Theodosius II Restricts What Jews are Allowed to do on Purim

While in Constantinople, Emperor Theodosius II issues a decree restricting what Jews are allowed to do while celebrating Purim.

This decree states:

"The provincial governors will prevent Jews from burning or exhibiting any representation of the Holy Cross, with the sacrilegious intention of bringing it into contempt, on the festival day when they celebrate the punishment of Haman. Jews are also prohibited from placing the emblem of our faith upon their houses.

Jews are permitted to retain their rites so long as they manifest no scorn for the Christian religion." [CT 16.8.18]

A constant theme in Christian anti-Semitism is the belief that Jews want to destroy Christianity; this, in turn, is used to justify anti-Semitic legislation because Christians have a right to self-defense. This particular decree is an early indication of the threat which Christians claim to see among Jews.

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