Now and again the Gemara wanders off from its mostly legal discussions into legends, myths and stories. Aggadeta is the word for these excursions. Many talmudists rather dislike these detours for not being legalistic or practical; me, since I'm more of a historical mindset than a legalistic one, I think these sections are great fun. They give all sorts of fascinating insights into how life was lived, how it's still lived, and how it out to be lived.
Everyone's heard the story of the man who had two wives, one young the other elderly, and how the young one weeded out his gray hairs while the elderly one weeded out the black hairs, until he was "bald from both sides" (keraiach mekan u-mikan). I don't know where the story originated, but you can find it in the Gemara, where it was recorded at least 1,600 years ago, at Bava Kamma 60b. But I mention that one for the anecdote.
More interesting, further down the same page, is the story told by Rav Huna about a case where King David, warring with the Philistines, could only get at them by burning the fields in which they were hiding. He sent a question to the Sanhedrin (the high court in Jerusalem) asking if it is permissible to destroy property of non-combatants to save oneself. The Sanhedrin responded that as a general rule, one may not do so, but for the king it is permissible, because the King must forge a path for his army so as to face his enemies.
More than a millennium before Hobbes.
This thread began, and is explained, here.