When Anu the Sublime, King
of the Anunaki, and Bel,
the lord of Heaven and earth, who decreed the fate of the land, assigned to Marduk, the over-ruling son of Ea, God of righteousness,
dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Igigi,
they called Babylon by his illustrious name, made it great on earth, and
founded an everlasting kingdom in it, whose foundations are laid so solidly
as those of heaven and earth; then Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who
feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy
the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak;
so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and
enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.
Hammurabi, the prince, called of Bel
am I, making riches and increase, enriching Nippur and Dur-ilu
beyond compare, sublime patron of E-kur; who reestablished Eridu and
purified the worship of E-apsu; who conquered the
four quarters of the world, made great the name of Babylon, rejoiced the
heart of Marduk, his lord who daily pays his
devotions in Saggil; the royal scion whom Sin made;
who enriched Ur; the humble, the reverent, who brings wealth to Gish-shir-gal; the white king, heard of Shamash, the mighty,
who again laid the foundations of Sippara; who
clothed the gravestones of Malkat with green; who
made E-babbar great, which is like the heavens, the
warrior who guarded Larsa and renewed E-babbar, with Shamash as his helper; the lord who granted
new life to Uruk, who brought plenteous water to
its inhabitants, raised the head of E-anna, and
perfected the beauty of Anu and Nana; shield of the
land, who reunited the scattered inhabitants of Isin;
who richly endowed E-gal-mach; the protecting king of the city, brother of
the god Zamama; who firmly founded the farms of
Kish, crowned E-me-te-ursag
with glory, redoubled the great holy treasures of Nana, managed the temple of
Harsag-kalama; the grave of the enemy, whose help
brought about the victory; who increased the power of Cuthah;
made all glorious in E-shidlam, the black steer,
who gored the enemy; beloved of the god Nebo, who rejoiced the inhabitants of
Borsippa, the Sublime; who is indefatigable for E-zida; the divine king of the city; the White, Wise; who
broadened the fields of Dilbat, who heaped up the harvests for Urash;
the Mighty, the lord to whom come scepter and
crown, with which he clothes himself; the Elect of Ma-ma; who fixed the
temple bounds of Kesh, who made rich the holy
feasts of Nin-tu; the provident, solicitous, who
provided food and drink for Lagash and Girsu, who
provided large sacrificial offerings for the temple of Ningirsu;
who captured the enemy, the Elect of the oracle who fulfilled the prediction
of Hallab, who rejoiced the heart of Anunit; the pure prince, whose prayer is accepted by Adad; who satisfied the heart of Adad,
the warrior, in Karkar, who restored the vessels
for worship in E-ud-gal-gal; the king who granted
life to the city of Adab; the guide of E-mach; the
princely king of the city, the irresistible warrior, who granted life to the
inhabitants of Mashkanshabri, and brought abundance
to the temple of Shidlam; the White, Potent, who
penetrated the secret cave of the bandits, saved the inhabitants of Malka from misfortune, and fixed their home fast in
wealth; who established pure sacrificial gifts for Ea and Dam-gal-nun-na, who made his kingdom everlastingly great; the
princely king of the city, who subjected the districts on the Ud-kib-nun-na
Canal to the sway of Dagon, his Creator; who spared the inhabitants of Mera and Tutul; the sublime
prince, who makes the face of Ninni shine; who
presents holy meals to the divinity of Nin-a-zu,
who cared for its inhabitants in their need, provided a portion for them in
Babylon in peace; the shepherd of the oppressed and of the slaves; whose
deeds find favor before Anunit,
who provided for Anunit in the temple of Dumash in the suburb of Agade; who recognizes the right,
who rules by law; who gave back to the city of Ashur
its protecting god; who let the name of Ishtar of Nineveh remain in E-mish-mish; the Sublime, who
humbles himself before the great gods; successor of Sumula-il;
the mighty son of Sin-muballit; the royal scion of
Eternity; the mighty monarch, the sun of Babylon, whose rays shed light over
the land of Sumer and Akkad; the king, obeyed by the four quarters of the
world; Beloved of Ninni, am I.
When Marduk sent me to rule over
men, to give the protection of right to the land, I did right and
righteousness in . . . , and brought about the well-being of the oppressed.
THE CODE OF LAWS
- 1. If a man has accused another of laying a nertu [death spell?] upon him, but has not
proved it, he shall be put to death.
- 2. If a man has accused another of laying a kispu [spell] upon him, but has not proved
it, the accused shall go to the sacred river, he shall plunge into the
sacred river, and if the river shall conquer him, he that accused him
shall take possession of his house. If the sacred river shall show his
innocence and he is saved, his accuser shall be put to death. He that
plunged into the sacred river shall appropriate the house of him that
- 3. If a man has borne false witness in a trial,
or has not established the statement that he has made, if that case be a
capital trial, that man shall be put to death.
- 4. If he has borne false witness in a civil law
case, he shall pay the damages in that suit.
- 5. If a judge has given a verdict, rendered a
decision, granted a written judgment, and afterward has altered his
judgment, that judge shall be prosecuted for altering the judgment he
gave and shall pay twelvefold the penalty laid down in that judgment.
Further, he shall be publicly expelled from his judgment-seat and shall
not return nor take his seat with the judges at a trial.
- 6. If a man has stolen goods from a temple, or
house, he shall be put to death; and he that has received the stolen
property from him shall be put to death.
- 7. If a man has bought or received on deposit
from a minor or a slave, either silver, gold,
male or female slave, ox, ass, or sheep, or anything else, except by
consent of elders, or power of attorney, he shall be put to death for
- 8. If a patrician has stolen ox, sheep, ass,
pig, or ship, whether from a temple, or a house, he shall pay
thirtyfold. If he be a plebeian, he shall return tenfold. If the thief
cannot pay, he shall be put to death.
- 9. If a man has lost property and some of it be
detected in the possession of another, and the holder has said, "A
man sold it to me, I bought it in the presence of witnesses"; and
if the claimant has said, "I can bring witnesses who know it to be
property lost by me"; then the alleged buyer on his part shall
produce the man who sold it to him and the witnesses before whom he
bought it; the claimant shall on his part produce the witnesses who know
it to be his lost property. The judge shall examine their pleas. The
witnesses to the sale and the witnesses who identify the lost property
shall state on oath what they know. Such a seller is the thief and shall
be put to death. The owner of the lost property shall recover his lost
buyer shall recoup himself from the seller's estate.
- 10. If the alleged buyer on his part has not
produced the seller or the witnesses before whom the sale took place,
but the owner of the lost property on his part has produced the
witnesses who identify it as his, then the [pretended] buyer is the
thief; he shall be put to death. The owner of the lost property shall
take his lost property.
- 11. If, on the other hand, the claimant of the
lost property has not brought the witnesses that know his lost property,
he has been guilty of slander, he has stirred up strife, he shall be put to death.
- 12. If the seller has in the meantime died, the
buyer shall take from his estate fivefold the value sued for.
- 13. If a man has not his witnesses at hand, the
judge shall set him a fixed time not exceeding six months, and if within
six months he has not produced his witnesses, the man has lied; he shall
bear the penalty of the suit.
- 14. If a man has stolen a child, he shall be
put to death.
- 15. If a man has induced either a male or a
female slave from the house of a patrician, or plebeian, to leave the
city, he shall be put to death.
- 16. If a man has harbored
in his house a male or female slave from a patrician's or plebeian's
house, and has not caused the fugitive to leave on the demand of the
officer over the slaves condemned to public forced labor,
that householder shall be put to death.
- 17. If a man has caught either a male or female
runaway slave in the open field and has brought him back to his owner,
the owner of the slave shall give him two shekels of silver.
- 18. If such a slave will not name his owner,
his captor shall bring him to the palace, where he shall be examined as
to his past and returned to his owner.
- 19. If the captor has secreted that slave in
his house and afterward that slave has been caught in his possession, he
shall be put to death.
- 20. If the slave has fled from the hands of his
captor, the latter shall swear to the owner of the slave and he shall be
free from blame.
- 21. If a man has broken into a house he shall
be killed before the breach and buried there.
- 22. If a man has committed highway robbery and
has been caught, that man shall be put to death.
- 23. If the highwayman has not been caught, the
man that has been robbed shall state on oath what he has lost and the
city or district governor in whose territory or district the robbery
took place shall restore to him what he lost.
- 24. If a life [has been lost], the city or
district governor shall pay one mina of silver to the deceased's
- 25. If a fire has broken out in a man's house
and one who has come to put it out has coveted the property of the
householder and appropriated any of it, that man shall be cast into the
- ... [The creator of this site omits sections 26
through 65 and sections 100 through 127. The intervening sections 66
through 99 appear to be erased and not decipherable on the stone.]
- 128. If a man has taken a wife and has not
executed a marriage contract, that woman is not a wife.
- 129. If a man's wife be caught lying with
another, they shall be strangled and cast into the water. If the wife's
husband would save his wife, the king can save his servant.
- 130. If a man has ravished another's betrothed
wife, who is a virgin, while still living in her father's house, and has
been caught in the act, that man shall be put to death; the woman shall
- 131. If a man's wife has been accused by her
husband, and has not been caught lying with another, she shall swear her
innocence, and return to her house.
- 132. If a man's wife has the finger pointed at
her on account of another, but has not been caught lying with him, for
her husband's sake she shall plunge into the sacred river.
- 133. If a man has been taken captive, and there
was maintenance in his house, but his wife has left her house and
entered another man's house; because that woman has not preserved her
body, and has entered into the house of another, that woman shall be
prosecuted and shall be drowned.
- 134. If a man has been taken captive, but there
was not maintenance in his house, and his wife has entered into the
house of another, that woman has no blame.
- 135. If a man has been taken captive, but there
was no maintenance in his house for his wife, and she has entered into
the house of another, and has borne him children, if in the future her
[first] husband shall return and regain his city, that woman shall
return to her first husband, but the children shall follow their own father.
- 136. If a man has left his city and fled, and,
after he has gone, his wife has entered into the house of another; if
the man return and seize his wife, the wife of the fugitive shall not
return to her husband, because he hated his city and fled.
- 137. If a man has determined to divorce a
concubine who has borne him children, or a votary who has granted him
children, he shall return to that woman her marriage-portion, and shall
give her the usufruct of field, garden, and goods, to bring up her children.
After her children have grown up, out of whatever is given to her
children, they shall give her one son's share, and the husband of her
choice shall marry her.
- 138. If a man has divorced his wife, who has
not borne him children, he shall pay over to her as much money as was
given for her bride-price and the marriage-portion which she brought
from her father's house, and so shall divorce her.
- 139. If there was no bride-price, he shall give
her one mina of silver, as a price of divorce.
- 140. If he be a plebeian, he shall give her
one-third of a mina of silver.
- 141. If a man's wife, living in her husband's
house, has persisted in going out, has acted the fool, has wasted her
house, has belittled her husband, he shall prosecute her. If her husband
has said, "I divorce her," she shall go her way; he shall give
her nothing as her price of divorce. If her husband has said, "I
will not divorce her," he may take another woman to wife; the wife
shall live as a slave in her husband's house.
- 142. If a woman has hated her husband and has
said, "You shall not possess me," her past shall be inquired
into, as to what she lacks. If she has been discreet, and has no vice,
and her husband has gone out, and has greatly belittled her, that woman
has no blame, she shall take her
marriage-portion and go off to her father's house.
- 143. If she has not been discreet, has gone
out, ruined her house, belittled her husband, she shall be drowned.
- 144. If a man has married a votary,
and that votary has given a maid to her husband, and so caused him to
have children, and, if that man is inclined to marry a concubine, that
man shall not be allowed to do so, he shall not marry a concubine.
- 145. If a man has married a votary, and she has
not granted him children, and he is determined to marry a concubine,
that man shall marry the concubine, and bring her into his house, but
the concubine shall not place herself on an equality with the votary.
- 146. If a man has married a votary, and she has
given a maid to her husband, and the maid has borne children, and if
afterward that maid has placed herself on an equality with her mistress,
because she has borne children, her mistress shall not sell her, she
shall place a slave-mark upon her, and reckon her with the slave-girls.
- 147. If she has not borne children, her
mistress shall sell her.
- 148. If a man has married a wife and a disease
has seized her, if he is determined to marry a second wife, he shall
marry her. He shall not divorce the wife whom the disease has seized. In
the home they made together she shall dwell, and he shall maintain her
as long as she lives.
- 149. If that woman was not pleased to stay in
her husband's house, he shall pay over to her the marriage-portion which
she brought from her father's house, and she shall go away.
- 150. If a man has presented field, garden,
house, or goods to his wife, has granted her a deed of gift, her
children, after her husband's death, shall not dispute her right; the
mother shall leave it after her death to that one of her children whom
she loves best. She shall not leave it to her kindred.
- 151. If a woman, who is living in a man's
house, has persuaded her husband to bind himself, and grant her a deed
to the effect that she shall not be held for debt by a creditor of her
husband's; if that man had a debt upon him before he married that woman,
his creditor shall not take his wife for it. Also, if that woman had a
debt upon her before she entered that man's house, her creditor shall
not take her husband for it.
- 152. From the time that the woman entered into
the man's house they together shall be liable for all debts subsequently
- 153. If a man's wife, for the sake of another,
has caused her husband to be killed, that woman shall be impaled.
- 154. If a man has committed incest with his
daughter, that man shall be banished from the city.
- 155. If a man has betrothed a maiden to his son
and his son has known her, and afterward the man has lain in her bosom,
and been caught, that man shall be strangled and she shall be cast into
- 156. If a man has betrothed a maiden to his
son, and his son has not known her, and that man has lain in her bosom,
he shall pay her half a mina of silver, and shall pay over to her
whatever she brought from her father's house, and the husband of her
choice shall marry her.
- 157. If a man, after his father's death, has
lain in the bosom of his mother, they shall both of them be burnt
- 158. If a man, after his father's death, be
caught in the bosom of his step-mother, who has borne children, that man
shall be cut off from his father's house.
- 159. If a man, who has presented a gift to the
house of his prospective father-in-law and has given the bride-price,
has afterward looked upon another woman and has said to his father-in-law,
"I will not marry your daughter"; the father of the girl shall
keep whatever he has brought as a present.
- 160. If a man has presented a gift to the house
of his prospective father-in-law, and has given the bride-price, but the
father of the girl has said, "I will not give you my
daughter," the father shall return double all that was presented
- 161. If a man has presented a gift to the house
of his prospective father-in-law, and has given the bride price, but his
comrade has slandered him and his father-in-law has said to the suitor,
"You shall not marry my daughter," [the father] shall return
double all that was presented him. Further, the comrade shall not marry the girl.
- 162. If a man has married a wife, and she has
borne him children, and that woman has gone to her fate, her father
shall lay no claim to her marriage-portion. Her marriage-portion is her children's only.
- 163. If a man has married a wife, and she has
not borne him children, and that woman has gone to her fate; if his
father-in-law has returned to him the bride-price, which that man
brought into the house of his father-in-law, her husband shall have no
claim on the marriage portion of that woman. Her marriage-portion indeed belongs to her father's house.
- 164. If the father-in-law has not returned the
bride-price, the husband shall deduct the amount of her bride-price from
her marriage-portion, and shall return her marriage-portion to her
- 165. If a man has presented field, garden, or
house to his son, the first in his eyes, and has written him a deed of
gift; after the father has gone to his fate, when the brothers share, he
shall keep the present his father gave him, and over and above shall
share equally with them in the goods of his father's estate.
- 166. If a man has taken wives for the other
sons he had, but has not taken a wife for his young son, after the
father has gone to his fate, when the brothers share, they shall set
aside from the goods of their father's estate money, as a bride-price,
for their young brother, who has not married a wife, over and above his
share, and they shall cause him to take a wife.
- 167. If a man has taken a wife, and she has
borne him children and that woman has gone to her fate, and he has taken
a second wife, and she also has borne children; after the father has
gone to his fate, the sons shall not share according to mothers, but
each family shall take the marriage-portion of its mother, and all shall
share the goods of the father's estate equally.
- 168. If a man has determined to disinherit his
son and has declared before the judge, "I cut off my son," the
judge shall inquire into the son's past, and, if the son has not
committed a grave misdemeanor such as should
cut him off from sonship, the father shall
[not] disinherit the son.
[The word "not" as inserted here does not occur in the
original C. H. W. Johns text, and is inserted by the creator of this
- 169. If he has committed a grave crime against
his father, which cuts off from sonship, for the first offense he shall pardon him.
If he has committed a grave crime a second time, the father shall cut
off his son from sonship.
- ...[The creator of this site omits sections 170 through 191.]
- 192. If the son of a palace favorite
or the son of a vowed woman has said to the father that brought him up,
"You are not my father," or to the mother that brought him up,
"You are not my mother," his tongue shall be cut out.
- 193. If the son of a palace favorite
or the son of a vowed woman has come to know his father's house and has
hated his father that brought him up, or his mother that brought him up,
and shall go off to his father's house, his eyes shall be torn out.
- 194. If a man has given his son to a wet-nurse
to suckle, and that son has died in the hands of the nurse, and the
nurse, without consent of the child's father or mother, has nursed
another child, they shall prosecute her; because she has nursed another
child, without consent of the father or mother, her breasts shall be cut
- 195. If a son has struck his father, his hands
shall be cut off.
- 196. If a man has knocked out the eye of a
patrician, his eye shall be knocked out.
- 197. If he has broken the limb of a patrician,
his limb shall be broken.
- 198. If he has knocked out the eye of a
plebeian or has broken the limb of a plebeian, he shall pay one mina of
- 199. If he has knocked out the eye of a
patrician's servant, or broken the limb of a patrician's servant, he
shall pay half his value.
- 200. If a patrician has knocked out the tooth
of a man that is his equal, his tooth shall be knocked out.
- 201. If he has knocked out the tooth of a
plebeian, he shall pay one-third of a mina of silver.
- 202. If a man has smitten the privates of a
man, higher in rank than he, he shall be sourged
with sixty blows of an ox-hide scourge, in the assembly.
- 203. If a man has smitten the privates of a
patrician of his own rank, he shall pay one mina of silver.
- 204. If a plebeian has smitten the privates of
a plebeian, he shall pay ten shekels of silver.
- 205. If a slave of anyone has smitten the
privates of a free-born man, his ear shall be cut off.
- 206. If a man has struck another in a quarrel,
and caused him a permanent injury, that man shall swear, "I struck
him without malice," and shall pay the doctor.
- 207. If he has died of his blows, [the man]
shall swear [similarly], and pay one-half a mina of silver; or,
- 208. If [the deceased] was a plebeian, he shall
pay one-third of a mina of silver.
- 209. If a man has struck a free woman with
child, and has caused her to miscarry, he shall pay ten shekels for her
- 210. If that woman die,
his daughter shall be killed.
- 211. If it be the daughter of a plebeian, that has miscarried through his blows, he
shall pay five shekels of silver.
- 212. If that woman die,
he shall pay half a mina of silver.
- 213. If he has struck a man's maid and caused
her to miscarry, he shall pay two shekels of silver.
- 214. If that woman die,
he shall pay one-third of a mina of silver.
- 215. If a surgeon has operated with the bronze
lancet on a patrician for a serious injury, and has cured him, or has
removed with a bronze lancet a cataract for a patrician, and has cured
his eye, he shall take ten shekels of silver.
- 216. If it be a plebeian, he shall take five
shekels of silver.
- 217. If it be a man's slave, the owner of the
slave shall give two shekels of silver to the surgeon.
- 218. If a surgeon has operated with the bronze
lancet on a patrician for a serious injury, and has caused his death, or
has removed a cataract for a patrician, with the bronze lancet, and has
made him lose his eye, his hands shall be cut off.
- 219. If the surgeon has treated a serious
injury of a plebeian's slave, with the bronze lancet, and has caused his
death, he shall render slave for slave.
- 220. If he has removed a cataract with the
bronze lancet, and made the slave lose his eye, he shall pay half his
- 221. If a surgeon has cured the limb of a
patrician, or has doctored a diseased bowel, the patient shall pay five
shekels of silver to the surgeon.
- 222. If he be a plebeian, he shall pay three
shekels of silver.
- 223. If he be a man's slave, the owner of the
slave shall give two shekels of silver to the doctor.
- 224. If a veterinary surgeon has treated an ox,
or an ass, for a severe injury, and cured it, the owner of the ox, or
the ass, shall pay the surgeon one-sixth of a shekel of silver, as his
- 225. If he has treated an ox, or an ass, for a
severe injury, and caused it to die, he shall pay one-quarter of its
value to the owner of the ox, or the ass.
- 226. If a brander has cut out a mark on a
slave, without the consent of his owner, that brander shall have his
hands cut off.
- 227. If someone has deceived the brander, and
induced him to cut out a mark on a slave, that man shall be put to death
and buried in his house; the brander shall swear, "I did not mark
him knowingly," and shall go free.
- 228. If a builder has built a house for a man,
and finished it, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels of silver, for
each SAR built on.
- 229. If a builder has built a house for a man,
and has not made his work sound, and the house
he built has fallen, and caused the death of its owner, that builder
shall be put to death.
- 230. If it is the owner's son that is killed,
the builder's son shall be put to death.
- 231. If it is the slave of the owner that is
killed, the builder shall give slave for slave to the owner of the
- 232. If he has caused the loss of goods, he
shall render back whatever he has destroyed. Moreover, because he did
not make sound the house he built, and it fell, at his own cost he shall
rebuild the house that fell.
- 233. If a builder has built a house for a man,
and has not keyed his work, and the wall has fallen, that builder shall
make that wall firm at his own expense.
- 234. If a boatman has built a boat of sixty GUR
for a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels of silver.
- 235. If a boatman has built a boat for a man,
and has not made his work sound, and in that same year that boat is sent
on a voyage and suffers damage, the boatman shall rebuild that boat,
and, at his own expense, shall make it strong, or shall give a strong
boat to the owner.
- 236. If a man has let his boat to a boatman,
and the boatman has been careless and the boat has been sunk or lost,
the boatman shall restore a boat to the owner.
- 237. If a man has hired a boat and boatman, and
loaded it with corn, wool, oil, or dates, or whatever it be, and the boatman has been careless, and sunk the
boat, or lost what is in it, the boatman shall restore the boat which he
sank, and whatever he lost that was in it.
- 238. If a boatman has sunk a man's boat, and
has floated it again, he shall pay half its value in silver.
- 239. If a man has hired a boatman, he shall pay
him six GUR of corn yearly.
- 240. If a boat, on its course, has run into a
boat at anchor, and sunk it, the owner of the boat that was sunk shall
estimate on oath whatsoever was lost in his boat, and the owner of the
moving vessel, which sank the boat at anchor, shall make good his boat
and what was lost in it.
- ...[The creator of this site omits sections 241 through 277.]
- 278. If a man has bought a male or female slave
and the slave has not fulfilled his month, but the bennu
disease has fallen upon him, he shall return the slave to the seller and
the buyer shall take back the money he paid.
- 279. If a man has bought a male or female slave
and a claim has been raised, the seller shall answer the claim.
- 280. If a man, in a foreign land, has bought a
male, or female, slave of another, and if when he has come home the
owner of the male or female slave has recognized his slave, and if the
slave be a native of the land, he shall grant him liberty without money.
- 281. If the slave was a native of another
country, the buyer shall declare on oath the amount of money he paid,
and the owner of the slave shall repay the merchant what he paid and
keep his slave.
- 282. If a slave has said to his master,
"You are not my master," he shall be brought to account as his
slave, and his master shall cut off his ear.
Laws of justice which Hammurabi, the wise king, established. A
righteous law, and pious statute did he teach the land.
Hammurabi, the protecting king am
I have not withdrawn myself from the men, whom Bel gave to me, the rule over whom Marduk
gave to me, I was not negligent, but I made them a peaceful abiding-place. I
expounded all great difficulties, I made the light
shine upon them. With the mighty weapons which Zamama
and Ishtar entrusted to me, with the keen vision with which Ea endowed me,
with the wisdom that Marduk gave me, I have
uprooted the enemy above and below (in north and south), subdued the earth, brought
prosperity to the land, guaranteed security to the inhabitants in their
homes; a disturber was not permitted.
The great gods have called me, I am the salvation-bearing
shepherd, whose staff is straight, the good shadow that is spread over my city;
on my breast I cherish the inhabitants of the land of Sumer and Akkad; in my
shelter I have let them repose in peace; in my deep wisdom have I enclosed
them. That the strong might not injure the weak, in order to protect the
widows and orphans, I have in Babylon the city where Anu
and Bel raise high their head, in E-Sagil, the Temple, whose foundations stand firm as heaven
and earth, in order to declare justice in the land, to settle all disputes,
and heal all injuries, set up these my precious words, written upon my
memorial stone, before the image of me, as king of righteousness.
The king who rules among the kings of the cities am I. My words are well considered; there is no wisdom
like mine. By the command of Shamash, the great judge of heaven and earth,
let righteousness go forth in the land: by the order of Marduk,
my lord, let no destruction befall my monument. In E-Sagil,
which I love, let my name be ever repeated; let the oppressed, who have a
case at law, come and stand before this my image as king of righteousness;
let him read the inscription, and understand my precious words: the
inscription will explain his case to him; he will find out what is just, and
his heart will be glad, so that he will say:
"Hammurabi is a ruler, who is as a father to his
subjects, who holds the words of Marduk in
reverence, who has achieved conquest for Marduk
over the north and south, who rejoices the heart of Marduk,
his lord, who has bestowed benefits for ever and
ever on his subjects, and has established order in the land."
When he reads the record, let him pray with full heart to Marduk, my lord, and Zarpanit,
my lady; the lord, who fixes destiny, whose command can
not be altered, who has made my kingdom great, order a rebellion which
his hand can not control; may he let the wind of
the overthrow of his habitation blow, may he ordain the years of his rule in
groaning, years of scarcity, years of famine, darkness without light, death
with seeing eyes be fated to him; may he (Bel)
order with his potent mouth the destruction of his city, the dispersion of
his subjects, the cutting off of his rule, the removal of his name and memory
from the land.
May Belit, the great Mother,
whose command is potent in E-Kur, the Mistress, who
harkens graciously to my petitions, in the seat of judgment and decision,
turn his affairs evil before Bel, and put the
devastation of his land, the destruction of his subjects, the pouring out of
his life like water into the mouth of King Bel.
May Ea, the great ruler, whose fated decrees come to pass,
the thinker of the gods, the omniscient, who makes long the days of my life,
withdraw understanding and wisdom from him, lead him to forgetfulness, shut
up his rivers at their sources, and not allow corn or sustenance for man to
grow in his land.
May Shamash, the great Judge of heaven and earth, who
supports all means of livelihood, Lord of life-courage, shatter his dominion,
annul his law, destroy his way, make vain the march of his troops, send him
in his visions forecasts of the uprooting of the foundations of his throne
and of the destruction of his land. May the condemnation of Shamash overtake
him; may he be deprived of water above among the living, and his spirit below
in the earth.
May Sin, the Lord of Heaven, the divine father, whose
crescent gives light among the gods, take away the crown and regal throne
from him; may he put upon him heavy guilt, great decay, that nothing may be
lower than he. May he destine him as fated, days, months and years of
dominion filled with sighing and tears, increase of the burden of dominion, a
life that is like unto death.
May Adad, the lord of
fruitfulness, ruler of heaven and earth, my helper, withhold from him rain
from heaven, and the flood of water from the springs, destroying his land by
famine and want; may he rage mightily over his city, and make his land into
flood-hills (heaps of ruined cities).
May Zamama, the great warrior,
the first-born son of E-Kur, who goes at my right
hand, shatter his weapons on the field of battle, turn day into night for
him, and let his foe triumph over him.
May Ishtar, the goddess of fighting and war, who unfetters
my weapons, my gracious protecting spirit, who loves my dominion, curse his
kingdom in her angry heart; in her great wrath, change his grace into evil,
and shatter his weapons on the place of fighting and war. May she create
disorder and sedition for him, strike down his warriors,
that the earth may drink their blood, and throw down the piles of
corpses of his warriors on the field; may she not grant him a life of mercy,
deliver him into the hands of his enemies, and imprison him in the land of
May Nergal, the might among the
gods, whose contest is irresistible, who grants me victory, in his great might
burn up his subjects like a slender reedstalk, cut
off his limbs with his mighty weapons, and shatter him like an earthen image.
May Nin-tu, the sublime mistress
of the lands, the fruitful mother, deny him a son, vouchsafe him no name, give him no successor among men.
May Nin-karak, the daughter of Anu, who adjudges grace to me, cause to come upon his
members in E-kur high fever, severe wounds, that can not be healed, whose nature the physician does not
understand, which he can not treat with dressing,
which, like the bite of death, can not be removed,
until they have sapped away his life.
May he lament the loss of his life-power, and may the great
gods of heaven and earth, the Anunaki, altogether
inflict a curse and evil upon the confines of the temple, the walls of this
E-barra (the Sun temple of Sippara),
upon his dominion, his land, his warriors, his subjects, and his troops. May Bel curse him with the potent curses of his mouth that can not be altered, and may they come upon him forthwith.
Translated by L.W. King (1910)