Plate of Hammurabi

Plate of Hammurabi


A small copper plate with a carved picture of Hammurabi's stone "Stele" containing the ancient Babylonian code of Laws. Made by Iraqi handcraft artists.

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An engraved picture of Hammurabi (standing), depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash, the Babylonian God of justice. Hammurabi holds his hands over his mouth as a sign of prayer. The picture is engraved into copper by an Iraqi handcraft artist at Souq AL-Safafeer, Baghdad's ancient copper engraving market. The copper plate is meant to be placed on a desk or hung on a wall.

Hammurabi (c. 1810 BC – c. 1750 BC) was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, reigning from 1792 BC to 1750 BC,over almost all of Mesopotamia. He is best known for having issued the Code of Hammurabi, which he claimed to have received from Shamash, the Babylonian god of justice. Unlike earlier Sumerian law codes, such as the Code of Ur-Nammu, which had focused on compensating the victim of the crime, the Law of Hammurabi was one of the first law codes to place greater emphasis on the physical punishment of the perpetrator. It prescribed specific penalties for each crime and is among the first codes to establish the presumption of innocence. Although its penalties are extremely harsh by modern standards, they were intended to limit what a wronged person was permitted to do in retribution. The Code of Hammurabi and the Law Of Moses in the Torah contain numerous similarities, but these are probably due to shared background and oral tradition, and it is unlikely that Hammurabi's laws exerted any direct impact on the later Mosaic ones.