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The
legal code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the code was enacted, by a process of codification ...

legal code
was a common feature of the legal systems of the ancient Middle East. Many of them are examples of
cuneiform lawCuneiform law refers to any of the legal code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the cod ...
. The Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2100–2050 BCE), then the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BCE), are amongst the earliest originating in the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
. In the Roman empire, a number of codifications were developed, such as the Twelve Tables of Roman law (first compiled in 450 BCE) and the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian, also known as the Justinian Code (429–534 CE). In ancient China, the first comprehensive criminal code was the Tang Code, created in 624 CE in the Tang Dynasty. In India, the
Edicts of Ashoka The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of more than thirty inscriptions on the , as well as boulders and cave walls, attributed to Emperor of the who reigned from 268 BCE to 232 BCE. Ashoka used the expression ''Dhaṃma '' ( in the : , "Ins ...
(269–236 BCE) were followed by the Law of Manu (200 BCE). The following is a list of
ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from ...

ancient
legal codes in chronological order: *
Code of Urukagina Uru-ka-gina, Uru-inim-gina, or Iri-ka-gina ( sux, ; 24th century BC, middle chronology) was King of the city-states of Lagash and Girsu in Mesopotamia, and the last ruler of the 1st Dynasty of Lagash. He assumed the title of lugal, king, claim ...
(2380–2360 BCE) *
Code of Ur-Nammu The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest known law code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time ...
, king of
Ur
Ur
(c. 2050 BCE). Copies with slight variations found in Nippur, Sippar and Ur *
Laws of Eshnunna The Laws of Eshnunna (abrv. LE) are inscribed on two cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the ea ...
(c. 1930 BCE)Code of Nesilim
/ref> * Codex of
Lipit-Ishtar Lipit-Ishtar (AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Wo ...
of
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
(c. 1870 BCE) * Babylonian law **
Code of Hammurabi The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylon Babylon was the capital city of the ancient Babylonian empire, which itself is a term referring to either of two separate empires in the Mesopotamian area in antiquity. These two empires achieved regional do ...

Code of Hammurabi
(c. 1750 BCE in
middle chronology The chronology of the ancient Near East is a chronology, framework of dates for various events, rulers and dynasties. Historical inscriptions and texts customarily record events in terms of a succession of officials or rulers: "in the year X of ki ...
) *
Hittite laws The Hittite laws, also known as the Code of the Nesilim, constitute an List of ancient legal codes, ancient legal code dating from c. 1650 – 1500 BCE. They have been preserved on a number of Hittite language, Hittite cuneiform script, cuneif ...
, also known as the 'Code of the Nesilim' (developed c. 1650–1500 BCE, in effect until c. 1100 BCE) *
Law of Moses The Law of Moses ( he, תֹּורַת מֹשֶׁה ), also called the Mosaic Law, primarily refers to the Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible ...
/
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Heb ...

Torah
(10th–6th century BCE) **
Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific ...
(Jewish religious law, including biblical law and later
talmud The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the ...

talmud
ic and
rabbinic law In its primary meaning, the Hebrew language, Hebrew word ' (, meaning "commandment", , , Biblical Hebrew, Biblical: '; plural ' , Biblical: '; from ' "command") refers to a commandment Divine law, commanded by God to be performed as a religious ...
, as well as customs and traditions) *
Assyrian law Assyrian law or the Code of the Assyrians was very similar to Sumerian and Babylonian law,Encarta ''Microsoft Encarta'' was a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Har ...
, also known as the Middle Assyrian Laws (MAL) or the Code of the Assyrians/Assura (developed c. 1450–1250 BCE, oldest extant copy c. 1075 BCE)Code of the Assura
/ref> *
Draconian constitution The Draconian constitution, or Draco's code, was a written law code enforced by Draco (lawgiver), Draco near the end of the 7th century BC; its composition started around 621BC. It was written in response to the unjust interpretation and modificat ...
(late 7th century BCE) *
Solonian Constitution The Solonian Constitution was created by Solon in the early 6th century BC. At the time of Solon the Athenian State was almost falling to pieces in consequence of dissensions between the parties into which the population was divided. Solon wanted ...
(early 6th century BCE) *
Gortyn code #REDIRECT Gortyn code upright=1.5, Federico Halbherr studying the code. The Gortyn code (also called the Great Code) was a legal code that was the codification of the Civil law (legal system), civil law of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek Polis ...
(5th century BCE) *
Twelve Tables The ''Law of the Twelve tables'' ( la, Leges Duodecim Tabularum or ) was the legislation that stood at the foundation of Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand y ...
of
Roman Law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
(451 BCE) *
Edicts of Ashoka The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of more than thirty inscriptions on the , as well as boulders and cave walls, attributed to Emperor of the who reigned from 268 BCE to 232 BCE. Ashoka used the expression ''Dhaṃma '' ( in the : , "Ins ...
of Buddhist Law (269–236 BCE) * Law of Manu (c. 200 BCE) *
Tirukkural The ''Tirukkuṟaḷ'' ( ta, திருக்குறள், lit=sacred verses), or shortly the ''Kural'', is a classic Tamil language text consisting of 1,330 short couplets, or Kural (poetic form), kurals, of seven words each. The text i ...

Tirukkural
, Ancient
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils The Tamil people, also known as Tamilar ( ta, தமிழர், Tamiḻar, translit-std=ISO, in the singular or ta, தமிழர்கள், Tamiḻarkaḷ, translit-std=ISO, label=none, in the plural), o ...
laws and ethics compiled by
Thiruvalluvar Thiruvalluvar (Tamil language, Tamil: திருவள்ளுவர்), commonly known as Valluvar, was a celebrated Tamil people, Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known as the author of the ''Tirukkuṟaḷ'', a collection of coup ...

Thiruvalluvar
(31 BCE–500 CE) *
Corpus Juris Civilis The ''Corpus Juris'' (or ''Iuris'') ''Civilis'' ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of the propriety of . Scholars of ...
(compiled 529–534 CE) **
Code of Justinian The Code of Justinian ( la, Codex Justinianus, or ) is one part of the ''Corpus Juris Civilis The ''Corpus Juris'' (or ''Iuris'') ''Civilis'' ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence ...
** Digest or Pandects **
Institutes of Justinian The Institutes of Justinian ( la, Institutiones Justiniani) is a component of the ''Corpus Juris Civilis The ''Corpus Juris'' (or ''Iuris'') ''Civilis'' ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in juris ...
** ''
Novellae Constitutiones The ("new constitutions"; grc, Νεαραὶ διατάξεις), or ''Justinian's Novels'', are now considered one of the four major units of Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spann ...

Novellae Constitutiones
'' *
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
or Islamic Law (c. 570;
Hanafi The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِي, translit=Ḥanafī) is one of the four traditional major Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree b ...
fiqh ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence. Muhammad-> Sahabah, Companions-> Tabi‘un, Followers-> Fiqh. The commands and prohibitions chosen by God were revealed through the agency of the Prophet in both the Quran and the Sunnah (words, dee ...
was not codified until the Ottoman
Mecelle The Mecelle was the civil code of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was the first attempt to Codification (law), codify a part of the Sharia-based law of an Islamic state. Name The Ottoman Turkish language, Ottoman ...
of the 1870s, the other schools were even later) *
Traditional Chinese law Traditional Chinese law refers to the laws, regulations, and rules used in China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geogr ...
**
Tang Code The ''Tang Code'' () was a penal code that was established and used during the Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plura ...
(624 to 637) *
Gentoo Code The ''Gentoo Code'' (also known as ''A Code of Gentoo Laws'' or ''Ordinations of the Pundits'') is a legal code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete syst ...
(origins unknown; translated from Sankskrit into Persian, English, German and French in 1776–1778) *
Early Irish law , County Tipperary, although built by the Normans, was later occupied by the MacEgan juristic family and served as a school of Irish law under them Early Irish law, historically referred to as Féineachas (English: Freeman-ism) or Dlí na Féine ( ...
or Brehon Law (8th century CE)


See also

*
Legal culture Law is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as oppose ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Ancient Legal Codes, List of Legal codes
Legal codes A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the code was enacted, by a process of codification ...
Law in ancient history Law-related lists