January 22, 2014

5:00PM - 6:30PM
Penn Museum
Harrison Auditorium
3260 South Street
  • Zainab Bahrani

    Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near East Art and Archaeology, Columbia University

The Monumental Force of Law

Penn Humanities Forum

State violence can express itself through the provision and removal of legal rights. In ancient Mesopotamia, massive-scale public monuments made the law widely accessible for the first time. An authority on the art and archaeology of Mesopotamia, Zainab Bahrani considers how, by opposing secrecy and random decisions in legal proceedings, the famous Codex Hammurabi made an open monument of the law, underscoring the nature of justice as a public concept.

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