If you think that the well known phrase given in the title has originated in ancient Hebrew scriptures or any other religious texts - whether Abrahamic or Dharmic- as I used to , you are wrong. It is a paraphrase of a law as given by Hammurabi, creator of one of the earliest codes of law ever made on earth, in 1750 BC! Roman and Greek philosophies on codes of law flowered later. Indian came out much later. And if you haven't heard about this Hammurabi, I will not find anything wrong with you either since I too didn't until very recently. But once I started reading about it I was amazed which I want to share with you.
The Americans have identified this Hammurabi pretty long back. His head is figured over the gallery doors of home chamber in the US Capitol building, Washington DC as one of the historical few who have influenced in forming the American law! So also a replica of stele -or stone pillar in simpler term- of Hammurabi is placed in the HQ building of the United Nations and the original stele which is at the world famous 'The Louvre' at Paris. I didn't notice that when I visited them. Justinian the great of Byzantine and Napoleon Bonaparte of France along few others have been identified as heavily influenced by the legal codes of Hammurabi! Almost all the countries of the world have referred to this code of law before they could finalize their own even in the modern world! I am sure that he must be a topic to be studied in law schools.
Paul is my schoolmate but a dropout. He couldn't continue studies for some unknown reasons. He is native of my own city but lives in a suburb. The poor fellow had to struggle a lot in life to make both ends meet. Still he does. He is two years older to me. I got into regular contact with him over telephone, once I came back from Doha. I have found out that his level of knowledge on history and geography of the world is outstanding which we used to share and enjoy. He says that he picked up the habit of reading soon after he had dropped out of the school, taking books from local library and purchasing a few on his own if possible, while doing sorts of errand jobs for a living. Finally he had a good collection of such books but none of his immediate family members were interested. Finally he donated them to the library from where he used to take books!! Paul is materially a poor man but good hearted and has a covetable wealth of knowledge which he failed to make use in this world. It was this Paul who tipped me on Hammurabi albeit it was a just a tip of an iceberg. Strange are the ways of this world! This article is dedicated to my friend Paul....
Hammurabi as exhibited at the Capitol