CIRCA 1792 c.c. Hammurabi (1810-1750B.c.) is best known for the administrative and moral reforms he enacted when he took the throne of the Babylonian Empire around 1792 B.C. Though not actually the earliest code of law from ancient Mesopotamia, it is the most extensiv—more than 3,500 lines are inscribed on a slab of basalt stone standing almost seven and a half feet tall. It can be seen today at the Louvre in Paris, France. The code covers criminal and civil matters from murder to marriage, and from trade deals to slavery disputes. Hammurabi's well-known law of retaliation, "an eye for an eye"—later echoed in the Old Testament—is actually an exception in a legal code mostly devoid of primitive retributive customs.The code empowered only men. As heads of households, they represented their families to the outside world. The code allowed them to sell their wives and children to pay debts. Men could engage in sexual relations with concubines, slaves, or prostitutes, while their wives would be condemned for adultery by drowning.The Code of Hammurabi was one of the first written works to promulgate behavioral mores for entire empire and, despite the inequalities it contains, it influenced lawmakers for centuries. Indeed, Hammurabi is one of 23 lawgivers depicted in bas-relief in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.