Written and used by the people of Eshnunna: 1800 BC.
Commentary and source:
- The Laws of Eshnunna by Reuven Yaron
…. on the 21st day …. of Ellil, the … god …. the kingship of Eshunna …. so that into his father-house …. (and when) Supur-Samas …. across the Tigris … (same) one year were seized with mighty (force of) weapon.
- 1 kor barley for 1 shekel silver
- 3 qa rustum oil for 1 shekel silver
- 1 seah (and) 2 qa sesame oil for 1 shekel silver
- 1 seah (and) 5 qa lard for 1 shekel silver
- 4 seah “river oil” for 1 shekel silver
- 6 minas wool for 1 shekel silver
- 2 kor salt for 1 shekel silver
- 1 kor potash for 1 shekel silver
- 3 minas copper for 1 shekel silver
- 2 minas wrought copper for 1 shekel silver
- 1 qa sesame oil sa nishatim 3 seah (is) its barley
- 1 qa lard sa nishatim 2 seah (and) 5 qa (is) its barley
- 1 qa “river oil” sa nishatim 8 qa (is) its barley
A wagon together with its oxen and its driver: 1 pan (and) 4 seah barley (is) its hire. If silver — 1/3 shekel (is) its hire. All the day he may drive it.
The hire of a boat (per) 1 kor (of capacity, is) 2 qa, and … qa (is) the hire of the boatman. All the day he may drive it.
If a man ina nullani seized a boat (which was) not his — 10 shekels silver he shall weigh out.
2 seah barley (is) the hire of a harvester. If silver — 12 grains (is) his hire.
1 seah barley (is) the hire of a winnower.
Should a man give 1 shekel silver for harvesting to a hired man; if he (the worker) was not ready for him, and did not at all harvest for him the harvesting — 10 shekels silver he shall weigh out.
1 seah barley (is) the hire of a donkey, and 1 seah barley (is) the hire of its driver. All the day he shall drive it.
The hire of a hired man (is) 1 shekel silver; 1 pan barley (is) his provender. One month he shall serve.
From the hands of a slave or of a slave woman a tamkarum or a sabitum silver, barley, wool, sesame oil adi mad/tim shall not receive.
A coparcener son of a man, or a slave, shall not be given credit.
Should a son of a man bring bride payment to the house of his father-in-law:
(i) if of the two one went to the fate, the silver to its owner indeed shall return;
(ii) if he took her and she entered to his house, (and) either the groom or the bride went to the fate, whatever (one) has brought, (one) will not cause to go forth; its excess only (one) will take.
1 shekel — one sixth and 6 grains interest will bear; 1 kor — 1 (pan and) 4 seah of barley interest will bear.
A man, who will give for its equivalent, at the threshing floor will collect.
If a man claimed (his bride) at the house of his father-in-law, but his father-in-law wronged him and gave his daughter to [another] — the father of the daughter the bride payment he received shall twofold return.
If a man brought bride payment for a man’s daughter, but another without asking her father and/or her mother, forcibly seized her and deflowered her — (it is) a case of life indeed; he shall die.
If a man took a man’s daughter without asking her father and/or her mother: –
(i) and also (subsequently) did not fix marriage feast and?/or? contract for her father and/or her mother, — should she (even) dwell in his house the days of one year, (she is) not “a wife”.
(ii) If he (subsequently) fixed contract and?/or? marriage feast for her father and/or her mother and took her, (she is) “a wife”. The day in the lap of a man she will be seized, (one) shall die, shall not live.
If a man has been [made prisoner] during a raid or an invasion, or has been carried off forcibly, (and) [dwelt] in another land for a l[ong] time, another indeed took his wife and she bore a son: whenever he returns, his wife he may [take back].
If a man hated his city and his master and fled, another indeed took his wife: — whenever he returns, to his wife he shall have no claim.
If a slave woman of the palace her son or her daughter gave to a subject for upbringing, the son or the daughter whom she gave the palace will take away; and the taker, who took the son of the slave woman of the palace, his equivalent to the palace shall replace.
If a man gave his goods to be held, and the naptarum who holds them causes the goods to be lost — the house not having been broken into, the threshold not having been scraped off, the window not having been torn out — the naptarum shall replace the goods to the man. If the napatarum‘s house was plundered, loss of the owner of the house was incurred — the owner of the house shall in the house (in the gate) of Tispak swear to the man by god: “Together with thy goods my goods were (verily) lost, I have not done evil and fraud.” He shall swear to him, and nothing upon him he shall have.
If one of the brothers will sell his share, and his brother wishes to buy, the average (price) of another he shall pay in full.
If a man become impoverished and sold his house — the day the buyer will sell, the owner of the house may redeem.
If a man bought a slave, a slave woman, an ox, or (any other) purchase, however much it be, and has not established the seller — he himself is the thief.
If an ubarum, a naptarum, or a mudum will give his beer, the sabitum at the current rate the beer to him shall sell.