69-26-03Dear Father,This is your son, Bonswaga. As you know, I am now settled inMesopotamia. Hammurabi, the leader here, has made certain laws and rules tofollow by, along with severe consequences. This is what I wanted to writeto you about. There may be simple laws, and if you do not follow them,there are severe consequences, for example, just to tell if one is innocentor guilty, you must lick a smoldering hot iron spoon!One law has to do with stealing animals and I quote, “If a man hasstolen an ox, a sheep, a pig, or a boat that belonged to a temple orpalace, he shall repay thirty times its cost.Order now
If it belonged to a privatecitizen, he shall repay ten times. If the thief cannot pay, he shall be putto death. ” Now, to me, that is a very serious consequence. Another law says, ” If a woman hates her husband and says to him,”You cannot be with me,” the authorities in her district will investigatethe case. If she has been chaste and without fault, even though her husbandhas neglected or belittled her, she will be held innocent and may return toher father’s house.
. . if the woman is at fault, she shall be thrown intothe river. ” To me, just for not wanting to be with someone, one should notbe thrown into the river for such an insignificant thing!I may wish to come back in the next few months or so, especially ifit gets too strict around here.
In fact, I am not sure if I am allowed toeven write this letter, I might get my fingers chopped off or something, soI must end this letter now. Your son,Bonswaga