Monday, September 3, 2012

The Code of the Assura

The Code of the Assyrians revolves around the theme of relationships, mostly between males and females. The rules that are laid out concern adultery, homosexuality, and animals.
Something that stood out to me in this reading was I.47. In this passage, the writer strictly prohibits sorcery. If there is a person who is found committing this crime, the author demands that they be put to death. This is interesting to me because their culture was not God-centered. They were heathens and pagans, so one would assume that they accepted things like this. Additionally, one would also think that this culture encouraged experimentation with homosexuality or promiscuity. However, this entire law code is completely against all of those things.
This makes me wonder about Bible times. My knowledge of history never included a society wherein there were good morals but no Christian God. I made the presumption that if they weren't following God, they were making poor decisions and living their lives selfishly and in any sort of capacity they chose.
In modern times, I think of secular individuals where they make family and their community a priority. They have morals; they know not to kill people. They're not Christians. They're just "good people."
The reading also speaks about prostitutes and how they are to be treated. In I.40, the writer delegates that women of higher social status are to wear head coverings in public, while harlots are ordered not to wear head coverings. While they are publicly humiliated in this way, they are protected in I.51. This ordinance directs that if a man abuses a harlot and causes her to miscarry, then that man is to be beaten as much as he beat her. In today's day and age, women are protected from abuse just as they were in this code written so many years ago.
The text delves into the Code of Hammurabi, a 282-rule document that introduces us to the idea of "an eye for an eye." It was written in 1772 BCE, 697 years before the Code of Assura was written. Hammurabi believed that the punishment should fit the crime. He also realized the importance of the irrigation system that was in Babylon, and several of the rules revolve around the preservation and conservation of the system. Other rules are very similar to the ones listed in the Code of Assura.
Overall, while this Code doesn't necessarily apply to our American society today, it has some slight relevance in that they believe the punishment should fit the crime.

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