Created By: jatay3 on July 17, 2013 Last Edited By: jatay3 on July 24, 2013
Nuked

The Lawgiver

Writer of a Legal System

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Your Barbarian Tribe is Fighting for a Homeland. But it doesn't want to remain a Barbarian Tribe forever, does it? What does it need? Ah now we need a Lawgiver to step forward. He is a wise statesman or sage who organizes the rules by which a society is to be governed.

Compare Founder of the Kingdom, The Judge. If the laws are religious or semi-religious in nature, compare High Priest, The Messiah etc. May also be The Conqueror, if he is not completely obsessed with military predation; or if his laws are primarily concerned with military regulations. Very likely to be a characteristic of The Good King.

Mythological, Religious and Historical

  • King Hammurabi of Babylon was the creator of the Code of Hammurabi, 282 laws carved into a stone stele and clay tablets covering everything from contract law to military service. Its punishments vary in harshness according to relative social class but are largely of the "eye for an eye" type (in fact the idiom paraphrases law 196).

  • Lysander of Sparta was a king who constructed the laws that made Sparta famous.

  • Solon of Athens: He constructed the Athenian constitution and served as magistrate and could be said to be one of the original founders of Democracy.

  • Moses: The transmitter of the Laws of the Jewish people.

  • Genghis Khan wrote the code called the Yassa which was the constitution of the Mongol Empire.

  • Shaka Zulu organized the military regulations for the Zulu army.

  • Cyrus The Great arranged the Persian system of satraps as well as organizing a multiethnic empire in which the different groups could be comfortable.

  • Alfred The Great ordered a survey and standardization of AngloSaxon customs including a regulation of Wergild(blood money to prevent a feud) and a guarentee of royal protection over travellers.

  • Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered the commissioning of the Corpus Juris Civilis. As with many such things, this was actually a survey of preexisting Roman law designed to weed out contradictions and change laws which were incompatible with the present Byzantine state and few new laws as such were made.

  • Muhammad for Moslems not only in the usual prophetic way (i.e. transmitting the laws of the religion from the deity to the people), but his Hadith (verified sayings) is the second-strongest authority within Islamic jurisprudence (second only to The Quran itself)

  • Henry II of England is widely credited with setting the path of The Common Law, establishing new courts and institutions that constitute the law of law-making (the meta-law, if you will) of the system of the English-speaking world: binding precedent, judicial flexibility to operate by analogy, adversarial procedure, the jury, and so on.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte who wrote the Code Napoleon which is the basis for law in many countries.

Literature

  • By the end of Animal Farm, the pig Napoleon. Not in a good way.

  • Paul Atreides in Dune has traces of this.

  • As does Aragorn in Lord of the Rings

Video Games

  • In Dwarf Fortress entities(ranging from mere humans to actual demons) may gain the title of lawgiver to an entire civilization.

Is this Tropable?
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    I haven't started classifying these as it is often difficult to tell historical lawgivers from mythological.
  • July 17, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    • Byzantine Emperor Justinian
  • July 17, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Fictinal example:

    Videogames

    • In Dwarf Fortress, entities may gain the title of Lawgiver for a civilization. These may range from mere humans to powerful demons holding office.
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    • In Vorkosigan Saga Emperor Dorca Vorbarra is mainly mentioned for suppressing Vor robber barons and bringing peace and the only law he is mentioned as making is the prohibition of private armies. However his title is "the just" rather then "the bloody"(as his chief Dragon is called) which seems to indicate that he is remembered for his administrative or judiciary qualities. That may be just for enforcing the peace well, though. Aral Vorkosigan, regent for Emperor Gregor isn't mentioned as making a code of laws per se but he patronized reforms that made his planet a much more civilized society.
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    In Belisarius Series both Byzantine emperor Justinian and Persian emperor Khusrau are pictured as making plans for a new system of laws.
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    Any of the writers of the American Constitution naturally; that was a team effort. Perhaps the closest individual was Alexander Hamilton who wrote Federalist Papers.
  • July 17, 2013
    Quatic
    By the end of Animal Farm, the pig Napoleon. Not in a good way.
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    In practice, what a lot of Real Life lawgivers did is take a survey of local customs and weed out contradictions and the like to streamline the system. An example of this sort of thing was Alfred The Great standardizing the amount of blood money to be paid in negotiating a potential feud. He wasn't eliminating tribal law, but simply rationalizing it so that it would be the same throughout his kingdom.
  • July 17, 2013
    karstovich2
    Examples:

    • You can't ignore The Prophet Muhammad.
    • Henry II of England is widely credited with setting the path of The Common Law, establishing new courts and institutions that constitute the law of law-making (the meta-law, if you will) of the system of the English-speaking world: binding precedent, judicial flexibility to operate by analogy, adversarial procedure, the jury, and so on.
  • July 17, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ True. Justinian I's Corpus Juris Civilis was basically a big cleanup job, since the existing laws had conflicting rules.

    @ jatay3 I think James Madison and Thomas Jefferson need more credit for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights specifically, though both were in a sense a committee effort. I believe they also had their hands in The Federalist Papers.
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    Guru Gobind Singh for Sikhs. He was the last of the ten Gurus if I remember and the compiler of their scriptures.
  • July 17, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Battle for the Planet Of The Apes is narrated by the Lawgiver, an orangutan who codified the rules set down by Caesar. A statue of the same character appears the first two films as the ape who first codified the laws and customs apes live by, especially in regards humans who he called "the devil's pawn."
  • July 18, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons Al-Qadim setting. The woman known as the Loregiver received scrolls detailing a code of honorable behavior directly from Fate herself. The code became the basis for the laws of Zakhara, the Land of Fate.
  • July 18, 2013
    aurora369
    Don't forget Napoleon Bonaparte, inventor of the modern civil law.
  • July 18, 2013
    StarSword
    You've got a pile of Zero Context Examples there that need to be fleshed out. For instance:
    • King Hammurabi of Babylon was the creator of the Code of Hammurabi, 282 laws carved into a stone stele and clay tablets covering everything from contract law to military service. Its punishments vary in harshness according to relative social class but are largely of the "eye for an eye" type (in fact the idiom paraphrases law 196).
  • July 18, 2013
    karstovich2
    • Muhammad is a lawgiver not only in the usual prophetic way (i.e. transmitting the laws of the religion from the deity to the people), but his Hadith (verified sayings) is the second-strongest authority within Islamic jurisprudence (second only to The Quran itself).
  • July 24, 2013
    jatay3
    This may need a bit more work but it shouldn't be forgotten.

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