This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol1 Introduction To The Study Of Law Legal History", by Albert H. Putney. Also see: Popular Law-Dictionary.
The Code of Hammurabi (Khammurabi) is the oldest code of laws now in existence, and in all probability the oldest extensive code ever drawn up by man. It greatly antedates the laws both of Moses and of Manu. The exact date of its creation is uncertain but was probably somewhere between two and three thousand years before Christ.
Although the Code of Hammurabi shows a surprisingly high development of the law, it is very far from representing the highest point reached by Babylonian law. This can be easily appreciated when we remember that the period which elapsed between the writing of this code and the final overthrow of Babylon by the Persians, is approximately equal to the total period so far included in the Christian era.
Extracts from the Code of Hammurabi will be found in Appendix A, to this subject. The provisions of the code are also made use of in the treatment in the following sections of the various branches of the Babylonian law.
1 Lee's Historical Jurisprudence, Part I, Chapter I.