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Mesopotamian Law and Homosexuality


Neither the "Code" of Hammurabi for the Laws of Eshnunna seem to any mention of homosexual activity.

The Assyrian Laws of c. 1450-1250 BCE does seem to have a relevant provision.

The usual view is that these laws represent some kind of addition to the older law codes. The largest tablet mostly deals with laws pertaining to married women. The following provision is relevant:-

20. If a man has lain with his male friend and a charge is brought and proved against him, the same thing shall be done to him and he shall be made a eunuch.

From H.W.F Saggs, The Greatest That was Babylon, (New York: Hawthorn, 1962), 212



The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 15 October 2019 [CV]