Images of Emperors Must be Respected but God Must be Respected More

Images of Emperors Must be Respected but God Must be Respected More

Emperor Valentinian III

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Christian History

Roman emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III proclaim a new law that images of the emperors must be respected, but not as much as the respect shown for God.

According to this new law:

"If Our images are shown at plays or games, officials must demonstrate that Our divinity and glory live in the hearts and minds of those in attendance.

Worship in excess of human dignity, though, is reserved for the God." [CT 15.4.1]

In the past Roman emperors have been deified — usually after their deaths but sometimes even before dying. The inclination to treat emperors as gods has likely continued, and a law like this is designed to counter such trends.


Emperors of Rome: Valentinian III

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