King Hammurabi, who reigned from approximately 1792 to 1750 BC, is one of the most significant figures of ancient Mesopotamia and arguably one of the most influential rulers in human...
Below, WHE present 10 major facts about the ancient Babylonian king Hammurabi:
- Reign Period: Hammurabi ruled from approximately 1792 to 1750 BC.
- Dynastic Lineage: He was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty.
- Rise to Power: At the start of his reign, Babylon was a small city-state, but under Hammurabi, it transformed into a dominant empire in Mesopotamia.
- Military Conquests: Hammurabi strategically annexed several city-states and regions, including Uruk, Isin, and Larsa, unifying most of Mesopotamia under Babylonian control.
- Code of Hammurabi: His most renowned accomplishment is the Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest and most comprehensive legal codes. It consists of 282 laws inscribed on a diorite stele.
- Nature of the Code: While often described as an “eye for an eye” system, the code is more nuanced, with laws varying based on the social status of both offender and victim.
- Religious Affiliations: Hammurabi was a devout patron of Mesopotamian gods, especially Marduk, the chief deity of Babylon. He built and refurbished numerous temples during his reign.
- Administrative Reforms: Beyond military endeavors, Hammurabi was an astute administrator, overseeing major infrastructure projects like canals and city walls, and establishing a centralized bureaucratic system.
- End of Reign: Hammurabi’s death marked a significant transition. Though the Babylonian empire persisted for some time, it eventually faced external challenges and declined.
- Modern Recognition: Hammurabi’s legacy, particularly his legal code, has endured through millennia. Today, he’s acknowledged as a foundational lawgiver, with depictions in institutions like the U.S. Supreme Court.