Wydawca: Hammurabi Kategoria: Humanistyka Język: angielski Rok wydania: 2015

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Opis ebooka The code of laws by Hammurabi - Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi is one of the most important monuments in the history of the human race. Containing as it does the laws which were enacted by a king of Babylonia in the third millennium B.C., whose rule extended over the whole of Mesopotamia from the mouths of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates to the Mediterranean coast, we must regard it with interest. But when we reflect that the ancient Hebrew tradition ascribed the migration of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to this very period, and clearly means to represent their tribe father as triumphing over this very same Hammurabi (Amraphel, Gen. xiv. 1), we can hardly doubt that these very laws were part of that tradition. At any rate, they must have served to mould and fix the ideas of right throughout that great empire, and so form the state of society in Canaan when, five hundred years later, the Hebrews began to dominate that region.

Opinie o ebooku The code of laws by Hammurabi - Hammurabi

Fragment ebooka The code of laws by Hammurabi - Hammurabi

Hammurabi

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Table of contents

INTRODUCTION

THE TEXT OF THE CODE

INDEX

“The discovery and decipherment of this Code is the greatest event in Biblical Archæology for many a day.  A translation of the Code, done by Mr. Johns of Queens’ College, Cambridge, the highest living authority on this department of study, has just been published by Messrs. T. & T. Clark in a cheap and attractive booklet.  Winckler says it is the most important Babylonian record which has thus far been brought to light.”—The Expository Times.

INTRODUCTION

The Code of Hammurabi is one of the most important monuments in the history of the human race.  Containing as it does the laws which were enacted by a king of Babylonia in the third millennium B.C., whose rule extended over the whole of Mesopotamia from the mouths of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates to the Mediterranean coast, we must regard it with interest.  But when we reflect that the ancient Hebrew tradition ascribed the migration of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to this very period, and clearly means to represent their tribe father as triumphing over this very same Hammurabi (Amraphel, Gen. xiv. 1), we can hardly doubt that these very laws were part of that tradition.  At any rate, they must have served to mould and fix the ideas of right throughout that great empire, and so form the state of society in Canaan when, five hundred years later, the Hebrews began to dominate that region.Such was the effect produced on the minds of succeeding generations by this superb codification of the judicial decisions of past ages, which had come to be regarded as ‘the right,’ that two thousand years and more later it was made a text-book for study in the schools of Babylonia, being divided for that purpose into some twelve chapters, and entitled, after the Semitic custom, Nînu ilu sirum, from its opening words.  In Assyria also, in the seventh century b.c., it was studied in a different edition, apparently under the name of ‘The Judgments of Righteousness which Hammurabi, the great king, set up.’  These facts point to it as certain to affect Jewish views before and after the Exile, in a way that we may expect to find as fundamental as the Babylonian influence in cosmology or religion.For many years fragments have been known, have been studied, and from internal evidence ascribed to the period of the first dynasty of Babylon, even called by the name Code Hammurabi.  It is just cause for pride that Assyriology, so young a science as only this year to have celebrated the centenary of its birth, is able to emulate astronomy and predict the discovery of such bright stars as this.  But while we certainly should have directed our telescopes to Babylonia for the rising of this light from the East, it was really in Elam, at Susa, the old Persepolis, that the find was made.  The Elamites were the great rivals of Babylonia for centuries, and it seems likely that some Elamite conqueror carried off the stone from a temple at Sippara, in Babylonia.However that may be, we owe it to the French Government, who have been carrying on explorations at Susa for years under the superintendence of M. J. de Morgan, that a monument, only disinterred in January, has been copied, transcribed, translated, and published, in a superb quarto volume, by October.  The ancient text is reproduced by photogravure in a way that enables a student to verify word by word what the able editor, Father V. Scheil, Professeur à l’École des Hautes-Études, has given as his reading of the archaic signs.  The volume, which appears as Tome IV., Textes Élamites-Sémitiques, of the Mémoires de la Délégation en Perse (Paris, Leroux, 1902), is naturally rather expensive for the ordinary reader.  Besides, the rendering of the eminent French savant, while distinguished by that clear, neat phrasing which is so charming a feature of all his work, is often rather a paraphrase than a translation.  The ordinary reader who desires to estimate for himself the importance of the new monument will be forced to wonder how and why the same word in the original gets such different renderings.  Prolonged study will be needed to bring out fully the whole meaning of many passages, and it may conduce to such a result to present the public with an alternative rendering in an English dress.  Needless to say, scholars will continue to use Scheil’s edition as the ultimate source, but for comparative purposes a literal translation may be welcome as an introduction.The monument itself consists of a block of black diorite, nearly eight feet high, found in pieces, but readily rejoined.  It contains on the obverse a very interesting representation of the King Hammurabi, receiving his laws from the seated sun-god Šamaš, ‘the judge of heaven and earth.’  Then follow, on the obverse, sixteen columns of writing with 1114 lines.  There were five more columns on this side, but they have been erased and the stone repolished, doubtless by the Elamite conqueror, who meant to inscribe his name and titles there.  As we have lost those five columns we may regret that he did not actually do this, but there is now no trace of any hint as to who carried off the stone.  On the reverse side are twenty-eight columns with more than 2500 lines of inscription.A great space, some 700 lines, is devoted by the king to setting out his titles, his glory, his care for his subjects, his veneration of his gods, and incidentally revealing the cities and districts under his rule, with many interesting hints as to local cults.  He also invokes blessing on those who should preserve and respect his monument, and curses those who should injure or remove it.  A translation of this portion is not given, as it is unintelligible without copious comment and is quite foreign to the purpose of this book, which aims solely at making the Code intelligible.I desire to express my obligations to Dr. F. Carr for his many kind suggestions as to the meaning of the Code.The Index will, it is hoped, serve more or less as a digest of the Code.  One great difficulty of any translation of a law document must always be that the technical expressions of one language cannot be rendered in terms that are co-extensive.  The rendering will have implications foreign to the original.  An attempt to minimise misconceptions is made by suggesting alternative renderings in the Index.  Further, by labelling a certain section, as the law of incest, for example, one definitely fixes the sense in which the translation is to be read.  Hence it is hoped that the Index will be no less helpful than the translation in giving readers an idea of what the Code really meant.No doubt this remarkable monument will be made the subject of many valuable monographs in the future, which will greatly elucidate passages now obscure.  But it was thought that the interest of the subject warranted an immediate issue of an English translation, which would place the chief features of the Code before a wider public than those who could read the original.  The present translation is necessarily tentative in many places, but it is hoped marks an advance over those already published.Dr. H. Winckler’s rendering of the Code came into my hands after this work was sent to the publishers, and I have not thought it necessary to withdraw any of my renderings.  In some points he has improved upon Professor Scheil’s work, in other points he is scarcely so good.  But any discussion is not in place here.  I gratefully acknowledge my obligations to both, but have used an independent judgment all through.  I hope shortly to set out my reasons for the differences between us in a larger work.  A few of Dr. Winckler’s renderings are quoted in the Index, and marked—Winckler’s tr.C. H. W. JOHNS.

THE TEXT OF THE CODE

§ 1.  If a man weave a spell and put a ban upon a man, and has not justified himself, he that wove the spell upon him shall be put to death.§ 2.  If a man has put a spell upon a man, and has not justified himself, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river, he shall plunge into the holy river, and if the holy river overcome him, he who wove the spell upon him shall take to himself his house.  If the holy river makes that man to be innocent, and has saved him, he who laid the spell upon him shall be put to death.  He who plunged into the holy river shall take to himself the house of him who wove the spell upon him.§ 3.  If a man, in a case pending judgement, has uttered threats against the witnesses, or has not justified the word that he has spoken, if that case be a capital suit, that man shall be put to death.§ 4.  If he has offered corn or money to the witnesses, he shall himself bear the sentence of that case.§ 5.  If a judge has judged a judgement, decided a decision, granted a sealed sentence, and afterwards has altered his judgement, that judge, for the alteration of the judgement that he judged, one shall put him to account, and he shall pay twelvefold the penalty which was in the said judgement, and in the assembly one shall expel him from his judgement seat, and he shall not return, and with the judges at a judgement he shall not take his seat.§ 6.  If a man has stolen the goods of temple or palace, that man shall be killed, and he who has received the stolen thing from his hand shall be put to death.§ 7.  If a man has bought silver, gold, manservant or maidservant, ox or sheep or ass, or anything whatever its name, from the hand of a man’s son, or of a man’s slave, without witness and bonds, or has received the same on deposit, that man has acted the thief, he shall be put to death.§ 8.  If a man has stolen ox or sheep or ass, or pig, or ship, whether from the temple or the palace, he shall pay thirtyfold.  If he be a poor man, he shall render tenfold.  If the thief has nought to pay, he shall be put to death.