Code of Hammurabi at the Bode-Museum until 7 April 2024


Acting as an ambassador for the Vorderasiatisches Museum, the Hammurabi stele is once more on display to the public until 7 April 2024 as part of the exhibition lus in nummis: The Thomas Würtenberger Collection at the Bode-Museum on the Museuminsel. This is the first time the object has been on show since the temporary closure of the Pergamonmuseum. In the exhibition, one of the oldest and most prominent legal texts in the world is presented alongside examples of the medallion art that would be invented millennia later – both of which serve as equally rich sources of legal history.

The Hammurabi stele was looted from Babylon around 1200 BC and taken to the Elamite capital of Susa located roughly 350 kilometres away, where it was rediscovered in 1901 by French excavators. The stele features a relief image of King Hammurabi (1792–1750 BC) with Shamash, the Babylonian god of the sun and justice, who is giving the king the staff and ring that symbolise power. The 282 paragraphs of laws preserved in the stele cover property offences, violent crimes, marriage and inheritance law, along with other legal matters.

The lus in nummis Exhibition

lus in nummis is the first exhibition in the world that centres on the themes of law and justice as depicted in the medium of the medallion, and contains a range of objects selected from the Thomas Würtenberger collection. This substantial donation has been held by the Münzkabinett since 2023 and comprises over 3,100 objects. Ranging from the Ten Commandments through to the conventions on human rights, the exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of how the law has been depicted over time.

Ius in nummis
26.05.2023 to 07.04.2024

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