Hammurabi’s Code

Essential Question

What is Hammurabi’s Code and what is its historical significance?

Hammurabi's Code

SHEG-What can we learn about Babylonia from Hammurabi’s Code_.pptx

Activity 1: What can we learn about Babylonia from Hammurabi’s Code?

Read the following selections on religion, society, and economy from Hammurabi’s Code, discuss, then answer the guiding questions.

SHEG-What can we learn about Babylonia from Hammurabi’s Code Student Copy.pdf

Discussion Questions

  • Review: What have we learned about Babylonia from Hammurabi’s Code?

  • Do we know if people actually followed Hammurabi’s Code?

  • The Code says that it was created so “that the strong might not injure the weak.” Given the sections we’ve read, does this seem accurate?

  • What might be a problem with using Hammurabi’s Code to learn about Babylonia?

  • When studying history, we don’t want to use only one document, or piece of evidence. Multiple pieces of evidence from several different documents can give us more information about what life was like in the past. What other pieces of evidence might we use to learn what life was like in Babylonia?

  • This would be an excellent opportunity to read a selection from the class textbook on life in Babylonia or some other source on the topic. Students could then corroborate what they learned from Hammurabi’s Code.

Hammurabi's Code was a set of 282 laws that dealt with almost every part of daily life. There were laws on everything from trade, loans, and theft to marriage, injury, and murder. It contained some ideas that are still found in laws today. Specific crimes brought specific penalties. However, social class did matter. For instance, injuring a rich man brought a greater penalty than injuring a poor man. Hammurabi's Code was important not only for how thorough it was but also because it was written down for all to see. People all over the empire could read exactly what was against the law.

Activity 2: What were the effects of Hammurabi's Code?

Using the information from this lesson, answer the questions in a thinking map. Complete this assignment digitally or on paper. It will be collected in your portfolio.

Extension Activity