The victory stele of naram sin king of human rulers

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Unformatted text preview: umerians also began period, ca. 2230 B.C.E. (pink sandstone). The king, wearing the horned cerns, the Mesopotamians imagthe development of mathemat- helmet denoting divine power, strides forward at the head of his army. ined another, more personal inics. Once an independent con- This is one of the finest sculptures to survive from the Akkadian period. tercessor god who was supposed Louvre, Paris, France. The Bridgeman Art Library International Ltd. cept of number was estabto look after a person, rather like CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 11 Chapter 1 Document The Birth of Civilization 11 The Code of Hammurabi The Code of Hammurabi (r. 1792–1750 B.C.E.) was only one of many law codes that Mesopotamian societies produced, probably because in this culture rulers were not considered divine. As a result, civil law codes, separate from religious regulations, were necessary to govern human behavior. From a modern perspective, Mesopotamian law codes such as that of Hammurabi seem unjust, in that they prescribed different rights, responsibilities, and punishments, depending on gender, class, and whether a person was enslaved or free. But they represent an enormous advance in legal thought because they codified and standardized laws and punishments, which made the legal process less dependent on the whims or favoritism of rulers or judges. They also offer invaluable evidence to historians about the social structures and culture of the society that produced them. ■ What do the passages suggest about the way Mesopotamians viewed the role of marriage in society, and the role of women in marriage? If you formed your judgment about the roles women played in Babylonian society from passages 129, 137, and 138 alone, you might assume that women primarily reared children and were confined to the home. What do the other passages here reveal about other roles that women played in this culture? What does this difference suggest about the importance of evidence and the accidents of its survival in understanding the lives of women in history? 109. If rebels meet in the house of a wineseller and she does not seize them and take them to the palace, that wineseller shall be slain. 110. If a priestess who has not remained in the temple, shall open a wine-shop, or enter a wineshop for a drink, that woman shall be burned. 117. If a man has contracted a debt, and has given his wife, his son, his daughter for silver or for labor, three years shall they serve in the house of their purchaser or bondsmaster; in the fourth year they shall regain their original condition. 129. If the wife of a man is found lying with another male, they shall be bound and thrown into the water. If the husband lets his wife live, then the king shall let his servant live . . . a guardian spirit. The public festivals of the gods were important holidays, with parades, ceremonies, and special foods. People wore their best clothes and celebrated their city and its gods. The Mesopotamians were...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.

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