Michel Pireu Columnist

If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death. — Hammurabi’s Code

Admittedly we don’t know how often Babylonian houses fell down before and after the implementation of Hammurabi’s Code. Or how many (if any) Babylonian builders were put to death as a result, but we do know that self-preservation instincts are strong, so it’s probably fair to assume it encouraged a decent margin of safety.

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