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King Hammurabi of Babylon was known for his "Code of Laws." Is his the oldest Code of written law that still exists today? If there is an even older code of laws, perhaps one not still in use, who wrote and what is its Historical significance?

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What do you mean by "still around"? –  lins314159 Oct 26 '11 at 5:54
    
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This question is fairly open-ended, and seems designed more to provoke discussion than to draw on facts or specific expertise. It is possible you could re-write this in a format more suitable to these sites; consider elaborating on the specific problem or area of study you're involved in, and noting how the history of written law relates to this. –  Shog9 Nov 2 '11 at 16:43
    
I "anchored" the question by citing King Hammurabi and his code of laws. Can it now be reopened in its current form? –  Tom Au May 4 '13 at 18:44
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closed as not constructive by Shog9 Nov 2 '11 at 16:40

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Ur-Nammu is the oldest written law. It is still around (in a museum). Its historical significance is that it is the oldest written code of law.

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I was under the impression that there Asian codes of laws that Pre date that –  Napoleonothecake Oct 26 '11 at 6:03
    
Which codes of law? –  JoeHobbit Oct 26 '11 at 6:09
    
Thats what I want to know –  Napoleonothecake Oct 26 '11 at 6:14
    
Hmmm...tough one! –  JoeHobbit Oct 26 '11 at 6:20
    
@Napoleonothecake - Well, technically Ur (the Tigris and Euphrates river valley) is in Asia, so perhaps that's what you'd heard. If you meant east Asian...no. The Chinese were illiterate until 1200BC at the earliest (800-ish years after Ur_Nammu). –  T.E.D. Apr 4 '12 at 20:11
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also you can look Hammurabi's , Code of Hammurabi here , three different translation is in the wikisource link on the wikipedia article.

  1. If a man bring an accusation against a man, and charge him with a (capital) crime, but cannot prove it, he, the accuser, shall be put to death.
  2. If a man charge a man with sorcery, and cannot prove it, he who is charged with sorcery shall go to the river, into the river he shall throw himself and if the river overcome him, his accuser shall take to himself his house (estate). If the river show that man to be innocent and he come forth unharmed, he who charged him with sorcery shall be put to death. He who threw himself into the river shall take to himself the house of his accuser.
  3. If a man, in a case (pending judgment), bear false (threatening) witness, or do not establish the testimony that he has given, if that case be a case involving life, that man shall be put to death.

more ...

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Welcome to the site. An upvote to get you started. –  Tom Au Oct 26 '11 at 20:25
    
Hammurabi's code is actually several centuries younger than Ur-Nammu's code. –  JoeHobbit Nov 5 '11 at 23:49
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