§ 2

Law § 2 of Hammurabi's Code

Summary
charges of witchcraft will be determined by means of whether the accused survives diving into a river. Survival determines whether the accuser or the accused gets the other's estate.
Translation
If a man laid a charge of witchcraft against a man but has not convicted him, the one against whom the witchcraft charge was laid will go to the River; he will dive into the River, and if the River has defeated him, his accuser will take away his estate; if the River has cleared that man and he has come out alright, the one who laid the witchcraft charge against him will be executed; the one who dove into the River will take away the estate of his accuser. · ·

Cuneiform

Law § 2 - Cuneiform - Law Code of Hammurabi

Source: Bergmann (1953, p. 4, col. V, lns. 33–56)

Transliteration

šum-ma a-wi-lum ki-iš-pí e-li a-wi-lim id-di-ma la uk-ti-in-šu ša e-li-šu ki-iš-pu na-du-ú a-na dÍD i-il-la-ak dÍD i-ša-al-li-a-am-ma šum-ma dÍD ik-ta-ša-sú mu-ub-bi-ir-šu É-sú i-tab-ba-al šum-ma a-wi-lam šu-a-ti dÍD ú-te-eb-bi-ba-aš-šu-ma iš-ta-al-ma-am ša e-li-šu ki-iš-pí id-du-ú id-da-ak ša dÍD iš-li-a-am É mu-ub-bi-ri-šu i-tab-ba-al

Source: Huehnergard (2013, p. 64)

Normalization

šumma awīlum kišpī eli awīlim iddī-ma lā uktīššu, ša elīšu kišpū nadû ana Id illak; Id išalliam-ma šumma Id iktašassu mubbiršu bīssu itabbal; šumma awīlam šuāti Id ūtebbibaššū-ma ištalmam, ša elīšu kišpī iddû iddâk; ša Id išliam bīt mubbirīšu itabbal.

Source: Huehnergard (2013, p. 65)

Translation

If a man laid a charge of witchcraft against a man but has not convicted him, the one against whom the witchcraft charge was laid will go to the River; he will dive into the River, and if the River has defeated him, his accuser will take away his estate; if the River has cleared that man and he has come out alright, the one who laid the witchcraft charge against him will be executed; the one who dove into the River will take away the estate of his accuser.

Source: Huehnergard (2013, p. 65)

LawgicSnifferSM

Logic Map for § 2

#
Steps
Law Text
  • 1 if
  • 2
  • 3 a man
  • 4 laid a charge of witchcraft against
  • 5 a man
  • 6
  • 7 but
  • 8
  • 9 [he]
  • 10 has not
  • 11 convicted
  • 12 him,
  • 13
  • 14 [then]
  • 15
  • 16 the one against whom the witchcraft charge was laid
  • 17 will go to the River;
  • 18 he
  • 19 will dive into the River,
  • 20
  • 21 and
  • 22 if
  • 23
  • 24 the River has defeated
  • 25 him,
  • 26
  • 27 [then]
  • 28
  • 29 his accuser
  • 30 will take away his estate;
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34 [and]
  • 35 if
  • 36
  • 37 the River has cleared
  • 38 that man
  • 39
  • 40 and
  • 41
  • 42 he
  • 43 has come out alright,
  • 44
  • 45 [then]
  • 46
  • 47 the one who laid the witchcraft charge against him
  • 48 will be executed;
  • 49
  • 50 [and]
  • 51
  • 52 the one who dove into the River
  • 53 will take away the estate of
  • 54 his accuser.
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59

Glossary of useful terms

Key concepts, places, and persons

Mesopotamia (category: Location) "a Greek name for modern-day Iraq that means 'land between two rivers'"

River Challenge (category: Other) "the act of jumping into the Euphrates river to prove one's innocence, whereby death suggests guilt"

GrammarSnifferSM

Akkadian Words in Law § 2

šumma (conditional Particle) "if; whether"

awīlum (Noun form) Masculine Singular Nominative of awīlu "man"

kišpī (Noun form) Masculine Plural Genitive–Accusative of kišpū "sorcery"

eli (Preposition) "against, on; more than"

awīlim (Noun form) Masculine Singular Genitive of awīlu "man"

iddīma (G-Stem Preterite Verb form) 3rd Person Common Singular of nâdu "to lay down" + -ma "and"

(negation Particle) "not, no, nor; (negation)"

uktīššu (Verb form) of kânu "to be firm" + -šu "his"

ša (relative Particle) "(introduces relative clause or epithet); who, whom; s/he who"

elīšu (Preposition form) of eli "against" + -šu "his"

kišpū (Noun) Masculine Plural Nominative "sorcery, witchcraft; evil; spell"

ana (Preposition) "to, for, in order to"

šumma (conditional Particle) "if; whether"

mubbiršu (Verb form) Singular Nominative of mubbiru "accuser" + -šu "his"

šumma (conditional Particle) "if; whether"

awīlam (Noun form) Masculine Singular Accusative of awīlu "man"

ša (relative Particle) "(introduces relative clause or epithet); who, whom; s/he who"

elīšu (Preposition form) of eli "against" + -šu "his"

kišpī (Noun form) Masculine Plural Genitive–Accusative of kišpū "sorcery"

iddâk (N-Stem Durative Verb form) 3rd Person Common Singular of dâku "to kill"

ša (relative Particle) "(introduces relative clause or epithet); who, whom; s/he who"

mubbiršu (Verb form) Singular Nominative of mubbiru "accuser" + -šu "his"

Staff notes

  1. 'The River Challenge'
    Added on March 22, 2024 by eHammurabi Staff

    Only laws § 2 and § 132 seem to require a person to conduct the "River Challenge" to prove their innocence.

Citation

Dedović, B. "§ 2 - eHammurabi." OMNIKA Foundation, 22 Oct. 2023, ehlaw.org/law/2. [Accessed 19 Apr. 2024]

MLA 9

Dedović, B. (2023, October 22). § 2 - eHammurabi. OMNIKA Foundation. https://ehlaw.org/law/2

APA 7

Dedović, Boban. "§ 2 - eHammurabi." Las Vegas, NV: OMNIKA Foundation. Created October 22, 2023. Modified March 29, 2024. Accessed April 19, 2024. https://ehlaw.org/law/2.

CMS 16

Bibliography

Abulhab, Saad D. The Law Code of Hammurabi: Transliterated and Literally Translated from its Early Classical Arabic Language. New York, NY: Blautopf, 2017.

ACH

Bergmann, Eugen. Codex Ḫammurabi: Textus Primigenius. Rome, Italy: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1953.

CHTP

Huehnergard, John. A Grammar of Akkadian (Third Edition). Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2011.

HAG3

Huehnergard, John. Key to a Grammar of Akkadian (Third Edition). Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2013.

HKEY3

OMNIKA Foundation Contributors. "OMNIKA: Digital Mythology Library & Search Engine." Las Vegas, NV: OMNIKA Foundation, accessed November 14, 2023. https://omnika.org. [Visit]

Richardson, Mervyn E.J. Hammurabi's Laws: Text, Translation and Glossary. New York, NY: T & T Clark International, 2004.

RHL

Sound of Text Contributors. "Sound of Text: AI Text-to-Speech." Accessed November 14, 2023. https://soundoftext.app. [Visit]

SoT

eHammurabi Glossary

The § symbol commonly denotes "a shorthand notation for the word 'section'."

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eHammurabi Glossary

The term Cuneiform commonly means "an ancient writing system used by various cultures around Mesopotamia."

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eHammurabi Glossary

The term Normalization commonly means "the application of grammatical rules unto transliterated sound values."

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eHammurabi Glossary

The term Translation commonly means "the conversion of linguistic contents and their meanings from one language into another."

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eHammurabi Glossary

The term Transliteration commonly means "the conversion of sound values from one writing system into another."

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