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The Known History Of Slavery
The Code Of Hammurabi is one of the oldest legislation in the known history of humans. In 2250 BC (before Christ) The King of Babylon named Hammurabi legislated the law and hence it is known as The Code Of Hammurabi.
The code contains the constitutional laws during that time. Among the rules were the laws regarding slaves. The high frequency of references of slaves in the code shows that how deeply the people of the time practised slavery.
Slaves were having the lowest grade in the society during the time of king Hammurabi.
"The third class, wardum-amtum, consisted of male and female slaves." - The Code Of Hammurabi, by Robert F Harper.
Slaves were part of the society even before the king Hammurabi. When one go through these code of law, it can be very clearly seen that there was one law for high class citizens and another law for the third class slaves.
"If a slave of anyone has smitten the privates of a free-born man, his ear shall be cut off." Code - 205, Ibid.
- One law for the third class slaves.
"If a man has smitten the privates of a patrician of his own rank, he shall pay one mina of silver." Code - 203, Ibid.
- And another law for the first class citizens.
Slavery and the slaves had a great impact on the world economy of that time. Just like we use the currency, they used slaves.
"But when money was viewed as a medium of exchange, representing in itself things capable of producing or rendering service, such as lands, cattle, slaves or vessels, - a draft, as it were upon the whole world." THE LAW OF BABYLONIA. Page - 27, Historical Jurisprudence by Guy Carleton Lee.
- They viewed human slaves just as a medium of exchange.
- They counted human slaves among their lands, cattle, vessels etc.
"In the case of a slave the name of the slave's father is never given. The slave is not regarded or spoken of as a man, but as a thing, and is reckoned in the same way as cattle." - THE LAW OF BABYLONIA. Page - 39, Historical Jurisprudence by Guy Carleton Lee.
- They wanted father-less slaves.
- They wanted tongue-less slaves.
- They wanted slaves just as they wanted cattle.
Slaves were not a different beings came down from the sky or came up from the trenches of earth. They were free humans like you and me.
But what made them slaves ?
"If a man be in debt and sell his wife, son or daughter, or bind them over to service, for three years they shall work in the house of their purchaser or master; in the fourth year they shall be given their freedom." Code - 117, The Code Of Hammurabi, by Robert F Harper.
The history goes on and on ...
It is a great deal to understand these history. Before we look into how Mohammad The Messenger of God handled the issue of slavery, knowing these kind of Historical Excerpts that dates back to The First Known Human Civilization on the planet earth, is a must for a 21st century man.