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Ur-Nammu



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…most ancient legislator known is Ur-Nammu, the founder of one of the Sumerian dynasties at the city of Ur. His code, dating from the middle of the 21st century bc , dealt with witchcraft, the flight of slaves, and bodily injuries. A more ample vestige of Sumerian law is the so-called…

…of Ur, whose first king, Ur-Nammu, published the earliest law code yet discovered in Mesopotamia.

…was a brother of the Ur-Nammu who founded the 3rd dynasty of Ur (“3rd” because it is the third time that Ur is listed in the Sumerian king list). Under Ur-Nammu and his successors Shulgi, Amar-Su’ena, Shu-Sin, and Ibbi-Sin, this dynasty lasted for a century (c. 2112–c. 2004). Ur-Nammu was…

Building projects

…of many powerful kings, including Ur-Nammu (reigned 2112–2095 bc ), first king of the 3rd dynasty of Ur. Ur-Nammu also did much for the layout of the city, which then benefited from a Neo-Sumerian revival. Various architectural developments were associated with the Isin-Larsa period (c. 2017–1763) and with the Kassite period…

Later, Ur-Nammu (reigned 2112–2095 bc ), first king of the 3rd dynasty of Ur, laid out Enlil’s sanctuary, the E-kur, in its present form. A ziggurat and a temple were built in an open courtyard surrounded by walls.

…of the ziggurat, built by Ur-Nammu, the founder of the dynasty, was astonishingly well preserved enough of the upper part survived to make the restoration certain.


Ur-Nammu - History

The Ur-Nammu law code is the oldest known, written about 300 years before Hammurabi's law code. When first found in 1901, the laws of Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) were heralded as the earliest known laws. Now older collections are known: They are 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 , with 26 laws of the 57. This cylinder is the first copy found that originally had the whole text of the code, and it is the world's oldest law code. Further it actually mentions the name of Ur-Nammu for the first time.

Prologue

"&hellipAfter An and Enlil had turned over the Kingship of Ur to Nanna, at that time did Ur-Nammu, son born of Ninsun, for his beloved mother who bore him, in accordance with his principles of equity and truth. Then did Ur-Nammu the mighty warrior, king of Ur, king of Sumer and Akkad, by the might of Nanna, lord of the city, and in accordance with the true word of Utu, establish equity in the land he banished malediction, violence and strife, and set the monthly Temple expenses at 90 gur of barley, 30 sheep, and 30 sila of butter. He fashioned the bronze sila-measure, standardized the one-mina weight, and standardized the stone weight of a shekel of silver in relation to one mina. The orphan was not delivered up to the rich man the widow was not delivered up to the mighty man the man of one shekel was not delivered up to the man of one mina."


What Is the Code of Hammurabi?

The black stone stele containing the Code of Hammurabi was carved from a single, four-ton slab of diorite, a durable but incredibly difficult stone for carving.

At its top is a two-and-a-half-foot relief carving of a standing Hammurabi receiving the law—symbolized by a measuring rod and tape𠅏rom the seated Shamash, the Babylonian god of justice. The rest of the seven-foot-five-inch monument is covered with columns of chiseled cuneiform script.

The text, compiled at the end of Hammurabi’s reign, is less a proclamation of principles than a collection of legal precedents, set between prose celebrating Hammurabi’s just and pious rule. Hammurabi’s Code provides some of the earliest examples of the doctrine of “lex talionis,” or the laws of retribution, sometimes better known as 𠇊n eye for an eye.”

Did you know? The Code of Hammurabi includes many harsh punishments, sometimes demanding the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, breasts, eye or ear. But the code is also one of the earliest examples of an accused person being considered innocent until proven guilty.

The 282 edicts are all written in if-then form. For example, if a man steals an ox, then he must pay back 30 times its value. The edicts range from family law to professional contracts and administrative law, often outlining different standards of justice for the three classes of Babylonian society—the propertied class, freedmen and slaves.

A doctor’s fee for curing a severe wound would be 10 silver shekels for a gentleman, five shekels for a freedman and two shekels for a slave. Penalties for malpractice followed the same scheme: a doctor who killed a rich patient would have his hands cut off, while only financial restitution was required if the victim was a slave.


Inhoud

Volgens die Sumeriese Koningslys het Ur-Nammu 18 jaar lank regeer. [2] Jaarname vir 17 van dié jare is bekend, maar die volgorde is onseker. Een jaarnaam vermeld die verwoesting van Goetium, terwyl twee blykbaar sy regshervormings gedenk. [3]

Onder sy militêre suksesse tel die verowering van Lagasj en die oorwinnings oor sy vorige oorheersers by Uruk. Hy is eindelik erken as ’n belangrike streekheerser (van Ur, Eridu en Uruk) op ’n kroning in Nippur en hy het glo geboue in Nippur, Larsa, Kisj, Adab en Umma laat bou. Hy het ook die paaie en algemene orde herstel ná die Goetese tydperk. [4] Dit is nou bekend dat die bewind van Puzur-Inshushinak in Elam met syne oorvleuel het. [5] Ur-Nammu, wat homself "koning van Sumer en Akkad" genoem het, is moontlik die persoon wat vroeg in sy bewind die gebiede van Sentraal- en Noord-Mesopotamië verower het wat Puzur-Inshushinak beset het, waarskynlik ten koste van die Goeteërs, voordat hy Susa verower het. [6]

Ur-Nammu het opdrag vir die bou van ’n paar ziggoerats gegee, insluitende die Groot Ziggoerat van Ur. [7]

Hy is in ’n geveg teen die Goeteërs dood nadat sy leër hom versaak het. [4] Hy is ná sy dood vergoddelik en deur sy seun Shulgi opgevolg. [2] Sy dood op die slagveld is gedenk in die lang geskrif "Dood van Ur-Nammu". [4] [8] [9]

Feitlik al die jaarname van Ur-Nammu is bekend en dit gedenk groot gebeure tydens sy bewind. Die belangrikste naamjare is:

Jaar: "Ur-Namma (is) koning"
Jaar: "Ur-Namma verklaar amnestie in die land"
Jaar: "Die muur van Ur word gebou"
Jaar: "Die koning ontvang koningskap van Nippur"
Jaar: "Die tempel van Nanna word gebou"
Jaar: "Die A-Nintu-kanaal word gebou"
Jaar: "Die land van die Goeteërs word verwoes"
Jaar: "Die god Lugal-bagara word in sy tempel ingebring"


The Ur-Nammu Law Code, the Oldest Known Legal Code

The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest surviving law code. It was written in the Sumerian language c. 2100-2050 BCE. Although the preface directly credits the laws to king Ur-Nammu of Ur (2112-2095 BCE), some historians think they should rather be ascribed to his son Shulgi.

"The first copy of the code, in two fragments found at Nippur, was translated by Samuel Kramer in 1952 owing to its partial preservation, only the prologue and 5 of the laws were discernible. Further tablets were found in Ur and translated in 1965, allowing some 40 of the 57 laws to be reconstructed. Another copy found in Sippar contains slight variants.

"Although it is known that earlier law-codes existed, such as the Code of Urukagina, this represents the earliest legal text that is extant. It predated the Code of Hammurabi by some three centuries.

"The laws are arranged in casuistic form of if-(crime), then-(punishment) &mdash a pattern to be followed in nearly all subsequent codes. For the oldest extant law-code known to history, it is considered remarkably advanced, because it institutes fines of monetary compensation for bodily damage, as opposed to the later lex talionis (&lsquoeye for an eye&rsquo) principle of Babylonian law however, the capital crimes of murder, robbery, adultery and rape are punished with death.

"The code reveals a glimpse at societal structure during the 'Sumerian Renaissance'. Beneath the lu-gal ('great man' or king), all members of society belonged to one of two basic strata: The 'lu' or free person, and the slave (male, arad female geme). The son of a lu was called a dumu-nita until he married, becoming a 'young man' (gurus). A woman (munus) went from being a daughter (dumu-mi), to a wife (dam), then if she outlived her husband, a widow (nu-ma-su) who could remarry" (Wikipedia article on Code of Ur-Nammu, accessed 02-04-2009).


A Short History of Morality

O ver the past year, a spirit of iconoclasm has swept across the United States. Dozens of statues have been removed or toppled by people outraged by the supposed moral failures of the men depicted in stone and bronze. Christopher Columbus was guilty of genocide, they claim. George Washington owned slaves. Leaving aside the moral smugness of the topplers, do they have a case?

The answer: no. The argument that men such as Columbus and Washington are guilty of moral turpitude, and thus unworthy of our respect and admiration, is inescapably based on the idea that twenty-first-century concepts of right and wrong have been in place since the dawn of humankind and won’t change in the future.

But a look at the history of morality shows how absurd that idea is. Each succeeding age has tried to live up to different, and usually higher, moral standards. To fail to understand that point is to commit “temporal parochialism,” a historiographical fallacy that imposes on the past the standards and outlook of the present. The wiser and truer approach is beautifully encapsulated in the opening line of L. P. Hartley’s masterful novel The Go-Between: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

M any mythologies contain the idea that human beings are fallen angels who once lived in a paradise. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, only two and a half centuries ago, wrote: “Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”

But human beings are not fallen angels we are risen apes. We did not once live in a paradise we lived in a state of nature, where, as Thomas Hobbes observed, we existed in a world of “continual fear, and danger of violent death,” where “life was nasty, brutish, and short.”

Today, we have been to the moon and plumbed the depths of the atom. We live far longer lives, often largely free of disease and pain, and at a level of affluence that, for even the poorest, would be unimaginable in any previous age. War and crime are at levels far below any known before the twentieth century. The course of human history, over the long term, has been strongly upward, thanks in part to an increasingly strict and broader moral code. To be sure, in the short term, morality sometimes declines. The current call to judge people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character is a case in point.

True, human beings have always been a moral species because we are a social one. Members of social species need the respect and good regard of other members of the society. It is altogether likely that moral rules, such as the last seven of the Ten Commandments, were in place long before the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy were written and, indeed, long before writing itself had been invented. No society that allows murder, theft, and adultery as a matter of course—at least within that society—can long survive.

In hunter-gatherer days, societies were small, probably no more than 100 individuals in a band, usually far fewer. Because most hunter-gatherers were normally nomadic, they had few possessions. Social pressure was usually all that was needed to keep individuals in line.

But once agriculture began, about 10,000 years ago, societies became more complicated. Polities grew larger, and individuals within them became less closely related to one another. As new technologies developed, people began specializing in a much wider variety of occupations. This, in turn, caused the development of markets, as people began trading, both within each polity and with neighboring ones. Social classes began to evolve. All this required more elaborate legal codes and more formal procedures to enforce them than codes like the Ten Commandments.

The oldest known is the Code of Ur-Nammu, a Sumerian king, dating to about 2100 B.C. It reveals two classes of people: the free and the enslaved. It listed various crimes and the punishment to be meted out for each. Guilt or innocence was often determined by the “ordeal by water.” The accused would be bound and thrown into the river. If he survived, he was innocent.

The Code of Hammurabi, which dates to three centuries later, is far better known, and we have a more complete text of it. Much of it covers what today would be called the law of contracts. Other provisions detail family law. The code included one of the earliest examples of the presumption of innocence and allowed both the accused and the accuser to present evidence to a judge—crucial advances.

The code details three levels of society: landowners, freemen, and slaves. And the code was heavily biased in favor of the first category. The punishment for assaulting someone of a lower class, for instance, was far lighter than for assaulting someone higher up the social scale. Women were harshly punished for adultery, while men were allowed affairs with their servants and slaves.

T he early moral codes applied only to members of the band to which one belonged. The band that lived in the next valley was fair game, and warfare was undoubtedly endemic in hunter-gatherer times, just as it was among Neolithic American Indians before the coming of Europeans and remains common today in places such as New Guinea. As Sir Walter Scott wrote:

The good old rule, the simple plan
That they should take who have the power
And they should keep who can.

All the great empires of earlier times were built on conquest made possible by superior military technology and discipline. And such conquest could be highly profitable.

When the Romans conquered a province, not only were valuables such as gold and silver taken, but much of the population was enslaved and sold in the Roman slave markets. Victories were celebrated victorious generals paraded through the streets of Rome with the loot and slaves that they had taken.

This began to change significantly only in the nineteenth century. The word “imperialism”—with its negative connotations regarding aggrandizing at the expense of other, less powerful, states—was coined in 1881, at the height of the “scramble for Africa” among European powers. The American annexation of the Philippines from Spain after the Spanish–American War in 1898 met with wide opposition in this country, and Theodore Roosevelt claimed that the country had done so only to prepare the Philippines for self-government. By 1916, less than 20 years later, the archipelago was fully internally self-governing.

Anti-imperialist sentiment quickly grew so strong in America that the United States was the only country among the major combatants of the two world wars that acquired no territory as a result of them. With the end of World War II, imperialism ceased to be pursued almost everywhere, the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe being a conspicuous exception. Today, only authoritarian regimes regard the invasion of another country’s territory as acceptable public policy.

T he Code of Hammurabi often prescribed harsh physical punishments. A doctor who killed a patient could have his hands cut off—but if the patient was a slave, the slave’s owner was simply owed compensation. Many crimes were punished with death, often in deliberately painful and extended ways. The Romans considered crucifixion so brutal a method that Roman citizens were exempt from it, which is why Saint Paul was beheaded. In the Middle Ages, heretics were burned at the stake. Traitors as late as the seventeenth century were hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Executions were also, to modern ways of thinking, astonishingly common. In the early seventeenth century, a traveler from Dresden to Prague, a distance of less than 100 miles, counted more than 140 gallows, where thieves were hanged and murderers broken on the wheel and left to rot.

Only in the late eighteenth century did the idea arise that executions should be swift. The hangman’s knot was developed at this time to ensure that the condemned died almost instantly of a broken neck rather than slowly by strangulation. The guillotine ensured instant decapitation.

In the nineteenth century, the number of crimes punishable by death was greatly reduced (usually to rape, murder, and treason), and public executions largely ended. In the 1870s, Norway became the first Western country to stop executing people at all (though it briefly revived the death penalty in 1945 to execute Vidkun Quisling and other Nazi collaborators). In the twentieth century, the number of countries that abolished (or stopped employing) capital punishment rose sharply.

C ruelty toward humans and animals has a long history. The Romans staged gladiatorial games as mass entertainment, and many of the participants died in the arena for the amusement of the Roman masses. When Christianity, with its belief that human life was sacred, became the state religion in the fourth century, gladiatorial games died out.

However, animal cruelty, such as bear- and bull-baiting, in which the animal was tied to a stake and set upon by hunting dogs in a pit, remained popular. These practices declined in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but they weren’t outlawed in Western Europe or the United States until the nineteenth century. Bullfighting and cockfighting remain legal in some countries today.

Only the later nineteenth century saw the establishment of such organizations as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which lobbied for legislative remedies. Popular works of fiction such as Black Beauty propagandized against animal abuse. After the internal combustion engine replaced draft animals in the early twentieth century, animal cruelty came to be regarded with near-universal horror.

It wasn’t just animals who suffered from cruelty in earlier times. The practice of castrating talented boy singers to retain their beautiful high voices was widespread in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By the 1740s, as many as 4,000 boys a year were castrated in Europe for this purpose. The practice had faded by the end of the century, but the last use of castrati was in 1903 (in the Sistine Chapel choir).

U ntil modern times, slaves were a major item of commerce in many parts of the world. As much as a third of the population of the ancient world was enslaved, and slaves had no legal rights whatsoever. Slavery died out in Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, but it was largely replaced by serfdom, which was not much better. Eastern Europe, however, remained an epicenter of the slave trade. Indeed, so many Eastern Europeans were sold into slavery in the Byzantine Empire and later the Ottoman Empire, that the very word “slave” comes from the people of that region, the Slavs.

With European expansion into the New World, African slavery rapidly expanded. It had already existed for centuries, with captured slaves being sold on the continent’s east coast to Arab traders for shipment to the Middle East, where slavery persisted the longest. It wasn’t formally abolished in Saudi Arabia until 1962.

When George Washington was born in 1732, slavery was legal everywhere in the world. The idea that slavery was morally wrong had begun to develop, mostly among Quakers (though this country’s most famous Quaker, William Penn, himself owned slaves). Most people, when they considered it at all, thought that being born a slave was not a moral issue but a personal misfortune, like a serious birth defect.

The idea that slavery was indeed a moral issue took off only in the 1750s and spread widely and quickly. The first jurisdiction in the world to ban slavery was Vermont, in 1780. In Massachusetts, which, unlike Vermont, had a significant slave population, the state supreme court ruled the following year that the language in the new state constitution’s preamble that “all men are born free and equal” was inconsistent with slavery. The first manumission society in the world was founded in Philadelphia in 1780.

Many Southern planters, such as Washington, were increasingly uncomfortable with slavery as the antislavery movement gathered strength, but they saw no economic way out. Many, including Washington, freed slaves in their wills.

By 1827, slavery was extinct in all the Northern states, and the same might have been true in the South, too, had Eli Whitney’s cotton gin not made cotton, a labor-intensive crop, hugely profitable. Because of cotton—by far, the country’s largest export by the mid-nineteenth century—it would take the greatest war in American history to rid the United States of what all but the self-interested by then saw as a moral abomination.

P eople can only live up to the moral values of the world they live in, not of some future world. Columbus has been dead for 514 years, and Washington for 221. They could no more have lived up to the moral values of the twenty-first century than we can live up to those of the twenty-fourth or the twenty-seventh, whatever those prove to be.

Blaming people of the past for failing to uphold moral standards that did not exist in their time is itself a violation of an important moral standard: the prohibition against assigning ex post facto culpability.

John Steele Gordon specializes in business and financial history and is the author of books including Hamilton’s Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt.

Photo: Summer 2020: Christopher Columbus, toppled (BASTIAAN SLABBERS/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES)


. entire land . . struck, the palace was devastated. . panic spread rapidly among the dwellings of the black-headed people. . abandoned places . in Sumer. . the cities were destroyed in their entirety the people were seized with panic. Evil came upon Urim and made the trustworthy shepherd pass away. It made Ur-Namma, the trustworthy shepherd, pass away it made the trustworthy shepherd pass away.

Because An had altered his holy words completely, . became empty, and because, deceitfully, Enlil had completely changed the fate he decreed, Ninmah began a lament in her . Enki shut (?) the great door of Eridug. Nudimmud withdrew into his bedchamber and lay down fasting. At his zenith, Nanna frowned at the . words of An. Utu did not come forth in the sky, and the day was full of sorrow.

The mother, miserable because of her son, the mother of the king, holy Ninsun, was crying: "Oh my heart!". Because of the fate decreed for Ur-Namma, because it made the trustworthy shepherd pass away, she was weeping bitterly in the broad square, which is otherwise a place of entertainment. Sweet sleep did not come to the people whose happiness . they passed their time in lamentation over the trustworthy shepherd who had been snatched away.

As the early flood was filling the canals, their canal-inspector was already silenced (?) the mottled barley grown on the arable lands, the life of the land, was inundated. To the farmer, the fertile fields planted (?) by him yielded little. Enkimdu, the lord of levees and ditches, took away the levees and ditches from Urim.

1 line fragmentary

As the intelligence and . of the Land were lost, fine food became scarce. The plains did not grow lush grass any more, they grew the grass of mourning. The cows . their . cattle-pen has been destroyed. The calves . their cows bleated bitterly.

The wise shepherd . does not give orders any more. . in battle and combat. The king, the advocate of Sumer, the ornament of the assembly, Ur-Namma, the advocate of Sumer, the ornament of the assembly, the leader of Sumer, . lies sick. His hands which used to grasp cannot grasp any more, he lies sick. His feet . cannot step any more, he lies sick.

1 line fragmentary

The trustworthy shepherd, king, the sword of Sumer, Ur-Namma, the king of the Land, was taken to the . house. He was taken to Urim the king of the Land was brought into the . house. The proud one lay in his palace. Ur-Namma, he who was beloved by the troops, could not raise his neck any more. The wise one . lay down silence descended. As he, who was the vigour of the Land, had fallen, the Land became demolished like a mountain like a cypress forest it was stripped, its appearance changed. As if he were a boxwood tree, they put axes against him in his joyous dwelling place. As if he were a sappy cedar tree, he was uprooted in the palace where he used to sleep (?). His spouse . resting place . was covered by a storm it embraced it like a wife her sweetheart (?). His appointed time had arrived, and he passed away in his prime.

His (?) pleasing sacrifices were no longer accepted they were treated as dirty (?). The Anuna gods refused his gifts. An did not stand by an "It is enough", and he could not complete his (?) days. Because of what Enlil ordered, there was no more rising up his beloved men lost their wise one. Strangers turned into (?) . How iniquitously Ur-Namma was abandoned, like a broken jar! His . with grandeur like (?) thick clouds (?). He does not . any more, and he does not reach out for . ". Ur-Namma, alas, what is it to me?" Ur-Namma, the son of Ninsun, was brought to Arali, the . of the Land, in his prime. The soldiers accompanying the king shed tears: their boat (i.e. Ur-Namma) was sunk in a land as foreign to them as Dilmun. . was cut. It was stripped of the oars, punting poles and rudder which it had. . its bolt was broken off. . was put aside it stood (?) in saltpetre. His donkeys were to be found with the king they were buried with him. His donkeys were to be found with Ur-Namma they were buried with him. As he crossed over the . of the Land, the Land was deprived of its ornament. The journey to the nether world is a desolate route. Because of the king, the chariots were covered over, the roads were thrown into disorder, no one could go up and down on them. Because of Ur-Namma, the chariots were covered over, the roads were thrown into disorder, no one could go up and down on them.

He presented gifts to the seven chief porters of the nether world. As the famous kings who had died and the dead icib priests, lumah priests, and nindijir priestesses, all chosen by extispicy, announced the king's coming to the people, a tumult arose in the nether world. As they announced Ur-Namma's coming to the people, a tumult arose in the nether world. The king slaughtered numerous bulls and sheep, Ur-Namma seated the people at a huge banquet. The food of the nether world is bitter, the water of the nether world is brackish. The trustworthy shepherd knew well the rites of the nether world, so the king presented the offerings of the nether world, Ur-Namma presented the offerings of the nether world: as many faultless bulls, faultless kids, and fattened sheep as could be brought.

To Nergal, the Enlil of the nether world, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a mace, a large bow with quiver and arrows, an artfully made . dagger, and a multi-coloured leather bag for wearing at the hip.

To Gilgamec, the king of the nether world, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a spear, a leather bag for a saddle-hook, a heavenly lion-headed imitum mace, a shield resting on the ground, a heroic weapon, and a battle-axe, an implement beloved of Ereckigala.

To Ereckigala, the mother of Ninazu, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a . which he filled with oil, a cajan bowl of perfect make, a heavy garment, a long-fleeced garment, a queenly pala robe, . the divine powers of the nether world.

To Dumuzid, the beloved husband of Inana, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a . sheep, . mountain . a lordly golden sceptre, . a shining hand. (1 ms. adds: He . a gold and silver . a lapis-lazuli . and a . pin to Dimpikug . )

To Namtar, who decrees all the fates, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered perfectly wrought jewellery, a golden ring cast (?) as a . barge, pure cornelian stone fit to be worn on the breasts of the gods.

To Hucbisag, the wife of Namtar, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a chest (?) with a lapis-lazuli handle, containing (?) everything that is essential in the underworld, a silver hair clasp adorned with lapis-lazuli, and a comb of womanly fashion.

To the valiant warrior Ninjiczida, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a chariot with . wheels sparkling with gold, . donkeys, thoroughbreds, . donkeys with dappled thighs, . followed . by a shepherd and a herdsman. To Dimpimekug (1 ms. has instead: Dimpikug), who stands by his side, he gave a lapis-lazuli seal hanging from a pin, and a gold and silver toggle-pin with a bison's head.

To his spouse, Ninazimua, the august scribe, denizen of Arali, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a headdress with the august ear-pieces (?) of a sage, made of alabaster, a . stylus, the hallmark of the scribe, a surveyor's gleaming line, and the measuring rod .

To . the great . of the nether world, he gave

2 lines fragmentary

After the king had presented properly the offerings of the nether world, after Ur-Namma had presented properly the offerings of the nether world, the . of the underworld, the . seated Ur-Namma on a great dais of the nether world and set up a dwelling place for him in the nether world. At the command of Ereckigala all the soldiers who had been killed by weapons and all the men who had been found guilty were given into the king's hands. Ur-Namma was . so with Gilgamec, his beloved brother, he will issue the judgments of the nether world and render the decisions of the nether world.

After seven days, ten days had passed, lamenting for Sumer overwhelmed my king, lamenting for Sumer overwhelmed Ur-Namma. My king's heart was full of tears, he . bitterly that he could not complete the wall of Urim that he could no longer enjoy the new palace he had built that he, the shepherd, could no longer . his household (?) that he could no longer bring pleasure to his wife with his embrace that he could not bring up his sons on his knees that he would never see in their prime the beauty of their little sisters who had not yet grown up.

The trustworthy shepherd . a heart-rending lament for himself: "I, who have been treated like this, served the gods well, set up chapels for them. I have created evident abundance for the Anuna gods. I have laid treasures on their beds strewn with fresh herbs. Yet no god stood by me and soothed my heart. Because of them, anything that could have been a favourable portent for me was as far away from me as the heavens, the . What is my reward for my eagerness to serve during the days? My days have been finished for serving them sleeplessly during the night! Now, just as the rain pouring down from heaven cannot turn back, alas, nor can I turn back to brick-built Urim.

"Alas, my wife has become a widow (?)! She spends the days in tears and bitter laments. My strength has ebbed away . The hand of fate . bitterly me, the hero. Like a wild bull . I cannot . Like a mighty bull, . Like an offshoot . Like an ass . I died. . my . wife . She spends the days in tears and bitter laments. Her kind protective god has left her her kind protective goddess does not care for her any more. Ninsun no longer rests her august arm firmly on her head. Nanna, lord Acimbabbar, no longer leads (?) her by hand. Enki, the lord of Eridug, does not . Her . has been silenced (?), she can no longer answer. She is cast adrift like a boat in a raging storm the mooring pole has not been strong enough for her. Like a wild ass lured (?) into a perilous pit she has been treated heavy-handedly. Like a lion fallen into a pitfall, a guard has been set up for her. Like a dog kept in a cage, she is silenced. Utu . does not pay heed to the cries "Oh, my king" overwhelming her.

"My tigi, adab, flute and zamzam songs have been turned into laments because of me. The instruments of the house of music have been propped against the wall. Because I have been made to . on a heap of soil (?) instead of my throne whose beauty was endless because I have been made to lie down in the open, desolate steppe instead of my bed, the sleeping place whose . was endless, alas, my wife and my children are in tears and wailing. My people whom I used to command (?) sing like lamentation and dirge singers because of her (?). While I was so treated, foremost Inana, the warlike lady, was not present at my verdict. Enlil had sent her as a messenger to all the foreign lands concerning very important matters."

When she had turned her gaze away from there, Inana humbly entered the shining E-kur, she . at Enlil's fierce brow. (Then Enlil said:) "Great lady of the E-ana, once someone has bowed down, he cannot . (?) any more the trustworthy shepherd left E-ana, you cannot see him any more." My lady . among the people . (1 ms. has instead: like . ). Then Inana, the fierce storm, the eldest child of Suen, . made the heavens tremble, made the earth shake. Inana destroyed cattle-pens, devastated sheepfolds, saying: "I want to hurl insults at An, the king of the gods: Who can change the matter, if Enlil elevates someone? Who can change the import of the august words uttered by An, the king? If there are divine ordinances imposed on the Land, but they are not observed, there will be no abundance at the gods's place of sunrise. My holy jipar, the shrine E-ana, has been barred up like (?) a mountain (some mss. have instead: like the heavens). If only my shepherd could enter before me in it in his prime -- I will not enter it otherwise! (some mss. have instead: Why should I enter it otherwise?) If only my strong one could grow for me like grass and herbs in the desert. If only he could hold steady for me like a river boat at its calm mooring." This is how Inana . a lament over him (1 ms. has instead: . Ur-Namma . )

Lord Ninjiczida . Ur-Namma, my . who was killed,

1 line fragmentary

Among tears and laments, . decreed a fate for Ur-Namma: "Ur-Namma . your august name will be called upon. From the south to the uplands, . the holy sceptre. Sumer . to your palace. The people will admire . the canals which you have dug, the . which you have . the large and grand arable tracts which you have . the reed-beds which you have drained, the wide barley fields which you . and the fortresses and settlements which you have . Ur-Namma, they will call upon . your name. Lord Nunamnir, surpassing . will drive away the evil spirits . "

After shepherd Ur-Namma . Nanna, lord Acimbabbar, . Enki, the king of Eridug . . devastated sheepfolds . (the other ms. has instead: . the foremost, the flood . ). . holy . lion born on high (the other ms. has instead: . basket (?) . ). . your city renders just judgements. . lord Ninjiczida be praised! My king . among tears and laments . among tears and laments.

SEGMENT A

approx. 10 lines missing

1 line fragmentary

. frowned at . . the day was full of sorrow. . withdrew into his bedchamber and lay down fasting.

The mother, wretched (?) because of her son, . the mother of the king, holy Ninsun, was crying: "Oh my heart!". She was weeping bitterly in the broad square, which is otherwise a place of entertainment, that the fate of Ur-Namma had been overturned and that the trustworthy shepherd had been made to pass away. She spent the day in lamentation over the trustworthy shepherd who had been snatched away. Sweet sleep did not (?) come to the people whose happiness had come to an end.

As the early flood was filling the canals, their canal-inspector . The mottled barley come forth on the arable lands, the life of the land, . To the farmer, the fertile fields . Enkimdu, the lord of levees and ditches, . . its numerous people . . of the Land . The plains . fine grass . . heavy cows .

approx. 4 lines missing

SEGMENT B

Ur-Namma . His hands which used to grasp, cannot . His feet which used to tread, .

1 line unclear

The trustworthy shepherd, the king, the . of Sumer, Ur-Namma, . As he himself was going to Urim, Ur-Namma . house. The proud one lying in the palace, Ur-Namma, who . by the troops (?), . He could not rise any more, the wise one of the countries lay down silence . As he, who was the vigour of the Land, has fallen, the land became demolished like a mountain. As he, a cypress forest, was felled, the state of the Land became confused. As he, the cedar tree of the Land, was uprooted, the state of the Land became altered. Axes (?) were set against him, a boxwood tree, in his joyous dwelling place. His appointed time arrived, and he passed away in his prime.

His (?) pleasing sacrifices were no longer accepted they were treated as dirty (?). The Anuna gods did not reach out for his gifts any more. . did not stand by an "It is enough", his (?) days were not prolonged. . there was no more rising up. Ur-Namma, a broken jar, was abandoned at .

3 lines unclear

". what is it to me?"

approx. 5 lines missing

SEGMENT C

3 lines unclear

. the bolt . . sat (?) in saltpetre. . the roads were thrown into disorder, no one could go up and down on them . the roads were thrown into disorder, no one could go up and down on them. . is a long route. . the way . . the journey to the nether world .

. gifts . . chief porters . . who died . . dead nindijir priestesses, chosen by extispicy,

1 line unclear

. raised a tumult . . raised a tumult . The king knew well the rites of the nether world, Ur-Namma knew well the rites of the nether world: so he brought magnificent bulls, faultless kids, and fattened sheep.

To Nergal, the Enlil of the nether world, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a mace, a large bow with quiver and arrows, a large . dagger, and a multi-coloured leather bag for wearing at the hip.

To Gilgamec, the king of the nether world, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a spear, a leather bag for (?) the saddle-hook . a heavenly lion-headed mitum mace, a shield resting on the ground, and a battle-axe, an implement beloved of Ereckigala.

To Ereckigala, the mother of Ninazu . in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a . with oil, a cajan bowl of perfect make, a royal . . the divine powers of the nether world .

To Dumuzid, the beloved husband of Inana, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered alum sheep, long-fleeced sheep, big mountain he-goats, a lordly . of manu wood fit for a shining hand, and shepherd's staff and crook of manu wood, fit for a lord.

To Namtar, who decrees all (?) the fates, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered perfectly wrought jewellery, a golden ring cast (?) as a . barge, pure cornelian stone . of the gods.

To Hucbisag, the wife of Namtar, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a chest with a lapis-lazuli handle, containing (?) everything that is essential in the underworld, a hair clasp adorned with lapis-lazuli, and seven (?) combs of womanly fashion.

To . Ninjiczida, in his palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a . sparkling with . . donkeys that bray loudly (?), followed by .

To . Ninazimua, . denizen of Arali, and to Jectin-ana, the king's sister, in her palace, the shepherd Ur-Namma offered a . the hallmark of the scribe, . a peg and the measuring rod .

To Dimpimekug, who stands at the right and the left (?), the shepherd Ur-Namma . and offered in her (?) palace a golden and silver toggle-pin with a bison's head, and a lapis-lazuli seal with a golden edge and a pin of refined silver.

To . the great ensi of the nether world he brought the magnificent bulls, faultless kids, and fattened sheep that he had in his palace the shepherd Ur-Namma offered them.

After the offerings were presented to the great . of the underworld, the Anuna, they (?) seated Ur-Namma on a great dais of the nether world and set up a dwelling place for him in the nether world. At the command of Ereckigala, with (?) Gilgamec, his beloved brother, he will pass the judgments of the nether world and render the . decisions concerning (?) all the men who fell by weapons and all the men who . guilty.

After five days, ten days had passed, lamenting for Sumer overwhelmed my king, lamenting for Sumer overwhelmed Ur-Namma. As he could not complete the wall of Urim as he could no longer enjoy the new palace he had built as he, the shepherd, could no longer protect (?) his household as he could no longer bring pleasure to his wife with his embrace as he could not bring up his sons on his knees as he would never see in their prime the beauty of their little sisters, who are yet to grow up, the trustworthy shepherd uttered a heart-rending lament for himself: "I, who . who . . for the great gods, I have set up chapels for them. I have created evident abundance for the Anuna gods. I have . treasures to their . shining thrones. . a favourable portent for me, was . as the nether world or the heavens .

1 line fragmentary

approx. 7 lines missing

SEGMENT D

". guard . . silence . . adab, flute and zamzam songs . laments. . have been propped against the wall. Because I have been made to sit on . whose beauty was endless because I have been made to fall in . was endless,

1 line fragmentary

Maiden Inana, the warlike lady, . Enlil had sent her as a messenger to all the great mountains."

When she had turned her gaze away from there, the trustworthy shepherd had left the E-ana, and she (?) could not see him any more. She . at Enlil's fierce brow. Antagonistically (?) she insulted An, the king of the gods: "When An, the king speaks, his words cannot be changed! . Ur-Namma . There will be no . at the gods' place of sunrise. . holy jipar, shrine E-ana . . not enter . "


Ur-Nammu - History

Slavery is a system in which one human being is legally as property to another. In this system, human beings are treated as property, and are purchased and sold as such. In the system of slavery, the slaves are owner’s property and are forced to work.

Slavery can be traced back to the early civilizations it was documented in 1760 BC during the Sumer civilization, which was one of oldest civilizations. And, slavery was accepted as part of society in almost every ancient civilization, including ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, ancient India, ancient China, and the Roman Empire. The history of slavery starts from Sumer civilization and ends with the country Mauritania which was the last country to abolish slavery in 1981.

Slavery in Babylon – 18th Century BC

The Sumerian law code called Code of Ur-Nammu contains laws regarding slaves. This indicates, during Babylonian period slavery was an established institution. The laws for slaves were mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi, which includes death penalty for anyone who helps to escape slaves.

Slavery in Greece – From 7th Century BC

In ancient Greece, the records of slavery were traced back to Mycenaean Greece. As cities established in Ancient Greece, slavery became an important part of society and economy. Throughout the history of ancient Greece, slavery was common practice and an integral component of the society. Most ancient writers mentioned slavery in their writings: they considered it natural and necessary. It is estimated that, in ancient Greece, the majority of the people in Athens city owned at least one slave.

Slavery in Rome – From 2nd Century BC

The practice of slavery in Roman Empire was inherited from Greeks and Phoenicians. The 25% of population in Roman Empire consisted of slaves. The slaves in ancient Rome came from all over Europe and Mediterranean. Slave trading was a big business during this period. The trading took place between Roman Empire and the countries around the Mediterranean.

As the expansion of Roman Republic took place, the institution of slavery created and supplied slaves to work in Roman farms and households. In ancient Rome, the institution of slavery improved the Roman economy. Primarily, making war prisoners and defeated soldiers to work as slaves generated more revenue to the Roman Empire. The Roman armies used to bring captives back as part of their reward. Such war captives were made to work as slaves, who have performed many domestic services and worked as manual labor on farms and in mines. In the second century BC, plantation slavery started in Rome. In ancient Rome, Spartacus led series of slave revolts in the city called Sicily.

Slavery in the Middle Ages – 6th to 15th Century AD

During this period, the Roman Empire collapsed in the west, and slavery continued in Mediterranean countries. Chaos and invasions increased the slavery throughout Europe in the middle ages. During the middle ages, slavery was common in both Christian and Muslim lands. In Arabia, slavery was an accepted part of society during the time of the prophet Muhammad, in the 7th century. Slavery during middle ages has several sources. Vikings raided across Europe and captured slaves. They kept some slaves for themselves as servants and rest would be sold in the Islamic markets. The Viking slave trade gradually came to an end in 11th century. In 1066 AD, Normans invaded English countries and made slaves of the English gentry and sent them to Spain.

Slavery After 15th Century

In 15th century, Portuguese were the first to bring European ships in contact with sub-Saharan Africa to start slave trading. Over a period of time British also became involved in slave trading. By this time, slavery had spread and established in American colonies. The Atlantic triangular slave trade in 18th century was an economic elegance to the owners of slave ships.

In 17th century, slavery abolitionist movement began in England. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was passed in the parliament of United Kingdom which abolished the slavery throughout the British Empire. On 1st January 1863, the United States President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which declares freedom for all people held in slavery in rebel states. The Emancipation Proclamation urges liberated slaves to refrain from violence, and it announced that freed slaves will be welcome to serve in United States Army and Navy. In the United States, slavery was officially abolished in 1865 by enactment of the 13th amendment to the constitution. After that, gradually all the countries abolished slavery. In 1981, Mauritania was the last country to abolish slavery.


Ur-Nammu

Ur-Nammu (ŭr-näm´ōō) , fl. 2060 BC, king of the ancient city of Ur, sometimes called Zur-Nammu or Ur-Engur. He founded a new Sumerian dynasty, the third dynasty of Ur, that lasted a century. Ur-Nammu was the promulgator of the oldest code of law yet known, older by about three centuries than the code of Hammurabi. It consists of a prologue and seven laws the prologue describes Ur-Nammu as a divinely appointed king who established justice throughout the land. This code is of great importance to the study of biblical law, which it predates by about five centuries. The two most famous monuments of Ur-Nammu's reign are the great ziggurat (temple) at Ur and his stele, of which fragments remain.

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According to the Sumerian King List, Ur-Nammu reigned for 18 years. [4] Year-names are known for 17 of these years, but their order is uncertain. One year-name of his reign records the devastation of Gutium , while two years seem to commemorate his legal reforms ("Year in which Ur-Nammu the king put in order the ways (of the people in the country) from below to above", "Year Ur-Nammu made justice in the land"). [5]

Among his military exploits were the conquest of Lagash and the defeat of his former masters at Uruk. He was eventually recognized as a significant regional ruler (of Ur, Eridu, and Uruk) at a coronation in Nippur, and is believed to have constructed buildings at Nippur, Larsa, Kish, Adab, and Umma. He was known for restoring the roads and general order after the Gutian period. [6] It is now known that the reign of Puzur-Inshushinak in Elam overlapped with that of Ur-Nammu. [7] Ur-Nammu, who styled himself "King of Sumer and Akkad" is probably the one who, early in his reign, reconquered the territories of central and northern Mesopotamia that had been occupied by Puzur-Inshushinak, possibly at the expense of the Gutians, before going on to conquer Susa. [8]

Ur-Nammu was also responsible for ordering the construction of a number of ziggurats, including the Great Ziggurat of Ur. [9]

He was killed in a battle against the Gutians after he had been abandoned by his army. [6] He was deified, and succeeded by his son Shulgi. [4] His death in battle was commemorated in a long Sumerian elegiac composition, "The Death of Ur-Nammu". [6] [10] [11]

Several of the year names of Ur-Nammu are known, documenting the major events of his reign. The main year names are:

Year: "Ur-Namma (is) King"
Year: "Ur-Namma declared an amnesty (misharum) in the land"
Year: "The wall of Ur was built"
Year: "The king received kingship from Nippur"
Year: "The temple of Nanna was built"
Year: "The 'A-Nintu' canal was dug"
Year: "The land of Guti was destroyed"
Year: "The god Lugal-bagara was brought into his temple"