What Are Some Laws That Ancient Mesopotamia Had?


Quick Answer

In ancient Mesopotamia, any son who disowned his father could be sold into slavery by his father. When fathers disowned their sons, the sons had to abandon their homes immediately and leave their possessions behind.

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Full Answer

The ancient Mesopotamians did not have a strong belief in gender equality. For example, husbands who disowned their wives were only required to pay a fine. In contrast, women who disavowed their husbands were subject to capital punishment.

Lions were kept in Mesopotamia. If a lion killed animals or otherwise caused damage, the lion's keeper was obligated to pay compensation.

Men who bought slaves were entitled to refunds whenever sales were successfully disputed. Ancient Mesopotamian kings demanded periodic service from fishermen and overseers. These servants faced execution if they sent their own hirelings to serve instead. Slave owners could hire out slaves to other Mesopotamian citizens. Any time a rented slave ran away, the renter was obligated to compensate the owner.

Many Mesopotamian statutes dealt with dowries. When a father gave his daughter a dowry and the daughter died without having children, the father was entitled to a refund. After agreeing to pay a certain dowry and facing financial disaster, a father could legally reduce the dowry in accordance with his financial situation.

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