Soothsayers at Private Residences Decreed Illegal by Constantine the Great Hot

Soothsayers at Private Residences Decreed Illegal by Constantine the Great

Emperor Constantine the Great

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Emperor Constantine the Great decrees that it's illegal for soothsayers to go to anyone's private residence, instead requiring that they limit themselves to public ceremonies.

According to Constantine:

"No soothsayer may approach the threshold of another person's residence — not even out of friendship which, however old, must be rejected from such men.

Any soothsayer who approaches a private residence will be burned alive and anyone who summons a soothsayer will be exiled and their property will be confiscated. Anyone who reports such activity will be given a reward, not treated like an informer.

Those who want to pursue their superstitions may perform their ceremonies publicly. [CTh 9.16.1]"

In ancient Rome as well as most other ancient societies, soothsayers and fortune tellers of all sorts play important roles in politics, religion, and many people's daily lives. The Christian suppression of soothsayers is thus part of a more general suppression of traditional religious and social practices — one that will continue throughout Christian history.


Emperors of Rome: Constantine

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