250 v. Chr., und einer der bedeutendsten aller babylonischen Könige. Er vertrieb die Elamiten aus dem Land und vereinte Norden und Süden des Landes zu… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hammurabi — (Chammurabi), erster König von Gesamtbabylonien, um 2200 v. Chr., berühmt als Gesetzgeber. Seine auf einem Dioritblock eingemeißelte Gesetzsammlung wurde 1901 in Susa entdeckt. – Vgl. Winckler (3. Aufl. 1903), D.H. Müller (1903) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hammurabi — [hä΄mo͞o rä′bē, ham΄ərä′bē] fl. 18th cent. B.C.; king of Babylon: a famous code of laws is attributed to him …   English World dictionary

  • Hammurabi — /hah moo rah bee, ham oo /, n. 18th century B.C. or earlier, king of Babylonia. Also, Hammurapi /hah moo rah pee, ham oo /. Cf. Code of Hammurabi. * * * flourished 18th century BC Sixth and best known ruler of the 1st (Amorite) dynasty of Babylon …   Universalium

  • Hammurabi —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Hamurabi.  Hammurabi, parfois également transcrit Hammourabi, ou Hammu rapi, nom qui signifie « l aïeul est grand » ou « l aïeul est un guérisseur », est le sixième roi de la première… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hammurabi — Estela Código de Hammurabi. Hammurabi (también se usan transliteraciones como Hamurabi, Hammu rapi o Khammurabi) (1728–1686 a. C. según la cronología corta, y 1792 1750 a. C. según la cronología media, e incluso 1810… …   Wikipedia Español

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