Ancient Laws and Modern Problems: The Balance Between Justice and a Legal System
This study of the written laws of 4,000 years ago puts to rest the belief that the most ancient laws were merely arbitrary and tyrannical. On the contrary, the earliest legal systems honestly tried to get to the truth, do justice to individuals and preserve civil order. Some of the surviving law codes are originals, others near-contemporary copies.Sassoon also compares ancient and modern principles of law, a study which will be as controversial as it is fascinating. The first act of writing laws diminished the discretion of the judges and foretold a limit on individual justice. Some political principles such as uniformity of treatment or individual freedom have, when carried to extremes, produced crises in modern legal systems worldwide.
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EMERGENCE FROM PREHISTORY
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accepted accused adopted Akkadian Amorite ancient laws ancient world appear Babylon balance betrothal bride price caused child circumstances city of Eshnunna civilisation collections of laws concept conflict court crime cruelty cylinder seal damage daughter death penalty discretion divorce Enheduanna equality Eshnunna ethical fact father feud freedom Gilgamesh girl guilty Hammurabi's laws Hittite Hittite laws husband Inanna judgement judges killed king laws of Hammurabi laws of talion legal process legal systems Lipit-Ishtar lives marriage marry Martu means Mesopotamia modern world mutilation nature oath oral law owner ownership parents personal injury prehistory probably problem rape recognise records restitution revenge river test rule of law seignior Seignior strikes shekels Shuruppak slave slavery social society status stone age Sumer Sumer and Akkad Sumerian King List surviving laws tablets theft tion tooth tradition truth Ur-Nammu Uruk wife woman women written laws wrong