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The Laws of Manu

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        The Laws of Manu were complied over the years between 200-400 CE. While the position of women in early Vedic India had been good, these laws were illustrated the efforts of Brahmin elite to restrict women’s legal independence in the later period. Both the laws of Manu and Hammurabi are relating marriage, family law and the ways in which the female’s behavior are regulating in both legal codes. Hammurabi was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon, the world’s first metropolis; The Code of Hammurabi is a well- preserved Babylonian law code that dates about in 1772 BC. The code was carved upon a black monument, eight feet high; it was clearly intended to be reared in for the public to view. The Code of Hammurabi was one of several sets of laws in the ancient near east. The stone was found in 1901 in a city of the Persian mountain. Both of the Code of Hammurabi and the laws of Manu provides freedoms for women and provided protection of them, overall I believe the Code of Hammurabi provided better protection and freedom to the women.

        During the period was Hammurabi first two decades of his forty-two year reign, during this time Hammurabi fortified several cities on northern Babylonian. In 1764, Babylon defeated the coalition of Elam, Subartu and Eshnunna. By 1762, Hammurabi claim to have “established a foundation of Sumer and Akkad, a phrase burrowed from Sumerian royal hymns to express the ideal of pan-Babylonian rule. The conquest of Mari in 1759, virtually all of the Mesopotamia had come under Babylonian rule. The purpose of the Code of the Hammurabi was to encourage people to accept authority of a king, who was trying to give common rules to govern the subjects’ behavior. One of the five laws in the Code of Hammurabi consisted of the one, “if a man has taken a wife and has not executed a marriage contract, that the women is not a wife.” This law was benefited the women rights because it gave them the right to choose whoever they wanted to marry. The second law is, “if a man has a married a wife and a diseased has seized her, if he is determined to marry a second wife, he shall marry her. He cannot divorce the wife whom the disease has seized. The law is also benefited women, many of the females back in this time would catch diseases and this law protected them from their spouses of throwing them out and living on the streets. In their home they made together, she shall dwell, and he shall maintain her as long as she lives. The third law that benefited women in the Code of Hammurabi is, “if a man is ravished another’s betrothed wife, who’s a virgin, while living in her father’s home, and he shall be put to death, the man in the act; women shall go free. The law benefited women because it protected them from men trying to take advantaged to whoever they could, and it kept them from being prosecuted for something they can’t control over. The fourth law is, “if a man’s wife has been accused by her husband, and has not been caught lying with another, she shall swear her innocence, and return to her house. This law is protected women from being beat by their husbands to point where they would not need to be punished for doing so. The last law founded that benefited women in the Code of Hammurabi is, “if a woman have hatred to her husband and has said, “You shall not possess me,” her past shall be inquired into, as to what she lacks. If the wife has been discreet, and has no vice, and her husband has gone out, and has greatly belittled her, that women has no blame, she shall take her marriage-portion and go off to her father’s house.” The law gives the women the right to leave their husband and still collect benefits from the marriage. These laws overall were related to family, and marriage and the all benefited women when it came protection and freedom.



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