Laws of Hammurabi
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Bloodaxe's Realm     The Medieval World  

Hammurabi Code of Laws

230 - 282

  1. If it kill the son of the owner the son of that builder shall be put to death.

  2. If it kill a slave of the owner, then he shall pay slave for slave to the owner of the house.
  3. If it ruin goods, he shall make compensation for all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.
  4. If a builder build a house for some one, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.
  5. If a shipbuilder build a boat of sixty gur for a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels in money.
  6. If a shipbuilder build a boat for some one, and do not make it tight, if during that same year that boat is sent away and suffers injury, the shipbuilder shall take the boat apart and put it together tight at his own expense. The tight boat he shall give to the boat owner.
  7. If a man rent his boat to a sailor, and the sailor is careless, and the boat is wrecked or goes aground, the sailor shall give the owner of the boat another boat as compensation.
  8. If a man hire a sailor and his boat, and provide it with corn, clothing, oil and dates, and other things of the kind needed for fitting it, if the sailor is careless, the boat is wrecked, and its contents ruined, then the sailor shall compensate for the boat which was wrecked and all in it that he ruined.
  9. If a sailor wreck any one's ship, but saves it, he shall pay the half of its value in money.
  10. If a man hire a sailor, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year.
  11. If a merchantman run against a ferryboat, and wreck it, the master of the ship that was wrecked shall seek justice before God; the master of the merchantman, which wrecked the ferryboat, must compensate the owner for the boat and all that he ruined.
  12. If any one impresses an ox for forced labor, he shall pay one-third of a mina in money.
  13. If any one hire oxen for a year, he shall pay four gur of corn for plow-oxen.
  14. As rent of herd cattle he shall pay three gur of corn to the owner.
  15. If any one hire an ox or an ass, and a lion kill it in the field, the loss is upon its owner.
  16. If any one hire oxen, and kill them by bad treatment or blows, he shall compensate the owner, oxen for oxen.
  17. If a man hire an ox, and he break its leg or cut the ligament of its neck, he shall compensate the owner with ox for ox.
  18. If any one hire an ox, and put out its eye, he shall pay the owner one-half of its value.
  19. If any one hire an ox, and break off a horn, or cut off its tail, or hurt its muzzle, he shall pay one-fourth of its value in money.
  20. If any one hire an ox, and God strike it that it die, the man who hired it shall swear by God and be considered guiltless.
  21. If, while an ox is passing on the street, someone push it, and kill it, the owner can set up no claim in the suit (against the hirer).
  22. If an ox be a goring ox, and it shown that he is a gorer, and he do not bind his horns, or fasten the ox up, and the ox gore a free-born man and kill him, the owner shall pay one-half a mina in money.
  23. If he kill a man's slave, he shall pay one-third of a mina.
  24. If any one agree with another to tend his field, give him seed, entrust a yoke of oxen to him, and bind him to cultivate the field, if he steal the corn or plants, and take them for himself, his hands shall be hewn off.
  25. If he take the seed-corn for himself, and do not use the yoke of oxen, he shall compensate him for the amount of the seed-corn.
  26. If he sublet the man's yoke of oxen or steal the seed-corn, planting nothing in the field, he shall be convicted, and for each one hundred gan he shall pay sixty gur of corn.
  27. If his community will not pay for him, then he shall be placed in that field with the cattle (to work).
  28. If any one hire a field laborer, he shall pay him eight gur of corn per year.
  29. If anyone hire an ox-driver, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year.
  30. If anyone steal a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner.
  31. If anyone steal a shadduf (a device used to draw water) or a plow, he shall pay three shekels in money.
  32. If any one hire a herdsman for cattle or sheep, he shall pay him eight gur of corn per annum.
  33. If any one, a cow or a sheep (missing).
  34. If he kill the cattle or sheep that were given to him, he shall compensate the owner with cattle for cattle and sheep for sheep.
  35. If a herdsman, to whom cattle or sheep have been entrusted for watching over, and who has received his wages as agreed upon, and is satisfied, diminish the number of the cattle or sheep, or make the increase by birth less, he shall make good the increase or profit which was lost in the terms of settlement.
  36. If a herdsman, to whose care cattle or sheep have been entrusted, be guilty of fraud and make false returns of the natural increase, or sell them for money, then shall he be convicted and pay the owner ten times the loss.
  37. If the animal be killed in the stable by God (i.e. an accident), or if a lion kill it, the herdsman shall declare his innocence before God, and the owner bears the accident in the stable.
  38. If the herdsman overlook something, and an accident happen in the stable, then the herdsman is at fault for the accident which he has caused in the stable, and he must compensate the owner for the cattle or sheep.
  39. If any one hire an ox for threshing, the amount of the hire is twenty ka of corn.
  40. If he hire an ass for threshing, the hire is twenty ka of corn.
  41. If he hire a young animal for threshing, the hire is ten ka of corn.
  42. If any one hire oxen, cart and driver, he shall pay one hundred and eighty ka of corn per day.
  43. If any one hire a cart alone, he shall pay forty ka of corn per day.
  44. If any one hire a day laborer, he shall pay him from the New Year until the fifth month (April to August, when days are long and the work hard) six gerahs in money per day; from the sixth month to the end of the year he shall give him five gerahs per day.
  45. If any one hire a skilled artizan, he shall pay as wages of (...) five gerahs, as wages of the potter five gerahs, of a tailor five gerahs, (...) of a ropemaker four gerahs, (...) of a mason (?) gerahs per day.
  46. If any one hire a ferryboat, he shall pay three gerahs in money per day.
  47. If he hire a freight-boat, he shall pay two and one-half gerahs per day.
  48. If any one hire a ship of sixty gur, he shall pay one-sixth of a shekel in money as its hire per day.
  49. If any one buy a male or female slave, and before a month has elapsed the benu-disease be developed, he shall return the slave to the seller, and receive the money which he had paid.
  50. If any one by a male or female slave, and a third party claim it, the seller is liable for the claim.
  51. If while in a foreign country a man buy a male or female slave belonging to another of his own country; if when he return home the owner of the male or female slave recognize it: if the male or female slave be a native of the country, he shall give them back without any money.
  52. If they are from another country, the buyer shall declare the amount of money paid therefor to the merchant, and keep the male or female slave.
  53. If a slave say to his master: "You are not my master," if they convict him his master shall cut off his ear.