Extracts from the Codex Theodosianus (312-438 CE)
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Extracts from the Codex Theodosianus
|YEAR||Ref.||Christian Imperial Laws from Codex Theodosianus (312-438 CE)
||313||16.2.1||Christians shall be exempted from serving as tax collectors and other public duties; replacements shall be found for them.
||315||16.8.1||"Any Jew who stones a Jewish convert to Christianity shall be burned, and no one is allowed to join Judaism. [Pharr also gives 339, but we give 315 because it is listed by Pharr as in the “fourth consulship” of Constantine.] "
||319||16.2.2||"Priests shall be exempted from public service. [Pharr gives 313 and 319, we list it under 319 because it is in the “fifth consulship of Constantine Augustus.”] "
||320||16.2.10||"Exemptions from tax payments and menial public services are granted to clergy, as well as their wives, children, and acolytes. [Pharr feels that although the text states this was promulgated by Constantius and Constans in 353, it may have actually been p
||321||16.10.1||"If the palace should be struck by lightning, customary consultation of soothsayers may follow."
||321||16.2.4||"At death, people shall have the right to leave property to the Church."
||321||16.8.3||Jews are allowed to serve on municipal councils.
||323||16.2.5||"Clergy shall not be forced into participating in pagan practices; anyone who forces a clergyman into such an act may be fined or publicly beaten, depending on his legal status."
||326||16.2.6||There shall be limits on the number of people entering the clergy; people shall not become clerics in order to avoid public service.
||326||16.5.1||Religious privileges are reserved for Christians.
||326||16.5.2||"Novatians are not considered pre-condemned, and thus may posses their own church buildings and cemeteries. [Novatians disagreed with the Church about absolution.] "
||329||16.2.3||Persons entering the clergy in order to avoid public service shall withdraw from the clergy. [Elliott gives 18 July 329. Pharr lists this as a second date.]
||330||16.2.7||Church ministers shall not have to serve as decurions.
||330||16.8.2||Jewish priests shall be exempt from public service.
||331||16.8.4||Priests (Jewish priests) and synagogue rulers are exempt from public service.
||333||Title 1||"Judicial decisions made by bishops are to be upheld. Enforcement is to be the responsibility of the prefect. If a party to a law suit may request the case to be heard by a bishop rather than a secular judge, the request is to be granted." (See below for precedent of 323 CE)
||336||16.8.5||Jews are not allowed to harass Jewish converts to Christianity.
||336||16.9.1||Circumcised slaves are to be freed.
||337||Title 4||"Jews may not own circumcised slaves. Also, Jews may not harass Jewish converts to Christianity. [Two posted years are given, 336 and 337. We elected to use the later year because it also gives a date.]"
||339||16.8.6||Women employed by the government as weavers who were lead away by Jews may return to weaving.
||339||16.9.2||Jews may not hold Christian slaves. Jews who circumcise slaves shall be executed.
||341||16.10.2||Sacrifices and superstition are forbidden.
||342||16.2.11||"Minor sons of clergy are exempt from public service. [Two dates are given in the Code, 356 and 342. Pharr prefers 342 on the basis that Longinianus, to whom this statute is addressed, was Prefect of Egypt in 342.] "
||343||16.2.8||"Clergy shall not have to pay new taxes, nor shall they have to quarter strangers, and shall be tax exempt if they start their own business."
||346||16.10.3||"Although pagan religious practices are banned, pagan temples are to be preserved because they host plays and circuses. [On the basis of the dates of the administration of the addressee, Catullinus, Pharr prefers 342 to 346, an alternative date.]"
||346||16.10.4||"Pagan temples are to be closed, access to them is denied, and violators may face the death penalty. [There are three possible dates: 346, 354, 356. Pharr offers no insight; however, Bradbury leans toward 346 for the sake of consistency with 16.10.3. Th
||349||16.2.9||"Clergy are exempted from all municipal duties, and their sons may continue in the church unless obligated by public service."
||352||16.8.7||"Persons who join Judaism from Christianity shall have their property confiscated. [The date is uncertain, however, Pharr tentatively settles on 352.]"
||353||16.10.5||Night-time sacrifices are forbidden.
||355||16.2.12||Bishops shall not have to appear before secular judges; accusations shall be brought before other bishops.
||356||16.10.6||Those guilty of idolatry or pagan sacrifices may be subject to the death penalty.
||356||16.2.14||"Clergy and their families are exempt from paying taxes. [Constantius left Milan April 28, 357, therefore, Pharr believes that this law must have been given in 356, although 357 is also listed in the text.]"
||357||16.2.13||Privileges granted to the Church in Rome shall be upheld.
||360||16.2.15||"Small-time tradesmen shall be tax exempt, more prosperous tradesmen shall not be exempt. Personal land held by clergy shall also be taxable."
||361||16.2.16||Persons who live especially pious lives shall be exempted from public service.
||364||16.2.17||The wealthy shall not be allowed to become clergy.
||365||16.1.1||No Christian shall have to serve in a pagan temple; the judge who makes such an appointment risks fines or execution.
||370||16.2.18||Policies of the late Constantius are to be upheld.
||370||16.2.19||"Men born as decurions who enter the clergy shall be exempted from recall if they are called after 10 years of clerical service. If they are called after fewer than 10 years, they are obligated to carry out their public service."
||370||16.2.20||"Clergy and former clergy shall not be allowed to visit widows or female wards if the women's relatives are suspicious of the clergy. Further, gifts from these women to clergy shall be regulated."
||371||16.2.21||Those who have continuously served the church since before the reigns of the emperors remain exempt from municipal councils; those who joined the ecclesiastics afterward are not exempt.
||372||16.2.22||"Statute 16.2.21 applies to bishops, virgins, and others in service of the church."
||372||16.5.3||Manichaeans and similar groups may not assemble; their teachers will be punished.
||373||16.6.1||Bishops who repeat baptism are judged unworthy of the priesthood.
||376||16.2.23||"Disagreements over religious matters shall be addressed by church authorities, while criminal cases shall be brought before a judge."
||377||16.2.24||"Priests, deacons, exorcists, lectors, and other church ministers are exempt from public service."
||377||16.6.2||"Second baptism and other practices contrary to the teachings of the Apostles is condemned. Furthermore, places where expelled persons visit may be confiscated."
||378||16.5.4||Alters and worship places of non-Catholic religions shall be confiscated.
||379||16.5.5||Heresies (not defined herein) may not be taught.
||379||16.6.1||Bishops who repeat baptism shall be considered unworthy of the priesthood.
||380||16.1.2||"All of the people shall believe in God within the concept of the Holy Trinity, as taught by St. Peter, and take the name Catholic Christians. Meeting places of those who do not believe shall not be given the status of churches, and such people may be su
||381||16.1.3||Churches confessing the Trinity must come under the authority of certain approved bishops; those not in communion with them shall not retain church status.
||381||16.10.7||Persons who engage in pagan or superstitious behavior may be penalized.
||381||16.2.26||Guardians of the church are tax exempt.
||381||16.5.6||"Heretics are defined as those who do not observe the Nicene faith. Their teachings are forbidden. A definition of the Trinity, ousia, is established. Catholic churches throughout the empire are to be returned to orthodox bishops. "
||381||16.5.7||"Manichaeans may not inherit property or leave it to others through wills. Furthermore, their burial places shall be obscure."
||381||16.5.8||"It is forbidden for Arians, Eunomians, or followers of Ethius to build churches. If any such churches are built, they will be confiscated."
||381||16.7.1||Christians who have converted to paganism shall not be allowed to “make testament.”
||381||Title 7||"In celebration of Easter, clemency is granted to the imprisoned. An exception is given for those who have committed the “five crimes” defined in CTh 9, 38."
||382||16.10.8||"The temple is to remain open to the people, although sacrifices conducted under pretext of public access are forbidden. [Pharr feels that this is the temple of Edessa.]"
||382||16.5.9||"Upon death, Manichaeans must will their property to their families rather than to their fellow Manichaeans. Secret assemblies are also forbidden. Further, Easter shall be celebrated by all on the same day of the year."
||383||16.5.10||"Meeting places of the Tascodrogitae are protected. However, if they attempt to convene at a church, they shall be driven away."
||383||16.5.11||"Right of assembly is denied to Arians, the Macedonians, Pneumatomachi, Manichaeans, Apotactites, Saccophori, Encratites, and the Hydroparastatae."
||383||16.5.12||"Arians, Macedonians, Apollinarians, and other groups outside the Church are not allowed to ordain clergy or construct churches in either urban or rural areas. Local officials are responsible for enforcement of this law."
||383||16.7.2||Confirmed Christians who have turned to paganism may not issue a testament (will) to anyone. Unconfirmed Christians may not will their possessions to anyone other than their natural heirs: children or brothers. The same applies to those receiving proper
||383||16.7.3||"If a Manichaean should go underground and hold secret meetings, he is subjected to the law and much leave his goods to relatives or the government. Additionally, Saccophori and Encratites are to be punished when convicted. A system of investigators, in
||384||16.5.13||"Eunomians, Macedonians, Arians, and Apollinarians are identified as having false doctrine. They are to be forced out of the city (Constantinople)."
||384||Title 3||"Persons who assume the title bishop may not send away or otherwise harass orthodox clergy. There shall also be, separate from secular courts, a system for ecclesiastical cases. Bishop Timotheus is specifically named."
||385||16.10.9||Sacrifices and divination are forbidden; violators will be severely punished.
||386||16.1.4||"People who believe in the doctrines of the Council of Ariminum and confirmed at the Council of Constantinople are granted the right of assembly. However, no one should assume that the right of assembly is granted to them alone; if they disturb the peace
||386||16.4.1||Those who assemble or instigate demonstrations against the emperor are guilty of treason and face the death penalty.
||386||Title 8||"All persons in prison or exile may be freed, except those who face the death penalty for capital crimes: treason, adultery, astrology, and homicide."
||388||16.4.2||Public preaching and debate about religion is banned.
||388||16.5.14||"Apollinarians are not to be in communion with the Church. They are denied the right to assemble as congregations, and may not ordain clergy or bishops."
||388||16.5.15||"Members of non-Catholic sects are denied right of assemble, are forbidden to have even secret meetings, and may not erect altars. The emperor appoints officers to identify and prosecute such persons."
||388||16.5.16||"Arians may not use in their legal defense other imperial regulations. This section asserts that no law has been issued that is in defense or Arianism. [Pharr notes that Theodosius was not at Constantinople in 388, thus the law must have been promulgate
||389||16.5.17||Eunomian eunuchs may not inherit or leave goods or property by means of a testament (will). This law applies to all previous wills.
||389||16.5.18||"Manichaeans are to be expelled from the city and their property confiscated. Property may not be left to them, and they may not leave property; their wills are void."
||389||16.5.19||"Both in the city and surrounding areas, leaders of non-Catholic Christian groups may not hold funeral meetings."
||390||16.2.27||"Deaconesses shall be at least 60 years old and relinquish most of their possessions. Also, women with shaved heads are not allowed into the church."
||390||16.2.28||Repeals a portion of 16.2.27.
||390||16.3.1||Monks are to live in the desert or otherwise uninhabited place where they may find solitude.
||390||16.3.2||Monks who have left towns shall be allowed to return. Repeals a prior law.
||391||16.10.10||"Idol worship is forbidden and pagan sacrifice. Even judges and officials are beholden to this law. They will be fined; higher officials, however, pay smaller fines."
||391||16.10.11||"No person shall enter the pagan temples or perform sacrifices. Even judges are subject to this law; if they violate it, they will be fined. Their staff will also be fined unless they opposed him."
||391||16.5.20||Gathering or assembly of any kind is denied to persons not of the Catholic Christian faith. [This statute was sent as an imperial letter; we assume that its sender was the same as the preceding statute.]
||391||16.7.4||"Profaners of baptism may not give testimony, grant testaments, or inherit property. They would be exiled as well, except that living among others with reduced status is considered greater punishment. Repentance is not considered sufficient to redeem th
||391||16.7.5||Persons with inherited rank or status who abandon Christianity shall loose their position.
||392||16.10.12||"No person of any class may sacrifice to an image. Even a sacrifice that does not reference the Emperor is not exempt; sacrifices that seek to know about life, death, or other forbidden matters violate natural law. Veneration of images with incense is ban
||392||16.4.3||Anyone who “should disturb the Catholic faith” is to be deported.
||392||16.5.21||"If heretical clergy are ordained, the property where the ordination occurred is to be seized by the government if the ordination occurred with the owner’s permission. If it was done without his knowledge, he may be fined or beaten and deported, dependin
||392||16.8.8||Jews who have been excluded by their own leaders but returned by secular judges over may not be restored. The law commands judges to end this practice.
||393||16.8.9||"The Jewish sect is protected by law. No regulation may be passed to ban Judaism, even in the name of Christianity."
||394||16.5.22||Heretics shall not be allowed to appoint or confirm bishops.
||394||16.5.23||Eunomians shall be allowed to write wills and likewise receive through wills. This repeals a previous law.
||394||16.5.24||Teaching of heretical doctrine is to be forbidden. Judges and other officials must enforce this law.
||395||16.2.29||Laws passed by former emperors regarding the church shall be respected.
||395||16.5.25||Restates that those with “a common religious insanity” may not leave or inherit property or work in the imperial service
||395||16.5.26||Restatement of earlier laws: people outside the Catholic faith may not assemble or appoint bishops.
||395||16.5.27||Eunomians shall continue to be able to execute testaments (wills). [June 24 or December 25.]
||395||16.5.29||"Specifically directs a Roman official to investigate whether any heretics are present in the imperial service. If so, they are to be removed from service and exiled outside the city as are accessories to the crime."
||396||10.10.13||No person has the right to approach a shrine or temple. Those who deviate from Catholic dogma face punishment.
||396||10.10.14||Any privileges granted in ancient law to pagan priests and leaders are abolished.
||396||16.5.31||Authors and teachers of Eunomian thought will be exiled from the cities.
||396||16.5.32||"Meeting places and even homes of heretics are to be confiscated by the government, and their occupants expelled."
||396||16.7.6||"People who were guilty of idolatry while they were Christians are not allowed to grant a testament (will) to anyone other than parents, siblings, children, or grandchildren."
||396||16.8.10||Jewish merchants may set their own prices.
||396||16.8.11||Persons who make disparaging remarks about the patriarch (Jewish leader) are subject to punishment.
||397||16.2.30||Privileges previously granted to the church shall remain in place.
||397||16.5.33||Apollinarians shall be exiled from the city (Constantinople) and those who assemble secretly shall have their meeting places taken.
||397||16.8.12||Jews are not to be insulted; governors are to be informed when such incidents occur.
||397||16.8.13||Jewish clergy are allowed to retain their own laws and rituals and are exempt from service as decurions.
||398||16.2.32||"Should the number or priests shrink, bishops may ordain new priests from the orders of monks."
||398||16.2.33||"Clergy shall be ordained and serve from their own villages or other localities, and under supervision of the bishop, a set number of clergy shall be determined for each church. "
||398||16.5.28||"Anyone who disagrees with the Catholic Christian Church even on a minor point of doctrine is considered a heretic. This law specifically names Heuresius. [According to Pharr’s footnote, Heuresius was a bishop in the Diocese of Asia and was involved in t
||398||16.5.34||"Eunomians and Montanists are to be expelled from the cities, and if they reside in the country and should hold assemblies, they are to be deported and the owners of the land they inhabited punished. Heretical books are to be destroyed."
||398||16.5.53||"Jovinianus, a heretic condemned at Rome and Milan, who had been holding unlawful meetings outside the walls of the city (Milan?), is to be arrested, beaten with a leaden whip, and exiled to the island of Boa. His companions likewise are to be exiled. [C
||399||10.10.16||Pagan temples in rural areas are to be destroyed.
||399||10.10.17||"Despite the abolishment of pagan sacrifices, public festivals and celebrations are allowed. They simply may not contain pagan superstition or sacrifices."
||399||16.10.15||Ornaments of pagan temples are not to be destroyed. Anyone who shows illicit post warrants (permission to travel imperial post roads) must deliver them to the emperors. The granters will be fined.
||399||16.10.18||Temples not containing illicit objects may not be destroyed. Idols shall still be taken down and those performing sacrifices punished according to law.
||399||16.11.1||Bishops must preside over cases regarding religion. Provincial governors hear cases of secular law.
||399||16.2.34||The Church shall not have its privileges violated; anyone who impedes the Church shall be fined.
||399||16.5.35||The already condemned Manichaeans shall be found and restrained.
||399||16.5.36||"Eunomians are allowed to grant goods from their own property and to receive property. However, they still may not assemble, and if any of their bishops are found at a gathering, the bishops are to be deported and their goods confiscated."
||399||16.8.14||Revenue collected by Jewish synagogue rulers is to be sent instead to the imperial treasury.
||4 ||16.4.5||Slaves may not participate in disorderly public assemblies. Money changers must also follow this rule.
||4 ||16.8.15||Privileges previously granted patriarchs (Jewish leaders) are to be upheld.
||4 ||16.8.16||Jews and Samaritans are not allowed to serve in the imperial service.
||4 ||16.8.17||A law exempting Jews in the West from contributing to patriarchs is reversed. [Repeals 16.8.14]
||400||16.2.35||Bishops deposed by a council of clergy are to be exiled 100 miles from their city.
||400||16.2.35||Bishops deposed shall be exiled and separated from assembly. Their authority shall be voided.
||401||16.2.36||Clergy buying and selling food within legal limitations are exempted from paying taxes on that enterprise. They shall also be exempt from mandatory public service.
||402||16.5.30||"Clergy of heretical groups will be expelled from Constantinople. Their meeting places, whether churches or private houses, will be confiscated. Should the Prefect of the city fail to enforce this, he will be fined."
||404||16.2.37||"Bishops from outside Constantinople shall not serve there. Clergy who had been in prison after the riot [according to Pharr’s footnote, caused by John Chrysostom] are to be released and returned to their homes since the arsonists could not be found."
||404||16.4.4||"Office staff shall abstain from wild public processions and activities, and those who violate the Emperor’s will may lose their office and pay a fine."
||404||16.4.6||Assemblies of persons who call themselves orthodox Christians but try to worship elsewhere are banned.
||405||15.5.39||Donatists shall be punished for their “crime” if they confess or if they have been convicted.
||405||16.11.2||"Following the concept of 16.5.38, there shall be Christian unity throughout the empire."
||405||16.5.38||"Worship shall be uniform, and all shall recognize the Trinity. There shall be one understanding of salvation."
||405||16.6.3||Restates that baptism may not be repeated.
||405||16.6.4||"Donatists, who repeat baptism, are expelled. They shall have property confiscated, but if they return to the Catholic Church, the property will be returned. Slaves forced into rebaptism will be protected by the Catholic Church."
||405||Title 2||States again that deposed bishops must be exiled 100 miles from their city and may not appeal to the imperial council.
||407||16.2.38||Rights sought by the Church through lawyers rather than through clergy shall be effected. Privileges already held by the Church shall remain in effect.
||407||16.5.40||"Manichaeans, Phrygians, and Priscillianists are signaled out as heretics. Their beliefs are considered public crimes on the grounds that crime against religion is detrimental to all. They may not give gifts, make contracts, or buy and sell. Their child
||407||16.5.41||Donatists and Manichaeans may have their crimes forgiven if they renounce their beliefs and embrace the Catholic faith and practices.
||408||16.10.19||Income from taxes in kind given to temples shall be redirected for soldiers. Images in pagan temples must be removed if there is any veneration of them. Public use is to be made of the temples. Banquets shall not be permitted for sacrilegious rites.
||408||16.2.39||"Clergy who have left the priesthood, either voluntarily or through the order of the bishop, he shall be subject to compulsory public services. "
||408||16.5.42||Persons who disagree with the Emperor on matters of religion may not be allowed to serve in the palace.
||408||16.5.43||"Laws against Donatists, Montenses, Manichaeans, and Priscillianists remain in place. Their buildings as well as those of the Caelicolists are to be taken and given to the churches."
||408||16.5.44||It is forbidden “to attempt anything that is contrary and opposed” to the Catholic faith
||408||16.5.45||"Municipalities and decurions are ordered to ensure that dissenting priests do not convene unlawfully, and if they do, their meeting places shall go over to public ownership."
||408||16.8.18||"Jews may not burn crosses at the feast of Purim, and shall loose their rights if they disobey the law, but shall otherwise be allowed to practice their religion."
||408||Title 12||"Laws in place against Donatists, Manichaeans, and other groups remain effective. Income from taxes in kind shall be redirected from pagan temples to support the army."
||408||Title 16||"Persons bought back from barbarian captivity may return to their home. However, they must reimburse their purchaser or serve him for five years."
||408||Title 9||Clergy who leave the priesthood either voluntarily or involuntarily may be called to serve municipal councils.
||409||16.2.31||There shall be no public demonstrations against the Catholic Church.
||409||16.5.46||"Donatists, Jews, and Gentiles should not suppose that laws previously passed against them have weakened."
||409||16.5.47||Anyone who opposed or objected to regulations enacted for the benefit of the Catholic Church will have his objections overruled.
||409||16.8.19||"Caelicolists are to return to Christianity within one year of this order. Also, Christians may not be insultingly called Jews."
||409||Title 14||Persons who have committed crimes against bishops in Africa are to be prosecuted. Restates that laws against Jews and pagans are in force.
||410||16.11.3||Donatism is abolished and laws regarding the Catholic faith remain in place and are to be enforced.
||410||16.5.48||"Montanists, Priscillianists, and other condemned groups may not enlist in the imperial service. However, if they are already obligated to the service by birth or another reason, they shall not be exempted."
||410||16.5.49||"Earlier laws against the Eunomians remain in force. They may not inherit or bequeath goods except to family. If no family exists, the goods become government property."
||410||16.5.50||Treasury staff will be in peril if they fail to prevent delivery of the forbidden goods in 16.5.49.
||410||16.5.51||Any imperial decree which may have indicated rights for heretics is annulled.
||412||16.2.40||Estates left to the church shall not be taken for public use. Taxes need not be paid from them.
||412||16.2.41||Clergy may not be prosecuted except before a bishop. Anyone who brings un-provable accusations against a clergyman forfeits his status.
||412||16.5.52||"Clergy and laymen of the Donatists shall have to pay fines unless they return to the Catholic Church. Procurators are obligated to deliver the Donatists, lest their estates be taken. Donatist priests, clerics and ministers shall be removed from Africa,
||412||16.8.20||"Jewish synagogues may not be taken by non-Jews, and Jewish observation of the Sabbath is to be protected."
||412||16.8.21||"Jews may not be persecuted for their religion or have their property taken without cause. They are cautioned, however, that they still may not disrespect Christianity. [Pharr’s footnote also lists 418 and 420.]"
||412||Title 11||Compulsory public services (public works projects) and taxes shall not be required of the Church.
||412||Title 15||Persons who bring false or un-provable accusations against clergy shall face loss of reputation and status.
||413||16.6.6||"Rebaptism is forbidden. Both the person who baptized and the person receiving rebaptism, if he is of age, are considered guilty. Novatians are to celebrate Easter at the same time as orthodox Christians."
||413||16.6.7||"Assemblies and funeral activities of Eunomians are banned, as are their repeat baptism practices"
||414||16.5.54||Property of Donatists and heretics is to be given to the Catholic Church. Patrimony shall be taken from anyone harboring heretics. Senators who are Donatists are to be fined. Judges shall likewise be fined.
||414||16.5.55||Legal investigations and proceedings against Donatists by Marcellinus [a tribune in North Africa who attempted to settle disagreements between Catholics and Donatists] shall remain standing.
||415||10.10.20||"Pagan priests in Carthage must return to their ancestral cities before the kalends of November. Also, property owned by the Catholic Church should be retained by Christians."
||415||15.5.58||"If it is determined that repeated baptism or secret assemblies have been held in the houses of Eunomian clerics, the houses shall be confiscated. The clerics themselves face deportation if they have held meetings. Anyone who allowed himself to be re-bap
||415||16.5.56||Pagans who publicly assemble may have their property taken or even be executed.
||415||16.5.57||"Montanists may not hold meetings or assemblies. Anyone receiving them will have his property taken. Montanist churches, but not personal private property, are to be added to orthodox churches."
||415||16.8.22||"An honorary prefect, Gamaliel, shall be deprived of rank and may neither establish synagogues nor judge between Christians."
||415||16.9.3||Jews are allowed to hold Christian slaves provided that the slaves are allowed to retain their Christianity.
||416||16.2.42||"Clergy caring for the sick may not be involved in municipal councils or public affairs. They must refrain from attending public events, and their numbers are to be limited."
||416||16.8.23||Jewish people who have joined the Christian church to avoid prosecution for crimes are hypocrites. Judges are to uphold imperial laws regarding crime.
||417||10.10.21||"Pagans shall not become administrators of judges. In fact, they may not enter the imperial service at all."
||417||16.9.4||Jews may not purchase or receive as gifts Christian slaves. Jews may retain slaves who were already Christian or who came under an inheritance.
||418||16.2.43||The number of clergy who were allowed to be involved with caring for the sick in Alexandria is increased from 500 to 600. They are to be chosen by the Bishop of Alexandria.
||418||16.8.24||"Jews may not enter imperial service. Jews who have already taken the oath for service may remain, except those in the armed service. Jews are not prohibited from becoming advocates or decurions."
||419||Title 13||"For persons seeking sanctuary in a church, the zone of protection shall extend fifty paces from the church. Priests are allowed to enter prisons and visit prisoners. They are also allowed to advocate before judges on behalf of prisoners."
||419||Title 5||Foundlings (abandoned children) shall be the property of those who acquired them.
||420||16.2.44||"Priests may not marry after they have been ordained. However, they need not leave their wives if they were married before becoming priests."
||420||Title 10||"Clergy may not live with women other than wives whom they married before entering the priesthood, or their mothers, sisters, or daughters."
||421||16.2.45||Religious laws passed in Illyricum remain in place. Any legal questions must come before the bishops and with the knowledge of the bishop of Constantinople.
||423||10.10.22||Previous laws against pagans are upheld.
||423||10.10.23||Pagans are to be exiled and have their possessions confiscated.
||423||10.10.24||"Manichaeans, Pepyzites, and those who do disagree as to the day of Easter may have their property taken."
||423||16.5.59||"Repeats that this constitution denies privileges to Arians, Novatians, Eunomians, Macedonians, and Sabbatians."
||423||16.5.60||"Upholds previous laws against Arians, Eunomians, Macedonians, and other condemned sects."
||423||16.5.61||The law that Eunomians are not allowed in the imperial service may not be applied to members of gubernatorial office staffs.
||423||16.8.25||"Jewish synagogues may not be taken or burned indiscriminately. If such an incident does occur, they will be compensated. However, they may not build new synagogues, and existing ones may not be improved."
||423||16.8.26||Jews are protected from attacks by people acting in the name of Christianity. Jews still may not circumcise Christians.
||423||16.8.27||"Jews may not construct new synagogues, but old ones will not be torn down. Other prohibitions are upheld."
||423||16.9.5||Jews shall not hold Christian slaves on the grounds that religious slaves shall not be subject to impious owners.
||425||16.2.46||Upholds previous protections and privileges granted to the Church and clergy. [July 6 or August 4.]
||425||16.2.47||"Restored are the rights of the Church and clergy which had been denied by “the tyrant” (John, a usurper)."
||425||16.5.62||"Manichaeans, heretics, schismatics, astrologers, and others not in communion with the Catholic Church and Pope are to be banished from the city of Rome unless they return to communion within 20 days."
||425||16.5.63||"Heresies, false doctrines, and pagan beliefs are prosecuted, and punishment may befall those who do not repent."
||425||16.5.64||"Manichaeans, heretics, schismatics, and members of every sect averse to the Catholic Church are to be banished from the cities."
||425||Title 6||"Clerical legal action must be done before a bishop rather than a secular judge. Bishops who have been led astray have 20 days to reform or be exiled from Gaul. Manichaeans and heretical sects are exiled from the cities. Jews and pagans may not bring cas
||426||16.7.7||"No time limit is to exist for investigation of apostates. Repeats that they may not give a testament, and their goods must be given to kinsmen, preferably Christians. Also, gifts and testaments will be rescinded for those who made sacrifices after becom
||426||16.8.28||"Jewish or Samaritan converts to Christianity may not be disinherited by their parents or grandparents because of their new religion. However, crimes committed by these persons against their parents must still be prosecuted, although parents must still l
||428||16.5.65||"Churches taken by heretics from the orthodox are to be returned to the Catholic Church. If clergy should be created by heretics, each the cleric and the person who appointed him are to be fined. Because not all should be punished in like manner, Arians,
||429||16.8.29||Annual tribute is to be collected from rulers of Jewish synagogues.
||435||10.10.25||Immolation of victims and pagan sacrifices are forbidden. Pagan temples and shrines are to be torn down and replaced with the symbol of Christianity: the cross. Anyone who mocks this law faces the death penalty.
||435||16.5.66||"Nestorianism is condemned. Their books are banned and shall be burned. Furthermore, their assemblies are forbidden; violators may have their goods confiscated."
||452||Valentinian||"If there is a dispute between clergy but the litigants agree themselves, a bishop may serve as judge. This applies for lay persons also. Both litigants must agree to this. No person of ignoble birth status may become a priest."
||5 ||16.6.5||"Donatists, Montanists, and others who may promulgate false doctrines, such as repeat baptism, may be brought before a judge and have his property confiscated."
Further extracts from the Codex Theodosianus
The Theodosian Code (Book XVI), 326 From The Theodosian Code,
trans. by Clyde Pharr (Princeton, New Jersey: The Princeton University Press, 1952), XVI, 440476.)
The above material has been re-arranged into chronological sequence:
315 CE ... VIII, 1. It is Our will that Jews and their elders and patriarchs shall be informed that if, after the issuance of this law, any of them should dare to attempt to assail with stones or with any other kind of madness—a thing which We have learned is now being done—any person who has fled their feral sect and has resorted to the worship of God, such assailant shall be immediately delivered to the flames and burned, with all his accomplices. 1. Moreover, if any person from the people should betake himself to their nefarious sect and should join their assemblies, he shall sustain with them the deserved punishments (18 October 315).
321 CE ... 11,4. Every person shall have the liberty to leave at his death any property that he wishes to the most holy and venerable council of the Catholic Church. Wills shall not become void. There is nothing which is more due to men than that the expression of their last will, after which they can no longer will anything, shall be free, and the power of choice, which does not return again, shall be unhampered (3 July 321).
323 CE ... II, 5. Whereas We have learned that certain ecclesiastics and others devoting their services to the Catholic sect have been compelled by men of different religions to the performance of lustral sacrifices, We decree by this sanction that, if any person should suppose that those who devote their services to the most sacred law may be forced to the ritual of an alien superstition, he shall be beaten publicly with clubs, provided that his legal status so permits. If, however, the consideration of his honorable rank protects him from such an outrage, he shall sustain the penalty of a very heavy fine, which shall be vindicated to the municipalities (25 May 323).
323 CE ... "Pursuant to his own authority, a judge must observe that if an action should be brought before an Episcopal court, he shall maintain silence, and if any person should desire him to transfer his case to the jurisdiction of the Christian law and to observe that kind of court, he shall be heard, even though the action has been instituted before the judge, and whatever may be adjudged by them shall be held as sacred; provided, however, that there shall be no such usurpation of authority in that one of the litigants should proceed to the aforementioned tribunal and should report back his own unrestricted choice of tribunal. For the judge must have the unimpaired right of jurisdiction of the case that is pending before him, in order that he may pronounce his decision, after full credit is given to the facts as presented." (CTh 1.27.1)
330 CE ... VIII, 2. If any persons with complete devotion should dedicate themselves to the synagogues of the Jews as patriarchs and priests and should live in the aforementioned sect and preside over the administration of their law, they shall continue to be exempt from all compulsory public services that are incumbent on persons, as well as those that are due to the municipalities. Likewise, such persons who are now perchance decurions shall not be assigned to any duties as official escorts, since such men shall not be compelled for any reason to depart from those places in which they are. Moreover, such persons who are not decurions shall enjoy perpetual exemption from the decurionate (29 November 330).
353 CE ... II, 10. In order that organizations in the service of the churches may be filled with a great multitude of people, tax exemption shall be granted to clerics and their acolytes, and they shall be protected from the exaction of compulsory public services of a menial nature. They shall by no means be subject to the tax payments of tradesmen, since it is manifest that the profits which they collect from stalls and workshops will benefit the poor. We decree also that their men who engage in trade shall be exempt from all tax payments. Likewise, the exaction of services for the maintenance of the supplementary postwagons shall cease. This indulgence We grant to their wives, children, and servants, to males and females equally, for We command that they also shall continue exempt from tax assessments (26 May 353).
355 CE ... II, 12. By a law of Our Clemency We prohibit bishops to be accused in the courts, lest there should be an unrestrained opportunity for fanatical spirits to accuse them, while the accusers assume that they will obtain impunity by the kindness of the bishops. Therefore, if any person should lodge any complaint, such complaint must unquestionably be examined before other bishops, in order that an opportune and suitable hearing may be arranged for the investigation of all concerned (7 October 355).
376 CE ... II, 23. Whatever is customary in the conduct of civil suits shall likewise be observed in ecclesiastical litigation, so that if there are any matters arising from certain dissensions and slight offenses pertaining to religious observance, they shall be heard in their own places and by the synods of their own diocese, with the exception of those matters which criminal action has established shall be heard by ordinary and extraordinary judges or by the Illustrious authorities (17 May 376).
380 CE ...I, 2. IT IS Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans, as the religion which he introduced makes clear even unto this day. It is evident that this is the religion that is followed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic sanctity; that is, according to the apostolic discipline and the evangelic doctrine, we shall believe in the single Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, under the concept of equal majesty and of the Holy Trinity. We command that those persons who follow this rule shall embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgment (28 February 380).
381 CE ... I, 3. We command that all churches shall immediately be surrendered to those bishops who confess that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of one majesty and virtue, of the same glory, and of one splendor; to those bishops who produce no dissonance by unholy distinction, but who affirm the concept of the Trinity by the assertion of three Persons and thr unity of the Divinity. . . . All, he ever, who dissent from the communio' of the faith of those who have been expressly mentioned in this special enumeration shall be expelled from their churches as manifest heretics and hereafter shall be altogether denied the right and power to obtain churches, in order that the priesthood of the true Nicene faith may remain pure, and after the clear regulations of Our law, there shall be no opportunity for malicious subtlety (30 July 381).
383 CE ... V, 11. All persons whatsoever who are tossed about by the false doctrine of diverse heresies, namely, the Eunomians, the Arians, the Macedonians, the Pneumatomachi, the Manichaeans, the Encratites, the Apotactites, the Saccophori, and the Hydroparastatae, shall not assemble in any groups, shall not collect any multitude, shall not attract any people to themselves, shall not show any walls of private houses after the likeness of churches, and shall practice nothing publicly or privately which may be detrimental to the Catholic sanctity. Furthermore, if there should exist any person who transgresses what has been so evidently forbidden, he shall be expelled by the common agreement of all good men, and the opportunity to expel him shall be granted to all who delight in the cult and the beauty of the correct observance of religion (25 July 383).
386 CE ...I, 4. We bestow the right of assembly upon those persons who believe according to the doctrines which in the times of Constantius of sainted memory were decreed as those that would endure forever, when the priests had been called together from all the Roman world and the faith was set forth at the Council of Ariminum by these very persons who are now known to dissent, a faith which was also confirmed by the Council of Constantinople. The right of voluntary assembly shall also be open to those persons for whom We have so ordered. If those persons who suppose that the right of assembly has been granted to them alone should attempt to provoke any agitation against the regulation of Our Tranquillity, they shall know that, as authors of sedition and as disturbers of the peace of the Church, they shall also pay the penalty of high treason with their life and blood. Punishment shall no less await those persons who may attempt to supplicate Us surreptitiously and secretly, contrary to this Our regulation (23 January 386).
388 CE ...IV, 2. There shall be no opportunity for any man to go out to the public and to argue about religion or to discuss it or to give any counsel. If any person hereafter, with flagrant and damnable audacity, should suppose that he may contravene any law of this kind or if he should dare to persist in his action of ruinous obstinacy, he shall be restrained with a due penalty and proper punishment (16 June 388).
391 CE ...VII, 4. If any persons should betray the holy faith and should profane holy baptism, they shall be segregated from the community of all men, shall be disqualified from giving testimony, and, as We have previously ordained, they shall not have testamentary capacity; they shall inherit from no person, and by no person shall they be designated as heir's. We should also have ordered them to be expelled and removed to a distance if it had not appeared to be a greater punishment to dwell among men and to lack the approval of men. 1. But never shall they return to their former status; the disgracefulness of their conduct shall not be expiated by penitence nor concealed by the shadow of any carefully devised defense or protection, since fiction and fabrication cannot protect those persons who have polluted the faith which they had vowed to God, who have betrayed the divine mystery and have gone over to profane doctrines. Help is extended to those persons who have slipped and to those who go astray, but those who are lost, that is, those who profane holy baptism, shall not be aided by any expiation through penitence, which customarily avails in other crimes (11 May 391).
393 CE ...VIII, 9. It is sufficiently established that the sect of the Jews is forbidden by no law. Hence We are gravely disturbed that their assemblies have been forbidden in certain places. Your Sublime Magnitude will, therefore, after receiving this order, restrain with proper severity the excesses of those persons who, in the name of the Christian religion, presume to commit certain unlawful acts and attempt to destroy and to despoil the synagogues (29 September 393).
398 CE ...II, 31. If any person should break forth into such sacrilege that he should invade Catholic churches and should inflict any outrage on the priests and ministers, or on the worship itself and on the place of worship, whatever occurs shall be brought to the notice of the authorities by letters of the municipal senates, magistrates, and curators, and by official reports of the apparitors who are called rural police, so that the names of those who could be recognized may be revealed. Moreover, if the offense is said to have been perpetrated by a multitude, some, if not all, can nevertheless be recognized, and by their confession the names of their accomplices may be disclosed. Thus the governor of the province shall know that the outrage of the priests and ministers of the Catholic Church, to the divine worship, and to the place of worship itself must be punished with a capital sentence against the aforesaid convicted or confessed criminals. The governor shall not wait until the bishop shall demand the avenging of his own injury, since the bishop's sanctity leaves nothing to him except the glory of forgiving. It shall be not only permissible but even laudable for all persons to prosecute as a pu' crime the atrocious outrages committee against priests and ministers and to exact punishment from such criminals (25 April 398).
407 CE ... V, 41. Although it is customary for crimes to be expiated by punishment, it is Our will, nevertheless, to correct the depraved desires of men by an admonition to repentance. Therefore, if any heretics, whether they are Donatists or Manichaeans or of any other depraved belief and sect who have congregated for profane rites, should embrace, by a simple confession, the Catholic faith and rites, which We wish to be observed by all men, even though such heretics have nourished a deep-rooted evil by long and continued meditation, to such an extent that they also seem to be subject to the laws formerly issued, nevertheless, as soon as they have confessed God by a simple expression of belief, We decree that they shall be absolved from all guilt (15 November 407).
408 CE ...VIII, 18. The governors of the provinces shall prohibit the Jews, in a certain ceremony of their festival Haman in commemoration of some former punishment, from setting fire to and burning a simulated appearance of the holy cross, in contempt of the Christian faith and with sacrilegious mind, lest they associate the sign of Our faith with their places. They shall maintain their own rites without contempt of the Christian law, and they shall unquestionably lose all privileges that have been permitted them heretofore unless they refrain from unlawful acts (29 May 408).
412 CE ...VIII, 20. If it should appear that any places are frequented by conventides of the Jews and are called by the name of synagogues, no one shall dare to violate or to occupy and retain such places, since all persons must retain their own property in undisturbed right, without any claim of religion or worship. Moreover, since indeed ancient custom and practice have preserved for the aforesaid Jewish people the consecrated day of the Sabbath, We also decree that it shall be forbidden that any man of the aforesaid faith should be constrained by any summons on that day, under the pretext of public or private business, since all the remaining time appears sufficient to satisfy the public laws, and since it is most worthy of the moderation of Our time that the privileges granted should not be violated, although sufficient provision appears to have been made with reference to the aforesaid matter by general constitutions of earlier Emperors (26 July 412).
412 CE ...II, 41. Clerics must not be accused except before bishops. Therefore, if a bishop, a priest, a deacon, or any person of inferior rank who is a minister of the Christian faith should be accused by any person whatever before the bishops, since he must not be accused elsewhere, that man, whether of lofty honor or of any other dignity, who may undertake such a laudable. type of suit, shall know that he must allege only what may be demonstrated by proofs and supported by documents. If any man, therefore, should lodge unprovable complaints about such persons, he shall understand that by the authority of this sanction he will be subject to the loss of his own reputation, and thus by the loss of his honor and the forfeiture of his status he shall learn that he will not be permitted, for the future at least, to assail with impunity the respect due to another. For, just as it is equitable that bishops, priests, deacons, and all other clerics should be removed from the venerable Church as persons attainted if the allegations against them can be proved, so that they shall be despised thereafter and bowed under the contempt of wretched humiliation and shall not have an action for slander, so it must appear to be an act of similar justice that We have ordered an appropriate punishment for assailed innocence. Bishops, therefore, must hear such cases only under the attestation of many persons and in formal proceedings (11 December 412).