The Code of Hammurabi (Harper translation)

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For works with similar titles, see The Code of Hammurabi.
The Code of Hammurabi, King of Babylon  (1904) 
by Hammurabi, translated by Robert Francis Harper
Original work, c. 1772 BCE; translation published in 1904.

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.

4. If a man (in a case) bear witness for grain or money (as a bribe), he shall himself bear the penalty imposed in that case.

5. If a judge pronounce a judgment, render a decision, deliver a verdict duly signed and sealed and afterward alter his judgment, they shall call that judge to account for the alteration of the judgment which he had pronounced, and he shall pay twelve-fold the penalty which was in said judgment; and, in the assembly, they shall expel him from his seat of judgment, and he shall not return, and with the judges in a case he shall not take his seat.

6. If a man steal the property of a god (temple) or palace, that man shall be put to death; and he who receives from his hand the stolen (property) shall also be put to death.

7. If a man purchase silver or gold, manservant or maid servant, ox, sheep or ass, or anything else from a man's son, or a man's servant without witnesses or contracts, or if he receive (the same) in trust, that man shall be put to death as a thief.

8. If a man steal ox or sheep, ass or pig, or boat—if it be from a god (temple) or a palace, he shall restore thirtyfold; if it be from a freeman, he shall render tenfold. If the thief have nothing wherewith to pay he shall be put to death.

9. If a man, who has lost anything, find that which was lost in the possession of (another) man; and the man in whose possession the lost property is found say: "It was sold to me. I purchased it in the presence of witnesses:" and the owner of the lost property say: "I will bring witnesses to identify my lost property": if the purchaser produce the seller who has sold it to him and the witnesses in whose presence he purchased it, and the owner of the lost property produce witnesses to identify his lost property, the judges shall consider their evidence. The witnesses in whose presence the purchase was made and the witnesses to identify the lost property shall give their testimony in the presence of god. The seller shall be put to death as a thief; the owner of the lost property shall recover his loss; the purchaser shall recover from the estate of the seller the money which he paid out.

10. If the purchaser do not produce the seller who sold it to him, and the witnesses in whose presence he purchased it (and) if the owner of the lost property produce witnesses to identify his lost property, the purchaser shall be put to death as a thief; the owner of the lost property shall recover his loss.

11. If the owner (claimant) of the lost property do not produce witnesses to identify his lost property, he has attempted fraud (has lied), he has stirred up strife (calumny), he shall be put to death.

12. If the seller have gone to (his) fate (i.e., have died), the purchaser shall recover damages in said case fivefold from the estate of the seller.

13. If the witnesses of that man be not at hand, the judges shall declare a postponement for six months; and if he do not bring in his witnesses within the six months, that man has attempted fraud, he shall bear the penalty imposed in that case.

14. If a man steal a man's son, who is a minor, he shall be put to death.

15. If a man aid a male or female slave of the palace, or a male or female slave of a freeman to escape from the city gate, he shall be put to death.

16. If a man harbor in his house a male or female slave who has fled from the palace or from a freeman, and do not bring him (the slave) forth at the call of the commandment, the owner of that house shall be put to death.

17. If a man seize a male or female slave, a fugitive, in the field and bring that (slave) back to his owner, the owner of the slave shall pay him two shekels of silver.

18. If that slave will not name his owner, he shall bring him to the palace and they shall inquire into his antecedents and they shall return him to his owner.

19. If he detain that slave in his house and later the slave be found in his possession, that man shall be put to death.

20. If the slave escape from the hand of his captor, that man shall so declare, in the name of god, to the owner of the slave and shall go free.

21. If a man make a breach in a house, they shall put him to death in front of that breach and they shall thrust him therein.

22. If a man practice brigandage and be captured, that man shall be put to death.

23. If the brigand be not captured, the man who has been robbed, shall, in the presence of god, make an itemized statement of his loss, and the city and the governor, in whose province and jurisdiction the robbery was committed, shall compensate him for whatever was lost.

24. If it be a life (that is lost), the city and governor shall pay one mana of silver to his heirs.

25. If a fire break out in a man's house and a man who goes to extinguish it casts his eye on the furniture of the owner of the house, and take the furniture of the owner of the house, that man shall be thrown into that fire.

26. If either an officer or a constable, who is ordered to go on an errand of the king, do not go but hire a substitute and dispatch him in his stead, that officer or constable shall be put to death; his hired substitute shall take to himself his (the officer's) house.

27. If an officer or a constable, who is in a garrison of the king, be captured, and afterward they give his field and garden to another and he conduct his business—if the former return and arrive in his city, they shall restore to him his field and garden and he himself shall conduct his business.

28. If an officer or a constable, who is in a fortress of the king, be captured (and) his son be able to conduct the business, they shall give to him the field and garden and he shall conduct the business of his father.

29. If his son be too young and be not able to conduct the business of his father, they shall give one-third of the field and of the garden to his mother, and his mother shall rear him.

30. If an officer or a constable from the beginning of (or, on account of) (his) business neglect his field, his garden, and his house and leave them uncared for (and) another after him take his field, his garden, and his house, and conduct his business for three years; if the former return and desire (or, would manage) his field, his garden, and his house, they shall not give them to him; he, who has taken (them) and conducted the business shall continue (to do so).

31. If he leave (them) uncared for but one year and return, they shall give him his field, his garden, and his house, and he himself shall continue his business.

32. If a merchant ransom either an officer or a constable who has been captured on an errand of the king, and enable him to reach his city; if there be sufficient ransom in his house, he shall ransom himself: if there be not sufficient ransom in his house, in the temple of his city he shall be ransomed; if there be not sufficient ransom in the temple of his city, the palace shall ransom him. In no case shall his field or his garden or his house be given for his ransom.

33. If a governor or a magistrate take possession of the men of levy (or, pardon a deserter) or accept and send a hired substitute on an errand of the king, that governor or magistrate shall be put to death.

34. If a governor or a magistrate take the property of an officer, plunder an officer, let an officer for hire, present an officer in a judgment to a man of influence, take the gift which the king has given to an officer, that governor or magistrate shall be put to death.

35. If a man buy from an officer the cattle of sheep which the king has given to that officer, he shall forfeit his money.

36. In no case shall one sell the field or garden or house of an officer, constable or tax-gatherer.

37. If a man purchase the field or garden or house of an officer, constable or tax-gatherer, his deed-tablet shall be broken (canceled) and he shall forfeit his money and he shall return the field, garden or house to its owner.

38. An officer, constable or tax-gatherer shall not deed to his wife or daughter the field, garden or house, which is his business (i.e., which is his by virtue of his office), nor shall he assign them for debt.

39. He may deed to his wife or daughter the field, garden or house which he has purchased and (hence) possesses, or he may assign them for debt.

40. A woman, merchant or other property-owner may sell field, garden or house. The purchaser shall conduct the business of the field, garden or house which he has purchased.

41. If a man have bargained for the field, garden or house of an officer, constable or tax-gatherer and given sureties, the officer, constable or tax-gatherer shall return to his field, garden or house and he shall take to himself the sureties which were given to him.

42. If a man rent a field for cultivation and do not produce any grain in the field, they shall call him to account, because he has not performed the work required on the field, and he shall give to the owner of the field grain on the basis of the adjacent (fields).

43. If he do not cultivate the field and neglect it, he shall give to the owner of the field grain on the basis of the adjacent (fields); and the field which he has neglected, he shall break up with hoes, he shall harrow and he shall return to the owner of the field.

44. If a man rent an unreclaimed field for three years to develop it, and neglect it and do not develop the field, in the fourth year he shall break up the field with hoes, he shall hoe and harrow it and he shall return it to the owner of the field and shall measure out ten GUR of grain per ten GAN.

45. If a man rent his field to a tenant for crop-rent and receive the crop-rent of his field and later Adad (i.e., the Storm God) inundate the field and carry away the produce, the loss (falls on) the tenant.

46. If he have not received the rent of his field and he have rented the field for either one-half or one-third (of the crop), the tenant and the owner of the field shall divide the grain which is in the field according to agreement.

47. If the tenant give the cultivation of the field to the charge of another—because in a former year he has not gained a maintenance—the owner of the field shall not interfere. He would cultivate it, and his field has been cultivated and at the time of harvest he shall take grain according to his contracts.

48. If a man owe a debt and Adad inundate his field and carry away the produce, or, through lack of water, grain have not grown in the field, in that year he shall not make any return of grain to his creditor, he shall alter his contract-tablet and he shall not pay the interest for that year.

49. If a man obtain money from a merchant and give (as security) to the merchant a field to be planted with grain and sesame (and) say to him: "Cultivate the field, and take to thyself the grain and sesame which is produced;" if the tenant raise grain and sesame in the field, at the time of harvest, the owner of the field shall receive the grain and sesame which is in the field and he shall give to the merchant grain for the loan which he had obtained from him and for the interest and for the maintenance of the tenant.

50. If he give (as security) a field planted with [grain] or a field planted with sesame, the owner of the field shall receive the grain or the sesame which is in the field and he shall return the loan and its interest to the merchant.

51. If he have not the money to return, he shall give to the merchant [grain or] sesame, at their market value according to the scale fixed by the king, for the loan and its interest which he has obtained from the merchant.

52. If the tenant do not secure a crop of grain or sesame in his field, he shall not cancel his contract.

53. If a man neglect to strengthen his dyke and do not strengthen it, and a break be made in his dyke and the water carry away the farm-land, the man in whose dyke the break has been made shall restore the grain which he has damaged.

54. If he be not able to restore the grain, they shall sell him and his goods, and the farmer whose grain the water has carried away shall share (the results of the sale).

55. If a man open his canal for irrigation and neglect it and the water carry away an adjacent field, he shall measure out grain on the basis of the adjacent fields.

56. If a man open up the water and the water carry away the improvements of an adjacent field, he shall measure out ten GUR of grain per GAN.

57. If a shepherd have not come to agreement with the owner of a field to pasture his sheep on the grass; and if he pasture his sheep on the field without the consent of the owner, the owner of the field shall harvest his field, and the shepherd who has pastured his sheep on the field without the consent of the owner of the field, shall give over and above twenty GUR of grain per ten GAN to the owner of the field.

58. If, after the sheep have gone up from the meadow and have crowded their way out (?) of the gate into the public common, the shepherd turn the sheep into the field, and pasture the sheep on the field, the shepherd shall oversee the field on which he pastures and at the time of harvest he shall measure out sixty GUR of grain per ten GAN to the owner of the field.

59. If a man cut down a tree in a man's orchard, without the consent of the owner of the orchard, he shall pay one-half mana of silver.

60. If a man give a field to a gardener to plant as an orchard and the gardener plant the orchard and care for the orchard four years, in the fifth year the owner of the orchard and the gardener shall share equally; the owner of the orchard shall mark off his portion and take it.

61. If the gardener do not plant the whole field, but leave a space waste, they shall assign the waste space to his portion.

62. If he do not plant as an orchard the field which was given to him, if corn be the produce of the field, for the years during which it has been neglected, the gardener shall measure out to the owner of the field (such produce) on the basis of the adjacent fields, and he shall perform the required work on the field and he shall restore it to the owner of the field.

63. If the field be unreclaimed, he shall perform the required work on the field and he shall restore it to the owner of the field and he shall measure out ten GUR of grain per ten GAN for each year.

64. If a man give his orchard to a gardener to manage, the gardener shall give to the owner of the orchard two-thirds of the produce of the orchard, as long as he is in possession of the orchard; he himself shall take one-third.

65. If the gardener do not properly manage the orchard and he diminish the produce, the gardener shall measure out the produce of the orchard on the basis of the adjacent orchards.

100. … he shall write down the interest on the money, as much as he has obtained, and he shall reckon its days and he shall make returns to his merchant.

101. If he do not meet with success where he goes, the agent shall double the amount of money obtained and he shall pay it to the merchant.

102. If a merchant give money to an agent as a favor, and the latter meet with a reverse where he goes, he shall return the principal of the money to the merchant.

103. If, when he goes on a journey, an enemy rob him of whatever he was carrying, the agent shall take an oath in the name of god and go free.

104. If a merchant give to an agent grain, wool, oil or goods of any kind with which to trade, the agent shall write down the value and return (the money) to the merchant. The agent shall take a sealed receipt for the money which he gives to the merchant.

105. If the agent be careless and do not take a receipt for the money which he has given to the merchant, the money not receipted for shall not be placed to his account.

106. If an agent obtain money from a merchant and have a dispute with the merchant (i.e., deny the fact), that merchant shall call the agent to account in the presence of god and witnesses for the money obtained and the agent shall give to the merchant threefold the amount of money which he obtained.

107. If a merchant lend to an agent and the agent return to the merchant whatever the merchant had given him; and if the merchant deny (receiving) what the agent has given to him, that agent shall call the merchant to account in the presence of god and witnesses and the merchant, because he has had a dispute with his agent, shall give to him sixfold the amount which he has obtained.

108. If a wine-seller do not receive grain as the price of drink, but if she receive money by the great stone, or make the measure for drink smaller than the measure for corn, they shall call that wine-seller to account, and they shall throw her into the water.

109. If outlaws collect in the house of a wine-seller, and she do not arrest those outlaws and bring them to the palace, that wine-seller shall be put to death.

110. If a priestess who is not living in a MAL.GE.A., open a wine-shop or enter a wine-shop for a drink, they shall burn that woman.

111. If a wine-seller give 60 KA of drink … on credit, at the time of the harvest she shall receive 50 KA of grain.

112. If a man be on a journey and he give silver, gold, stones or portable property to a man with a commission for transportation, and if that man do not deliver that which was to be transported where it was to be transported, but take it to himself, the owner of the transported goods shall call that man to account for the goods to be transported which he did not deliver, and that man shall deliver to the owner of the transported goods fivefold the amount which was given to him.

113. If a man hold a [debt of] grain or money against a man, and if he take grain without the consent of the owner from the heap or the granary, they shall call that man to account for taking grain without the consent of the owner from the heap or the granary, and he shall return as much grain as he took, and he shall forfeit all that he has lent, whatever it be.

114. If a man do not hold a [debt of] grain or money against a man, and if he seize him for debt, for each seizure he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

115. If a man hold a [debt of] grain or money against a man, and he seize him for debt, and the one seized die in the house of the one who seized him, that case has no penalty.

116. If the one seized die of abuse or neglect in the house of him who seized him, the owner of the one seized shall call the merchant to account; and if it be a man's son [that he seized] they shall put his son to death; if it be a man's servant [that he seized] he shall pay one-third mana of silver and he shall forfeit whatever amount he had lent.

117. If a man be in debt and sell his wife, son or daughter, or bind them over to service, for three years they shall work in the house of their purchaser of master; in the fourth year they shall be given their freedom.

118. If he bind over to service a male or female slave, and if the merchant transfer or sell such slave, there is no cause for complaint.

119. If a man be in debt and he sell his maid servant who has borne him children, the owner of the maid servant (i.e., the man in debt) shall repay the money which the merchant paid (him), and he shall ransom his maid servant.

120. If a man store his grain in bins in the house of another and an accident happen to the granary, or the owner of the house open a bin and take grain or he raise a dispute about (or deny) the amount of grain which was stored in his house, the owner of the grain shall declare his grain in the presence of god, and the owner of the house shall double the amount of grain which he took and restore it to the owner of the grain.

121. If a man store grain in the house of another, he shall pay storage at the rate of 5 KA of grain per GUR each year.

122. If a man give to another silver, gold or anything else on deposit, whatever he gives he shall show to witnesses and he shall arrange the contracts and (then) he shall make the deposit.

123. If a man give on deposit without witnesses or contracts, and at the place of the deposit they dispute with him (i.e., deny the deposit), that case has no penalty.

124. If a man give to another silver, gold or anything else on deposit in the presence of witnesses and the latter dispute with him (or deny it), they shall call that man to account and he shall double whatever he disputed and repay it.

125. If a man give anything of his on deposit, and at the place of deposit either by burglary or pillage he suffer loss in common with the owner of the house, the owner of the house who has been negligent and has lost what was given to him on deposit shall make good (the loss) and restore (it) to the owner of the goods; the owner of the house shall institute a search for what has been lost and take it from the thief.

126. If a man have not lost anything, but say that he has lost something, or if he file a claim for loss when nothing has been lost, he shall declare his (alleged) loss in the presence of god, and he shall double and pay for the (alleged) loss the amount for which he had made claim.

127. If a man point the finger at a priestess or the wife of another and cannot justify it, they shall drag that man before the judges and they shall brand his forehead.

128. If a man take a wife and do not arrange with her the (proper) contracts, that woman is not a (legal) wife.

129. If the wife of a man be taken in lying with another man, they shall bind them and throw them into the water. If the husband of the woman would save his wife, or if the king would save his male servant (he may).

130. If a man force the (betrothed) wife of another who has not known a male and is living in her father's house, and he lie in her bosom and they take him, that man shall be put to death and that woman shall go free.

131. If a man accuse his wife and she has not been taken in lying with another man, she shall take an oath in the name of god and she shall return to her house.

132. If the finger have been pointed at the wife of a man because of another man, and she have not been taken in lying with another man, for her husband's sake she shall throw herself into the river.

133. If a man be captured and there be maintenance in his house and his wife go out of her house, she shall protect her body and she shall not enter into another house.

133A. [If] that woman do not protect her body and enter into another house, they shall call that woman into account and they shall throw her into the water.

134. If a man be captured and there no be maintenance in his house and his wife enter into another house, that woman has no blame.

135. If a man be captured and there no be maintenance in his house and his wife enter openly into another house and bear children; if later her husband return and arrive in his city, that woman shall return to her husband (and) the children shall go to their father.

136. If a man desert his city and flee and afterwards his wife enter into another house; if that man return and would take his wife, the wife of the fugitive shall not return to her husband because he hated his city and fled.

137. If a man set his face to put away a concubine who has borne him children or a wife who has presented him with children, he shall return to that woman her dowry and shall give to he the income of field, garden and goods and she shall bring up her children; from the time that her children are grown up, from whatever is given to her children they shall give to her a portion corresponding to that of a son and the man of her choice may marry her.

138. If a man would put away his wife who has not borne him children, he shall give her money to the amount of her marriage settlement and he shall make good to her the dowry which she brought from her father's house and then he may put her away.

139. If there were no marriage settlement, he shall give to her one mana of silver for a divorce.

140. If he be a freeman, he shall give her one-third mana of silver.

141. If the wife of a man who is living in his house, set her face to go out and play the part of a fool, neglect her house, belittle her husband, they shall call her to account: if her husband say: "I have put her away," he shall let her go. On her departure nothing shall be given to her for her divorce. If her husband say: "I have not put her away," her husband may take another woman. The first woman shall dwell in the house of her husband as a maid servant.

142. If a woman hate her husband, and say: "thou shalt not have me," they shall inquire into her antecedents for her defects; and if she have been a careful mistress and been without reproach and her husband has been going about and greatly belittling her, that woman has no blame. She shall receive her dowry and go to her father's house.

143. If she have not been a careful mistress, have gadded about, have neglected her house and have belittled her husband, they shall throw that woman into the water.

144. If a man take a wife and that wife give a maid servant to her husband and she bear children; if that man set his face to take a concubine, they shall not countenance him. He may not take a concubine.

145. If a man take a wife and she do not present him with children and he set his face to take a concubine, that man may take a concubine and bring her into his house. That concubine shall not rank with his wife.

146. If a man take a wife and she give a maid servant to her husband, and that maid servant bear children and afterwards would take rank with her mistress; because she has borne children, her mistress may not sell her for money, but she may reduce her to bondage and count her among the maid servants.

147. If she have not borne children, her mistress may sell her for money.

148. If a man take a wife and she become afflicted with disease, and if he set his face to take another, he may. His wife, who is afflicted with disease, he shall not put away. She shall remain in the house which he has built and he shall maintain her as long as she lives.

149. If that woman do not elect to remain in her husband's house, he shall make good to her the dowry which she brought from her father's house and she may go.

150. If a man give to his wife field, garden, house or goods and he deliver to her a sealed deed, after (the death of) her husband, her children cannot make claim against her. The mother after her (death) may will to her child whom she loves, but to a brother she may not.

151. If a woman, who dwells in the house of a man, make a contract with her husband that a creditor of his may not hold her (for his debts) and compel him to deliver a written agreement; if that man were in debt before he took that woman, his creditor may not hold his wife, and if that woman were in debt before she entered the house of that man, her creditor may not hold her husband.

152. If they contract a debt after the woman has entered into the house of the man, both of them shall be answerable to the merchant.

153. If a woman bring about the death of her husband for the sake of another man, they shall impale her.

154. If a man have known his daughter, they shall expel that man from the city.

155. If a man have betrothed a bride to his son and his son have known her, and if he (the father) afterward lie in her bosom and they take him, they shall bind that man and throw him in the water.

156. If a man have betrothed a bride to his son and his son have not known her but he himself lie in her bosom, he shall pay her one-half mana of silver and he shall make good to her whatever she brought from the house of her father and the man of her choice may take her.

157. If a man lie in the bosom of his mother after (the death of) his father, they shall burn both of them.

158. If a man, after the death (of his father), be taken in the bosom of the chief wife (of his father) who has borne children, that man shall be cut off from his father's house.

159. If a man, who has brought a present to the house of his father-in-law and has given the marriage settlement, look with longing upon another woman and say to his father-in-law, "I will not take thy daughter;" the father of the daughter shall take to himself whatever was brought to him.

160. If a man bring a present to the house of his father-in-law and give a marriage settlement and the father of the daughter say, "I will not give thee my daughter;" he (i.e., the father-in-law) shall double the amount which was brought to him and return it.

161. If a man bring a present to the house of his father-in-law and give a marriage settlement, and his friend slander him; and if his father-in-law say to the claimant for the wife, "My daughter thou shalt not have," he (the father-in-law) shall double the amount which was brought to him and return it, but his friend may not have his wife.

162. If a man take a wife and she bear him children and that woman die, her father may not lay claim to her dowry. Her dowry belongs to her children.

163. If a man take a wife and she do not present him with children and that woman die; if his father-in-law return to him the marriage settlement which that man brought to the house of his father-in-law, her husband may not lay claim to the dowry of that woman. Her dowry belongs to the house of her father.

164. If his father-in-law do not return to him the marriage settlement, he may deduct from her dowry the amount of the marriage settlement and return (the rest) of her dowry to the house of her father.

165. If a man present field, garden or house to his favorite son and write for him a sealed deed; after the father dies, when the brothers divide, he shall take the present which the father gave him, and over and above they shall divide the goods of the father's house equally.

166. If a man take wives for his sons and do not take a wife for his youngest son, after the father dies, when the brothers divide, he shall take the present which the father gave him, and over and above they shall divide the goods of the father's house equally.

167. If a man take a wife and she bear him children and that woman die, and after her (death) he take another wife and she bear him children and later the father die, the children of the mothers shall not divide (the estate).They shall receive the dowries of the respective mothers and divide equally the goods of the house of the father.

168. If a man set his face to disinherit his son and say to the judges: "I will disinherit my son," the judges shall inquire into his antecedents, and if the son have not committed a crime sufficiently grave to cut him off from sonship, the father may not cut off his son from sonship.

169. If he have committed a crime against his father sufficiently grave to cut him off from sonship, they shall condone his first (offense). If he commit a crime a second time, the father may cut off his son from sonship.

170. If a man's wife bear him children and his maid servant bear him children, and the father during his lifetime say to the children which the maid servant bore him: "My children," and reckon them with the children of his wife, after the father dies the children of the wife and the children of the maid servant shall divide the goods of the father's house equally. The child of the wife shall have the right of choice at the division.

171. But if a father during his lifetime have not said to the children which the maid servant bore him: "My children;" after the father dies, the children of the maid servant shall not share in the goods of the father's house with the children of the wife. The maid servant and her children shall be given their freedom. The children of the wife may not lay claim to the children of the maid servant for service. The wife shall receive her dowry and the gift which her husband gave and deeded to her on a tablet and she may dwell in the house of her husband and enjoy (the property) as long as she lives. She cannot sell it, however, for after her (death) it belongs to her children.

172. If her husband have not given her a gift, they shall make good her dowry and she shall receive the goods of her husband's house a portion corresponding to that of a son. If her children scheme to drive her out of the house, the judges shall inquire into her antecedents and if the children be in the wrong, she shall not go out from her husband's house. If the woman set her face to go out, she shall leave to her children the gift which her husband gave her; and she shall receive the dowry of her father's house, and the husband of her choice may take her.

173. If that woman bear children to her later husband into whose house she has entered and later on that woman die, the former and the later children shall divide her dowry.

174. If she do not bear children to her later husband, the children of her first husband shall receive her dowry.

175. If either a slave of the palace or a slave of the freeman take the daughter of a man (gentleman) and she bear children, the owner of the slave may not lay claim to the children of the daughter of the man for service.

176. And if a slave of the palace or a slave of the freeman take the daughter of a man (gentleman); and if, when he takes her, she enter into the house of the slave of the palace or the slave of the freeman with the dowry of her father's house; if from the time that they join hands, they build a house and acquire property; and if later on the slave of the palace or the slave of the freeman die, the daughter of the man shall receive her dowry, and they shall divide into two parts whatever her husband and she had acquired from the time they joined hands; the owner of the slave shall receive one-half and the daughter of the man shall receive one-half for her children.

176A. If the daughter of a man had no dowry they shall divide into two parts whatever her husband and she had acquired from the time they joined hands. The owner of the slave shall receive one-half and the daughter of the man shall receive one-half for her children.

177. If a widow, whose children are minors set her face to enter another house, she cannot do so without the consent of the judges. When she enters another house, the judges shall inquire into the state of her former husband and they shall intrust the estate of the former husband to the later husband and that woman, and they shall deliver to them a tablet (to sign). They shall administer the estate and rear the minors. They may not sell the household goods. He who purchases household goods belonging to the sons of a widow shall forfeit his money. The goods shall revert to the owner.

178. If (there be) a priestess or a devotee to whom her father has given a dowry or written a deed of gift; if in the deed which he has written for her, he have not written: "after her (death) she may give to whomsoever she may please," and if he have not granted her full discretion; after her father dies her brothers shall take her field and garden and they shall give her grain, oil and wool according to the value of her share and they shall make her content. If her brothers do not give her grain, oil and wool according to the value of her share and they do not make her content, she may give her field and garden to any tenant she may please and her tenant shall maintain her. She shall enjoy the field, garden or anything else which her father gave her as long as she lives. She may not sell it, nor transfer it. Her heritage belongs to her brothers.

179. If (there be) a priestess or a devotee to whom her father has given a dowry or written a deed of gift; if in the deed which he has written for her, he have written "after her (death) she may give to whomsoever she may please," and he have granted her full discretion; after her father dies she may give it to whomsoever she may please after her (death). Her brothers may not lay claim against her.

180. If a father do not give a dowry to his daughter, a bride or devotee, after her father dies she shall receive as her share in the goods of her father's house the portion of a son and she shall enjoy it as long as she lives. After her (death), it belongs to her brothers.

181. If a father devote a votary or NU.PAR. to a god and do not give her a dowry, after her father dies she shall receive as her share in the goods of her father's house one-third of the portion of a son and she shall enjoy it as long as she lives. After her (death), it belongs to her brothers.

182. If a man do not give a dowry to his daughter, a priestess of Marduk of Babylon, and do not write for her a deed of gift; after her father dies she shall receive as her share with her brothers one-third the portion of a son in the goods of her father's house, but she shall not conduct the business thereof. A priestess of Marduk, after her (death), may give to whomsoever she may please.

183. If a father present a dowry to his daughter, who is a concubine, and give her to a husband and write a deed of gift; after the father dies she shall not share in the goods of her father's house.

184. If a man do not present a dowry to his daughter, who is a concubine, and do not give her to a husband; after her father dies her brothers shall present her a dowry proportionate to the fortune of her father's house and they shall give her to a husband.

185. If a man take in his name a young child as a son and rear him, one may not bring claim for that adopted son.

186. If a man take a young child as a son and, when he takes him, he is rebellious toward his father and his mother (who have adopted him), that adopted son shall return to the house of his father.

187. One may not bring claim for the son of a NER.SE.GA. who is a palace guard, or the son of a devotee.

188. If an artisan take a son for adoption and teach him his handicraft, one may not bring claim for him.

189. If he do not teach him his handicraft, that adopted son may return to his father's house.

190. If a man do not reckon among his sons the young child whom he has taken and reared, that adopted son may return to his father's house.

191. If a man, who has taken a young child as a son and reared him, establish his own house and acquire children, and set his face to cut off the adopted son, that son shall not go his way. The father who reared him shall give to him of his goods one-third the portion of a son and he shall go. He shall not give to him of field, garden or house.

192. If the son of a NER.SE.GA. or the son of a devotee say to his father who has reared him or his mother who has reared him: "My father thou art not," "My mother thou art not," they shall cut out his tongue.

193. If the son of a NER.SE.GA. or the son of a devotee identify his own father's house and hate the father that has reared him and the mother who has reared him and go back to his father's house, they shall pluck out his eye.

194. If man give his son to a nurse and that son die in the hands of the nurse, and the nurse substitute another son without the consent of his father or mother, they shall call her to account, and because she has substituted another son without the consent of his father or mother, they shall cut off his breast.

195. If a son strike his father, they shall cut off his fingers.

196. If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye.

197. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone.

198. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one mana of silver.

199. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's slave he shall pay one-half his price.

200. If a man knock out a tooth of a man of his own rank, they shall knock out his tooth.

201. If one knock out a tooth of a freeman, he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

202. If a man strike the person of a man (.i.e., commit an assault) who is his superior, he shall receive sixty strokes with an ox-tail whip in public.

203. If a man strike another man on his own rank, he shall pay one mana of silver.

204. If a freeman strike a freeman, he shall pay ten shekels of silver.

205. If a man's slave strike a man's son, they shall cut off his ear.

206. If a man strike another man in a quarrel and wound him, he shall swear: "I struck him without intent," and he shall be responsible for the physician.

207. If (he) die as a result of the stroke, he shall swear (as above), and if he be a man, he shall pay one-half mana of silver.

208. If (he) be a freeman, he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

209. If a man strike a man's daughter and bring about a miscarriage, he shall pay ten shekels of silver for her miscarriage.

210. If a man strike a man's daughter and bring about a miscarriage, he shall pay ten shekels of silver for her miscarriage.

210. If that woman die, they shall put his daughter to death.

211. If, through a stroke, he bring about a miscarriage to the daughter of a freeman, he shall pay five shekels of silver.

212. If that woman die, he shall pay one-half mana of silver.

213. If he strike the female slave of a man and bring about a miscarriage, he shall pay two shekels of silver.

214. If that female slave die, he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

215. If a physician operate on a man for a severe wound (or make a severe wound upon a man) with a bronze lancet and save the man's life; or if he open an abscess (in the eye) of a man with a bronze lancet and save that man's eye, he shall receive ten shekels of silver (as his fee).

216. If he be a freeman, he shall receive five shekels.

217. If it be a man's slave, the owner of the slave shall give two shekels of silver to the physician.

218. If a physician operate on a man for a severe wound with a bronze lancet and cause that man's death; or open an abscess (in the eye) of a man with a bronze lancet and destroy the man's eye, they shall cut off his fingers.

219. If a physician operate on a slave of a freeman for a severe wound with a bronze lancet and cause his death, he shall restore a slave of equal value.

220. If he open an abscess (in his eye) with a bronze lancet, and destroy his eye, he shall pay silver to extent of one-half of his price.

221. If a physician set a broken bone for a man or cure his diseased bowels, the patient shall give five shekels of silver to the physician.

222. If he be a freeman, he shall give three shekels of silver.

223. If it be a man's slave, the owner of the slave shall give two shekels of silver to the builder.

224. If a veterinary physician operate on an ox or an ass for a severe wound and save its life, the owner of the ox or ass shall give to the physician, as his fee, one-sixth of a shekel of silver.

225. If he operate on an ox or an ass for a severe wound and cause its death, he shall give to the owner of the ox or ass one-fourth its value.

226. If a brander, without the consent of the owner of the slave, brand a slave with the sign that he cannot be sold, they shall cut off the fingers of that brander.

227. If a man deceive a brander and he brand a slave with the sign that he cannot be sold, they shall put that man to death, and they shall cast him into his house. The brander shall swear: "I did not brand him knowingly," and he shall go free.

228. If a builder build a house for a man and complete it, (that man) shall give him two shekels of silver per SAR of house as his wage.

229. If a builder build a house for a man and do not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapse and cause the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.

230. If it cause the death of a son of the owner of the house, they shall put to death a son of that builder.

231. If it cause the death of a slave of the owner of the house, he shall give the owner of the house a slave of equal value.

232. If it destroy property, he shall restore whatever it destroyed, and because he did not make the house which he built firm and it collapsed, he shall rebuild the house which collapsed from his own property (i.e., at his own expense).

233. If a builder build a house for a man and do not make its construction meet the requirements and a wall fall in, that builder shall strengthen that wall at his own expense.

234. If a boatman build a boat of 60 GUR for a man, he shall give him 2 shekels of silver as his wage.

235. If a boatman build a boat for a man and he do not make its construction seaworthy and that boat meet with a disaster in the same year in which it was put into commission, the boatman shall reconstruct the boat and he shall strengthen it at his own expense and he shall give the boat when strengthened to the owner of the boat.

236. If a man hire his boat to a boatman and the boatman be careless and he sink or wreck the boat, the boatman shall replace the boat to the owner of the boat.

237. If a man hire a boatman and a boat and freight it with grain, wool, oil, dates or any other kind of freight, and that boatman is careless and he sink the boat or wreck its cargo, the boatman shall replace the boat which he sank and whatever portion of the cargo he wrecked.

238. If a boatman sink a man's boat and refloat it, he shall give silver to the extent of one-half its value.

239. If a man hire a boatman, he shall give him 6 GUR of grain per year.

240. If a boat under way strike a ferryboat (or, boat at anchor), and sink it, the owner of the boat whose boat was sunk shall make declaration in the presence of god of everything that was lost in his boat and (the owner) of (the vessel) under way which sank the ferryboat shall replace his boat and whatever was lost.

241. If a man seize an ox for debt, he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

242. 243. If a man hire (an ox) for a year, he shall give to its owner four GUR of grain as the hire of a draught ox, (and) three GUR of grain as the hire of an ox (?).

244. If a man hire an ox or an ass and a lion kill it in the field, it is the owner's affair.

245. If a man hire an ox and cause its death through neglect or abuse, he shall restore an ox of equal value to the owner of the ox.

246. If a man hire an ox and he break its foot or cut its ham-string (?), he shall restore an ox of equal value to the owner of the ox.

247. If a man hire an ox and destroy its eye, he shall pay silver to the owner of the ox to the extent of one-half its value.

248. If a man hire an ox and break its horn or cut off its tail or injure the flesh (through which) the ring (passes), he shall pay silver to the owner of the ox to the extent of one-quarter its value.

249. If a man hire an ox and a god strike it and it die, the man who hired the ox shall take an oath before god and go free.

250. If a bull, when passing through the street, gore a man and bring about his death, this case has no penalty.

251. If a man's bull have been wont to gore and they have made known to him his habit of goring, and he have not protected his horns or have not tied him up, and that bore gore the son of a man and bring about his death, he shall pay one-half mana of silver.

252. If it be the servant of a man, he shall pay one-third mana of silver.

253. If a man hire a man to oversee his farm and to furnish him the seed-grain and intrust him with oxen and contract with him to cultivate the field, and that man steal either the seed or the crop and it be found in his possession, they shall cut off his fingers.

254. If he take the seed-grain and overwork the oxen, he shall restore the quantity of grain which he has hoed.

255. If he let the oxen of the man on hire, or steal the seed-grain and there be no crop in the field, they shall call that man to account and he shall measure out 60 GUR of grain per 10 GAN.

256. If he be not able to meet his obligation, they shall leave him in that field with the cattle.

257. If a man hire a field-laborer, he shall pay him 8 GUR of grain per year.

258. If a man hire a herdsman, he shall pay him 6 GUR of grain per year.

259. If a man steal a watering-machine in a field, he shall pay 5 shekels of silver to the owner of the watering-machine.

260. If a man steal a watering-bucket or a harrow, he shall pay 3 shekels of silver.

261. If a man hire a herdsman to pasture oxen or sheep, he shall pay him 8 GUR of grain per year.

262. If a man, an ox or a sheep to …

263. If he lose an ox or sheep which is given to him, he shall restore to their owner ox for ox, sheep for sheep.

264. If a shepherd, to whom oxen or sheep have been given to pasture, receive as his hire whatever was agreed upon (?) and be satisfied, and he let the cattle or sheep decrease in number, or lessen the birth rate, according to his contracts he shall make good the birth rate and the produce.

265. If a shepherd, to whom oxen or sheep have been given to pasture, have been dishonest or have altered their price, or sold them, they shall call him to account, and he shall restore to their owner oxen or sheep tenfold what he has stolen.

266. If a visitation of god happen to a fold, or a lion kill, the shepherd shall declare himself innocent before god, and the owner of the fold shall suffer the damage.

267. If a shepherd be careless and he bring about an accident in the fold, the shepherd shall make good in cattle and sheep the loss through the accident which he brought about in the fold, and give them to the owner.

268. If a man hire an ox to thresh, 20 KA of grain is its hire.

269. If he hire an ass to thresh, 10 KA of grain is its hire.

270. If he hire a young animal (goat) to thresh, 1 KA of grain is its hire.

271. If a man hire oxen, a wagon and a driver, he shall pay 180 KA of grain per day.

272. If a man hire a wagon only, he shall pay 40 KA of grain per day.

273. If a man hire a laborer, from the beginning of the year until the fifth month, he shall pay 6 SE of silver per day; from the sixth month until the end of the year he shall pay 5 SE of silver per day.

274. If a man hire an artisan, the wage of a … is 5 SE of silver; the wage of a brickmaker (?) is 5 SE of silver; the wage of a tailor is 5 SE of silver; the wage of a … is … SE of silver; the wage of a … is … SE of silver; the wage of a … is … SE of silver; the wage of a carpenter is 4 SE of silver; the wage of a (?) is 4 SE of silver; the wage of a (?) is … SE of silver; the wage of a mason is … SE of silver; so much per day shall he pay.

275. If a man hire a … its hire is 3 SE of silver per day.

276. If he hire a sail-boat (?), he shall pay 2½ SE of silver per day as its hire.

277. If a man hire a boat of sixty GUR (tonnage), he shall pay 1/6 of a shekel of silver as its hire per day.

278. If a man sell a male or female slave, and the slave have not completed his month, and the bennu fever fall upon him, he (the purchaser) shall return him to the seller and he shall receive the money which he paid.

279. If a man sell a male or female slave and there be a claim upon him, the seller shall be responsible for the claim.

280. If a man purchase a male or female slave of a man in a foreign country, and if, when he comes back to his own land, the (former) owner of the male or female slave recognize his male or female slave—if the male or female slave be a native of the land, he shall grant them their freedom without money.

281. If they be natives of another land, the purchaser shall declare before god the money which he paid (for them), and the owner of the male or female slave shall give to the merchant the money which he paid out, and he (the owner) shall receive into his care his male or female slave.

282. If a male slave say to his master: "Thou art not my master," his master shall prove him to be his slave and shall cut off his ear.

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1914, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.