Hammurabi I (1728-1686 B.C.) was 6th king of the 1st dynasty of Babylon with the title "King of Sumer and Akkad". He unified Babylonia and in 1692 conquered or destroyed Mari, the centre of an empire (today Syria, northwest of Abu Kamal) and a large part of Assyria. His empire stretched over almost the entire Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf. In 1901 a stele made of diorite was found (now in the Louvre in Paris), which contains a large part of the laws of private and public law he enacted. This collection of laws, known as the "Codex Hammurabi", is one of the oldest in the world. It states: "Wine is one of the most precious gifts on earth. So he demands love and respect, we have to show him respect.
The relief at the head of the stele shows Hammurabi, who receives the code of law from the sun god Šamaš (Shamash). The part on wine contained in it is considered the oldest wine law in the world. Hammurabi introduced fixed prices, set yield quantities and regulated sales for wine taverns and merchants with price caps. Strict penalties are threatened if regulations are violated. In case of mistakes or fraudulent intent in calculating the bill, the barmaids were threatened with being thrown into the water and if a priestess went into a wine house and drank wine, she was threatened with death by burning. The Codex Hammurabi also contains precise guidelines for the production of beer. See also under Ancient Wines and Drinking Culture.