A continuación se expone el téxto
íntegro del código de Hammurabí , trasladado al
Inglés por L.W.King., precedido de una selección
de artículos traducidos al español y comentados
por Miquel Ramis.
Como respuesta a aquellos profesores que nos
decían que era un código muy primitivo, de "ojo
por ojo y diente por diente", una selección
de artículos realmente notables:
2. "Si cualquiera acusa a un hombre y el
acusado va al rio y salta al agua, si se hunde
el acusador tomará posesión de su casa. Pero si
el rio prueba que el que el acusado no es culpable,
el acusador será muerto, mientras que el que saltó
al rio tomará posesión de la casa que hubiera
pertenecido al acusador." ( había que ser
muy cuidadoso con las denuncias...)
8. "Si cualquiera robara ganado o ovejas,
o un asno o cerdo o cabra, y perteneciera a Diós
o a la Corte, el ladrón pagará 30 veces su valor;
si perteneciera a un hombre liberado por el rey,
pagará 10 veces; y si el ladrón no tuviera nada
con que pagar, entonces sería muerto."
48. "Si uno tiene una deuda por un préstamo,
y la tormenta tumba el grano, o la cosecha falla,
o el grano no crece por falta de agua, en este
año el no necesita pagar a su creditor ningún
grano, lava su tablilla de deuda en agua y no
tiene que pagar renta por este año." ( de
interés para los seguros agrarios y los bancos
65. "Si un jardinero no trabaja en el jardín
(huerto) y la producción baja, entonces el jardinero
pagará en proporción a (la producción de) los
otros jardines de los alrededores."
112. "Si uno se vá de viaje, y confía plata,
oro, piedras preciosas o cualquier propiedad valiosa
a otro, y desea recuperarlo más tarde, y el otro
no le trae todas las propiedades al lugar designado,
sino que se las apropia para su propio uso, entonces
deberá pagar 5 veces el valor de lo que le había
sido confiado." ( de interés a los estafadores
115. "Si cualquier tiene una demanda con otro
por grano o dinero y le mete a prisión; y el prisionero
muere en prisión de muerte natural, el caso no
irá más allá." (de interés para bancos y
244. "Si uno alquila un burro o un asno,
y un leon lo mata en el campo, la perdida vá a
cargo del propietario." ( hoy en día tenemos
245. "Si uno alquila bueyes, y los mata
por malos tratos o golpes, compensará al propietario
buey por buey."
130. "Si un hombre viola a la mujer (novia
o mujer-niña) de otro hombre, que nunca ha conocido
a un hombre, y todavía vive en la casa de su padre.
y duerme con ella y es sorprendido, a este hombre
se le matará, pero la mujer es inocente."
Normas relacionadas con la construcción:
228. "Si un constructor construye una casa para
otro y la termina, se le dará un salario de 2 shekels
por cada sar de superfície." ( por tanto, cobraban
por metros cuadrados)
229 "Si un constructor construye una casa para
otro, y no la construye correctamente, y la casa cae
y mata a su propietario, entonces el constructor será
230. "Si mata al hijo del propietario, entonces
el hijo del constructor será muerto."
231. "Si mata al esclavo del propietario, entonces pagará esclavo por
esclavo al dueño de la casa. "
232. "Si hace que se arruinen bienes, compensará por todo lo que ha sido
arruinado, y porque el no construyó la casa adecuadamente
cuando la construyó y cayó, la volverá a levantar a
233. "Si un constructor construye una casa para otro, aunque no ha haya
terminado, si las paredes parecen tumbarse, el constructor
deberá hacer las paredes sólidas a sus expensas. "
Hammurabi's Code of Laws
Translated by L. W. King
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
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 any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him,
but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall
be put to death.
2. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and
the accused go to the river and leap into the river,
if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession
of his house. But if the river prove that the accused
is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had
brought the accusation shall be put to death, while
he who leaped into the river shall take possession of
the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before
the elders, and does not prove what he has charged,
he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put
4. If he satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain
or money, he shall receive the fine that the action
5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present
his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear
in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then
he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the
case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge's
bench, and never again shall he sit there to render
6. If any one steal the property of a temple or of
the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one
who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put
7. If any one buy from the son or the slave of another
man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold,
a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or
anything, or if he take it in charge, he is considered
a thief and shall be put to death.
8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or
a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court,
the thief shall pay thirtyfold therefor; if they belonged
to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if
the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be
put to death.
9. If any one lose an article, and find it in the possession
of another: if the person in whose possession the thing
is found say "A merchant sold it to me, I paid for it
before witnesses," and if the owner of the thing say,
"I will bring witnesses who know my property," then
shall the purchaser bring the merchant who sold it to
him, and the witnesses before whom he bought it, and
the owner shall bring witnesses who can identify his
property. The judge shall examine their testimony --
both of the witnesses before whom the price was paid,
and of the witnesses who identify the lost article on
oath. The merchant is then proved to be a thief and
shall be put to death. The owner of the lost article
receives his property, and he who bought it receives
the money he paid from the estate of the merchant.
10. If the purchaser does not bring the merchant and
the witnesses before whom he bought the article, but
its owner bring witnesses who identify it, then the
buyer is the thief and shall be put to death, and the
owner receives the lost article.
11. If the owner do not bring witnesses to identify
the lost article, he is an evil-doer, he has traduced,
and shall be put to death.
12. If the witnesses be not at hand, then shall the
judge set a limit, at the expiration of six months.
If his witnesses have not appeared within the six months,
he is an evil-doer, and shall bear the fine of the pending
14. If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall
be put to death.
15. If any one take a male or female slave of the court,
or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the
city gates, he shall be put to death.
16. If any one receive into his house a runaway male
or female slave of the court, or of a freedman, and
does not bring it out at the public proclamation of
the major domus, the master of the house shall be put
17. If any one find runaway male or female slaves in
the open country and bring them to their masters, the
master of the slaves shall pay him two shekels of silver.
18. If the slave will not give the name of the master,
the finder shall bring him to the palace; a further
investigation must follow, and the slave shall be returned
to his master.
19. If he hold the slaves in his house, and they are
caught there, he shall be put to death.
20. If the slave that he caught run away from him,
then shall he swear to the owners of the slave, and
he is free of all blame.
21. If any one break a hole into a house (break in
to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole
and be buried.
22. If any one is committing a robbery and is caught,
then he shall be put to death.
23. If the robber is not caught, then shall he who
was robbed claim under oath the amount of his loss;
then shall the community, and ... on whose ground and
territory and in whose domain it was compensate him
for the goods stolen.
24. If persons are stolen, then shall the community
and ... pay one mina of silver to their relatives.
25. If fire break out in a house, and some one who
comes to put it out cast his eye upon the property of
the owner of the house, and take the property of the
master of the house, he shall be thrown into that self-same
26. If a chieftain or a man (common soldier), who has
been ordered to go upon the king's highway for war does
not go, but hires a mercenary, if he withholds the compensation,
then shall this officer or man be put to death, and
he who represented him shall take possession of his
27. If a chieftain or man be caught in the misfortune
of the king (captured in battle), and if his fields
and garden be given to another and he take possession,
if he return and reaches his place, his field and garden
shall be returned to him, he shall take it over again.
28. If a chieftain or a man be caught in the misfortune
of a king, if his son is able to enter into possession,
then the field and garden shall be given to him, he
shall take over the fee of his father.
29. If his son is still young, and can not take possession,
a third of the field and garden shall be given to his
mother, and she shall bring him up.
30. If a chieftain or a man leave his house, garden,
and field and hires it out, and some one else takes
possession of his house, garden, and field and uses
it for three years: if the first owner return and claims
his house, garden, and field, it shall not be given
to him, but he who has taken possession of it and used
it shall continue to use it.
31. If he hire it out for one year and then return,
the house, garden, and field shall be given back to
him, and he shall take it over again.
32. If a chieftain or a man is captured on the "Way
of the King" (in war), and a merchant buy him free,
and bring him back to his place; if he have the means
in his house to buy his freedom, he shall buy himself
free: if he have nothing in his house with which to
buy himself free, he shall be bought free by the temple
of his community; if there be nothing in the temple
with which to buy him free, the court shall buy his
freedom. His field, garden, and house shall not be given
for the purchase of his freedom.
33. If a ... or a ... enter himself as withdrawn from
the "Way of the King," and send a mercenary as substitute,
but withdraw him, then the ... or ... shall be put to
34. If a ... or a ... harm the property of a captain,
injure the captain, or take away from the captain a
gift presented to him by the king, then the ... or ...
shall be put to death.
35. If any one buy the cattle or sheep which the king
has given to chieftains from him, he loses his money.
36. The field, garden, and house of a chieftain, of
a man, or of one subject to quit-rent, can not be sold.
37. If any one buy the field, garden, and house of
a chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent, his contract
tablet of sale shall be broken (declared invalid) and
he loses his money. The field, garden, and house return
to their owners.
38. A chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent can
not assign his tenure of field, house, and garden to
his wife or daughter, nor can he assign it for a debt.
39. He may, however, assign a field, garden, or house
which he has bought, and holds as property, to his wife
or daughter or give it for debt.
40. He may sell field, garden, and house to a merchant
(royal agents) or to any other public official, the
buyer holding field, house, and garden for its usufruct.
41. If any one fence in the field, garden, and house
of a chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent, furnishing
the palings therefor; if the chieftain, man, or one
subject to quit-rent return to field, garden, and house,
the palings which were given to him become his property.
42. If any one take over a field to till it, and obtain
no harvest therefrom, it must be proved that he did
no work on the field, and he must deliver grain, just
as his neighbor raised, to the owner of the field.
43. If he do not till the field, but let it lie fallow,
he shall give grain like his neighbor's to the owner
of the field, and the field which he let lie fallow
he must plow and sow and return to its owner.
44. If any one take over a waste-lying field to make
it arable, but is lazy, and does not make it arable,
he shall plow the fallow field in the fourth year, harrow
it and till it, and give it back to its owner, and for
each ten gan (a measure of area) ten gur of grain shall
45. If a man rent his field for tillage for a fixed
rental, and receive the rent of his field, but bad weather
come and destroy the harvest, the injury falls upon
the tiller of the soil.
46. If he do not receive a fixed rental for his field,
but lets it on half or third shares of the harvest,
the grain on the field shall be divided proportionately
between the tiller and the owner.
47. If the tiller, because he did not succeed in the
first year, has had the soil tilled by others, the owner
may raise no objection; the field has been cultivated
and he receives the harvest according to agreement.
48. If any one owe a debt for a loan, and a storm prostrates
the grain, or the harvest fail, or the grain does not
grow for lack of water; in that year he need not give
his creditor any grain, he washes his debt-tablet in
water and pays no rent for this year.
49. If any one take money from a merchant, and give
the merchant a field tillable for corn or sesame and
order him to plant corn or sesame in the field, and
to harvest the crop; if the cultivator plant corn or
sesame in the field, at the harvest the corn or sesame
that is in the field shall belong to the owner of the
field and he shall pay corn as rent, for the money he
received from the merchant, and the livelihood of the
cultivator shall he give to the merchant.
50. If he give a cultivated corn-field or a cultivated
sesame-field, the corn or sesame in the field shall
belong to the owner of the field, and he shall return
the money to the merchant as rent.
51. If he have no money to repay, then he shall pay
in corn or sesame in place of the money as rent for
what he received from the merchant, according to the
52. If the cultivator do not plant corn or sesame in
the field, the debtor's contract is not weakened.
53. If any one be too lazy to keep his dam in proper
condition, and does not so keep it; if then the dam
break and all the fields be flooded, then shall he in
whose dam the break occurred be sold for money, and
the money shall replace the corn which he has caused
to be ruined.
54. If he be not able to replace the corn, then he
and his possessions shall be divided among the farmers
whose corn he has flooded.
55. If any one open his ditches to water his crop,
but is careless, and the water flood the field of his
neighbor, then he shall pay his neighbor corn for his
56. If a man let in the water, and the water overflow
the plantation of his neighbor, he shall pay ten gur
of corn for every ten gan of land.
57. If a shepherd, without the permission of the owner
of the field, and without the knowledge of the owner
of the sheep, lets the sheep into a field to graze,
then the owner of the field shall harvest his crop,
and the shepherd, who had pastured his flock there without
permission of the owner of the field, shall pay to the
owner twenty gur of corn for every ten gan.
58. If after the flocks have left the pasture and been
shut up in the common fold at the city gate, any shepherd
let them into a field and they graze there, this shepherd
shall take possession of the field which he has allowed
to be grazed on, and at the harvest he must pay sixty
gur of corn for every ten gan.
59. If any man, without the knowledge of the owner
of a garden, fell a tree in a garden he shall pay half
a mina in money.
60. If any one give over a field to a gardener, for
him to plant it as a garden, if he work at it, and care
for it for four years, in the fifth year the owner and
the gardener shall divide it, the owner taking his part
61. If the gardener has not completed the planting
of the field, leaving one part unused, this shall be
assigned to him as his.
62. If he do not plant the field that was given over
to him as a garden, if it be arable land (for corn or
sesame) the gardener shall pay the owner the produce
of the field for the years that he let it lie fallow,
according to the product of neighboring fields, put
the field in arable condition and return it to its owner.
63. If he transform waste land into arable fields and
return it to its owner, the latter shall pay him for
one year ten gur for ten gan.
64. If any one hand over his garden to a gardener to
work, the gardener shall pay to its owner two-thirds
of the produce of the garden, for so long as he has
it in possession, and the other third shall he keep.
65. If the gardener do not work in the garden and the
product fall off, the gardener shall pay in proportion
to other neighboring gardens.
[The text for laws 66 through 99 is missing]
100. ... interest for the money, as much as he has
received, he shall give a note therefor, and on the
day, when they settle, pay to the merchant.
101. If there are no mercantile arrangements in the
place whither he went, he shall leave the entire amount
of money which he received with the broker to give to
102. If a merchant entrust money to an agent (broker)
for some investment, and the broker suffer a loss in
the place to which he goes, he shall make good the capital
to the merchant.
103. If, while on the journey, an enemy take away from
him anything that he had, the broker shall swear by
God and be free of obligation.
104. If a merchant give an agent corn, wool, oil, or
any other goods to transport, the agent shall give a
receipt for the amount, and compensate the merchant
therefor. Then he shall obtain a receipt form the merchant
for the money that he gives the merchant.
105. If the agent is careless, and does not take a
receipt for the money which he gave the merchant, he
can not consider the unreceipted money as his own.
106. If the agent accept money from the merchant, but
have a quarrel with the merchant (denying the receipt),
then shall the merchant swear before God and witnesses
that he has given this money to the agent, and the agent
shall pay him three times the sum.
107. If the merchant cheat the agent, in that as the
latter has returned to him all that had been given him,
but the merchant denies the receipt of what had been
returned to him, then shall this agent convict the merchant
before God and the judges, and if he still deny receiving
what the agent had given him shall pay six times the
sum to the agent.
108. If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept
corn according to gross weight in payment of drink,
but takes money, and the price of the drink is less
than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown
into the water.
109. If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper,
and these conspirators are not captured and delivered
to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.
110. If a "sister of a god" open a tavern, or enter
a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to
111. If an inn-keeper furnish sixty ka of usakani-drink
to ... she shall receive fifty ka of corn at the harvest.
112. If any one be on a journey and entrust silver,
gold, precious stones, or any movable property to another,
and wish to recover it from him; if the latter do not
bring all of the property to the appointed place, but
appropriate it to his own use, then shall this man,
who did not bring the property to hand it over, be convicted,
and he shall pay fivefold for all that had been entrusted
113. If any one have consignment of corn or money,
and he take from the granary or box without the knowledge
of the owner, then shall he who took corn without the
knowledge of the owner out of the granary or money out
of the box be legally convicted, and repay the corn
he has taken. And he shall lose whatever commission
was paid to him, or due him.
114. If a man have no claim on another for corn and
money, and try to demand it by force, he shall pay one-third
of a mina of silver in every case.
115. If any one have a claim for corn or money upon
another and imprison him; if the prisoner die in prison
a natural death, the case shall go no further.
116. If the prisoner die in prison from blows or maltreatment,
the master of the prisoner shall convict the merchant
before the judge. If he was a free-born man, the son
of the merchant shall be put to death; if it was a slave,
he shall pay one-third of a mina of gold, and all that
the master of the prisoner gave he shall forfeit.
117. If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and
sell himself, his wife, his son, and daughter for money
or give them away to forced labor: they shall work for
three years in the house of the man who bought them,
or the proprietor, and in the fourth year they shall
be set free.
118. If he give a male or female slave away for forced
labor, and the merchant sublease them, or sell them
for money, no objection can be raised.
119. If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and
he sell the maid servant who has borne him children,
for money, the money which the merchant has paid shall
be repaid to him by the owner of the slave and she shall
120. If any one store corn for safe keeping in another
person's house, and any harm happen to the corn in storage,
or if the owner of the house open the granary and take
some of the corn, or if especially he deny that the
corn was stored in his house: then the owner of the
corn shall claim his corn before God (on oath), and
the owner of the house shall pay its owner for all of
the corn that he took.
121. If any one store corn in another man's house he
shall pay him storage at the rate of one gur for every
five ka of corn per year.
122. If any one give another silver, gold, or anything
else to keep, he shall show everything to some witness,
draw up a contract, and then hand it over for safe keeping.
123. If he turn it over for safe keeping without witness
or contract, and if he to whom it was given deny it,
then he has no legitimate claim.
124. If any one deliver silver, gold, or anything else
to another for safe keeping, before a witness, but he
deny it, he shall be brought before a judge, and all
that he has denied he shall pay in full.
125. If any one place his property with another for
safe keeping, and there, either through thieves or robbers,
his property and the property of the other man be lost,
the owner of the house, through whose neglect the loss
took place, shall compensate the owner for all that
was given to him in charge. But the owner of the house
shall try to follow up and recover his property, and
take it away from the thief.
126. If any one who has not lost his goods state that
they have been lost, and make false claims: if he claim
his goods and amount of injury before God, even though
he has not lost them, he shall be fully compensated
for all his loss claimed. (I.e., the oath is all that
127. If any one "point the finger" (slander) at a sister
of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it,
this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow
shall be marked. (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair.)
128. If a man take a woman to wife, but have no intercourse
with her, this woman is no wife to him.
129. If a man's wife be surprised (in flagrante delicto)
with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into
the water, but the husband may pardon his wife and the
king his slaves.
130. If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife)
of another man, who has never known a man, and still
lives in her father's house, and sleep with her and
be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the
wife is blameless.
131. If a man bring a charge against one's wife, but
she is not surprised with another man, she must take
an oath and then may return to her house.
132. If the "finger is pointed" at a man's wife about
another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the
other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband.
133. If a man is taken prisoner in war, and there is
a sustenance in his house, but his wife leave house
and court, and go to another house: because this wife
did not keep her court, and went to another house, she
shall be judicially condemned and thrown into the water.
134. If any one be captured in war and there is not
sustenance in his house, if then his wife go to another
house this woman shall be held blameless.
135. If a man be taken prisoner in war and there be
no sustenance in his house and his wife go to another
house and bear children; and if later her husband return
and come to his home: then this wife shall return to
her husband, but the children follow their father.
136. If any one leave his house, run away, and then
his wife go to another house, if then he return, and
wishes to take his wife back: because he fled from his
home and ran away, the wife of this runaway shall not
return to her husband.
137. If a man wish to separate from a woman who has
borne him children, or from his wife who has borne him
children: then he shall give that wife her dowry, and
a part of the usufruct of field, garden, and property,
so that she can rear her children. When she has brought
up her children, a portion of all that is given to the
children, equal as that of one son, shall be given to
her. She may then marry the man of her heart.
138. If a man wishes to separate from his wife who
has borne him no children, he shall give her the amount
of her purchase money and the dowry which she brought
from her father's house, and let her go.
139. If there was no purchase price he shall give her
one mina of gold as a gift of release.
140. If he be a freed man he shall give her one-third
of a mina of gold.
141. If a man's wife, who lives in his house, wishes
to leave it, plunges into debt, tries to ruin her house,
neglects her husband, and is judicially convicted: if
her husband offer her release, she may go on her way,
and he gives her nothing as a gift of release. If her
husband does not wish to release her, and if he take
another wife, she shall remain as servant in her husband's
142. If a woman quarrel with her husband, and say:
"You are not congenial to me," the reasons for her prejudice
must be presented. If she is guiltless, and there is
no fault on her part, but he leaves and neglects her,
then no guilt attaches to this woman, she shall take
her dowry and go back to her father's house.
143. If she is not innocent, but leaves her husband,
and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this woman
shall be cast into the water.
144. If a man take a wife and this woman give her husband
a maid-servant, and she bear him children, but this
man wishes to take another wife, this shall not be permitted
to him; he shall not take a second wife.
145. If a man take a wife, and she bear him no children,
and he intend to take another wife: if he take this
second wife, and bring her into the house, this second
wife shall not be allowed equality with his wife.
146. If a man take a wife and she give this man a maid-servant
as wife and she bear him children, and then this maid
assume equality with the wife: because she has borne
him children her master shall not sell her for money,
but he may keep her as a slave, reckoning her among
147. If she have not borne him children, then her mistress
may sell her for money.
148. If a man take a wife, and she be seized by disease,
if he then desire to take a second wife he shall not
put away his wife, who has been attacked by disease,
but he shall keep her in the house which he has built
and support her so long as she lives.
149. If this woman does not wish to remain in her husband's
house, then he shall compensate her for the dowry that
she brought with her from her father's house, and she
150. If a man give his wife a field, garden, and house
and a deed therefor, if then after the death of her
husband the sons raise no claim, then the mother may
bequeath all to one of her sons whom she prefers, and
need leave nothing to his brothers.
151. If a woman who lived in a man's house made an
agreement with her husband, that no creditor can arrest
her, and has given a document therefor: if that man,
before he married that woman, had a debt, the creditor
can not hold the woman for it. But if the woman, before
she entered the man's house, had contracted a debt,
her creditor can not arrest her husband therefor.
152. If after the woman had entered the man's house,
both contracted a debt, both must pay the merchant.
153. If the wife of one man on account of another man
has their mates (her husband and the other man's wife)
murdered, both of them shall be impaled.
154. If a man be guilty of incest with his daughter,
he shall be driven from the place (exiled).
155. If a man betroth a girl to his son, and his son
have intercourse with her, but he (the father) afterward
defile her, and be surprised, then he shall be bound
and cast into the water (drowned).
156. If a man betroth a girl to his son, but his son
has not known her, and if then he defile her, he shall
pay her half a gold mina, and compensate her for all
that she brought out of her father's house. She may
marry the man of her heart.
157. If any one be guilty of incest with his mother
after his father, both shall be burned.
158. If any one be surprised after his father with
his chief wife, who has borne children, he shall be
driven out of his father's house.
159. If any one, who has brought chattels into his
father-in-law's house, and has paid the purchase-money,
looks for another wife, and says to his father-in-law:
"I do not want your daughter," the girl's father may
keep all that he had brought.
160. If a man bring chattels into the house of his
father-in-law, and pay the "purchase price" (for his
wife): if then the father of the girl say: "I will not
give you my daughter," he shall give him back all that
he brought with him.
161. If a man bring chattels into his father-in-law's
house and pay the "purchase price," if then his friend
slander him, and his father-in-law say to the young
husband: "You shall not marry my daughter," the he shall
give back to him undiminished all that he had brought
with him; but his wife shall not be married to the friend.
162. If a man marry a woman, and she bear sons to him;
if then this woman die, then shall her father have no
claim on her dowry; this belongs to her sons.
163. If a man marry a woman and she bear him no sons;
if then this woman die, if the "purchase price" which
he had paid into the house of his father-in-law is repaid
to him, her husband shall have no claim upon the dowry
of this woman; it belongs to her father's house.
164. If his father-in-law do not pay back to him the
amount of the "purchase price" he may subtract the amount
of the "Purchase price" from the dowry, and then pay
the remainder to her father's house.
165. If a man give to one of his sons whom he prefers
a field, garden, and house, and a deed therefor: if
later the father die, and the brothers divide the estate,
then they shall first give him the present of his father,
and he shall accept it; and the rest of the paternal
property shall they divide.
166. If a man take wives for his son, but take no wife
for his minor son, and if then he die: if the sons divide
the estate, they shall set aside besides his portion
the money for the "purchase price" for the minor brother
who had taken no wife as yet, and secure a wife for
167. If a man marry a wife and she bear him children:
if this wife die and he then take another wife and she
bear him children: if then the father die, the sons
must not partition the estate according to the mothers,
they shall divide the dowries of their mothers only
in this way; the paternal estate they shall divide equally
with one another.
168. If a man wish to put his son out of his house,
and declare before the judge: "I want to put my son
out," then the judge shall examine into his reasons.
If the son be guilty of no great fault, for which he
can be rightfully put out, the father shall not put
169. If he be guilty of a grave fault, which should
rightfully deprive him of the filial relationship, the
father shall forgive him the first time; but if he be
guilty of a grave fault a second time the father may
deprive his son of all filial relation.
170. If his wife bear sons to a man, or his maid-servant
have borne sons, and the father while still living says
to the children whom his maid-servant has borne: "My
sons," and he count them with the sons of his wife;
if then the father die, then the sons of the wife and
of the maid-servant shall divide the paternal property
in common. The son of the wife is to partition and choose.
171. If, however, the father while still living did
not say to the sons of the maid-servant: "My sons,"
and then the father dies, then the sons of the maid-servant
shall not share with the sons of the wife, but the freedom
of the maid and her sons shall be granted. The sons
of the wife shall have no right to enslave the sons
of the maid; the wife shall take her dowry (from her
father), and the gift that her husband gave her and
deeded to her (separate from dowry, or the purchase-money
paid her father), and live in the home of her husband:
so long as she lives she shall use it, it shall not
be sold for money. Whatever she leaves shall belong
to her children.
172. If her husband made her no gift, she shall be
compensated for her gift, and she shall receive a portion
from the estate of her husband, equal to that of one
child. If her sons oppress her, to force her out of
the house, the judge shall examine into the matter,
and if the sons are at fault the woman shall not leave
her husband's house. If the woman desire to leave the
house, she must leave to her sons the gift which her
husband gave her, but she may take the dowry of her
father's house. Then she may marry the man of her heart.
173. If this woman bear sons to her second husband,
in the place to which she went, and then die, her earlier
and later sons shall divide the dowry between them.
174. If she bear no sons to her second husband, the
sons of her first husband shall have the dowry.
175. If a State slave or the slave of a freed man marry
the daughter of a free man, and children are born, the
master of the slave shall have no right to enslave the
children of the free.
176. If, however, a State slave or the slave of a freed
man marry a man's daughter, and after he marries her
she bring a dowry from a father's house, if then they
both enjoy it and found a household, and accumulate
means, if then the slave die, then she who was free
born may take her dowry, and all that her husband and
she had earned; she shall divide them into two parts,
one-half the master for the slave shall take, and the
other half shall the free-born woman take for her children.
If the free-born woman had no gift she shall take all
that her husband and she had earned and divide it into
two parts; and the master of the slave shall take one-half
and she shall take the other for her children.
177. If a widow, whose children are not grown, wishes
to enter another house (remarry), she shall not enter
it without the knowledge of the judge. If she enter
another house the judge shall examine the state of the
house of her first husband. Then the house of her first
husband shall be entrusted to the second husband and
the woman herself as managers. And a record must be
made thereof. She shall keep the house in order, bring
up the children, and not sell the house-hold utensils.
He who buys the utensils of the children of a widow
shall lose his money, and the goods shall return to
178. If a "devoted woman" or a prostitute to whom her
father has given a dowry and a deed therefor, but if
in this deed it is not stated that she may bequeath
it as she pleases, and has not explicitly stated that
she has the right of disposal; if then her father die,
then her brothers shall hold her field and garden, and
give her corn, oil, and milk according to her portion,
and satisfy her. If her brothers do not give her corn,
oil, and milk according to her share, then her field
and garden shall support her. She shall have the usufruct
of field and garden and all that her father gave her
so long as she lives, but she can not sell or assign
it to others. Her position of inheritance belongs to
179. If a "sister of a god," or a prostitute, receive
a gift from her father, and a deed in which it has been
explicitly stated that she may dispose of it as she
pleases, and give her complete disposition thereof:
if then her father die, then she may leave her property
to whomsoever she pleases. Her brothers can raise no
180. If a father give a present to his daughter --
either marriageable or a prostitute (unmarriageable)
-- and then die, then she is to receive a portion as
a child from the paternal estate, and enjoy its usufruct
so long as she lives. Her estate belongs to her brothers.
181. If a father devote a temple-maid or temple-virgin
to God and give her no present: if then the father die,
she shall receive the third of a child's portion from
the inheritance of her father's house, and enjoy its
usufruct so long as she lives. Her estate belongs to
182. If a father devote his daughter as a wife of Mardi
of Babylon (as in 181), and give her no present, nor
a deed; if then her father die, then shall she receive
one-third of her portion as a child of her father's
house from her brothers, but Marduk may leave her estate
to whomsoever she wishes.
183. If a man give his daughter by a concubine a dowry,
and a husband, and a deed; if then her father die, she
shall receive no portion from the paternal estate.
184. If a man do not give a dowry to his daughter by
a concubine, and no husband; if then her father die,
her brother shall give her a dowry according to her
father's wealth and secure a husband for her.
185. If a man adopt a child and to his name as son,
and rear him, this grown son can not be demanded back
186. If a man adopt a son, and if after he has taken
him he injure his foster father and mother, then this
adopted son shall return to his father's house.
187. The son of a paramour in the palace service, or
of a prostitute, can not be demanded back.
188. If an artizan has undertaken to rear a child and
teaches him his craft, he can not be demanded back.
189. If he has not taught him his craft, this adopted
son may return to his father's house.
190. If a man does not maintain a child that he has
adopted as a son and reared with his other children,
then his adopted son may return to his father's house.
191. If a man, who had adopted a son and reared him,
founded a household, and had children, wish to put this
adopted son out, then this son shall not simply go his
way. His adoptive father shall give him of his wealth
one-third of a child's portion, and then he may go.
He shall not give him of the field, garden, and house.
192. If a son of a paramour or a prostitute say to
his adoptive father or mother: "You are not my father,
or my mother," his tongue shall be cut off.
193. If the son of a paramour or a prostitute desire
his father's house, and desert his adoptive father and
adoptive mother, and goes to his father's house, then
shall his eye be put out.
194. If a man give his child to a nurse and the child
die in her hands, but the nurse unbeknown to the father
and mother nurse another child, then they shall convict
her of having nursed another child without the knowledge
of the father and mother and her breasts shall be cut
195. If a son strike his father, his hands shall be
196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye
shall be put out.
197. If he break another man's bone, his bone shall
198. If he put out the eye of a freed man, or break
the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina.
199. If he put out the eye of a man's slave, or break
the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half of
200. If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his
teeth shall be knocked out.
201. If he knock out the teeth of a freed man, he shall
pay one-third of a gold mina.
202. If any one strike the body of a man higher in
rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip
203. If a free-born man strike the body of another
free-born man or equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina.
204. If a freed man strike the body of another freed
man, he shall pay ten shekels in money.
205. If the slave of a freed man strike the body of
a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.
206. If during a quarrel one man strike another and
wound him, then he shall swear, "I did not injure him
wittingly," and pay the physicians.
207. If the man die of his wound, he shall swear similarly,
and if he (the deceased) was a free-born man, he shall
pay half a mina in money.
208. If he was a freed man, he shall pay one-third
of a mina.
209. If a man strike a free-born woman so that she
lose her unborn child, he shall pay ten shekels for
210. If the woman die, his daughter shall be put to
211. If a woman of the free class lose her child by
a blow, he shall pay five shekels in money.
212. If this woman die, he shall pay half a mina.
213. If he strike the maid-servant of a man, and she
lose her child, he shall pay two shekels in money.
214. If this maid-servant die, he shall pay one-third
of a mina.
215. If a physician make a large incision with an operating
knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor (over the eye)
with an operating knife, and saves the eye, he shall
receive ten shekels in money.
216. If the patient be a freed man, he receives five
217. If he be the slave of some one, his owner shall
give the physician two shekels.
218. If a physician make a large incision with the
operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with
the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands
shall be cut off.
219. If a physician make a large incision in the slave
of a freed man, and kill him, he shall replace the slave
with another slave.
220. If he had opened a tumor with the operating knife,
and put out his eye, he shall pay half his value.
221. If a physician heal the broken bone or diseased
soft part of a man, the patient shall pay the physician
five shekels in money.
222. If he were a freed man he shall pay three shekels.
223. If he were a slave his owner shall pay the physician
224. If a veterinary surgeon perform a serious operation
on an ass or an ox, and cure it, the owner shall pay
the surgeon one-sixth of a shekel as a fee.
225. If he perform a serious operation on an ass or
ox, and kill it, he shall pay the owner one-fourth of
226. If a barber, without the knowledge of his master,
cut the sign of a slave on a slave not to be sold, the
hands of this barber shall be cut off.
227. If any one deceive a barber, and have him mark
a slave not for sale with the sign of a slave, he shall
be put to death, and buried in his house. The barber
shall swear: "I did not mark him wittingly," and shall
228. If a builder build a house for some one and complete
it, he shall give him a fee of two shekels in money
for each sar of surface.
229 If a builder build a house for some one, and does
not construct it properly, and the house which he built
fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall
be put to death.
230. If it kill the son of the owner the son of that
builder shall be put to death.
231. If it kill a slave of the owner, then he shall
pay slave for slave to the owner of the house.
232. If it ruin goods, he shall make compensation for
all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not
construct properly this house which he built and it
fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.
233. If a builder build a house for some one, even
though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls
seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid
from his own means.
234. If a shipbuilder build a boat of sixty gur for
a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels in money.
235. If a shipbuilder build a boat for some one, and
do not make it tight, if during that same year that
boat is sent away and suffers injury, the shipbuilder
shall take the boat apart and put it together tight
at his own expense. The tight boat he shall give to
the boat owner.
236. If a man rent his boat to a sailor, and the sailor
is careless, and the boat is wrecked or goes aground,
the sailor shall give the owner of the boat another
boat as compensation.
237. If a man hire a sailor and his boat, and provide
it with corn, clothing, oil and dates, and other things
of the kind needed for fitting it: if the sailor is
careless, the boat is wrecked, and its contents ruined,
then the sailor shall compensate for the boat which
was wrecked and all in it that he ruined.
238. If a sailor wreck any one's ship, but saves it,
he shall pay the half of its value in money.
239. If a man hire a sailor, he shall pay him six gur
of corn per year.
240. If a merchantman run against a ferryboat, and
wreck it, the master of the ship that was wrecked shall
seek justice before God; the master of the merchantman,
which wrecked the ferryboat, must compensate the owner
for the boat and all that he ruined.
241. If any one impresses an ox for forced labor, he
shall pay one-third of a mina in money.
242. If any one hire oxen for a year, he shall pay
four gur of corn for plow-oxen.
243. As rent of herd cattle he shall pay three gur
of corn to the owner.
244. If any one hire an ox or an ass, and a lion kill
it in the field, the loss is upon its owner.
245. If any one hire oxen, and kill them by bad treatment
or blows, he shall compensate the owner, oxen for oxen.
246. If a man hire an ox, and he break its leg or cut
the ligament of its neck, he shall compensate the owner
with ox for ox.
247. If any one hire an ox, and put out its eye, he
shall pay the owner one-half of its value.
248. If any one hire an ox, and break off a horn, or
cut off its tail, or hurt its muzzle, he shall pay one-fourth
of its value in money.
249. If any one hire an ox, and God strike it that
it die, the man who hired it shall swear by God and
be considered guiltless.
250. If while an ox is passing on the street (market)
some one push it, and kill it, the owner can set up
no claim in the suit (against the hirer).
251. If an ox be a goring ox, and it shown that he
is a gorer, and he do not bind his horns, or fasten
the ox up, and the ox gore a free-born man and kill
him, the owner shall pay one-half a mina in money.
252. If he kill a man's slave, he shall pay one-third
of a mina.
253. If any one agree with another to tend his field,
give him seed, entrust a yoke of oxen to him, and bind
him to cultivate the field, if he steal the corn or
plants, and take them for himself, his hands shall be
254. If he take the seed-corn for himself, and do not
use the yoke of oxen, he shall compensate him for the
amount of the seed-corn.
255. If he sublet the man's yoke of oxen or steal the
seed-corn, planting nothing in the field, he shall be
convicted, and for each one hundred gan he shall pay
sixty gur of corn.
256. If his community will not pay for him, then he
shall be placed in that field with the cattle (at work).
257. If any one hire a field laborer, he shall pay
him eight gur of corn per year.
258. If any one hire an ox-driver, he shall pay him
six gur of corn per year.
259. If any one steal a water-wheel from the field,
he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner.
260. If any one steal a shadduf (used to draw water
from the river or canal) or a plow, he shall pay three
shekels in money.
261. If any one hire a herdsman for cattle or sheep,
he shall pay him eight gur of corn per annum.
262. If any one, a cow or a sheep ...
263. If he kill the cattle or sheep that were given
to him, he shall compensate the owner with cattle for
cattle and sheep for sheep.
264. If a herdsman, to whom cattle or sheep have been
entrusted for watching over, and who has received his
wages as agreed upon, and is satisfied, diminish the
number of the cattle or sheep, or make the increase
by birth less, he shall make good the increase or profit
which was lost in the terms of settlement.
265. If a herdsman, to whose care cattle or sheep have
been entrusted, be guilty of fraud and make false returns
of the natural increase, or sell them for money, then
shall he be convicted and pay the owner ten times the
266. If the animal be killed in the stable by God (an
accident), or if a lion kill it, the herdsman shall
declare his innocence before God, and the owner bears
the accident in the stable.
267. If the herdsman overlook something, and an accident
happen in the stable, then the herdsman is at fault
for the accident which he has caused in the stable,
and he must compensate the owner for the cattle or sheep.
268. If any one hire an ox for threshing, the amount
of the hire is twenty ka of corn.
269. If he hire an ass for threshing, the hire is twenty
ka of corn.
270. If he hire a young animal for threshing, the hire
is ten ka of corn.
271. If any one hire oxen, cart and driver, he shall
pay one hundred and eighty ka of corn per day.
272. If any one hire a cart alone, he shall pay forty
ka of corn per day.
273. If any one hire a day laborer, he shall pay him
from the New Year until the fifth month (April to August,
when days are long and the work hard) six gerahs in
money per day; from the sixth month to the end of the
year he shall give him five gerahs per day.
274. If any one hire a skilled artizan, he shall pay
as wages of the ... five gerahs, as wages of the potter
five gerahs, of a tailor five gerahs, of ... gerahs,
... of a ropemaker four gerahs, of ... gerahs, of a
mason ... gerahs per day.
275. If any one hire a ferryboat, he shall pay three
gerahs in money per day.
276. If he hire a freight-boat, he shall pay two and
one-half gerahs per day.
277. If any one hire a ship of sixty gur, he shall
pay one-sixth of a shekel in money as its hire per day.
278. If any one buy a male or female slave, and before
a month has elapsed the benu-disease be developed, he
shall return the slave to the seller, and receive the
money which he had paid.
279. If any one by a male or female slave, and a third
party claim it, the seller is liable for the claim.
280. If while in a foreign country a man buy a male
or female slave belonging to another of his own country;
if when he return home the owner of the male or female
slave recognize it: if the male or female slave be a
native of the country, he shall give them back without
281. If they are from another country, the buyer shall
declare the amount of money paid therefor to the merchant,
and keep the male or female slave.
282. If a slave say to his master: "You are not my
master," if they convict him his master shall cut off
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. 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 bespeak 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 ruleth among the kings of the cities am
I. My words are well considered; there is no wisdom
like unto 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 has 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; and then shall
the protecting deities and the gods, who frequent E-Sagil,
graciously grant the desires daily presented before Marduk,
my lord, and Zarpanit, my lady.
In future time,
through all coming generations, let the king, who may
be in the land, observe the words of righteousness which
I have written on my monument; let him not alter the
law of the land which I have given, the edicts which
I have enacted; my monument let him not mar. If such
a ruler have wisdom, and be able to keep his land in
order, he shall observe the words which I have written
in this inscription; the rule, statute, and law of the
land which I have given; the decisions which I have
made will this inscription show him; let him rule his
subjects accordingly, speak justice to them, give right
decisions, root out the miscreants and criminals from
this land, and grant prosperity to his subjects.
Hammurabi, the king of righteousness, on whom Shamash
has conferred right (or law) am I. My words are well
considered; my deeds are not equaled; to bring low those
that were high; to humble the proud, to expel insolence.
If a succeeding ruler considers my words, which I have
written in this my inscription, if he do not annul my
law, nor corrupt my words, nor change my monument, then
may Shamash lengthen that king's reign, as he has that
of me, the king of righteousness, that he may reign
in righteousness over his subjects. If this ruler do
not esteem my words, which I have written in my inscription,
if he despise my curses, and fear not the curse of God,
if he destroy the law which I have given, corrupt my
words, change my monument, efface my name, write his
name there, or on account of the curses commission another
so to do, that man, whether king or ruler, patesi, or
commoner, no matter what he be, may the great God (Anu),
the Father of the gods, who has ordered my rule, withdraw
from him the glory of royalty, break his scepter, curse
his destiny. May Bel, the lord, who fixeth 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 Babylonian Olympus), the Mistress,
who harkens graciously to my petitions, in the seat
of judgment and decision (where Bel fixes destiny),
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 maketh
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 supporteth 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 forthwith; may he be deprived of
water above among the living, and his spirit below in
the earth. May Sin (the Moon-god), 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 goeth 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 loveth 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 his
enemies. 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
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