Biography of Hammurabi | History, Facts

Highlights of Hammurabi

Occupation King of Babylon
Born c. 1810 BC in Babylon
Died 1750 BC in Babylon
Reign 1792 – 1750 BC
known for A written code of laws called Hammurabi’s Code

Early Years

Around 1810 BC, in the Mesopotamian city-state of Babylon, Hammurabi was born. Sin-Muballit, his father, ruled Babylon. Hammurabi was reared as the royal prince of Babylon, despite the fact that little is known about his early years. He most certainly attended the tablet house school. He received instruction about the gods of Babylon and the lives of famous Mesopotamian kings. He gained knowledge on army command and combat as well. As he got older, he observed his father and paid attention to his advisers to understand how to rule.

Becoming the King

Hammurabi’s father fell ill just before he reached eighteen. Soon after his father’s passing, young Hammurabi was anointed king of the Babylonian city-state.

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Babylon was a very minor empire at the time. Around Babylon, there were numerous other major kingdoms, such as Assyria, Mari, Larsa, and Eshunna. Hammurabi was now charged with maintaining the city’s security and fostering its growth. An eighteen-year-old may find this to be a difficult undertaking, but Hammurabi remained unfazed. He had a strategy and was sure he could take over.

Improving Babylon

Hammurabi spent the first several years of his rule focusing on enhancing the city of Babylon. Hammurabi signed contracts with the most powerful countries in Mesopotamia because he understood that he required peace in order to implement these reforms. He proceeded to work after he was confident that the city was secure.

Hammurabi sought to bolster the city’s defenses and infrastructure. He added to the city’s defenses, upgraded the irrigation system, and erected new pagan temples. The city prospered and expanded its authority.


The tranquility that Hammurabi had established for several years came to an end. Elam, a formidable monarchy, invaded Mesopotamia and overthrew Eshnunna. Their next stop was the city of Babylon. Hammurabi assembled his army to battle the Elamites after requesting assistance from his ally Larsa.

The Elamites were in front of Hammurabi and his troops. He was anticipating the arrival of an army from Larsa, but it never did. But in preparing Babylon for battle, Hammurabi had done a fine job. He slayed the Elamites with his troops.

Establishing an Empire

Hammurabi focused his attention on Larsa after conquering the Elamites. They having betrayed him did not make him happy. He invaded Larsa and seized power over its cities. He then oriented his army toward the north and started capturing more towns and countries. Hammurabi soon had total control over Mesopotamia. He was the founder of the first Babylonian Empire and ruled over “the four quarters of the world.”

The Hammurabi Code

Even after he had taken control of Mesopotamia, Hammurabi did not view his task as finished. He aimed to make life better for everyone in his kingdom. He started a lot of development and reform projects. He expanded the nation’s network of canals, aqueducts, and temples.

The Code of Hammurabi, a new system of laws, is the thing that makes Hammurabi renowned today. All people could read the laws since they were engraved into stone columns known as stelae. 282 laws were in effect. For more information on Hammurabi’s Code of Laws, click here.


After 43 years in power, Hammurabi perished in 1750 BC. The inhabitants of Mesopotamia enjoyed peace and prosperity during his final years.

Interesting Facts About Hammurabi

Archaeologists have found 55 of Hammurabi’s letters, which is one of the interesting facts about the Hammurabi Tablets.

He made adjustments to correct problems with the Babylonian calendar.

He put in a lot of effort and managed many of his construction projects himself.

The meaning of his name is “the kinsman is a healer.”

One of the great legal thinkers in history, his portrait can be located in both the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court.