The Earliest Legal Code
Author: King Hammurabi
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
The Code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest and most complete written legal codes of law. This is volume 2 in the series of 150 volumes entitled " The Trail to Liberty. " It was written in 1754 B.C. by The Babylonian King Hammurabi. King Hammurabi's Code was carved onto a massive, finger-shaped black stone stele (pillar) that was looted by invaders and finally rediscovered in 1901. The code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele. It is considered one of the first documents that codified or formed a foundation of what would become known as civil and criminal law, especially in the West. The following is a partial list (20 of 150) of books in this series on the development of constitutional law. The Code of Hammurabi was a Mesopotamian legal code that laid a foundation for later Hebraic and European law. 1. Laws of the town Eshnunna (ca. 1800 BC), the laws of King Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (ca. 1930 BC), and Old Babylonian copies (ca. 1900-1700 BC) of the Ur-Nammu law code 2. Code of Hammurabi ( 1760 BCE) - Early Mesopotamian legal code laid basis for later Hebraic and European law. 3. Ancient Greek and Latin Library - Selected works on ancient history, customs and laws. 4. The Civil Law, tr. & ed. Samuel Parsons Scott (1932) - Includes the classics of ancient Roman law: the Law of the Twelve Tables (450 BCE), the Institutes of Gaius (180), the Rules of Ulpian (222), the Opinions of Paulus (224), the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian (533), which codified Roman Law, and the Constitutions of Leo. 5. "Constitution" of Medina (Dustur al-Madinah), Mohammed (622) - Not so much a constitution as a treaty which united Muslims, Jews, Christians and pagans, in the city-state of Medina, that exhibits some principles of constitutional design. 6. Policraticus, John of Salisbury (1159), various translations - Argued that citizens have the right to depose and kill tyrannical rulers. 7. Constitutions of Clarendon (1164) - Established rights of laymen and the church in England. 8. Assize of Clarendon (1166) - Defined rights and duties of courts and people in criminal cases. 9. Assize of Arms (1181) - Defined rights and duties of people and militias. 10. Magna Carta (1215) - Established the principle that no one, not even the king or a lawmaker, is above the law. 11. Britton, (written 1290, printed 1530) - Abridged, updated, more readable, and more widely used codification based on Bracton, originally in the French of the English court, reflecting changes in the law, including changes in juries. 12. Confirmatio Cartarum (1297) - United Magna Carta to the common law by declaring that the Magna Carta could be pled in court. 13. The Declaration of Arbroath (1320) - Scotland's declaration of independence from England. 14. The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli (1513) - Practical advice on governance and statecraft, with thoughts on the kinds of problems any government must be able to solve to endure. 15. Utopia, Thomas More (1516) - Satirical analysis of shortcomings of his society and a vision of what could be. 16. Discourses on Livy, Niccolò Machiavelli (1517 tr. Henry Neville 1675) - Argues for the ideal form of government being a republic based on popular consent, defended by militia. 17. Relectiones, Franciscus de Victoria (lect. 1532, first pub. 1557) - Includes De Indis and De iure belli, arguing for humane treatment of native Americans and of enemies in war. Provided the basis for the law of nations doctrine. 18. Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, Étienne De La Boétie (1548, tr.) - People are ultimately responsible for their servitude, and non-violent resistance can win their freedom. 19. De Republica Anglorum, Thomas Smith (1565, 1583) - describes the constitution of England under Elizabeth I, that indicates tendencies toward republican ideals. 20. Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants), "Junius Brutus" (Orig. Fr. 1581, Eng. tr. 1622, 1689).