Emperor Constantine the Great Punishes Magicians Who Use Talents for Evil Hot

Emperor Constantine the Great Punishes Magicians Who Use Talents for Evil

Constantine the Great
Source: Jastrow

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Emperor Constantine the Great issues an edict to punish "magicians" who use their talents for evil, but magicians who use their talents for good are permitted to continue their activities.

According to this new Roman law:

"Those who are equipped with magic arts and who either work against public safety or who turn virtuous minds to lust must be severely punished and avenged by the law.

When no one's safety or reputation is injured, such as when health remedies are sought or assistance is sought for rains for the ripe grape harvests then no criminal accusation is warranted. By such action they ensure that divine gifts and the labors of men are not ruined." [CTh 9.16.3]

This is part of a long-term trend towards suppressing and punishing "supernatural" powers. In the Christian worldview, such power necessarily comes from demons or from Satan, not from God, therefore using them is necessarily evil.

At this point in time, they are still common and popular enough that suppressing them entirely wouldn't be feasible — and probably wouldn't even be permitted by those in power, including Constantine. As a first step, however, suppressing uses of such powers that are "evil" will put practitioners at a disadvantage.

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Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity

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