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The Laws of Hammurabi – At the Confluence of Royal and Scribal Traditions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Laws of Hammurabi: At the Confluence of Royal and Scribal Traditions

Pamela Barmash


The Laws of Hammurabi is one of the earliest law codes, dating from the eighteenth century BCE Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq). It is the culmination of a tradition in which scribes would demonstrate their legal flair by composing statutes on a repertoire of traditional cases, articulating what they deemed just and fair. The book describes how the scribe of the Laws of Hammurabi advanced beyond earlier scribes in composing statutes that manifest systematization and implicit legal principles. The scribe inserted the statutes into the structure of a royal inscription, skillfully reshaping the genre. ... More

Keywords: law, legal history, justice, Laws of Hammurabi, cuneiform culture, Mesopotamia, biblical law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197525401
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197525401.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Pamela Barmash, author
Professor, Washington University in St. Louis