Stele of Hummurabi

Who wrote the earliest writing code law? Hammurabi was the ruler who chiefly established the greatness of Babylon, the world’sfirst metropolis. He is the earliest-known example of a ruler proclaiming publicly to his people an entire body of laws, arranged in orderly groups, so that all men might read and know what was required of them. Hammurabi’s most famous claim to fame is his law code. The code is inscribed on a magnificent stele of black diorite, eight feet high, found at Susa in A.D. 1902. Formerly it had stood in Babylon, but the Elamites carried it off when they conquered Babylon in the twelfth century B.C. It is now in the Louver Museum in Paris. At the top of the stele is a finely sculptured scene showing Hammurabi standing before the sun god Shamash (the patron of law and justice), who is seated and is giving the laws to Hammurabi. Beneath the scene the laws are inscribed in beautiful cuneiform characters in fifty-one columns of text.
The code is inscribed on a tall black-basalt stele that was carried off as booty to Susa in 1157 B.C., together with the Naram-Sin stele. At the top is a relief depicting Hammurabi in the presence of the flame-should-dered sun god, Shamash. The king raises his hand in respect. The god bestows on Hammurabi the authority to rule and to enforce the laws. The sculptor depicted Shamash in the familiar convention of combined front and side views, but with two important exceptions. His great headdress with its four pair of borns is in ceptions. His great deaddress with its four pairs of borns are true profile so that only four, not all eight, of the horns are visible. And the artist seems to have tentatively explored the notion of forehortening a device for suggesting dept by repersenting a figure or object at an angle, rather than frontally or in profile. The god's beard is a series of diagonal rather than horizontal lines, suggesting its revession from the picture plane.