Historical Reprints History Laws of Manu : The Code of Hammurabi

Laws of Manu : The Code of Hammurabi

Laws of Manu : The Code of Hammurabi
Catalog # SKU0836
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Buhler Manu & King Hammurabi


The Laws of Manu
The Code of Hammurabi

The Laws of Manu
c. 1500 BCE
translated by G. Buhler

The Code of Hammurabi
Translated by L.W. King

Excerpts: The Laws of Manu

"The Laws of Manu" is the English designation commonly applied to the "Manava Dharma-sastra", a metrical Sanskrit compendium of ancient sacred laws and customs held in the highest reverence by the orthodox adherents of Brahminism. The Brahmins themselves credit the work with a divine origin and a remote antiquity. Its reputed author is Manu, the mythical survivor of the Flood and father of the human race, the primitive teacher of sacred rites and laws, now enjoying in heaven the dignity of an omniscient deity.

The opening verses of the work tell how Manu was reverently approached in ancient times by the ten great sages and asked to declare to them the sacred laws of the castes and how he graciously acceded to their request by having the learned sage Bhrigu, whom he had carefully taught the metrical institutes of the sacred law, deliver to them this precious instruction.

The work thus pretends to be the dictation of Manu through the agency of Bhrigu; and as Manu learned it himself from the self-existent Brahma, its authorship purport to be divine. This pious Brahmin belief regarding the divine origin of the "Laws of Manu" is naturally not shared by the Oriental scholars of the western world. Even the rather remote date assigned to the work by Sir William Jones, 1200-500 B.C., has been very generally abandoned.

The weight of authority to-day is in favour of the view that the work in its present metrical form dates probably from the first or second century of the Christian era, though it may possibly be a century or two older. Most of its contents, however, may be safely given a much greater antiquity. Scholars are now pretty well agreed that the work is an amplified recast in verse of a "Dharma-sutra", no longer extant, that may have been in existence as early as 500 B.C.

Excerpts: The Code of Hammurabi

The discovery of Hammurabi's Code has raised him to a leading place in the roll of the greatest men of antiquity. This wonderful document was unearthed partly in Dec., 1901, and partly in Jan., 1902, by the French Délégation en Perse, under M. de Morgan, in their excavations at Susa, once the capital of Elam and, later, of Persia. The stele containing the Code is an obelisk-like block of black diorite measuring 7 ft. 4½ in. in height and 6 ft 9½ in. in circumference at the base.

With the exception of a large carving in relief on the upper end, it was once entirely convered with forty-four columns (over 3800 lines) of text in the old Babylonian wedge-writing. From the inscription we learn that it was engraved for the temple of Shamash at Sippar, and that another copy stood in the temple of Marduk in the city of Babylon, and the discovery of various fragments make it probable that more copies had been set up in different cities.

This stele, now in the Louvre Museum, was carried off from Sippar, about 1120 B. C., by Shutruk-Nahhunte, King of Elam, who set it in his capital as a trophy of his victory. To this circumstance should likely be attributed the chiseling away of some five columns of the text, probably to make place for a record of the Elamite ruler's triumphs, which, however, was never written. The relief carved at the upper end of the stele represents the king standing before the sun-god Shamash seated upon a throne, clothed in a flounced robe, wearing the swathed head-gear and holding in his hand the sceptre and ring.

Softbound, 420 pages
Two Books in One Volume

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