Story of Hammurabi

Hammurabi created laws one day on a stone tablet and he called them his code of conduct and then one boy talked back to the king and had his tongue, leg, and arms cut off. And he couldn’t do anything so he stayed home. They were about to him out but then his father went to talk to the king and murdered the king. (* At this point, Mahfous said that he didn’t know how the man had killed Hammurabi because his mother would never tell him because she did not want him to know the details.) And then he became the new king and destroyed this code of conduct and he created a surgery for his and gave him all of his body parts back. Like stitches basically.

Mahfous said that his mother has shared this legend with him on different occasions, mostly when they have an opportunity to just sit or talk or maybe she will squeeze in a tale or two when they have a moment together. Mahfous said that she always emphasizes Hammurabi’s strictness and the fact that everyone hated him. She always ends by saying that if Mahfous ever wants to be a king, he shouldn’t be strict like Hammurabi because otherwise the people will kill him. Mahfous also said that his mom wants him to move to Persia one day and perhaps even become king…

This incredible legend has obvious historical significance, although this exact storyline may not have necessarily occurred in this way or even at all. Nevertheless, it is rooted in the very real history of King Hammurabi and his famous, or infamous, code of laws. The true significance and what I believe is probably most meaningful to Mahfous’s mother, is the lesson of how King Hammurabi chose to treat his people and the terrible consequences of that decision embodied in his code of conduct. It speaks to what a good leader must be like and how he should treat his people; with dignity and respect regardless of their position within society. It also speaks to the political turbulence and uncertainty of contemporary times that may continue to affirm the significance of this legend and its relevance. It may seem that now more than ever we are in need of a just ruler who does not treat his citizens as Hammurabi did, whether it is Mahfous as his mom hopes so or someone else.