Roman Emperors Renew Previous Laws Against Christian Heretics

Roman Emperors Renew Previous Laws Against Christian Heretics

Emperor Honorius
Source: Wikipedia

After the death of emperor Theodosius I, his co-emperors Arcadius and Honorius review all of the previous laws that the three had passed against Christian heretics.

They decide to formally renew all the punishments and penalties that had been imposed on Christian heretics and, what's more, rescind any concessions that had been offered to any of them.

"We renew by Our decree all penalties and all punishments that were established by the sanctions of Our father of sainted memory against the obstinate spirit of the heretics, and We decree to be invalid whatever privilege has been conceded to them by any special sanction, contrary to the merit of the delinquents, in the hope of their correction.

We condemn with special mention the perfidious mind and the most vicious sect of the Eunomians, and We hereby establish that all decrees which have been issued against their insanity shall be preserved inviolate.

We add thereto that none shall have the right to enter the imperial service or to make a will or to take property under a will, thus all who have a common religious insanity may suffer a common penalty.

If anything pertaining to the right of making a will was conceded as a special benefit to any of them, it shall of course become void." [CTh 16.5.25]

The Anomeans (Also known as Eunomians after one of their leaders, Eunomius of Cyzicus) in particular are singled out for special treatment. The Anomeans had been granted some concessions in 394 and now they are banned from any government service and from bequeathing or inheriting any property.

Anomoeanism is an Arian sect that teaches Jesus had a completely different nature from God. The label Anomoean comes from the Greek for "not similar".

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