Thursday, August 11, 2011

It didn’t pay to cheat on booze–a history lesson

Sometimes I see things on FB or Twitter that I want to know more about.

Today is such a day.

Via WallysWine on Twitter

The Code of Hammurabi (1800 B.C.) includes a law that punishes fraudulent wine sellers: They were to be drowned in a river.

I love these kind of stories (remember Early writing depicts Beer),  and I had heard of the CoH before, so this inspired me to read into it a little bit more into the subject. 

DioriteThe Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating to ca. 1700 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world and was enactted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi.  Partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets.

The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man.

In looking into the CoH, you learn there are actually three “laws” pertaining to Wine/Drink -

108 If a [woman wine-seller] does not accept [grain] according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.

109 - If conspirators meet in the house of a [woman wine-seller], and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the [wine-seller] shall be put to death.

110 -If a "sister of a god"[nun] open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death.


Special thanks to WallysWine for the inspiration today.

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