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Hammurabi’s Code

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Essay title: Hammurabi’s Code

Many people may not know it, but they have heard part of Hammurabi's Code before. It is where the fabled "eye-for-an-eye" statement came from. However, this brutal way of enforcing laws was a way to keep the people under this rule in order. When the population of a certain place under one ruler gets to be over 25 or so there is a need for social control. In this way the Code of Hammurabi is very similar to the Code of Ma'at, the Hindu Caste system and Buddhism.

The Code of Hammurabi is famous for demanding punishment to fit the crime (or an eye for an eye) with different treatment for each social class. The code of hammurabi is the greatest example of the need for social control because it was the first set of written down laws. There are 282 rules to live by under the code. Some examples of these are; 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. Egyptian law was based on a common sense view of right and wrong, following the codes based on the concept of Ma'at. Ma'at represented truth, order, balance and justice in the universe. This concept allowed that everyone, with the exception of slaves, should be viewed as equals under the law, regardless of wealth or social position if you live you life with out major sin then once you die you heart is weight against Ma'ats feather and if your heart weights less than the feather you can pass on to the after life because it was proof that you were a good person and there was nothing weighting down you heart. But if in fact you heart did weight more that that feather your body was suck in waiting for the rest of eternity. The Hindu cast system also fallowed the same guidelines. There are four main castes into which everyone was categorized. At the very top were the Brahmins -- the priests, scholars, and philosophers. The second highest caste was the Kshatriyas. These were the warriors, rulers, and those concerned with the defense and administration of the village or state. Third came the Vaishyas, who were traders, merchants, and people involved in agricultural production. The lowest caste was the Shudras -- the laborers and servants for the other castes. Each caste included many sub castes divided by occupation. Below even the Shudras were the Untouchables. These people had no caste at all. They performed the most menial of jobs, such as dealing with dead bodies and cleaning toilets. Higher-caste people believed that if they touched one of the caste-less, they would be contaminated and would need to go through cleansing rituals. the caste system is not explicitly religious, although the Hindu religion has played a large part in maintaining its structure. Hinduism preaches a cycle of birth and reincarnation, in which a person's soul is reborn into a new form after death. Your actions in this life determine your fate when you are born again. If you are faithful and dutiful in this life, next time, you'll get a better lot. The caste system fits

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