Roman Emperors Decree Widows May Leave Estates to Church or Clergy Hot

Roman Emperors Decree Widows May Leave Estates to Church or Clergy

Emperor Valentinian II
Source: portableantiquities

Timeline of History

Religious History
Christian History
Church & State History

Roman emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius I and Arcadius issue a new decree permitting widows to leave estates to the church or to individual clergy. This repeals an older law banning such practices.

This new decree says:

"A law was recently promulgated forbidding clerics from becoming despoilers of the infirm sex by appropriating slaves and household goods as plunder, even under the name of the Church...

This law has been repealed and it must be removed from all records if it has already been registered." CTh [16.2.28]

The earlier law appears to have been a response to situations where clerics cultivated relationships with widows specifically in order to gain property when they died.

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Emperors of Rome: Valentinian II

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