Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2335
The Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian III issue a law against the heretics forbidding them to have places of cult, administer sacraments, make and receive gifts, make and receive property by a testament. The law issued on 30 May 428, included in the Theodosian Code (16.5.65) published in 438.
Haereticorum ita est reprimenda insania, ut ante omnia quas ab orthodoxis abreptas tenent ubicumque ecclesias statim catholicae ecclesiae tradendas esse non ambigant, quia ferri non potest, ut, qui nec proprias habere debuerant, ab orthodoxis possessas aut conditas suaque temeritate invasas ultra detineant. 1. Dein ut, si alios sibi adiungant clericos vel, ut ipsi aestimant, sacerdotes, decem librarum auri multa per singulos ab eo, qui fecerit et qui fieri passus sit vel, si paupertatem praetendant, de communi clericorum eiusdem superstitionis corpore vel etiam donariis ipsis extorta nostro inferatur aerario. 2. Post haec, quoniam non omnes eadem austeritate plectendi sunt, arrianis quidem, macedonianis et apollinarianis, quorum hoc est facinus, quod nocenti meditatione decepti credunt de veritatis fonte mendacia, intra nullam civitatem ecclesiam habere liceat; novatianis autem et sabbatianis omnis innovationis adimatur licentia, si quam forte temptaverint; eunomiani vero, valentiniani, montanistae seu priscillianistae, fryges, marcianistae, borboriani, messaliani, euchitae sive enthusiastae, donatistae, audiani, hydroparastatae, tascodrogitae, fotiniani, pauliani, marcelliani et qui ad imam usque scelerum nequitiam pervenerunt manichaei nusquam in Romano solo conveniendi orandique habeant facultatem; manichaeis etiam de civitatibus expellendis, quoniam nihil his omnibus relinquendum loci est, in quo ipsis etiam elementis fiat iniuria. [...]
Here follows the further legal restrictions for heretics (the prohibition to serve in the imperial service, to transfer property by a gift or a testament, to receive gifts or property, to build churches). The former antiheretical laws are still in force.
4. Nulli haereticorum danda licentia vel ingenuos vel servos proprios, qui orthodoxorum sunt initiati mysteriis, ad suum rursus baptisma deducendi, nec vero illos, quos emerint vel qualitercumque habuerint necdum suae superstitioni coniunctos, prohibendi catholicae sequi religionem ecclesiae. Quod qui fecerit vel, cum sit ingenuus, in se fieri passus sit vel factum non detulerit, exilio ac decem librarum auri multa damnabitur, testamenti et donationis faciendae utrique deneganda licentia. [...]
(ed. Mommsen 1905: 875)
The madness of the heretics must be so suppressed that they shall know beyond doubt, before all else, that the churches which they have taken from the orthodox, wherever they are held, shall immediately be surrendered to the Catholic Church, since it cannot be tolerated that those who ought not to have churches of their own should continue to detain those possessed or founded by the orthodox and invaded by such rash lawlessness.
1. Next, if they should join to themselves other clerics or priests, as they consider them, a fine of ten pounds of gold for each person shall be paid into Our treasury, both by him who created such cleric and by him who allowed himself to be so created, or if they should pretend poverty, such fine shall be exacted from the common body of clerics of the aforesaid superstition or even from their offertories. 2. Furthermore, since not all should be punished with the same severity, the Arians, indeed, the Macedonians, and the Apollinarians, whose crime it is to be deceived by harmful meditation and to believe lies about the Fountain of Truth, shall not be permitted to have a church within any municipality. Moreover, the Novatians and Sabbatians shall be deprived of the privileg of any innovation, if perchance they should so attempt. The Eunomians, indeed, the Valentinians, the Montanists or Priscillianists, the Phrygians, the Marcianists, the Borborians, the Messalians, the Euchites or Enthusiasts, the Donatists, the Audians, the Hydroparastatae, the Tascodrogitae, the Photinians, the Paulians, the Marcellians, and those who have arriaved at the lowest depth of wickedness, namely, the Manichaeans, shall nowhere on Roman soil have the right to assemble and pray. The Manichaeans, moreover, shall be expelled from the municipalities, since no opportunity must be left to any of them whereby an injury may be wrought upon the elements themselves. [...]
Here follows the further legal restrictions for heretics (the prohibition to serve in the imperial service, to transfer property by a gift or a testament, to receive gifts or property, to build churches). The former antiheretical laws are still in force.
4. None of the heretics shall be given permission to lead again to their own baptism either freeborn persons or their own slaves who have been initiated into the mysteries of the orthodox Church, nor indeed shall they be allowed to prevent from following the religion of the Catholic Church those persons whom they have bought or have possessed in any way and who are not yet adherents of their supersitition. If any person should administer such baptism, or should permit it to be administered to him be condemned to exile and a fine of ten pounds of gold and to both offenders shall be denied the right to make a testament or a gift. [...]
(trans. Pharr 1952: 461-63)

Place of event:

  • East
  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Constantinople
  • Ravenna

About the source:

Title: Codex Theodosianus, Code of Theodosius, Theodosian Code
Origin: Constantinople (East)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Theodosian Code is a compilation of the Roman legislation from the times of the emperor Constantine to the times of Theodosius II. The work was begun in 427 and finished in autumn 437 when it was accepted for publication. It was promulgated in February 438 and came into effect from the beginning of the year 439.
The compilation consist of sixteen books in which all imperial constitutions are gathered beginning with the year 312. Books 1-5 did not survive and are reconstructed from the manuscripts of the Lex Romana Visigothorum, i.e. the Breviary of Alaric, the legal corpus published in 506 by the Visigothic king, Alaric, containing excerpts from the Theodosian Code equipped with explanatory notes (interpretationes), posttheodosian novels and several other juristic texts.
A new compilation was undertaken during the reign of the emperor Justinian. The committee of ten persons prepared and promulgated the Codex in 529. It was quickly outdated because of the legislative activities of the emperor and therefore its revised version had to be published in 534. The Codex together with the novels, the Pandecta, a digest of juristic writings, and the Institutes, an introductory handbook are known under the medieval name "Corpus Iuris Civilis".
Theodor Mommsen and Paul Martin Meyer (eds.), Theodosiani libri XVI cum constitutionibus Sirmondianis et leges novellae ad Theodosianum pertinentes, 2 vols., Berlin 1905
The Theodosian Code and Novels and the Sirmondian Constitutions, a translation with commentary, glossary, and bibliography by C. Pharr, Princeton 1952
Les lois religieuses des empereurs romains de Constantin à Théodose (312-438), v. 1, Code Théodosien livre XVI, text latin Th. Mommsen, trad. J. Rougé, introduction et notes R. Delmaire avec collab. F. Richard, Paris 2005


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Arian
    Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Donatist
      Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Priscillianist
        Described by a title - Clericus
          Ritual activity - Baptism and instructing catechumens
            Public law - Secular
              Economic status and activity - Gift
                Economic status and activity - Inheritance
                  Administration of justice - Exile
                    Administration of justice - Financial punishment
                      Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Unspecified 'heretic'
                        Devotion - Donations and offerings
                          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2335,