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Subject Magnificence
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Original Message
When the lofty Anu, King of the Anunaki and Bel, Lord of Heaven and Earth, He who determines the destiny of the land, committed the rule of all mankind to Marduk; when they pronounced the lofty name of Babylon; when they made it famous among the quarters of the world and in its midst established an everlasting kindgom whose foundations were as firm as Heaven and Earth-

At that time Anu and Bel called me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, the worshipper of the gods, to cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil, to prevent the strong from oppresing the weak, to enlighten the land and to further the welfare of the people.

Hammurabi, the governor named by Bel, am I, who brought about plenty and abundance; who made everything for Nippur and Durilu complete; who gave life to the city of Uruk; who supplied water in abundance to its inhabitants; who made the city of Borsippa beautiful; who stored up grain for the mighty Urash; who helped his people in time of need; who establishes in security their property in Babylon; the governor of the people, the servant, whose deeds are pleasing to Anunit.


[285 laws covering trade, slaves, workers, criminal laws, military service, and religion, including the Lex Talonis (law #196), inscribed on a 7 1/2 foot tall basalt stone]


The righteous laws which Hammurabi, the wise king, established, and by which he gave the land stable support and pure government. I am the guardian governor. In my bosom I carried the people of the land of Sumer and Akkad; in my wisdom I restrained them, that the strong might not oppress the weak, and that they should give justice to the orphan and the widow.

Let any oppressed man, who has a cause, come before my image as king of righteousness! Let him read the inscription on my monument! Let him give heed to my weighty words! And may my monument enlighten him as to his cause, and may he understand his case! May he set his heart as ease, exclaiming: "Hammurabi indeed is a ruler who is like a real father to his people; he has established prosperity for his people for all time, and given a pure government to the land."

In the days that are yet to come, for all future time, may the king who is in the land observe the words of righteousness which I have written upon my monument!
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