Roman Law Lets Manichaeans Will Property Only to Christian Relatives

Roman Law Lets Manichaeans Will Property Only to Christian Relatives

Emperor Theodosius I
Source: portableantiquities

Roman emperors Gratian and Theodosius I issue a decree that Manichaeans are only allowed to will property to Christian relatives, not to other Manichaeans.

Secret assemblies of Manichaeans are prohibited and special courts will be convened to hear accusations against heretics like Manichaeans, Encratitans, Saccoforians, and Hydroparastantans. If anyone does not join Catholics in church for worship on Easter, this will be considered grounds for suspicion of heresy.

This new Roman law states:

"If any Manichaean seeks out secret gatherings of persons of the lowest classes, they shall be treated by the law as a profaner and corrupter of the Catholic faith. This will deprive them of the right to leave property in wills.

They cannot leave property to others and if there are no direct family to inherit, the property will be confiscated. ...if any one does not convene on the same day for Easter in accordance with the requirements of true religion, they must be considered as heretics condemned by this law." [CTh 16.5.9]

The Manichaeans are a religious sect based on the teachings of Mani, a Persian prophet. Manichaeans believe that our world is locked in a desperate struggle between good and evil, light and dark. Manichaean religious beliefs are an amalgamation of elements form Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism.


Obelisk of Theodosius I

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