What can be Learnt from the Ancient Law Codes

A legal code was an essential feature in every political system in the ancient times. The earliest ones being the Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu of c. 2100 to 2050 BCE and the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi of c. 1650 BCE. In most cases, these codifications were limited in scope thereby failing to describe the exhaustive legal systems of the target kingdoms and empires. Nevertheless, most of these codes enhanced ethical behaviors in the societies (Maine, 1906). For instance, the written as well as the oral Hebrew Torah of 200 CE highlighted the penalties on individuals who would breach certain behaviors. Similarly, the Tang Dynasty of ancient China developed the Criminal code that regulated unnecessary acts such as rape, murder and other culturally unaccepted conducts (Maine, 1906). In the United States, there have been significant influences of the Continental legal code that expresses itself through codification and civil law jurisdictions.