Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Long Arm of the Law - History and Legal Codes

Law is a pretty "dry" field intellectually, but it has a very rich history which goes back in time far beyond the Bible and the nearly legally precedential Ten Commandments. The Tablets of Ebla and the Code of Hammurabi are good examples of even older known human legal codes.

Indeed, our study of ancient legal sources led to our interest in the history of civilization, which is a raucous academic field historically, populated in the course of its development by all sorts of adventurers and fortune-seekers, especially those in archaeology.

It was not just the 49ers who heeded the call of gold from California, but also many learned "diggers" who sought the gold of the world's ancient cultures all over the globe. The world renown discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun (also spelled Tutankhamen, Tutankhamon) by Howard Carter, as financed by Lord Carnarvon, is of course the best example of this quest (a discovery which may be even greater than initially imagined).

The magnetic attraction of ancient cultures - when placed in the proper setting, is shown, for example, by the most famous mystery writer of all time, Agatha Christie, who was married to an archaeologist. Many of her enthralling stories came from this colorful milieu, which even today still captures the imagination of the multitudes.

LawPundit readers might thus be interested to know that our History of Civilization Newsletter, LexiLine, at Yahoo Groups, has four times as many regular readers as LawPundit. Ancient "Gold" still sells.

In any case, the MAIN link between ancient and modern culture is LAW. Those peoples and nations not having the rule of law today are as primitive now as they were thousands of years ago. LAW (and not knowledge or technology or religion) is the difference between uncivilized and civilized peoples. A cell phone or a video camera in the hands of a primitive - even if educated - barbarian does not turn him into a civilized human being. Only respect for the rule of law (which necessarily includes respect for one's fellow humans) has the capacity to lift men beyond the ranks of baboons. When (and if) more men recognize this, the world will be a better place.
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