why did ancient babylon have such harsh penalties?
- AthenaLv 710 months ago
As opposed to whom?
- EnguerarrardLv 710 months ago
It's a good question. One could argue that the ancient world was cruel, but that's not true everywhere. The barbarian law codes focused on restitution or penalties, but corporal punishment was rare. In tribal societies the worst punishment is expulsion, that is, being ostracized. That penalty turned you into a non human whom anyone could kill or enslave without fear of any kind of retribution from kin.
The Mosaic code is very harsh; maybe the Semitic way was harsh (and by Semite I include Syrians, Assyrians, Arabs and others in the area).
The early cities already had a diverse population of merchants, traders, and others who were not native speakers and who had foreign ways. Maybe it was felt the harsh punishments were necessary to prevent things from becoming chaotic.
The other thing to consider is that before the modern era there was no prison system. Sentencing malefactors in general to prison terms instead of maiming them or killing them came out of the reform movements of the 1830s and 40s.
- AmbistomaLv 710 months ago
It didn't, compared to contemporary civilizations. The difference is they wrote theirs down in an effort to present a consistent code of laws, as opposed to, "Misbehavior has consequences, but we won't tell you what legal penalties to expect."
- ObserverLv 710 months ago
It was part of the CULTURE
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- BillandhiscatsLv 610 months ago
Control. Its no good trying to build a community if you have certain individuals dedicated in only pleasing themselves. Discipline is NOT a dirty word, its an essential rule for how we can all live together.
- Anonymous10 months ago
It did not in comparison with other realms during that time. Only harsh compared to modern standards (unless we are talking about the barbaric Taliban, Saudi-Arabia and Islamic "State" or some American mercenaries who worked for those private corporations who tortured Iraqis).
- NancyLv 710 months ago
You mean like getting 25 years to life in prison for selling white powder to people who want to buy the white powder because it makes them feel good? Oh, wait, that wasn't Ancient Babylon, that's modern-day Babylon, a.k.a, the U.S.
- 10 months ago
People used to torture people just for entertainment value.
- A Yahoo UserLv 710 months ago
"Life was cheap".
That is: the individual (apart from the nobility) was deemed to be of little value.
Lots of people
plenty of people
and "the common man" had no political or military power
and so (as in all such societies) the typical (common) person was deemed to be nearly worthless.
Also: harsh penalties tend to be the least expensive (from the point of view of administration).
A fine - you have to collect it.
Imprisonment - you have to build the prison and feed and guard the prisoners.
Chop off something - takes seconds, lasts forever.