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AP World History POD #2 Cradle of Civilization

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1 AP World History POD #2 Cradle of Civilization
Code of Hammurabi

2 Class Discussion Questions
McKay - “The Spread of Mesopotamian Culture” pp

3 1. What is the symbolic importance of irrigation in Mesopotamia?
Large scale irrigation highlighted the need for a strong central authority to oversee and enforce the process Individuals took part in the community as a whole while giving up individual concerns for the greater good of society This a form of a social contract

4 2. What is the significance of the writing systems?
Writing allowed knowledge to be preserved and passed on to the next generations Writing facilitated advancements in such fields as general learning, science, and literature

5 3. Describe the social hierarchy of Mesopotamia?
Nobles- included the king and royal family, chief priests, and high palace officials who rose to power through battlefield success Clients- included free men and women who were dependent on the nobility and exchanged labor for small plots of land from the nobility- this was an early form of feudalism Commoners- included free citizens independent ofthe nobility who belonged to large patriarchal families who owned their own land Slaves- included foreigners, prisoners of war, criminals, and debtors- slaves were property of their owners but could negotiate their freedom

6 4. What were King Hammurabi's goals for Mesopotamia?
Secure Babylon with victories over Assyria, Sumer, and Akkad Unify Mesopotamia under one leader Win a place for Babylon in Mesopotamian culture- through conquest and the commerce of Babylonian merchants the culture, ideas, and practice of Mesopotamia began to spread to Anatolia, Syria, and Palestine

7 5. What were the basic principles of Hammurabi's Code?
Laws were proclaimed on divine authority- "to establish law and justice in the language of the land, thereby promoting the welfare of the people" Code demands the punishment fit the crime- "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" "Eye for an eye" applied among equals whereas fines could be imposed in class difference Laws differed according to the social status of the offender- Aristocrats were not punished as harshly as commoners, nor the commoners as harshly as slaves

8 6. How did Hammurabi's Code deal with legal procedures?
Individuals brought their own complaints Written documents or witnesses were needed to support a cause Punishment was harsh for false accusations

9 7. How did Hammurabi's Code deal with witchcraft?
Anyone accused of witchcraft underwent an ordeal by water Accused were thrown in the Euphrates- if they sank: they were guilty, if they floated they were innocent It was believed that the ordeal would allow the gods render legal decision

10 8. How did Hammurabi's Code deal with consumer protection?
Merchants and businessmen had to guarantee the quality of their goods and services through repair at their own expense or even with their life

11 9. How did Hammurabi's Code deal with agricultural laws?
Rent was paid with a portion of the crop Failure to work the land or maintain irrigation canals was punishable by having to cover the cost of damages to the property of others Those who could not afford to pay were forced into slavery

12 10. How did Hammurabi's Code deal with marriage?
Treated as a business agreement between families- contracts were signed Dowry remained the property of the wife but was managed by the husband Adultery by women was punishable by death

13 11. How did Hammurabi's Code deal with family?
Women and children could be sold into slavery to payoff debts A father could not disinherit a son without just cause- it was left to the government to decide such legal cases Laws restricted women's role in the commercial world, but if was often overlooked

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