Roman Law Suppresses Eunomian Heretics

Roman Law Suppresses Eunomian Heretics

Emperor Theodosius I
Source: portableantiquities

Roman emperor Theodosius I issues a new law against Eunomians.

No Eunomian eunuchs are allowed to inherit or will property to others. This law applies retrospectively, too, so if it can be proved that someone has inherited property from a Eunomian, then the property can be confiscated by the state. This law will, however, be repealed in five years.

This new Roman law states:

"Eunomian eunuchs are denied the right either to make a testament or to take under a testament. This regulation will be applied to all who are living and none shall be protected by the privilege of any past will...all property which may appear to belong or to be about to belong to such persons will be confiscated. In short, the Eunomians must have nothing in common with the rest of mankind." [CTh 16.5.17]

Anomeans (also known as Eunomians after one of their leaders, Eunomius of Cyzicus) are an Arian sect which believes that Jesus had a completely different nature from God. The label Anomoean comes from the Greek for "not similar." Suppressing the Eunomians like this is thus the suppression of difference, dissent, and disagreement within Christianity itself. The Roman emperors — and Theodosius I in particular — are bringing the power of the Roman state down on the side of one particular form of Christianity by enacting civil, legal penalties for differences of opinion.


Emperors of Rome: Theodosius I

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