Lecture 9 reading 9_2

Lecture 9 reading 9_2 - Reading 9-2 1 READING 9-2 Source:...

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1 READING 9-2 Source: Hallo, W.H. 2002. The Context of Scripture: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World, Vol. II. The Laws of Hammurabi—A Sampling of Laws Relating to Agriculture Martha Roth By the beginning of the second millennium, Amorite and other nomadic population groups integrated into Mesopotamian urban political and social life. The Amorite Sumu-abum (ca. 1894–1881 BCE) settled in Babylon, in the wasp-waist center of Mesopotamia, at the time that the rival cities of Isin and Larsa were struggling for dominance in the south. He and his successors for 100 years stayed focused largely on their immediate geographical area, engaging in local political and military consolidation, fortifi cation and temple building projects, canal maintenance, and some military actions. By the time the 6th ruler of this dynasty, hammurabi (ca. 1792–1750 BCE), came to the throne, he found himself circumscribed by the rising powers of Larsa to the south, the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia to the north, Mari to the west, and Eshnunna and Elam to the east. In his fi rst years, Hammurabi, like his predecessors, remained involved in building projects in Babylon itself, but then turned outward and began military forays into other territories; by his 32nd regnal year, he had decisively defeated all the rivals mentioned. As “King of Sumer and Akkad,” Ham- murabi now had the luxury of turning his attention again to domestic programs, largely neglected during the years of military efforts. It is at this point that the law collection inscribed on the monumental stelae was compiled and publicized in multiple copies placed in major cities of his realm, fulfi lling Hammurabi’s repeated claims of a just and righteous rule. In all this, Hammurabi and his law collection stand fi rmly in the
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Lecture 9 reading 9_2 - Reading 9-2 1 READING 9-2 Source:...

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