Roman Emperors Decree Clergy Exempt From Taxes if They Buy & Sell Food

Roman Emperors Decree Clergy Exempt From Taxes if They Buy & Sell Food

Emperor Honorius
Source: portableantiquities

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Emperors Arcadius and Honorius decree that clergy who buy and sell food are exempt from paying taxes as well as from compulsory public service.

This new tax exemption for Christians says:

"Clerics of the Catholic religion engaged in buying and selling food within the limit prescribed by law will be exempt from tax payable in gold.

They will also be exempt from performing compulsory public labor if they are protected by the rank of cleric and by their holy life, a factor which is no less important.

We do not allow anyone proven to be legally exempt to be subject to outrage." [CT 16.2.36]

Christian clergy have been given a number of lucrative tax exemptions by various Roman emperors, but this is unusually specific in how it singles out commerce with food instead of simply general business interests.

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Emperors of Rome: Honorius

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