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Article
November 1942

ANCIENT MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE EYE

Author Affiliations

ATLANTIC CITY, N. J.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1942;28(5):860-881. doi:10.1001/archopht.1942.00880110108010
Abstract

In all ancient systems of law, a sense of justice demanded the infliction of the same pain and the same loss on the aggressor as he had inflicted on his victim. Hence the prominence of the principle of lex talionis, or "measure for measure," in ancient law. The Old Testament legislation "an eye for an eye" is not the first conception of ancient justice. About twelve hundred and fifty years prior to the Mosaic code, Hammurabi (reigned 2285 to 2242 B. C.), king of Babylonia, enacted laws based on the principle of "an eye for an eye."1 His interpretation of lex talionis in many instances was more rigid and unrelenting than the Mosaic conception of retaliation. According to the Babylonian code, for example, when a man struck a pregnant woman (free born) so as to cause the death of the fetus by miscarriage, the daughter of the assailant had

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