Roman Emperors Declare Jews Shouldn't be Persecuted for Their Religion but They're Warned

Roman Emperors Declare Jews Shouldn't be Persecuted for Their Religion but They're Warned

Emperor Honorius
Source: portableantiquities

Roman emperors Honorius and Theodosius II command that Jews should not be persecuted because of their religion or have their property confiscated without cause. Nevertheless, they are warned not to disrespect Christianity.

This new decree says:

"No innocent person will be trampled upon simply because he is a Jew, nor shall any religion cause anyone to be exposed to contumely.

Their synagogues and habitations must not be burned indiscriminately and they must not be injured wrongfully without any reason. Even if they are later implicated in crimes, the courts and the protection of public law exist so that no one can have the power to seek his own revenge.

We also decree that the Jews must be admonished that they should not grow insolent and, elated by their own security, commit any rash act in disrespect of the Christian religion." [CTh 16.8.21]

Not every law involving Jews is anti-Semitic or persecutes Jews, but even those which are created to protect Jews often include negative statements and/or perpetuate anti-Semitic prejudices.

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Emperors of Rome: Honorius

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