Today’s installment concludes The Code of Hammurabi. The Code was chiseled on an oblisk by Hammurabi.
If you have journeyed through all of the installments of this series, just one more to go and you will have completed a selection from the great works of twelve thousand words. Congratulations! For works benefiting from the latest research see the “More information” section at the bottom of these pages.
Previously in Code of Hammurabi.
Time: 1754 BC
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 [priest-viceroy] 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 sceptre, curse his destiny. May Bel, the lord, who fixeth destiny, whose command cannot be altered, who has made my kingdom great, order a rebellion which his hand cannot 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 hearkens 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 mighty among the gods, whose contest is irresistible, who grants me victory, in his great might burn up his subjects like a slender reed-stalk, 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 cannot be healed, whose nature the physician does not understand, which he cannot treat with dressing, which, like the bite of death, cannot 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 Anunnaki 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 cannot be altered, and may they come upon, him forthwith.
This ends our series of passages on Code of Hammurabi by Hammurabi from his book on an oblisk published in 2250 BC. This blog features short and lengthy pieces on all aspects of our shared past. Here are selections from the great historians who may be forgotten (and whose work have fallen into public domain) as well as links to the most up-to-date developments in the field of history and of course, original material from yours truly, Jack Le Moine. – A little bit of everything historical is here.
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