Theodosius I Drives Heretics From All Human Communities Hot

Theodosius I Drives Heretics From All Human Communities

Emperor Theodosius I
Source: turtle5001tw

Roman emperor Theodosius I proclaims a new decree to drive heretics from villages, cities, and all other human communities. Heretics are banned from holding either public or private gatherings.

This new Roman law says:

"We order that the polluted contagions of heretics be expelled from the cities and driven from the villages.

They must be allowed no opportunity to hold any gatherings No place must be allowed for such a sacrilegious cohort to meet.

No religious assemblies, either public or hidden, are permitted to persons of such perverse and false doctrines." [CTh 16.5.20]

The word "heresy" comes from a Greek term which simply means "choice." Thus legal penalties for heretics are legal penalties for people who have made a choice rather than simply submitting to whatever is imposed on them by religious authorities.

In the Roman context, religion is part of the fabric of social and political life. Thus the choice to follow a different religion is perceived as a choice which weakens the social and political fabric. Social and political unity is regarded as much more important than the freedom to make religious decisions for oneself.


Emperors of Rome: Theodosius I

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