It has long been known that there was a celebrated lawgiver in the valley of the Euphrates called Hammurabi or Amraphel.1 He was king of Babylon, and his rule extended over the whole of Mesopotamia from the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates to the Mediterranean coast. There are frequent references to the code of Hammurabi in the Chaldean and Assyrian writers, and a few of his laws have been more or less perfectly known for half a century. He is supposed to have lived between 2885 and 2242 B. C, or about the time of Abraham.
Every physician will have a certain interest in knowing that nine of the 282 laws of Hammurabi refer to surgeons. These laws were discovered written on a monument of stone, eight feet high. It was found at Susa, Persia, in January, 1902, and in October of the same year a superb reproduction
HOLMES B. THE MOST ANCIENT MEDICAL PRACTICE LAWS.THE CODE OF HAMMURABI, 2200 B. C.. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(4):293-294. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500310037001j