Warad-Sin ruled the ancient Near East city-state of Larsa from 1770 BC to 1758 BC. There are indications that his father Kudur-Mabuk was co-regent or at very least the power behind the throne and his sister En-ane-du was high priestess of the moon god in Ur. Annals survive for his complete 12-year reign and he recorded that in his second year as king, he destroyed the walls of Kazallu, and defeated the army of Mutibal that had occupied Larsa. Chronology of the ancient Near East Kings of Larsa Warad-Sin Year Names at CDLI
Nabonidus was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, reigning from 556–539 BC. Modern perceptions of Nabonidus reign have been colored by accounts written well after his reign as king of Babylon, most notably by the Persians. As a result, Nabonidus has often described in very negative terms in both modern and contemporaneous scholarship. However, an accumulation of evidence and a reassessment of existing material has caused opinions on Nabonidus and he said in his inscriptions that he was of unimportant origins. Similarly, his mother Addagoppe, who lived to an old age and may have connected to the temple of the moon-god Sîn in Harran. He certainly did not belong to the ruling dynasty, the Chaldeans. He came to the throne in 556 BC by overthrowing the young king Labashi-Marduk, Nabonidus took an interest in Babylons past, excavating ancient buildings and displaying his archeological discoveries in a museum. In most ancient accounts, he is depicted as a royal anomaly and he left the capital for the desert oasis of Tayma in Arabia early in his reign, from which he only returned after many years.
In the meantime, his son Belshazzar ruled from Babylon, Nabonidus is most revered and is known as the first archaeologist. He was the first to date an archaeological artifact in his attempt to date Naram-Sins temple during his search for it. Even though his estimate was inaccurate by about 1500 years, it was still a good one considering the lack of accurate dating technology at the time. ). Although Nabonidus personal preference for Sîn is clear, the strength of this preference divides scholars, in any case, there is no sign of the civil unrest during his reign that would have been indicative of trouble. Part of the propaganda issued by both the Marduk priesthood and Cyrus is the story of Nabonidus taking the most important cultic statues from southern Mesopotamia hostage in Babylon, till the end of the month Ulûlu all the gods of Akkad -those from above and those from below- entered Babylon. The gods of Borsippa and Sippar did not enter, modern scholarship has provided an explanation for this action.
In Mesopotamia, gods were supposed to be housed inside their statues, but this only happened if they received the right kind of attention. So Nabonidus took special care of these statues and made sure that their personnel had to come along with him. Assyrian and Babylonian sources of the first millennium frequently allude to the removal of statues from the temples as the result of a city being conquered. Spoliated statues were carried off to the land of the victorious power where they remained in captivity until a turn of events would allow them to be restored to their shrines
Darius III, originally named Artashata and called Codomannus by the Greeks, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC. Artashata adopted Darius as a dynastic name and his empire was unstable, with large portions governed by jealous and unreliable satraps and inhabited by disaffected and rebellious subjects. With the Persian Empire now effectively under Alexanders control, Alexander decided to pursue Darius, before Alexander reached him, Darius was killed by the satrap Bessus, who was his cousin. Artashata was the son of Arsames, son of Ostanes, and Sisygambis and he had distinguished himself in a combat of champions in a war against the Cadusii and was serving at the time as a royal courier. However, prior to being appointed as a courier, he had served as a satrap of Armenia. He may have been promoted from his satrapy to the service after the ascension of Arses. In 336 BC, he took the throne at the age of 43 after the death of Artaxerxes III, however, a cuneiform tablet suggests that Artaxerxes died from natural causes.
Artashata took the regnal name Darius III, and quickly demonstrated his independence from his possible assassin benefactor, Bagoas tried to poison Darius as well, when he learned that even Darius couldnt be controlled, but Darius was warned and forced Bagoas to drink the poison himself. Compared to his ancestors and his heirs who had since perished, Darius had a distinct lack of experience ruling an empire. Darius was a ruler of entirely average stamp, without the striking talents and he sent an advance force into Asia Minor under the command of his generals Parmenion and Attalus to liberate the Greeks living under Persian control. In the spring of 334 BC, Philips heir and this invasion, which marked the beginning of the Wars of Alexander the Great, was followed almost immediately by the victory of Alexander over the Persians at Battle of the Granicus. In the previous invasion of Asia Minor by the Spartan king Agesilaus, Darius attempted to employ the same strategy, with the Spartans rebelling against the Macedonians, but the Spartans were defeated at Megalopolis.
Darius did not actually take the field against Alexander’s army until a year and his forces outnumbered Alexanders soldiers by at least a 2 to 1 ratio, but Darius was still outflanked and forced to flee. On the way, he left behind his chariot, his bow, at the Battle of Issus, Darius III even caught Alexander by surprise and failed to defeat Alexanders forces. Darius fled so far so fast that Alexander was able to capture Darius’s headquarters, Darius petitioned to Alexander through letters several times to get his family back, but Alexander refused to do so unless Darius would acknowledge him as the new emperor of Persia. Circumstances were more in Darius’s favor at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC, despite all these beneficial factors, he still fled the battle before any victor had been decided and deserted his experienced commanders as well as one of the largest armies ever assembled. Many Persian soldiers lost their lives that day, so many in fact that after the battle the casualties of the enemy ensured that Darius would never raise a imperial army.
Darius fled to Ecbatana and attempted to raise an army, while Alexander took possession of Babylon, Susa
The empire united all the Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule. The Akkadian Empire controlled Mesopotamia, the Levant, and eastern and southern parts of Anatolia and Iran, sending military expeditions as far south as Dilmun and Magan in the Arabian Peninsula. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed an intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism. Akkadian gradually replaced Sumerian as a spoken language somewhere between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC, the Akkadian Empire reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests by its founder Sargon of Akkad. Under Sargon and his successors, the Akkadian language was imposed on neighboring conquered states such as Elam. Akkad is sometimes regarded as the first empire in history, though there are earlier Sumerian claimants, the Bible refers to Akkad in Genesis 10,10, which states that the beginning of Nimrods kingdom was in the land of Akkad.
Nimrod is a Hebrew name not attested in Mesopotamians sources, many have pointed out similarities with the legend of Gilgamesh who founded Uruk, which is said to be the city Nimrod came to power. Today, some 7,000 texts from the Akkadian period alone are known, many texts from the successor states of Assyria and Babylonia deal with the Akkadian Empire. Understanding of the Akkadian Empire continues to be hampered by the fact that its capital Akkad has not yet been located, material that is thought to be Akkadian continues to be in use into the Ur III period. Many of the recent insights on the Akkadian Empire have come from excavations in the Upper Khabur area in modern northeastern Syria which was to become a part of Assyria after the fall of Akkad. For example, excavations at Tell Mozan brought to light a sealing of Taram-Agade, an unknown daughter of Naram-Sin. The excavators at nearby Tell Leilan have used the results from their investigations to argue that the Akkadian Empire came to an end due to a sudden drought, the so-called 4.2 kiloyear event.
The impact of this event on Mesopotamia in general, and on the Akkadian Empire in particular. The Akkadian Period is contemporary with, EB IV, EB IVA and EJ IV, the absolute dates of their reigns are approximate. The Akkadian Empire takes its name from the region and city of Akkad, although the city of Akkad has not yet been identified on the ground, it is known from various textual sources. Among these is at least one text predating the reign of Sargon, together with the fact that the name Akkad is of non-Akkadian origin, this suggests that the city of Akkad may have already been occupied in pre-Sargonic times. Sargon of Akkad defeated and captured Lugal-Zage-Si in the Battle of Uruk, the earliest records in the Akkadian language date to the time of Sargon. Sargon was claimed to be the son of Laibum or Itti-Bel, a humble gardener, One legend related of Sargon in Assyrian times says that My mother was a changeling, my father I knew not
The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. The main ethnic groups are Arabs and Kurds, others include Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Circassians, around 95% of the countrys 36 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish, two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation. It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws, the area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Assyrian and it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. Iraqs modern borders were mostly demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres, Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia.
A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932, in 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Baath Party from 1968 until 2003, after an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Husseins Baath Party was removed from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005. The American presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country, the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name, one dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus ultimately of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for city, UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is rooted, well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿajamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran.
The term historically included the south of the Hamrin Mountains. The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In English, it is either /ɪˈrɑːk/ or /ɪˈræk/, the American Heritage Dictionary, the pronunciation /aɪˈræk/ is frequently heard in U. S. media. Since approximately 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture where agriculture, the following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations
Seleucus received Babylonia and, from there, expanded his dominions to include much of Alexanders near eastern territories. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant and what is now Kuwait and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. The Seleucid Empire was a center of Hellenistic culture that maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece, Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece was abruptly halted after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Their attempts to defeat their old enemy Ptolemaic Egypt were frustrated by Roman demands, contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire and as a kingdom. Similarly, Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia and he refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler. Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III, died young in 323 BC.
Alexanders generals jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire, Ptolemy, a former general and the satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system, this led to the demise of Perdiccas. Ptolemys revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC, who had been Commander-in-Chief of the Companion cavalry and appointed first or court chiliarch received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly. Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants. Following his and Lysimachus victory over Antigonus Monophthalmus at the decisive Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus took control over eastern Anatolia, in the latter area, he founded a new capital at Antioch on the Orontes, a city he named after his father.
An alternative capital was established at Seleucia on the Tigris, north of Babylon, Seleucuss empire reached its greatest extent following his defeat of his erstwhile ally, Lysimachus, at Corupedion in 281 BC, after which Seleucus expanded his control to encompass western Anatolia. He hoped further to take control of Lysimachuss lands in Europe – primarily Thrace and even Macedonia itself, even before Seleucus death, it was difficult to assert control over the vast eastern domains of the Seleucids. Seleucus invaded the Punjab region of India in 305 BC, confronting Chandragupta Maurya and it is said that Chandragupta fielded an army of 600,000 men and 9,000 war elephants. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan and it is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucuss daughter, or a Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalize an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants, an asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC.
In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, Megasthenes wrote detailed descriptions of India and Chandraguptas reign, which have been partly preserved to us through Diodorus Siculus
Hammurabi was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, reigning from 1792 BC to 1750 BC. He was preceded by his father, Sin-Muballit, who abdicated due to failing health and he extended Babylons control throughout Mesopotamia through military campaigns. Hammurabi is known for the Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest surviving codes of law in recorded history, the name Hammurabi derives from the Amorite term ʻAmmurāpi, itself from ʻAmmu and Rāpi. Hammurabi was an Amorite First Dynasty king of the city-state of Babylon, Babylon was one of the many largely Amorite ruled city-states that dotted the central and southern Mesopotamian plains and waged war on each other for control of fertile agricultural land. Though many cultures co-existed in Mesopotamia, Babylonian culture gained a degree of prominence among the literate classes throughout the Middle East under Hammurabi, the kings who came before Hammurabi had founded a relatively minor City State in 1894 BC which controlled little territory outside of the city itself.
Babylon was overshadowed by older and more powerful kingdoms such as Elam, Isin, thus Hammurabi ascended to the throne as the king of a minor kingdom in the midst of a complex geopolitical situation. The powerful kingdom of Eshnunna controlled the upper Tigris River while Larsa controlled the river delta, to the east of Mesopotamia lay the powerful kingdom of Elam which regularly invaded and forced tribute upon the small states of southern Mesopotamia. The first few decades of Hammurabis reign were quite peaceful, Hammurabi used his power to undertake a series of public works, including heightening the city walls for defensive purposes, and expanding the temples. In c.1801 BC, the kingdom of Elam. With allies among the states, Elam attacked and destroyed the kingdom of Eshnunna, destroying a number of cities. In order to consolidate its position, Elam tried to start a war between Hammurabis Babylonian kingdom and the kingdom of Larsa. Hammurabi and the king of Larsa made an alliance when they discovered this duplicity and were able to crush the Elamites, although Larsa did not contribute greatly to the military effort.
Angered by Larsas failure to come to his aid, Hammurabi turned on that southern power, as Hammurabi was assisted during the war in the south by his allies from the north such as Yamhad and Mari, the absence of soldiers in the north led to unrest. Continuing his expansion, Hammurabi turned his attention northward, quelling the unrest, next the Babylonian armies conquered the remaining northern states, including Babylons former ally Mari, although it is possible that the conquest of Mari was a surrender without any actual conflict. Hammurabi entered into a war with Ishme-Dagan I of Assyria for control of Mesopotamia. Eventually Hammurabi prevailed, ousting Ishme-Dagan I just before his own death, mut-Ashkur the new king of Assyria was forced to pay tribute to Hammurabi, however Babylon did not rule Assyria directly. In just a few years, Hammurabi had succeeded in uniting all of Mesopotamia under his rule, one stele of Hammurabi has been found as far north as Diyarbekir, where he claims the title King of the Amorites.
Vast numbers of contract tablets, dated to the reigns of Hammurabi and his successors, have been discovered, as well as 55 of his own letters
Demetrius II Nicator
For the similarly named Macedonian ruler, see Demetrius II of Macedon. For the Macedonian prince, see Demetrius the Fair, Demetrius II, called Nicator, was one of the sons of Demetrius I Soter, brother of Antiochus VII Sidetes and his mother could have been Laodice V. He ruled the Seleucid Empire for two periods, separated by a number of years of captivity in Hyrcania in Parthia. As a young boy, he fled to Crete after the death of his father, his mother and his older brother, about 147 BC he returned to Syria, and with the backing of Ptolemy VI Philometor, king of Egypt, regained his fathers throne. The Egyptian king divorced his daughter Cleopatra Thea from Balas, Alexander fled to the Nabateans who, anxious to stay on good terms with Egypt, cut off his head. However, Demetrius was not a popular king, the people of Syria had little respect for the young boy, who had come to power with the help of Egypt and Cretan mercenaries led by the ruthless condottiere Lasthenes. The Antiochenians offered the Seleucid throne to Ptolemy VI, who had conquered most of southern Syria for his own interest.
The Egyptian troops marched home and disillusioned, and with Balas dead as well Demetrius became sole master of the Seleucid kingdom, the pillaging of the Cretan soldiers caused the Antiochenians to rise in rebellion, and only after terrible massacres was order restored. Soon after, the general Diodotus conquered Antioch and had his protégé Antiochus VI Dionysus, Demetrius proved unable to retake the capital, instead establishing himself in Seleucia. Diodotus had Antiochus VI deposed a few later, and made himself king as Tryphon. In 139 BC, Parthian activity forced Demetrius to take action and he marched against Mithradates I, king of Parthia and was initially successful, but was defeated in the Iranian mountains and taken prisoner the following year. King Mithradates had kept Demetrius II alive and even married him to a Parthian princess named Rhodogune, when the two friends were captured, the Parthian king did not punish Kallimander but rewarded him for his fidelity to Demetrius. The second time Demetrius was captured when he tried to escape, Mithradates humiliated him by giving him a set of dice.
It was however for reasons that the Parthians treated Demetrius II kindly. In 130 BC Antiochus Sidetes felt secure enough to march against Parthia, now Phraates II made what he thought was a powerful move, he released Demetrius, hoping that the two brothers would start a civil war. However, Sidetes was defeated soon after his brothers release and never met him, Phraates II set people to pursue Demetrius, but he managed to safely return home to Syria and regained his throne and his queen as well. However, the Seleucid kingdom was now but a shadow of its former glory, recollections of his cruelties and vices – along with his humiliating defeat – caused him to be greatly detested. The Egyptian queen Cleopatra II set up an army for Demetrius, hoping to engage him in her wars against her brother king Ptolemy VIII
Sumerian King List
Kingship was seen as handed down by the gods, and could be transferred from one city to another, reflecting perceived hegemony in the region. Throughout its Bronze Age existence, the document evolved into a political tool, the list blends prehistorical, presumably mythical predynastic rulers enjoying implausibly lengthy reigns with later, more plausibly historical dynasties. Although the primal kings are historically unattested, that does not preclude their possible correspondence with historical rulers who were mythicized, Some Assyriologists view the predynastic kings as a fictional addition. Only one ruler listed is known to be female, Kug-Bau the tavern-keeper, the earliest listed ruler whose historicity has been archaeologically verified is Enmebaragesi of Kish, ca.2600 BC. Reference to him and his successor, Aga of Kish, in the Epic of Gilgamesh has led to speculation that Gilgamesh himself may have been a king of Uruk. Lagash in particular is directly from archaeological artifacts dating from ca.2500 BC.
The list is important to the chronology of the 3rd millennium BC, the fact that many of the dynasties listed reigned simultaneously from varying localities makes it difficult to reproduce a strict linear chronology. WB62 is a clay tablet, inscribed only on one side. It is the oldest dated source, at c.2000 BC, WB444, in contrast, is a unique inscribed vertical prism, dated c.1817 BC, although some scholars prefer c.1827 BC. The Kish Tablet or Scheil dynastic tablet is an early 2nd millennium BC tablet which came into possession of Jean-Vincent Scheil, UCBC 9-1819 is a clay tablet housed in the collection of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of California. The tablet was inscribed during the reign of the Babylonian King Samsu-iluna, or slightly earlier, the Dynastic Chronicle is a Babylonian king list written on six columns, beginning with entries for the antediluvian Sumerian rulers. K 11261+ is one of the copies of this chronicle, consisting of three joined Neo-Assyrian fragments discovered at the Library of Ashurbanipal, K12054 is another of the Neo-Assyrian fragments from Uruk but contains a variant form of the antediluvians on the list.
The Babylonian king lists and Assyrian king lists repeated the earliest portions of the list, at this time, Berossus wrote Babyloniaca, which popularized fragments of the list in the Hellenic world. In 1960, the Apkullu-list or “Uruk List of Kings and Sages” was discovered by German archaeologists at an ancient temple at Uruk, the list, dating to c.165 BC, contains a series of kings, equivalent to the Sumerian antediluvians, called Apkullu. Early dates are approximate, and are based on archaeological data. For most of the rulers listed, the king list is itself the lone source of information. Beginning with Lugal-zage-si and the Third Dynasty of Uruk, an understanding of how subsequent rulers fit into the chronology of the ancient Near East can be deduced. The short chronology is used here, none of the following predynastic antediluvian rulers has been verified as historical by archaeological excavations, epigraphical inscriptions or otherwise
Larsa was an important city of ancient Sumer, the center of the cult of the sun god Utu. It lies some 25 km southeast of Uruk in Iraqs Dhi Qar Governorate, the historical Larsa was already in existence as early as the reign of Eannatum of Lagash, who annexed it to his empire. The city became a force during the Isin-Larsa period. From there, Ishbi-Erra recaptured Ur as well as the cities of Uruk and Lagash, subsequent Isin rulers appointed governors to rule over Lagash, one such governor was an Amorite named Gungunum. He eventually broke with Isin and established an independent dynasty in Larsa, to legitimize his rule and deliver a blow to Isin, Gungunum captured the city of Ur. As the region of Larsa was the center of trade via the Persian Gulf, Isin lost an enormously profitable trade route. Gungunums two successors and Sumuel, both took steps to cut Isin completely off from access to canals, after this period, Isin quickly lost political and economic force. Larsa grew powerful, but it never accumulated a large territory, at its peak under king Rim-Sin I, Larsa controlled only about 10-15 other city-states — nowhere near the territory controlled by other dynasties in Mesopotamian history.
Nevertheless, huge building projects and agricultural undertakings can be detected archaeologically, after the defeat of Rim-Sin I by Hammurabi of Babylon, Larsa became a minor site, though it has been suggested that it was the home of the 1st Sealand Dynasty of Babylon. Larsa is thought to be the source of a number of tablets involving Babylonian mathematics, the remains of Larsa cover an oval about 4.5 miles in circumference. The highest point is around 70 feet in height, the site of Tell es-Senkereh, known as Sinkara, was first excavated by William Loftus in 1850 for less than a month. In those early days of archaeology, the effort was focused on obtaining museum specimens than scientific data and niceties like site drawings. Loftus recovered building bricks of Nebuchadnezzar II of the Neo-Babylonian Empire which enabled the sites identification as the ancient city of Larsa, much of the effort by Loftus was on the temple of Shamash, rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar II. Inscriptions of Burna-Buriash II of the Kassite dynasty of Babylon and Hammurabi of the First Babylonian Dynasty were found, Larsa was briefly worked by Walter Andrae in 1903.
The site was inspected by Edgar James Banks in 1905 and he found that widespread looting by the local population was occurring there. The first modern, excavation of Senkereh occurred in 1933, Parrot worked at the location again in 1967. In 1969 and 1970, Larsa was excavated by Jean-Claude Margueron, between 1976 and 1991, an expedition of the Delegation Archaeologic Francaise en Irak led by J-L. Huot excavated at Tell es-Senereh for 13 seasons,1, pp. 1–23,1993 T. Breckwoldt, Management of grain storage in Old Babylonian Larsa, Archiv für Orientforschung, no
Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world, the sixth Babylonian king, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a seven and a half foot stone stele and various clay tablets. The code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting an eye for an eye, nearly one-half of the code deals with matters of contract, for example, the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon. Other provisions set the terms of a transaction, establishing the liability of a builder for a house collapses, for example. A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family such as inheritance, paternity. Only one provision appears to impose obligations on an official, this establishes that a judge who reaches an incorrect decision is to be fined and removed from the bench permanently. A few provisions address issues related to military service, the code was discovered by modern archaeologists in 1901, and its editio princeps translation published in 1902 by Jean-Vincent Scheil.
This nearly complete example of the code is carved into a basalt stele in the shape of an index finger,2.25 m tall. The code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele, Hammurabi ruled for nearly 42 years, from about 1792 to 1749 BC according to the Middle chronology. On the stone slab are 44 columns and 28 paragraphs that contained 282 laws, some of these laws follow along the rules of an eye for an eye. It had been taken as plunder by the Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte in the 12th century BC and was taken to Susa in Elam where it was no longer available to the Babylonian people. The Code of Hammurabi was one of several sets of laws in the ancient Near East, the code of laws was arranged in orderly groups, so that all who read the laws would know what was required of them. These codes come from similar cultures in a small geographical area. The Code of Hammurabi is the longest surviving text from the Old Babylonian period, the code has been seen as an early example of a fundamental law, regulating a government — i. e. a primitive constitution.
The code is one of the earliest examples of the idea of presumption of innocence. However, its copying in subsequent generations indicates that it was used as a model of legal and judicial reasoning, the Code issues justice following the three classes of Babylonian society, property owners, freed men, and slaves. For example, if a doctor killed a patient, he would have his hands cut off. Various copies of portions of the Code of Hammurabi have been found on baked clay tablets, the Prologue of the Code of Hammurabi is on such a tablet, at the Louvre