The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating back to about 1772 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man. The Code was inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into various stele which have survived to the modern day. Hammurabi (died circa 1750 BC) was the sixth king of Babylon (that is, of the First Babylonian Dynasty) from 1792 BC to 1750 BC. He became the first king of the Babylonian Empire following the abdication of his father, Sin-Muballit, he extended Babylon's control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars against neighboring kingdoms. Although his empire controlled all of Mesopotamia at the time of his death, his successors were unable to maintain his empire. Babylonia was an ancient Semitic nation state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). It emerged as an independent state in ca. 1894 BC, the city of Babylon being its capital. Babylonia became the major power in the region after Hammurabi created an empire out of the territories of the former Akkadian Empire.
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