written during the reign of Hammurabi
(1792-1750 B.C.), discovered at the beginning of the 20th century by the French archaeologist
Jacques de Morgan in the city of Susa
(where it was brought after it was plunder
ed from Babylon). The stela
was originally placed in Babylon, and is remarkable not for the code itself, but for its publication
. Sure, it cries out "here are the laws under which you are judge
d", but adds the footnote
"...now all you have to do is go join a school
, become a scribe
, learn how to read
, and even then we're making no promise
The format is simple; after a long literary and historical preamble, it switches to a simple and plain prodasis/apodosis style. In Akkadian, all you need to remember is three words: "shumma awilum..." (If a man...) and "...iddak" (...he shall be put to death).
I'll post more as I translate.