HomeMaritime Law MiscellanyHistorical DocumentsHammurabi's Code of Laws

Hammurabi's Code of Laws (circa 1780 B.C.)


*     *     *

234. If a shipbuilder build a boat of sixty gur for a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels in money. 

235. If a shipbuilder build a boat for some one, and do not make it tight, if during that same year that boat is sent away and suffers injury, the shipbuilder shall take the boat apart and put it together tight at his own expense. The tight boat he shall give to the boat owner. 

236. If a man rent his boat to a sailor, and the sailor is careless, and the boat is wrecked or goes aground, the sailor shall give the owner of the boat another boat as compensation. 

237. If a man hire a sailor and his boat, and provide it with corn, clothing, oil and dates, and other things of the kind needed for fitting it: if the sailor is careless, the boat is wrecked, and its contents ruined, then the sailor shall compensate for the boat which was wrecked and all in it that he ruined. 

238. If a sailor wreck any one's ship, but saves it, he shall pay the half of its value in money. 

239. If a man hire a sailor, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year. 

240. If a merchantman run against a ferryboat, and wreck it, the master of the ship that was wrecked shall seek justice before God; the master of the merchantman, which wrecked the ferryboat, must compensate the owner for the boat and all that he ruined.

*     *     *

275. If any one hire a ferryboat, he shall pay three gerahs in money per day. 

276. If he hire a freight-boat, he shall pay two and one-half gerahs per day. 

277. If any one hire a ship of sixty gur, he shall pay one-sixth of a shekel in money as its hire per day. 

Source of electronic text: Internet Medieval Source Book.