What Are Some Facts About Hammurabi?

Hammurabi was an ancient Babylonian king who held the throne from 1792 until 1750 B.C. During his reign he established more than 280 laws, rules and standards.

Hammurabi’s Code was instituted at the end of Hammurabi’s reign. To commemorate the new laws, a statue of a finger-shaped pillar was created. Thought to have been destroyed by looters, the pillar was rediscovered in 1901 in what is today Iran.

Hammurabi’s family descended from Amorites and he was the sixth king in the Babylonian dynasty. The laws he created were usually harsh. He would have the body parts of criminals removed, but he also believed in a person being innocent until proven guilty, which made him a fair ruler.

Hammurabi is known for having expanded his kingdom, more than many kings before or after him. Hammurabi’s Code was carved into a single ton of diorite and at the top of the pillar was a statue of Hammurabi himself. The entire monument is 7 feet, 5 inches tall. The text containing Hammurabi’s Code outlines things like doctor’s fees for the different classes and penalties for medical malpractice, which included removing the doctor’s hands. It is apparent from the texts that Hammurabi believed in a type of justice that implemented “an eye for an eye.”