Circa 1646 - Circa 1626 b.c.e.
King of Babylonia
Descendant of Hammurabi. Ammi-saduqa was the great-great-grandson of Hammurabi (circa 1792 - circa 1750 b.c.e.) and the penultimate ruler of the First Dynasty of Babylon. When Ammi-saduqa came to the throne, he was faced with a shrinking kingdom, whose deterioration had begun soon after the reign of Hammurabi’s son and successor, Samsu-iluna (circa 1749 -circa 1712 b.c.e.).
Ammi-saduqa’s Misbarum-Edict. Few inscriptions are known from Ammi-saduqa’s kingship, and he is chiefly remembered for issuing a misharum-edict. (The Akkadian word misharum means “justice” or “equity.“) While references have been found to other Babylonian kings issuing such edicts, Ammi-saduqa’s is the only misharum edict for which the (almost) complete text survives. The terms of his proclamation provided for the cancellation of debts and the release of persons sold into debt slavery. Ammi-saduqa’s edict constitutes concrete evidence that Mesopotamian justice was conceived as an economic and social equilibrium in which each individual had his place.
Fritz R. Kraus, Königliche Verfügungen in altbabylonischer Zeit, Studia et Documenta ad iura orientis antiqui pertinentia, volume 11 (Leiden: Brill, 1984).
Raymond Westbrook, “Old Babylonian Period,” in A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, 2 volumes, edited by Westbrook, Handbuch der Orientalistik, volume 72 (Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 361–430.