Born: 19th century B.C.
Died: c. 1750 B.C.
Birthplace: Babylon (now Iraq)
Best known as: Author of the Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest known examples of human laws being defined and written down in an orderly way. Little is known about Hammurabi himself; he ruled Babylon nearly four millennia ago, from roughly 1792-1750 B.C. The code has 282 entries covering all sorts of civil interactions, from inheritance to theft to slave ownership. Some of the laws are general (anyone caught committing a robbery shall be put to death) and others quite specific ("If any one hire an ox-driver, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year"). The code's best-known dictum is "If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out" -- commonly quoted as "An eye for an eye."
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