How the Code of Hammurabi Influenced Modern Legal Systems

It’s been nearly 3,800 years since Hammurabi extended his rule across ancient Mesopotamia, a region that between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that includes what is now Iraq, as well as portions of Kuwait, Turkey and Syria. But the Babylonian king, whose likeness is among the pantheon of ancient lawgivers carved into the south wall of the U.S. Supreme Court chamber, has an influence that’s still felt today.

That’s because of the Code of Hammurabi, a collection of 282 laws and regulations written in cuneiform script on the surface of a seven-foot, four-inch stone monument, which was discovered by French researcher Jacques de Morgan in 1901 and today is part of the collection at the Louvre in Paris.