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This map is a map of Mesopotamian city-states. A city-state is a self governing city that fully governs itself with no outside, higher government. For over 1,500 years (3,000 B.C.E.-1,500 B.C.E.) Mesopotamia was structured this way. Each city-state was ruled by a king, who also ruled the surrounding countryside; There wasn't a supreme ruler that ruled the entirety of Mesopotamia. These kings usually had very strong militaries that often fought each other, trying to get rule. At times, single cities did get complete rule such as Ur and Babylon. This document is shown here because of a few reasons. The first is that it clearly defines the city states and shows the surrounding area. Secondly, it displays how Mesopotamia was geographically unprotected. A major reason for these city-states not being unified under a single ruler was because there was no geographic protection. Major geographic protectors are mountains, and Mesopotamia greatly lacks them. Of course, there are the Zagros Mountains to the East (as seen in the document), but there aren't any mountains within the civilization. This left these city-states prone to attack by the nomadic peoples in the surrounding area between the city-states. While a loosely organized government with one ruler for all of the cities, and one military force could have left these city-states prone to attack, having separate city-states, each with a king, didn't. Being tightly organized, with each city-state having a king and a military force insured the protection and safety of these city-states, while the geography failed to do so. The Mesopotamian city-states also never became unified possibly because they were still developing. Instead of a very large kingdom with a single ruler developing, smaller communities that eventually became cities developed, each with a separate ruler. This map displays how government and ruling was structured in early Mesopotamia and why it was this way.z149429153[1].gif
197. If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken.
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 its value.
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 in public.
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.

This artifact is a photograph of an original copy of Hammurabi's Code, and under it, is an excerpt from the code, translated in English. Hammurabi's code was a set of laws, written by Hammurabi, who was the ruler of the entirety of Mesopotamia from about 1,800 B.C.E. to about 1,750 B.C.E. The code was composed of a prolouge, 282 laws, and an epilouge. The laws dealt with all aspects of the society from marriage to murder, each having a specific, different punishment at the end. These particular laws were chosen to be displayed here because they greatly demonstrate how these laws were not only created to keep order in the civilization, but the laws were greatly influenced by the class system. For example, law 202 reads, "If any one strike the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall revieve sixty blows with an ox-whip in public," but law 201 states that if a man knocks out the teeth of a freed man, he shall only pay one third of a gold mina. As you can see, the punishments were much more severe or much less severe than the actual crime, depending on class. As you can see, Hammurabi's Code didn't just keep order, but it had a much greater purpose; It kept the people of Mesopotamia within well defined class systems.