Law Codes

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Any systematic and comprehensive written statement of laws compiled by since ancient times, recording judgments and appropriate penalties for various crimes. The oldest extant evidence for a code are tablets from the ancient archives of the city of Ebla (Tell Mardikh, Syria), which date to around 2400 BC. The best known ancient code is that of the Babylonian king Hammurabi of the 18th century BC. Roman legal records began in the 5th century BC, but there was no major codification of Roman law until that of the emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD. The Burgundians, Visigoths, and the Salian Franks also made codes of law. During the later Middle Ages in Europe, maritime customs laws were also drawn up.