Hammurabi Code of
If any one ensnare
another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that
ensnared him shall be put to death.
If any one bring an
accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into
the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of
his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he
escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to
death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the
house that had belonged to his accuser.
If any one bring an
accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he
has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to
If he satisfy the elders to
impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine that the
If a judge try a case, reach
a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall
appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall
pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be
publicly removed from the judge's bench, and never again shall he sit
there to render judgement.
If any one steal the property
of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one
who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.
If any one buy from the son
or the slave of another man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or
gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or
if he take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to
If any one steal cattle or
sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the
court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold; if they belonged to a freed man
of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to
pay he shall be put to death.
If any one lose an article,
and find it in the possession of another: if the person in whose
possession the thing is found say "A merchant sold it to me, I paid
for it before witnesses," and if the owner of the thing say,
"I will bring witnesses who know my property," then shall the
purchaser bring the merchant who sold it to him, and the witnesses
before whom he bought it, and the owner shall bring witnesses who can
identify his property. The judge shall examine their testimony—both of
the witnesses before whom the price was paid, and of the witnesses who
identify the lost article on oath. The merchant is then proved to be a
thief and shall be put to death. The owner of the lost article receives
his property, and he who bought it receives the money he paid from the
estate of the merchant.
If the purchaser does not
bring the merchant and the witnesses before whom he bought the article,
but its owner bring witnesses who identify it, then the buyer is the
thief and shall be put to death, and the owner receives the lost
If the owner do not bring
witnesses to identify the lost article, he is an evil-doer, he has
traduced, and shall be put to death.
If the witnesses be not at
hand, then shall the judge set a limit, at the expiration of six months.
If his witnesses have not appeared within the six months, he is an
evil-doer, and shall bear the fine of the pending case.
If any one steal the minor
son of another, he shall be put to death.
If any one take a male or
female slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man,
outside the city gates, he shall be put to death.
If any one receive into his
house a runaway male or female slave of the court, or of a freedman, and
does not bring it out at the public proclamation of the major domus, the
master of the house shall be put to death.
If any one find runaway male
or female slaves in the open country and bring them to their masters,
the master of the slaves shall pay him two shekels of silver.
If the slave will not give
the name of the master, the finder shall bring him to the palace; a
further investigation must follow, and the slave shall be returned to
If he hold the slaves in his
house, and they are caught there, he shall be put to death.
If the slave that he caught
run away from him, then shall he swear to the owners of the slave, and
he is free of all blame.
If any one break a hole into
a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole
and be buried.
If any one is committing a
robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death.
If the robber is not caught,
then shall he who was robbed claim under oath the amount of his loss;
then shall the community, and . . . on whose ground and territory and in
whose domain it was compensate him for the goods stolen.
If persons are stolen, then
shall the community and . . . pay one mina of silver to their relatives.
If fire break out in a house,
and some one who comes to put it out cast his eye upon the property of
the owner of the house, and take the property of the master of the
house, he shall be thrown into that self-same fire.
If a chieftain or a man
(common soldier), who has been ordered to go upon the king's highway for
war does not go, but hires a mercenary, if he withholds the
compensation, then shall this officer or man be put to death, and he who
represented him shall take possession of his house.
If a chieftain or man be
caught in the misfortune of the king (captured in battle), and if his
fields and garden be given to another and he take possession, if he
return and reaches his place, his field and garden shall be returned to
him, he shall take it over again.
If a chieftain or a man be
caught in the misfortune of a king, if his son is able to enter into
possession, then the field and garden shall be given to him, he shall
take over the fee of his father.
If his son is still young,
and can not take possession, a third of the field and garden shall be
given to his mother, and she shall bring him up.
If a chieftain or a man leave
his house, garden, and field and hires it out, and some one else takes
possession of his house, garden, and field and uses it for three years:
if the first owner return and claims his house, garden, and field, it
shall not be given to him, but he who has taken possession of it and
used it shall continue to use it.
If he hire it out for one
year and then return, the house, garden, and field shall be given back
to him, and he shall take it over again.
If a chieftain or a man is
captured on the "Way of the King" (in war), and a merchant buy
him free, and bring him back to his place; if he have the means in his
house to buy his freedom, he shall buy himself free: if he have nothing
in his house with which to buy himself free, he shall be bought free by
the temple of his community; if there be nothing in the temple with
which to buy him free, the court shall buy his freedom. His field,
garden, and house shall not be given for the purchase of his freedom.
If a . . . or a . . . enter
himself as withdrawn from the "Way of the King," and send a
mercenary as substitute, but withdraw him, then the . . . or . . . shall
be put to death.
If a . . . or a . . . harm
the property of a captain, injure the captain, or take away from the
captain a gift presented to him by the king, then the . . . or . . .
shall be put to death.
If any one buy the cattle or
sheep which the king has given to chieftains from him, he loses his
The field, garden, and house
of a chieftain, of a man, or of one subject to quit-rent, can not be
If any one buy the field,
garden, and house of a chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent, his
contract tablet of sale shall be broken (declared invalid) and he loses
his money. The field, garden, and house return to their owners.
A chieftain, man, or one
subject to quit-rent can not assign his tenure of field, house, and
garden to his wife or daughter, nor can he assign it for a debt.
He may, however, assign a
field, garden, or house which he has bought, and holds as property, to
his wife or daughter or give it for debt.
He may sell field, garden,
and house to a merchant (royal agents) or to any other public official,
the buyer holding field, house, and garden for its usufruct.
If any one fence in the
field, garden, and house of a chieftain, man, or one subject to
quit-rent, furnishing the palings therefor; if the chieftain, man, or
one subject to quit-rent return to field, garden, and house, the palings
which were given to him become his property.
If any one take over a field
to till it, and obtain no harvest therefrom, it must be proved that he
did no work on the field, and he must deliver grain, just as his
neighbor raised, to the owner of the field.
If he do not till the field,
but let it lie fallow, he shall give grain like his neighbor's to the
owner of the field, and the field which he let lie fallow he must plow
and sow and return to its owner.
If any one take over a
waste-lying field to make it arable, but is lazy, and does not make it
arable, he shall plow the fallow field in the fourth year, harrow it and
till it, and give it back to its owner, and for each ten gan (a measure
of area) ten gur of grain shall be paid.
If a man rent his field for
tillage for a fixed rental, and receive the rent of his field, but bad
weather come and destroy the harvest, the injury falls upon the tiller
of the soil.
If he do not receive a fixed
rental for his field, but lets it on half or third shares of the
harvest, the grain on the field shall be divided proportionately between
the tiller and the owner.
If the tiller, because he did
not succeed in the first year, has had the soil tilled by others, the
owner may raise no objection; the field has been cultivated and he
receives the harvest according to agreement.
If any one owe a debt for a
loan, and a storm prostrates the grain, or the harvest fail, or the
grain does not grow for lack of water; in that year he need not give his
creditor any grain, he washes his debt-tablet in water and pays no rent
for this year.
If any one take money from a
merchant, and give the merchant a field tillable for corn or sesame and
order him to plant corn or sesame in the field, and to harvest the crop;
if the cultivator plant corn or sesame in the field, at the harvest the
corn or sesame that is in the field shall belong to the owner of the
field and he shall pay corn as rent, for the money he received from the
merchant, and the livelihood of the cultivator shall he give to the
If he give a cultivated
corn-field or a cultivated sesame-field, the corn or sesame in the field
shall belong to the owner of the field, and he shall return the money to
the merchant as rent.
If he have no money to repay,
then he shall pay in corn or sesame in place of the money as rent for
what he received from the merchant, according to the royal tariff.
If the cultivator do not plant
corn or sesame in the field, the debtor's contract is not weakened.
If any one be too lazy to keep
his dam in proper condition, and does not so keep it; if then the dam
break and all the fields be flooded, then shall he in whose dam the
break occurred be sold for money, and the money shall replace the corn
which he has caused to be ruined.
If he be not able to replace the
corn, then he and his possessions shall be divided among the farmers
whose corn he has flooded.
If any one open his ditches to
water his crop, but is careless, and the water flood the field of his
neighbor, then he shall pay his neighbor corn for his loss.
If a man let in the water, and
the water overflow the plantation of his neighbor, he shall pay ten gur
of corn for every ten gan of land.
If a shepherd, without the
permission of the owner of the field, and without the knowledge of the
owner of the sheep, lets the sheep into a field to graze, then the owner
of the field shall harvest his crop, and the shepherd, who had pastured
his flock there without permission of the owner of the field, shall pay
to the owner twenty gur of corn for every ten gan.
If after the flocks have left
the pasture and been shut up in the common fold at the city gate, any
shepherd let them into a field and they graze there, this shepherd shall
take possession of the field which he has allowed to be grazed on, and
at the harvest he must pay sixty gur of corn for every ten gan.
If any man, without the
knowledge of the owner of a garden, fell a tree in a garden he shall pay
half a mina in money.
If any one give over a field to
a gardener, for him to plant it as a garden, if he work at it, and care
for it for four years, in the fifth year the owner and the gardener
shall divide it, the owner taking his part in charge.
If the gardener has not
completed the planting of the field, leaving one part unused, this shall
be assigned to him as his.
If he do not plant the field
that was given over to him as a garden, if it be arable land (for corn
or sesame) the gardener shall pay the owner the produce of the field for
the years that he let it lie fallow, according to the product of
neighboring fields, put the field in arable condition and return it to
If he transform waste land into
arable fields and return it to its owner, the latter shall pay him for
one year ten gur for ten gan.
If any one hand over his garden
to a gardener to work, the gardener shall pay to its owner two-thirds of
the produce of the garden, for so long as he has it in possession, and
the other third shall he keep.
If the gardener do not work in
the garden and the product fall off, the gardener shall pay in
proportion to other neighboring gardens.
[Here a portion of the text is
missing, apparently comprising thirty-four paragraphs.]
. . . interest for the money, as
much as he has received, he shall give a note therefor, and on the day,
when they settle, pay to the merchant.
If there are no mercantile
arrangements in the place whither he went, he shall leave the entire
amount of money which he received with the broker to give to the
If a merchant entrust money to
an agent (broker) for some investment, and the broker suffer a loss in
the place to which he goes, he shall make good the capital to the
If, while on the journey, an
enemy take away from him anything that he had, the broker shall swear by
God and be free of obligation.
If a merchant give an agent
corn, wool, oil, or any other goods to transport, the agent shall give a
receipt for the amount, and compensate the merchant therefor. Then he
shall obtain a receipt form the merchant for the money that he gives the
If the agent is careless, and
does not take a receipt for the money which he gave the merchant, he can
not consider the unreceipted money as his own.
If the agent accept money from
the merchant, but have a quarrel with the merchant (denying the
receipt), then shall the merchant swear before God and witnesses that he
has given this money to the agent, and the agent shall pay him three
times the sum.
If the merchant cheat the agent,
in that as the latter has returned to him all that had been given him,
but the merchant denies the receipt of what had been returned to him,
then shall this agent convict the merchant before God and the judges,
and if he still deny receiving what the agent had given him shall pay
six times the sum to the agent.
If a tavern-keeper (feminine)
does not accept corn according to gross weight in payment of drink, but
takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn,
she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.
If conspirators meet in the
house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and
delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.
If any one be on a journey and
entrust silver, gold, precious stones, or any movable property to
another, and wish to recover it from him; if the latter do not bring all
of the property to the appointed place, but appropriate it to his own
use, then shall this man, who did not bring the property to hand it
over, be convicted, and he shall pay fivefold for all that had been
entrusted to him.
If any one have consignment of
corn or money, and he take from the granary or box without the knowledge
of the owner, then shall he who took corn without the knowledge of the
owner out of the granary or money out of the box be legally convicted,
and repay the corn he has taken. And he shall lose whatever commission
was paid to him, or due him.
If a man have no claim on
another for corn and money, and try to demand it by force, he shall pay
one-third of a mina of silver in every case.
If any one have a claim for corn
or money upon another and imprison him; if the prisoner die in prison a
natural death, the case shall go no further.
If the prisoner die in prison
from blows or maltreatment, the master of the prisoner shall convict the
merchant before the judge. If he was a free-born man, the son of the
merchant shall be put to death; if it was a slave, he shall pay
one-third of a mina of gold, and all that the master of the prisoner
gave he shall forfeit.
If any one fail to meet a claim
for debt, and sell himself, his wife, his son, and daughter for money or
give them away to forced labor: they shall work for three years in the
house of the man who bought them, or the proprietor, and in the fourth
year they shall be set free.
If he give a male or female
slave away for forced labor, and the merchant sublease them, or sell
them for money, no objection can be raised.
If any one fail to meet a claim
for debt, and he sell the maid servant who has borne him children, for
money, the money which the merchant has paid shall be repaid to him by
the owner of the slave and she shall be freed.
If any one store corn for safe
keeping in another person's house, and any harm happen to the corn in
storage, or if the owner of the house open the granary and take some of
the corn, or if especially he deny that the corn was stored in his
house: then the owner of the corn shall claim his corn before God (on
oath), and the owner of the house shall pay its owner for all of the
corn that he took.
If any one store corn in another
man's house he shall pay him storage at the rate of one gur for every
five ka of corn per year.
If any one give another silver,
gold, or anything else to keep, he shall show everything to some
witness, draw up a contract, and then hand it over for safe keeping.
If he turn it over for safe
keeping without witness or contract, and if he to whom it was given deny
it, then he has no legitimate claim.
If any one deliver silver, gold,
or anything else to another for safe keeping, before a witness, but he
deny it, he shall be brought before a judge, and all that he has denied
he shall pay in full.
If any one place his property
with another for safe keeping, and there, either through thieves or
robbers, his property and the property of the other man be lost, the
owner of the house, through whose neglect the loss took place, shall
compensate the owner for all that was given to him in charge. But the
owner of the house shall try to follow up and recover his property, and
take it away from the thief.
If any one who has not lost his
goods state that they have been lost, and make false claims: if he claim
his goods and amount of injury before God, even though he has not lost
them, he shall be fully compensated for all his loss claimed. (I.e., the
oath is all that is needed.)
If any one "point the
finger" (slander) at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and
can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow
shall be marked. (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair.)
If a man take a woman to wife,
but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him.
If a man's wife be surprised (in
flagrante delicto) with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into
the water, but the husband may pardon his wife and the king his slaves.
If a man violate the wife
(betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and
still lives in her father's house, and sleep with her and be surprised,
this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.
If a man bring a charge against
one's wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an
oath and then may return to her house.
If the "finger is
pointed" at a man's wife about another man, but she is not caught
sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her
If a man is taken prisoner in
war, and there is a sustenance in his house, but his wife leave house
and court, and go to another house: because this wife did not keep her
court, and went to another house, she shall be judicially condemned and
thrown into the water.
If any one be captured in war
and there is not sustenance in his house, if then his wife go to another
house this woman shall be held blameless.
If a man be taken prisoner in
war and there be no sustenance in his house and his wife go to another
house and bear children; and if later her husband return and come to his
home: then this wife shall return to her husband, but the children
follow their father.
If any one leave his house, run
away, and then his wife go to another house, if then he return, and
wishes to take his wife back: because he fled from his home and ran
away, the wife of this runaway shall not return to her husband.
If a man wish to separate from a
woman who has borne him children, or from his wife who has borne him
children: then he shall give that wife her dowry, and a part of the
usufruct of field, garden, and property, so that she can rear her
children. When she has brought up her children, a portion of all that is
given to the children, equal as that of one son, shall be given to her.
She may then marry the man of her heart.
If a man wishes to separate from
his wife who has borne him no children, he shall give her the amount of
her purchase money and the dowry which she brought from her father's
house, and let her go.
If there was no purchase price
he shall give her one mina of gold as a gift of release.
If he be a freed man he shall
give her one-third of a mina of gold.
If a man's wife, who lives in
his house, wishes to leave it, plunges into debt, tries to ruin her
house, neglects her husband, and is judicially convicted: if her husband
offer her release, she may go on her way, and he gives her nothing as a
gift of release. If her husband does not wish to release her, and if he
take another wife, she shall remain as servant in her husband's house.
If a woman quarrel with her
husband, and say: "You are not congenial to me," the reasons
for her prejudice must be presented. If she is guiltless, and there is
no fault on her part, but he leaves and neglects her, then no guilt
attaches to this woman, she shall take her dowry and go back to her
If she is not innocent, but
leaves her husband, and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this
woman shall be cast into the water.
If a man take a wife and this
woman give her husband a maid-servant, and she bear him children, but
this man wishes to take another wife, this shall not be permitted to
him; he shall not take a second wife.
If a man take a wife, and she
bear him no children, and he intend to take another wife: if he take
this second wife, and bring her into the house, this second wife shall
not be allowed equality with his wife.
If a man take a wife and she
give this man a maid-servant as wife and she bear him children, and then
this maid assume equality with the wife: because she has borne him
children her master shall not sell her for money, but he may keep her as
a slave, reckoning her among the maid-servants.
If she have not borne him
children, then her mistress may sell her for money.
If a man take a wife, and she be
seized by disease, if he then desire to take a second wife he shall not
put away his wife, who has been attacked by disease, but he shall keep
her in the house which he has built and support her so long as she
If this woman does not wish to
remain in her husband's house, then he shall compensate her for the
dowry that she brought with her from her father's house, and she may go.
If a man give his wife a field,
garden, and house and a deed therefor, if then after the death of her
husband the sons raise no claim, then the mother may bequeath all to one
of her sons whom she prefers, and need leave nothing to his brothers.
If a woman who lived in a man's
house made an agreement with her husband, that no creditor can arrest
her, and has given a document therefor: if that man, before he married
that woman, had a debt, the creditor can not hold the woman for it. But
if the woman, before she entered the man's house, had contracted a debt,
her creditor can not arrest her husband therefor.
If after the woman had entered
the man's house, both contracted a debt, both must pay the merchant.
If the wife of one man on
account of another man has their mates (her husband and the other man's
wife) murdered, both of them shall be impaled.
If a man be guilty of incest
with his daughter, he shall be driven from the place (exiled).
If a man betroth a girl to his
son, and his son have intercourse with her, but he (the father)
afterward defile her, and be surprised, then he shall be bound and cast
into the water (drowned).
If a man betroth a girl to his
son, but his son has not known her, and if then he defile her, he shall
pay her half a gold mina, and compensate her for all that she brought
out of her father's house. She may marry the man of her heart.
If any one be guilty of incest
with his mother after his father, both shall be burned.
If any one be surprised after
his father with his chief wife, who has borne children, he shall be
driven out of his father's house.
If any one, who has brought
chattels into his father-in-law's house, and has paid the
purchase-money, looks for another wife, and says to his father-in-law:
"I do not want your daughter," the girl's father may keep all
that he had brought.
If a man bring chattels into the
house of his father-in-law, and pay the "purchase price" (for
his wife): if then the father of the girl say: "I will not give you
my daughter," he shall give him back all that he brought with him.
If a man bring chattels into his
father-in-law's house and pay the "purchase price," if then
his friend slander him, and his father-in-law say to the young husband:
"You shall not marry my daughter," the he shall give back to
him undiminished all that he had brought with him; but his wife shall
not be married to the friend.
If a man marry a woman, and she
bear sons to him; if then this woman die, then shall her father have no
claim on her dowry; this belongs to her sons.
If a man marry a woman and she
bear him no sons; if then this woman die, if the "purchase
price" which he had paid into the house of his father-in-law is
repaid to him, her husband shall have no claim upon the dowry of this
woman; it belongs to her father's house.
If his father-in-law do not pay
back to him the amount of the "purchase price" he may subtract
the amount of the "Purchase price" from the dowry, and then
pay the remainder to her father's house.
If a man give to one of his sons
whom he prefers a field, garden, and house, and a deed therefor: if
later the father die, and the brothers divide the estate, then they
shall first give him the present of his father, and he shall accept it;
and the rest of the paternal property shall they divide.
If a man take wives for his son,
but take no wife for his minor son, and if then he die: if the sons
divide the estate, they shall set aside besides his portion the money
for the "purchase price" for the minor brother who had taken
no wife as yet, and secure a wife for him.
If a man marry a wife and she
bear him children: if this wife die and he then take another wife and
she bear him children: if then the father die, the sons must not
partition the estate according to the mothers, they shall divide the
dowries of their mothers only in this way; the paternal estate they
shall divide equally with one another.
If a man wish to put his son out
of his house, and declare before the judge: "I want to put my son
out," then the judge shall examine into his reasons. If the son be
guilty of no great fault, for which he can be rightfully put out, the
father shall not put him out.
If he be guilty of a grave
fault, which should rightfully deprive him of the filial relationship,
the father shall forgive him the first time; but if he be guilty of a
grave fault a second time the father may deprive his son of all filial
If his wife bear sons to a man,
or his maid-servant have borne sons, and the father while still living
says to the children whom his maid-servant has borne: "My
sons," and he count them with the sons of his wife; if then the
father die, then the sons of the wife and of the maid-servant shall
divide the paternal property in common. The son of the wife is to
partition and choose.
If, however, the father while
still living did not say to the sons of the maid-servant: "My
sons," and then the father dies, then the sons of the maid-servant
shall not share with the sons of the wife, but the freedom of the maid
and her sons shall be granted. The sons of the wife shall have no right
to enslave the sons of the maid; the wife shall take her dowry (from her
father), and the gift that her husband gave her and deeded to her
(separate from dowry, or the purchase-money paid her father), and live
in the home of her husband: so long as she lives she shall use it, it
shall not be sold for money. Whatever she leaves shall belong to her
If her husband made her no gift,
she shall be compensated for her gift, and she shall receive a portion
from the estate of her husband, equal to that of one child. If her sons
oppress her, to force her out of the house, the judge shall examine into
the matter, and if the sons are at fault the woman shall not leave her
husband's house. If the woman desire to leave the house, she must leave
to her sons the gift which her husband gave her, but she may take the
dowry of her father's house. Then she may marry the man of her heart.
If this woman bear sons to her
second husband, in the place to which she went, and then die, her
earlier and later sons shall divide the dowry between them.
If she bear no sons to her
second husband, the sons of her first husband shall have the dowry.
If a State slave or the slave of
a freed man marry the daughter of a free man, and children are born, the
master of the slave shall have no right to enslave the children of the
If, however, a State slave or
the slave of a freed man marry a man's daughter, and after he marries
her she bring a dowry from a father's house, if then they both enjoy it
and found a household, and accumulate means, if then the slave die, then
she who was free born may take her dowry, and all that her husband and
she had earned; she shall divide them into two parts, one-half the
master for the slave shall take, and the other half shall the free-born
woman take for her children. If the free-born woman had no gift she
shall take all that her husband and she had earned and divide it into
two parts; and the master of the slave shall take one-half and she shall
take the other for her children.
If a widow, whose children are
not grown, wishes to enter another house (remarry), she shall not enter
it without the knowledge of the judge. If she enter another house the
judge shall examine the state of the house of her first husband. Then
the house of her first husband shall be entrusted to the second husband
and the woman herself as managers. And a record must be made thereof.
She shall keep the house in order, bring up the children, and not sell
the house-hold utensils. He who buys the utensils of the children of a
widow shall lose his money, and the goods shall return to their owners.
If a "devoted woman"
or a prostitute to whom her father has given a dowry and a deed therefor,
but if in this deed it is not stated that she may bequeath it as she
pleases, and has not explicitly stated that she has the right of
disposal; if then her father die, then her brothers shall hold her field
and garden, and give her corn, oil, and milk according to her portion,
and satisfy her. If her brothers do not give her corn, oil, and milk
according to her share, then her field and garden shall support her. She
shall have the usufruct of field and garden and all that her father gave
her so long as she lives, but she can not sell or assign it to others.
Her position of inheritance belongs to her brothers.
If a "sister of a
god," or a prostitute, receive a gift from her father, and a deed
in which it has been explicitly stated that she may dispose of it as she
pleases, and give her complete disposition thereof: if then her father
die, then she may leave her property to whomsoever she pleases. Her
brothers can raise no claim thereto.
If a father give a present to
his daughter—either marriageable or a prostitute
(unmarriageable)—and then die, then she is to receive a portion as a
child from the paternal estate, and enjoy its usufruct so long as she
lives. Her estate belongs to her brothers.
If a father devote a temple-maid
or temple-virgin to God and give her no present: if then the father die,
she shall receive the third of a child's portion from the inheritance of
her father's house, and enjoy its usufruct so long as she lives. Her
estate belongs to her brothers.
If a father devote his daughter
as a wife of Mardi of Babylon (as in 181), and give her no present, nor
a deed; if then her father die, then shall she receive one-third of her
portion as a child of her father's house from her brothers, but Marduk
may leave her estate to whomsoever she wishes.
If a man give his daughter by a
concubine a dowry, and a husband, and a deed; if then her father die,
she shall receive no portion from the paternal estate.
If a man do not give a dowry to
his daughter by a concubine, and no husband; if then her father die, her
brother shall give her a dowry according to her father's wealth and
secure a husband for her.
If a man adopt a child and to
his name as son, and rear him, this grown son can not be demanded back
If a man adopt a son, and if
after he has taken him he injure his foster father and mother, then this
adopted son shall return to his father's house.
The son of a paramour in the
service, or of a prostitute, can
not be demanded back. 188
If an artizan has undertaken to
rear a child and teaches him his craft, he can not be demanded back. 189
If he has not taught him his
craft, this adopted son may return to his father's house.
If a man does not maintain a
child that he has adopted as a son and reared with his other children,
then his adopted son may return to his father's house.
If a man, who had adopted a son
and reared him, founded a household, and had children, wish to put this
adopted son out, then this son shall not simply go his way. His adoptive
father shall give him of his wealth one-third of a child's portion, and
then he may go. He shall not give him of the field, garden, and house.
If a son of a paramour or a
prostitute say to his adoptive father or mother: "You are not my
father, or my mother," his tongue shall be cut off.
If the son of a paramour or a
prostitute desire his father's house, and desert his adoptive father and
adoptive mother, and goes to his father's house, then shall his eye be
If a man give his child to a
nurse and the child die in her hands, but the nurse unbeknown to the
father and mother nurse another child, then they shall convict her of
having nursed another child without the knowledge of the father and
mother and her breasts shall be cut off.
If a son strike his father, his
hands shall be hewn off.
If a man put out the eye of
another man, his eye shall be put out. [ An eye for an eye ]
If he break another man's bone,
his bone shall be broken.
If he put out the eye of a freed
man, or break the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina.
If he put out the eye of a man's
slave, or break the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half of its
If a man knock out the teeth of
his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out. [ A tooth for a tooth ]
If he knock out the teeth of a
freed man, he shall pay one-third of a gold mina.
If any one strike the body of a
man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip
If a free-born man strike the
body of another free-born man or equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina.
If a freed man strike the body
of another freed man, he shall pay ten shekels in money.
If the slave of a freed man
strike the body of a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.
If during a quarrel one man
strike another and wound him, then he shall swear, "I did not
injure him wittingly," and pay the physicians.
If the man die of his wound, he
shall swear similarly, and if he (the deceased) was a free-born man, he
shall pay half a mina in money.
If he was a freed man, he shall
pay one-third of a mina.
If a man strike a free-born
woman so that she lose her unborn child, he shall pay ten shekels for
If the woman die, his daughter
shall be put to death.
If a woman of the free class
lose her child by a blow, he shall pay five shekels in money.
If this woman die, he shall pay
half a mina.
If he strike the maid-servant of
a man, and she lose her child, he shall pay two shekels in money.
If this maid-servant die, he
shall pay one-third of a mina.
If a physician make a large
incision with an operating knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor
(over the eye) with an operating knife, and saves the eye, he shall
receive ten shekels in money.
If the patient be a freed man,
he receives five shekels.
If he be the slave of some one,
his owner shall give the physician two shekels.
If a physician make a large
incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with
the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off.
If a physician make a large
incision in the slave of a freed man, and kill him, he shall replace the
slave with another slave.
If he had opened a tumor with
the operating knife, and put out his eye, he shall pay half his value.
If a physician heal the broken
bone or diseased soft part of a man, the patient shall pay the physician
five shekels in money.
If he were a freed man he shall
pay three shekels.
If he were a slave his owner
shall pay the physician two shekels.
If a veterinary surgeon perform
a serious operation on an ass or an ox, and cure it, the owner shall pay
the surgeon one-sixth of a shekel as a fee.
If he perform a serious
operation on an ass or ox, and kill it, he shall pay the owner
one-fourth of its value.
If a barber, without the
knowledge of his master, cut the sign of a slave on a slave not to be
sold, the hands of this barber shall be cut off.
If any one deceive a barber, and
have him mark a slave not for sale with the sign of a slave, he shall be
put to death, and buried in his house. The barber shall swear: "I
did not mark him wittingly," and shall be guiltless.
If a builder build a house for
some one and complete it, he shall give him a fee of two shekels in
money for each sar of surface.
If a builder build a house for
some one, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he
built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to
If it kill the son of the owner
the son of that builder shall be put to death.
If it kill a slave of the owner,
then he shall pay slave for slave to the owner of the house.
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.
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.
If a shipbuilder build a boat of
sixty gur for a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels in money.
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.
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
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.
If a sailor wreck any one's
ship, but saves it, he shall pay the half of its value in money.
If a man hire a sailor, he shall
pay him six gur of corn per year.
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
If any one impresses an ox for
forced labor, he shall pay one-third of a mina in money.
If any one hire oxen for a year,
he shall pay four gur of corn for plow-oxen.
As rent of herd cattle he shall
pay three gur of corn to the owner.
If any one hire an ox or an ass,
and a lion kill it in the field, the loss is upon its owner.
If any one hire oxen, and kill
them by bad treatment or blows, he shall compensate the owner, oxen for
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.
If any one hire an ox, and put
out its eye, he shall pay the owner one-half of its value.
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.
If any one hire an ox, and God
strike it that it die, the man who hired it shall swear by God and be
If while an ox is passing on the
street (market) some one push it, and kill it, the owner can set up no
claim in the suit (against the hirer).
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.
If he kill a man's slave, he
shall pay one-third of a mina.
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.
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.
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.
If his community will not pay
for him, then he shall be placed in that field with the cattle (at
If any one hire a field laborer,
he shall pay him eight gur of corn per year.
If any one hire an ox-driver, he
shall pay him six gur of corn per year.
If any one steal a water-wheel
from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner.
If any one steal a shadduf (used
to draw water from the river or canal) or a plow, he shall pay three
shekels in money.
If any one hire a herdsman for
cattle or sheep, he shall pay him eight gur of corn per annum.
If any one, a cow or a sheep . .
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.
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.
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.
If the animal be killed in the
stable by God ( an accident), or if a lion kill it, the herdsman shall
declare his innocence before God, and the owner bears the accident in
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.
If any one hire an ox for
threshing, the amount of the hire is twenty ka of corn.
If he hire an ass for threshing,
the hire is twenty ka of corn.
If he hire a young animal for
threshing, the hire is ten ka of corn.
If any one hire oxen, cart and
driver, he shall pay one hundred and eighty ka of corn per day.
If any one hire a cart alone, he
shall pay forty ka of corn per day.
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.
If any one hire a skilled
artizan, he shall pay as wages of the . . . five gerahs, as wages of the
potter five gerahs, of a tailor five gerahs, of . . . gerahs, . . . of a
ropemaker four gerahs, of . . . gerahs, of a mason . . . gerahs per day.
If any one hire a ferryboat, he
shall pay three gerahs in money per day.
If he hire a freight-boat, he
shall pay two and one-half gerahs per day.
If any one hire a ship of sixty
gur, he shall pay one-sixth of a shekel in money as its hire per day.
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
If any one by a male or female
slave, and a third party claim it, the seller is liable for the claim.
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.
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.
If a slave say to his master:
"You are not my master," if they convict him his master shall
cut off his ear.