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Figures d’empire, fragments de mémoire

 | 
Stéphane Benoist
, 
Anne Daguet-Gagey
, 
Christine Hoët-van Cauwenberghe

C. Mémoires, identités et histoires de Rome

24. From norm to identity: Christians and Manichaeans in Codex Theodosianus XVI: separated by the law1

María Victoria Escribano

Résumé

En 380, Théodose redéfinit le concept de religio dans la Cunctos populos (CTh., XVI, 1, 2). Ensuite, il dut élargir le cadre normatif et préciser qui avait le droit d’utiliser le nomen catholicorum christianorum et qui était exclu des privilèges lui étant associés. Dans un effort pour distinguer et identifier les groupes hérétiques susceptibles d’être châtiés pour s’écarter de la fides catholica, afin de faciliter la tâche des juges chargés d’appliquer la loi, la chancellerie de Théodose contribua à la création de nouvelles catégories légales ainsi qu’à la construction d’identités religieuses. Dans ce parcours de la norme à l’identité, le nomen Manichaeorum acquit des traits précis en tant qu’expression de l’altérité par rapport au nomen christianum depuis 381, bien que les adeptes des doctrines de Mani se présentassent comme de véritables chrétiens; l’objectif de cet article est d’analyser les premières lois théodosiennes contre les manichéens afin d’argumenter le rôle joué par la réglementation impériale dans la construction des identités et les formes que cette contribution a revêtues.

Texte intégral

  • 1 This work is part of the Research Project HAR2008-4355/HIST, funded by the Dirección General de Pro (...)
  • 1 Thus pointed out by G. Bassanelli Sommariva, «L’uso delle rubriche da parte dei commissari teodosia (...)
  • 2 Dig., I, 1, 1, 2 (Ulp., Inst., 1):... publicum ius est quod ad statum rei Romanae spectat, priuatum (...)
  • 3 Vid. in this respect M. Urbano Sperandio, Codex Gregorianus, origini e vicende, Naples, 2005 and D. (...)

1One of the tasks for which the compilers enjoyed greater freedom was the selection and systematization of the laws under titles, within Book XVI of the Codex Theodosianus, dealing exclusively with religious matters1. Although the sacra were not foreign to the ius publicum2, the commissioners in charge of gathering and sorting the norms regarding the fides catholica of the 4th and 5th centuries did not have any precedents in previous legislative compilations3 and faced the need to create a new order that would enable officials, judges and lawyers to identify the applicable norm for each particular case.

  • 4 These are not the only laws on religious matters included in the Codex: CTh., I, 27, De episcopali (...)
  • 5 1: De fide catholica. 2: De episcopis, ecclesiis et clericis. 3: De monachis. 4: De his qui super r (...)

2By arranging 201 of the laws issued by the emperors between 313 and 435 in 11 titles4, the commissioners reflected the existing religious plurality in the Empire at the time of making the Code (429-437), as the final point of a long process of religious diversification and regulatory multiplication that was sorted following a criterion of exclusion: on the one hand, the followers of the fides catholica, on the other, those who dissented from it, making a distinction in this latter group between the haeretici, apostati, iudaei and pagani, tellingly placed after the heading de his qui super religionem contendunt5.

  • 6 CTh., XVI, 5, 28, in 395.

3A considerable part of these norms came from the Theodosian chancery. After redefining the concept of religio in the Cunctos populos (CTh., XVI, 1, 2, in AD 380), Theodosius had to expand the regulatory framework and specify who were entitled to use the nomen catholicorum christianorum and who were excluded from the privileges attached to it. The number of laws included under the heading de haereticis (66), 19 of which correspond to Theodosius, is an indication of the fact that identifying heretical groups was not a simple task for the officials who had to enforce the law. In fact, the 19 antiheretical laws issued by Theodosius between 380 and 395 did not prevent the proconsul of Asia for that year, Aurelianus, who had to try Heuresius the Luciferian, from making an enquiry to the chancery of Arcadius regarding who ought to be included within the uocabulum haeretici. The imperial rescript stated that those who were found to deviate from the judgement of the catholica religio, even though it was in regard to a minor question, ought to be considered heretical and subject to the laws against them6. The chancery replied to the enquiry urging the proconsul not to consider the heretical Heuresius as a bishop.

  • 7 Vid. Introduction by A. Canellis, Faustin (et Marcellin), Supplique aux empereurs (Libellus precum (...)
  • 8 Vid. M. V. Escribano, «Los emperadores repiensan sus leyes: rectificaciones y revocaciones en Codex (...)
  • 9 Vid. R. Maceratini, Ricerche sullo status giuridico dell’eretico nel diritto romano-cristiano e nel (...)
  • 10 D. Feissel, Pétitions aux empereurs et formes du rescrit, dans D. Feissel et J. Gascou (éd.), La pé (...)
  • 11 On the preparation of laws vid. A. M. Honoré, «The Making of the Theodosian Code», Zeitschrift der (...)
  • 12 Vid. detailed consideration of these questions and relevant bibliography dans M. V. Escribano, «L’a (...)

4However, 10 years earlier, in 385, by means of another rescript, which in this case is not preserved in the Codex Theodosianus, Theodosius had responded to the preces of the Luciferian priests Faustinus and Marcellinus accepting their request not to be considered heretical7. The contradiction between the two laws shows that rectifications and repeals were frequent in antiheretical legislation8. Indeed, despite the imperative and comminatory language, the severe punitive repression and the express determination of perpetuity, which are recurrent in the antiheretical laws9, a great deal of them were issued upon request, in reply to suggestiones or memoranda received from officials or to requests from bishops10. They were due to contingent circumstances; they sometimes had a limited scope and they should never be read as coherent pieces of a unitary programmatic design11. On the contrary, difficulties in the enforcement of the laws in specific cases due to fluctuating religious affiliation (embracing an orthodox or heterodox line was not irreversible), the lack of skill of judges, if not their lack of cooperation, the use of antiheretical laws to solve personal rivalries, the strategies of bypassing the law used by some heretical groups and, ultimately, the legal uncertainty resulting from the multiplication of laws due to the lack of codes account for the incidence and recurrence of laws whose contents are apparently similar and mutually conflicting12.

  • 13 On the use of the historiographic category of identity to express the construction of religious dif (...)
  • 14 M. V. Escribano, «La construction de l’image de l’hérétique dans le Code Théodosien XVI», dans Empi (...)
  • 15 R. Lim, «The Nomen Manichaeorum and its Uses in Late Antiquity», dans Heresy and Identity, p. 143-1 (...)

5In his effort to differentiate and identify heretical groups which were liable to be punished, Theodosius contributed to the creation of new legal categories and to the construction of identities13. The laws served to shape the moral and intellectual image of heretics for repressive as well as persuasive and deterring purposes14. In this course from norm to identity, the nomen Manichaeorum took on precise features as an expression of alterity with regards to the nomen christianum since 381, despite the fact that the followers of Mani’s doctrines presented themselves as the true Christians15. From these considerations, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the first Theodosian laws against Manichaeans in order to illustrate the part played by imperial regulation in the construction of identities and the various forms in which this contribution was made.

  • 16 P. Giess., 40, I. S. Riccobono, Fontes iuris Romani antejustiniani, I, Florence, 1941, p. 445-449, (...)

6Being a ciuis Romanus and taking part in the traditional cultus deorum are an inseparable conceptual unity in Roman mentality. Its most eloquent legal expression is included in the preamble to the Constitutio Antoniniana de ciuitate (212). After the murder of Geta, Caracalla tried to legitimize his action by presenting it as a religious victory. In search of a way to thank the immortal gods, he considered that a grandiose and religious form of satisfying the divine maiestas could be to lead the peregrini who had joined the numerus of his men towards the religio deorum. With this purpose, he decided to grant the ciuitas Romanorum to all the peregrini, who were also allowed to keep their own, except for the dediticii16.

  • 17 Cic. De domo sua ad pontifices oratio, 1, 1.
  • 18 Vid. C. Ando, «Religion and ius publicum », dans C. Ando et J. Rüpke (éd.), Religion and Law in Cla (...)

7Much before Caracalla, Cicero, addressing the pontifices, had conjured up the antiquity of the inseparable link between the correct management and interpretation of the religio deorum inmortalium and the preservation of the summa res publica17. In their turn, in the Severan period, jurists sanctioned the consideration of the questions regarding the sacra and sacerdotes as part of the ius publicum, so that any attack against them could be persecuted by all in the name of the utilitas publica18.

  • 19 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 6, 4, 1: Quoniam piis religiosisque mentibus nostris ea, quae Romanis (...)
  • 20 Reality was quite different, vid. C. Humfress, «Citizens and Heretics, Late Roman Lawyers on Christ (...)

8This tradition, of civic, religious and legal nature at the same time, which links the nomen Romanum to the cultus deorum, appears in the heading of Diocletian’s edict de nuptiis (295), where the obligation to seruire the aeterna religio is explicitly stated as well as the obligation to act in a pious, religious, peaceful and chaste manner for all those (cuncti) who lived sub imperio nostro19. From such a declaration it can be deduced that the enjoyment of the rights attached to the citizenship was incompatible, at least in the legal sphere20, with the breach of the mos maiorum regarding pietas.

  • 21 Vid. S. Corcoran, The Empire of the Tetrarchs. Imperial Pronuncements and Government A.D. 284-324, (...)
  • 22 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 2-4: Maximi enim criminis est retractare quae semel ab antiquis (...)
  • 23 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 4-5. Vid. P. Brown, «The Diffusion of Manichaeism in the Roman (...)
  • 24 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 6: Iubemus namque auctores quidem ac principes una cum abominan (...)
  • 25 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 6-7.
  • 26 On the concept of deportatio vid recent work by Y. Rivière, «L’interdictio aqua et igni et la depor (...)

9The incompatibility between Roman citizenship and the observance of a religio other than the traditional one becomes legally binding with Diocletian’s rescript against Manichaeans (302)21. The purpose of this norm is set forth in the preamble: to keep unaltered the uetus religio, whose retractatio is considered a major crime, and to punish the nequissimi homines who supported new and unheard-of sects as opposed to the most ancient religions, that is, in this case, the Manichaeans22. To this end, the legislator depicts Manichaeans as the enemies of the Roman gens due to their origin from the aduersaria Persica, discredits their execrandae consuetudines and the scaeuae leges Persarum using offensive and degrading language and links their religio to the uenenum and the maleficium23. This link, which is an expression of the harm caused by Manichaeans to the modest and peaceful gens Romana and to the entire world, provides the legal foundation for the punitive provisions. The rescript sets forth the death by fire for the auctores and principes of the sect, as well as the burning of their abominable writings; and for those who acquiesce, if they persisted, the capital penalty and the confiscation of their possessions is stipulated24. Should they be honorati, persons who hold any social rank or maiores who had gone over (transtulerint) to the inaudita, turpis and infamis sect or to the doctrine of the Persians, the applicable penalty is the confiscation of the patrimonium and the damnatio ad metallum – the harshest form of deportation – to remote places (ipsos quoque Phaenensibus uel Proconnensibus metallis dari)25. The verb transfero expresses the desertion of the traditional religio and the transfer to the Persian doctrine, a crime for which civic death is prescribed in the form of deportatio26, which involved the definite extinction of former rights. In both cases, the non-observance of the traditional religion, the adherence to an infamis sect, incompatible with the mos maiorum and the support of the doctrine of the Persians, was punished with the total and irrevocable removal of the civic rights, in the form of physical death for the persons from lower classes and of irreversible social and political exclusion for the honorati, in harmony with the traditional adjustment of the penalty depending on social status.

10In the final exhortation addressed to the proconsul of Africa urging him to enforce the norm, Diocletian equalled Manichaeism to an infectious pestilence – lues nequitiae – which needed stirpitus amputare, that is, amputating from the root. The severe penal repression, which included death by fire and the damnatio ad metallum, precisely serve this surgical function.

  • 27 On the formalization of the legal category of heretic from Constantine onwards and the used procedu (...)
  • 28 Lact., de mort. pers., 33, 11-35, 1. Euseb., hist. eccl., VIII, 17, 3-10. Galerius does not name re (...)
  • 29 Lact., de mort. pers., 48, 2-13; Euseb., hist. eccl., X, 5, 2-4. Constantine and Licinius, as part (...)

11When Diocletian endorsed the rescript against Manichaeans, the legal concept of haereticus, which was a Constantinian creation27, did not exist but his anti-Manichaean law had a crucial influence on the legal repression of heretical dissidence, once Galerius first in 31128, and later on Constantine and Licinius in 31329, had declared that the Christian observance was compatible with the enjoyment of Roman citizenship after the period of persecution.

  • 30 Vid. regarding this J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, Continuity and Change in Roman Religion, Oxford, 1979 (...)
  • 31 CTh., XVI, 5, 40 in 407: Huic itaque hominum generi nihil ex moribus, nihil ex legibus sit commune (...)

12Indeed, from these precedents, the continuity of antiheretical legislation regarding the limitation of rights and civic degradation, along with the legal tradition regarding the non-observance of the religio30, becomes apparent in a constitutio against Manichaeans and similar groups, produced by the chancery of Honorius in 407 addressed to the prefect of Rome (CTh., XVI, 5, 40). In this, the social exclusion of heretics, with regards to mores and leges, was prescribed in absolute terms, and heresy was considered a crimen publicum, adducing as an explanation that what is done against the religio diuina causes the iniuria of all31. Consequently, Honorius ordered the confiscation of their goods, the loss of their active and passive testamentary rights and banned them from donating, purchasing, selling or completing contracts. Collaboration was also punished: any landlord who, without being heretic, knowingly allowed meetings of Manichaeans in his predium, was to lose it to the imperial treasury. In case of ignorance, the penalty would apply to the land agents: the actor or procurator, cohercitus plumbo, was to be punished in opus metallorum; the conductor was to be deported. Finally, pecuniary penalties were set forth to threaten governors, lawyers and principales urbium who were negligent in the enforcement of the norm.

  • 32 On the antiheretical legislation of Theodosius I vid. amongst others, A. Tuilier, «La politique de (...)

13In Honorius’ law, we can find the preservation of the Diocletian precedent both in its legal descriptions and punitive measures, as well as its remaking by the Theodosian chancery, which was the genuine factory of depletion of the rights of heretics32. Manichaeans were precisely the first to suffer the limitation of their legal capacity. The analysis of the anti-Manichaean laws of the years 381 and 382 requires a legal and historical contextualization.

  • 33 T. D. Barnes, «Religion and Society in the Age of Theodosius», dans H. A. Meynell (éd.), Grace, Pol (...)
  • 34 Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 12 notes that, although Theodosius prescribed serious penalties in the laws a (...)
  • 35 CTh., XVI, 2, 27 in 390; 2, 28 in 390. Vid. Ambros., ep., 74, 6; ep., 76, 27; ep. extra coll., 1, 2 (...)

14Although the religious policy of Theodosius I was not the product of a prearranged plan33 but was dictated by convenience, opportunity, the changing network of episcopal influences and empirism, the threat of reducing the rights of those who did not accept Nicenism was present in Theodosian legislation from the beginning. A different question was the enforcement of the laws34. On the one hand, rectifications were recurrent in Theodosius’ religious policy35; on the other, the effectiveness of the laws did not depend solely on the imperial decision, but it needed the collaboration of the officials working for the administration, in particular, provincial governors and the principales of the cities, who were not always diligent enough. Besides, the strategies to bypass the laws used by heretics must be taken into account.

  • 36 CTh., XVI, 5, 1: Imp. Constantinus A. ad Dracilianum. Priuilegia, quae contemplatione religionis in (...)

15Constantine was the first to make a clear difference in the laws between heretics and those who observed the lex catholica in 326, by excluding the former from the privileges granted to the clergy from 313 onwards36. Heretic and exclusion are inseparable notions in the legal definitions from the very beginning and this was stressed by the compilers of the Codex Theodosianus by beginning the title de hareticis of book XVI with the constitutio constantiniana of 326.

  • 37 Soz., hist. eccl., 1, 1, 15. K. L. Noetlichs, Revolution, p. 120.
  • 38 On the Cunctos populos vid., amongst others, P. Barceló et G. Gottlieb, «Das Glaubensedikt des Kais (...)

16After Constantine, the identification of the orthodox and the heretic was a question of power and predominance of one or the other episcopal majority surrounding the prince, as stated by Sozomen37. But with Theodosius, already in the Cunctos populos, with which he intended to prepare his entrance to Constantinople by redefining the concept of religio and anticipating his preference for the Nicean theology, beliefs became a legal matter and the foundations were laid, not only to identify and exclude heretics from the nomen christianorum and the rights attached to it, amongst them the basic right to own churches, but also to punish them38. By then Theodosius already linked heretics to infamia, uesania and dementia, which involved social denigration and branding.

  • 39 Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 4. R. Lizzi, La politica religiosa, p. 346-347.
  • 40 CTh., XVI, 1, 2. (28 febr. 380).
  • 41 N. McLynn, Genere Hispanus, p. 80.
  • 42 CTh., XVI, 5, 4 (376).
  • 43 CTh., XVI, 6, 2 (377).
  • 44 Zos., 4, 36, 5.

17In the law, probably drafted following the suggestions of the bishop Acolius of Thessalonica39, the Nicean restoration programme based on the theology of the Occident was announced and a new legal definition of religio was given. In the first part, the determination – uolumus – was expressed that subjects should live in observance of the religion that Peter the Apostle had transmitted to Romans and which was followed at the time by the bishop of Rome, Damasus and Peter of Alexandria, who were thus identified as models of orthodoxy. Next, the religio itself was explained, by means of including a trinitarian formula vouched for because it had been taught by the apostles and the evangelical doctrine, avoiding the use of the expression fides Nicaena and the controversial term homooúsios, of the same substance40. However, for the first time, beliefs became thus and then a question of the legal system and bishops, identified by name, were incorporated into the making of the law. Neither Constantius nor Valens, professed Homoeans, had dared legislate to tell their subjects what creed to observe41. Gratian had not done it either, despite the fact that he openly pointed out that he legislated pro religione catholicae sanctitatis42 and that he invoked the fides and the traditio of the gospels and of the apostles to ban Donatist customs regarding baptism43. Theodosius, who was the first emperor not to take on the title of Pontifex Maximus44 and to renounce any intervention as a celebrant in the sacra publica, legislated about religio, and yet, at the same time, he pointed to bishops as inspiring the contents of the law.

  • 45 CTh., XVI, 1, 2: Imppp. Gratianus, Valentinianus et Theodosius AAA. edictum ad populum urbis Consta (...)
  • 46 Vid. N. Gómez Villegas, Gregorio de Nazianzo en Constantinopla. Madrid, 2000, p. 79 ff. and bibliog (...)
  • 47 In accordance with the dichotomy set forth in the rescript CTh., XVI, 5, 5 of 3 August 379, produce (...)
  • 48 In the opposite sense N. McLynn, Genere Hispanus, p. 84, who sees a figurative meaning in the expre (...)
  • 49 Ulp., Dig., XLVIII, 4, 1: proximum sacrilegio crimen est, quod maiestatis dicitur. Vid. G. Crifò, « (...)
  • 50 CTh., XVI, 2, 25 (380).

18However, the regulatory provisions are included in the second part of the law. With a verb of authority – iubemus – an excluding duality was set forth between the followers of this law, for whom the nomen of Catholic Christians was reserved, and the haeretici, who were threatened with social and civil discrimination resulting from the infamia45 and the loss of their churches, for this was the real problem in Constantinople: the occupation of all the churches by the Arians, a monopoly which Gregory of Nazianzus had not managed to break one year after his arrival46. In order to justify this provision, the haeretici were called dementes and uesani and their meetings were degraded to mere conciliabula. In the last part of the law there was a punitive clause, quite vague yet absolutely forceful: along with divine punishment, the coercitive power of the State reserves the right to punish those who were classed as haeretici. The original text of the law included a paragraph where it was considered a sacrilegium both confusing divine law47 because of ignorance, and violating it or infringing it through negligence, which meant equalling heresy to sacrilegium48, a legal concept which is proximum in many aspects to the crimen maiestatis49. From the experience of its enforcement, those in charge of making the codex interpreted that the norm was mainly addressed to those who were responsible for the churches and placed it under the heading which they considered most adequate, that is, in title 2 of book XVI50, dealing with the regulation of the status of the members of the clergy.

  • 51 E. Soller, «L’Église catholique sous la dynastie théodosienne: la genèse d’une Église d’État, en CT (...)
  • 52 On the complex concept of infamia, vid. also the classic work by M. Kaser, «Infamie und Ignominie i (...)
  • 53 Diocletian’s rescript has already been commented on. The constitutio of Valentinianus dates from 37 (...)

19By means of the Cunctos populos, Theodosius had legally sanctioned the regulatory value which the Council of Nicaea had attached to the term catholicus51 and, at the same time, had linked the heretical dogma to infamia, a term which must be understood not in the technical-juridical sense from a punitive point of view, but as a degrading moral description which conveyed social aversion towards their behaviour. Nevertheless, the drop in social esteem for those who were branded as infamous because they behaved or acted against what was considered boni mores and in a form which was rejected by society as a whole, had repercussions in their civil status52. Before Theodosius, Diocletian and Valentinian had called Manichaeans infamous in order to justify their social segregation53. Both precedents were taken into account by Theodosius’ chancery when making the legal definition of haereticus as opposed to christianus catholicus in 380: supporting the heretical dogma was a reason for infamia, a legal concept which thus expanded the cases to which it could be applied.

  • 54 Vid. comment on the circumstances surrounding the enactment of this law in M. V. Escribano, «Gracia (...)
  • 55 G. Bonamente, «La biografia di Eutropio lo storico», Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia di (...)
  • 56 Soc., hist. eccl., 5, 2; Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 1.
  • 57 Soc., hist. Eccl., 5, 7; Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 5.

20Moral and legal reprobation of the infamous behaviour of heretics, considered as the basis for their expulsion from the churches of Constantinople in the Cunctos populos, is amplified in the constitutio XVI, 5, 6, of January 38154. It is addressed to Eutropius, at the time the prefect of Illyricum55, and its purposes were to correct in the doctrinal sphere the so-called edict of tolerance of Gratian (378), which omitted a mention to the Arians amongst those who were excluded from the freedom of cult56, and to make prevalent the Theodosian vision of Nicean orthodoxy in Illyricum. To this end, instructions were given to the civil official of the prefecture that churches were returned to the Niceans and heretics were prevented from meeting. It is probable that the norm was a response to an enquiry from the prefect regarding the right of possession of churches by Arians in the dioceses of Illyricum, after hearing of the expulsion of the Niceans from the churches of Constantinople upon Theodosius’ entrance in the city57.

21For these purposes, any rescript that Gratian may have issued upon the request of a private party to expressly authorize the continuation of the Arian cult was repealed, their meetings were declared illegal and the perpetual observance of the fides Nicaena was ordered, thus asserting the conciliar theology supported by the prince, after the long controversy deployed in the churches of the Orient regarding the relationship between the Father and the Son. In order to facilitate the task of evicting Arians from their churches for the benefit of the Niceans, the law identifies by their names the groups of heretics which were banned and defines what entails to be adsertor fidei Nicaenae and uerus cultor catholicae religionis.

  • 58 Vid. C. Milani, «Note sul lessico della divinazione nel mondo classico», dans M. Sordi (éd.), La pr (...)
  • 59 M. V. Escribano, L’image de l’hérétique, p. 389-412; Ch. Freeman, AD 381, Heretics, Pagans and the (...)

22On the one hand, it is categorically stated that Photinians, Arians and Eunomians – Eunomius’ followers were given this name for the first time – ought to be considered heretics; in this manner, by naming them, a legal basis was created for their persecution. Besides, it was intended to socially stigmatize them by depicting them as mentally unbalanced persons (dementia, furor) who transmitted their deviation like a pestilence (fotinianae labis contaminatio), as sacrilegious followers of noxious magic practices (ariani sacrilegii uenenum) and perfidious criminals (eunomianae perfidiae crimen), acting with wilful misconduct and malice. Monstrum and prodigium, which in the traditional religious language were signs of divine will58, now refer to the authors of the sects to convey their anomaly, their maladjustment and oddness within their surroundings and, consequently, the danger they pose to society59.

  • 60 Thus, in the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, written between 375 and 378. Pan., pr., 1, 1, 3. Vi (...)
  • 61 CTh., XVI, 5, 6 (381):… Is autem nicaenae adsertor fidei, catholicae religionis uerus cultor accipi (...)
  • 62 On Gregory’s trinitarian doctrine, vid. Ch. A. Beeley, Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the (...)
  • 63 CTh., XVI, 5, 6 (381):… Qui uero isdem non inseruiunt, desinant adfectatis dolis alienum uerae reli (...)
  • 64 Vid. H. O. Maier, «The Topography of Heresy and Dissent in Late Fourth Century Rome», Historia, 44, (...)

23In contrast, as in the heresiological writings60, the plurality of heresies, which is a symptom of their falseness, is opposed by the unity of the truth identified as the fides Nicaena. The orthodox is the follower of the Nicean faith, whose trinitarian theology is detailed in order to avoid misunderstandings and is summed up by stating: he who believes in «the undivided substance of the incorruptible Trinity, which believers rightly call by the Greek word ousía»61. Although at first sight the definition of orthodoxy seems to be an amplification of the contents of the Cunctos populos, significant accuracy can be noted in the trinitarian formula, a change that must be attributed to the influence of Oriental Niceans and, in particular, to the intervention of Gregory of Nazianzus62. The imperative expression haec ueneranda sunt conveyed the binding obligation of professing Nicenism. On the contrary, those who refused and were uncovered would be deprived of the nomen of the true religio which they usurped and would be given infamy63. As such, they had to be expelled from their churches, since they were banned from meeting intra oppida and, should they resist, disturbing and dividing society, they were to be removed from the cities. Evictions from the churches and the loss of their property and of the benefits attached to the clergy on the one side, along with the prohibition to meet inside the cities on the other side, are the main objectives of the legislator in the practical sphere. In the symbolical sphere, heretics were to become invisible64 in the cities, where the bishop and orthodoxy lived. The law explains how to avoid the accusation of being Photinian, Arian or Eunomian and its consequences: by confessing the Nicean creed.

  • 65 CTh., XVI, 5, 3 (372):… his quoque qui conueniunt ut infamibus atque probrosis a coetu hominum segr (...)
  • 66 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381):… quoniam isdem sub perpetua inustae infamiae nota testandi ac uiuendi iure R (...)
  • 67 M. Lauria, Ius Romanum I, 1, Naples, 1963, p. 55 ff.

24Four months later, on 8 May of the same year, the mark of infamia as the reason for the loss of testamentary rights and of the possibility of living in accordance with the ius Romanum appears explicitly in a law against Manichaeans addressed to Eutropius himself. While Diocletian had classed the followers of Mani’s religio as inaudita, turpis et infamis sect membership to which was incompatible with the enjoyment of the rights of citizenship and Valentinianus had equalled them to infames and probrosi65 and separated them from the human consortium, banning their assemblies and confiscating their meeting places, Theodosius’ chancery, following these precedents, turns infamy into a criminal punishment which involves exclusion from the testamenti factio both active and passive66. It is well known that the right to make a will is one of the main capacities of Roman citizens. In fact, inheritance and wills have a prominent place in the system of the ius ciuile67.

  • 68 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381): Idem AAA. Eutropio praefecto praetorio. Si quis manichaeus manichaeaue ex di (...)

25Manichaeans, insofar as they were given infamia for perpetuity, were deprived from the ability of making a will and of living in accordance to Roman Law. Any form of transaction or conveyance of goods carried out by a Manichaean, even though it had been appropriately completed, was declared illegal and the goods that had been bequeathed or received by inheritance, after the corresponding investigation, had to be confiscated68. Another explanatory clause referred specifically to illegal inheritances, in favour of the husband, a next of kin, a bene meritus, even the children, who were excluded from a legitimate inheritance if they shared the way of life of the testator. The goods bequeathed in favour of any of these ought to be reclaimed by the treasury as bona caduca. The confiscatory provision also includes the inheritance of Manichaeans who had tried to benefit a member of the sect by means of the subterfuge of conveying their goods through a middle-person.

  • 69 R. Bonini, «Appunti sull’applicazione del codice Teodosiano (Le costituzioni in tema di retroattivi (...)
  • 70 CTh., XVI, 2, 25 (380). Vid. supra.
  • 71 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381): Nec in posterum tantum huius emissae per nostram mansuetudinem legis forma p (...)
  • 72 G. Barone-Adesi, «Dal dibattito cristiano sulla destinazione dei beni economici alla configurazione (...)
  • 73 G. Barone-Adesi, «Eresie sociali ed inquisizione Teodosiana», AARC, 6, 1986, p. 119-166 (= Eresie s (...)

26These regulations were accompanied by an unusual retroactive clause, so that they could take effect not only in the future but also in the past, taking as a reference the anti-Manichaean law of Valentinianus of 372, which is referred to in the heading of the norm. The exceptionality of this provision is explained in the text of the law69, adducing the obstinacy and persistence of Manichaeans in disobeying this norm, which banned the meetings of Manichaeans. As offenders of a divine law, those who had continued to attend the illicit and profane assemblies of Manichaeans ought to be considered guilty of sacrilegium, according to what had already been stipulated in 38070. This legal description is the basis for the severity of the Theodosian norm regarding its retroactive effects, with the purpose of not only making a law, but also vindicating one that had been contravened71. Consequently, testamentary acts, both active and passive, of those who continued to be Manichaeans after 372 were subject to the regulations of the law of 381, despite ordinary regulations which set forth that compliance with a constitutio could only apply to events which were subsequent in time. The practical purpose of the law was to prevent Manichaeans from perpetuating their crime within their family72, and to prevent their goods from being used for the benefit of the sect as well as to hinder the illegal constitution of community assets beyond the control of the state and the clergy73.

  • 74 Cologne Mani Codex, 65, 23-68. Vid. R. Lim, Nomen Manichaeorum, p. 143-167.
  • 75 In Eusebius, hist. eccl., VII, 31, 1, Manicheism appears as a Christian heresy. Thus considered by (...)
  • 76 The Greek text is not preserved, except for some extracts transmitted by Epiphanius. However, the e (...)
  • 77 Vid. comment of C. Riggi, Epifanio contro Mani, revisione critica, traduzione italiana e commento s (...)
  • 78 Epiphan., Pan., 66, 88. Vid. C. Riggi, Epifanio contro Mani, p. 389-395.
  • 79 Vid. R. Lim, «Unity and Diversity Among Western Manichaeans: A Reconsideration of Mani’s sancta ecc (...)

27Mani’s religion had arisen from a Judeo-Christian background in the South of Mesopotamia in the 3rd century and had penetrated the Roman Empire through Syrian speaking missionaries, who came from the Persian Empire. Diocletian had persecuted them as bearers of the enemy’s religion. The finding of genuinely Manichaean sources has revealed to us their universalist character. The self-representation of Mani as an apostle of Jesus Christ74 and the end of the persecutions favoured its spread as a superior and select form of Christianity in the post-Constantinian period, especially in Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, the North of Africa and Italy, and also the combat from the Christian front against it as a heretical and deviated sect75. The Acta Archelai, the first known testimony of Christian heresiology against Manichaeism, written in Greek ca. 34076, and the entry which Epiphanius of Salamis dedicates to Manichaeans in his Panarion (66, 1-88) sum up the existing state of opinion in Christian circles regarding Manichaeans in the second half of the 4th century, before Theodosius issued his law77. Along with dualism and magic arts, deceit and disguise are the most outstanding features of Manichaeism. Thus is stated in the final recapitulation of Epiphanius78. The epithet polukéfalos aíresis, that is, the multiple-headed heresy, sums up the capacity of Manichaeans to adapt to their environment and take on the most convenient form to suit their purposes79. The analogy made by Epiphanius between Manichaeism and the two-headed snake (Anfisbena) coupled with the parallel to the poisonous cencritide, illustrates the mimicry of Manichaeans within their environment, their mastering of the art of simulation to get into Christian circles hiding their venom and the polluting and lethal potential of their preaching.

  • 80 R. Lim, Public Disputation, Power, and Social Order in Late Antiquity, Berkeley, 1995, p. 70-108, o (...)
  • 81 Vid. M. Scopello, «L’epistula Fundamenti à la lumière des sources manichéennes du Fayoum», dans J. (...)
  • 82 Vid. M. V. Escribano, Iglesia y Estado en el certamen priscilianista: causa ecclesiae y iudicium pu (...)

28Beyond the doctrines of Manichaeans, whose moral perversity is underlined in the text of the law, the Theodosian legislator was concerned with their hierarchical organization, their missionary nature and their ability to recruit new members80, the use of refined forms of persuasion – they resorted both to public debate81 and private conversations, to speeches and to written texts –, the internal solidarity amongst the members of the sect, the secret nature of their activities and, above all, already since Diocletian, their infiltration amongst the higher classes. In the rescript of 302, those honorati and maiores personae who had joined the sect were punished with particular severity. In Hispania, around the year 380, the nobilis Priscillian was accused of Manichaeism. And in 400, in Antioch, Julia the Manichaean engaged new adepts by giving away silver82.

29From this consideration, we can better understand the severity of Theodosius’ law, which is even admitted by the drafter of the law, and we can also see why denunciation is promoted within families, by adding an exception to the regulatory provisions: the law provides for the possibility of the offspring of Manichaeans to recover their inheritance rights if they separate from the Manichaean association and embrace the religio, a method which required the effective proof of the separation from the parental deviation. In accordance with tradition, the transmission of goods within the families was protected, but denunciation to uncover Manichaeans was also promoted.

  • 83 Vid. in this respect M. Scopello, Julie, manichéenne, p. 208-209.

30Finally, the mystery surrounding Manichaean ceremonies, which were equalled to evil practices since Diocletian and the resistance to the previous law, allows us to understand the addition of the new prohibition: the funesta misteria performed by the Manichaeans were to cease83. These were prayers or formulae of passing which allowed or eased the ascent of the souls to the Hereafter at the time of death. From then on they were to refrain from carrying out their funesta misteria around a sepulcra, both in oppida and in important cities, particularly in Constantinople, from where they had to be kept away. The city limits also served to mark the boundary between orthodoxy and heretics, who had to be separated for being infamous and sacrilegious.

  • 84 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381): Nec se sub simulatione fallaci eorum scilicet nominum, quibus plerique, ut c (...)

31The final part of the norm reveals one of the evading strategies used by Manichaeans, the simulatio and deceit: pretending to be ascetic sects under the names of Encratites (abstainers), Apotactics (renouncing property), Hydro-parastates (celebrating the Eucharist just with water) or Saccophores (wearing very humble clothes), feigning poverty and thus hindering their identification as Manichaeans and the subsequent confiscation of their goods84.

  • 85 Iren., adu. haer., 1, 28, 1. Cf. Clem. Al., Paed., 2, 2, 33; Strom., 1, 15, 71; 3, 9, 63; 3, 12, 81 (...)
  • 86 Eus., hist. eccl., IV, 28-29. In his Chronicle he mentions the Encratites in the year XII of Marcus (...)
  • 87 Ep., 188 and 199, of 375, are addressed to Amphilochios of Iconium. In the first letter, he refers (...)
  • 88 Epiphan., pan. haer., 41 (Apostolics, also called Apotactics); 46 (Tatianus); 47 (Encratites). He r (...)
  • 89 Vid. J. D. BeDhun, The Manichaean Body in Discipline and Ritual, Baltimore, 2000.

32Encratites and the so-called Hydroparastates, because of their customs and appearance, Apotactics and Saccophores, were radical ascetics who, from the 2nd century onwards in the case of the former, had spread through Asia Minor, Syria and Mesopotamia. They lived their ascetic lives away from society and were characterized by rejection of marriage, of procreation, of consumption of meat and wine – which made them celebrate the sacraments simply with bread and water – as well as their rejection of property, as we know through the information provided about them by Irenaeus85, Eusebius86, Basil of Caesarea87 and Epiphanius of Salamis in his Panarion88. Similarities with the Manichaean way of life led to confusion89.

  • 90 Vid. analysis of the process by which both terms become synonyms in P. Boulhol, «Secta: de la ligne (...)

33According to the Theodosian law, Manichaeans could not find safety in using these names. Their mention indicates that the legislator knew their methods of infiltration and the Manichaean skill to adopt different appearances, reported by Epiphanius. On the contrary, and as stated at the end of the law, Manichaeans were to be considered notabiles atque execrandos because of the crime of sects, that is, for being heretics90.

  • 91 CTh., XVI, 7, 1 (381). Vid. comment by M. P. Baccari, «Gli apostati nel Codice Teodosiano», Apollin (...)

34To sum up, the constitutio CTh., XVI, 5, 7 stated that being a Manichaean and living in accordance with the ius Romanum was incompatible. Six days earlier, Theodosius himself had removed the facultas iusque testandi from apostates, that is, qui ex cristianis pagani facti sunt91, establishing also the annulment of their wills in case they had been made. At a time when Nicean orthodoxy was being imposed from the top of the Empire, it was suitable to punish in an exemplary manner those who returned to paganism and to neutralize religious minorities with great powers of attraction for new adepts in well-off Christian circles.

  • 92 Vid. F. Millar, A Greek Roman Empire. Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408-450), Berkeley, 200 (...)
  • 93 Vid. in this respect, M. P. Baccari, «Comunione e cittadinanza. A proposito della posizione giuridi (...)
  • 94 L. Barnard, «The Criminalisation of Heresy in the Later Roman Empire: A Sociopolitical Device?», Le (...)

35However, in order to punish Manichaeans, they had to be uncovered first. Indeed, the enforcement of the laws, as well as the knowledge of the norm, which is connected with the means and forms of communication within the imperial administration92, required the collaboration of bishops and of the bureaucratic and judicial apparatus of the State. Since the Cunctos populos, ratified at this point by the Episcopis tradi of July 381 (CTh., XVI, 1, 3 in 381), communion with certain bishops was the criterion which made it possible to distinguish the christianus catholicus from the haereticus and, consequently, bishops were the only ones who could lay down orthodoxy or heterodoxy among their congregation by being admitted to or excluded from the communio93. In their turn, concurrent with the progressive criminalization of the heretic dissidence94, iudices and principales were in charge of executing the penalties set forth by the law.

  • 95 Vid. C. Humfress, Citizens and Heretics, p. 128-142.

36The anti-Manichaean law of 381 was open to trickery95: in the family sphere, it allowed those who felt harmed by their parents’ will to make up for it by accusing the Manichaean beneficiary of that will in court. Outside the family, any individual could reclaim the gifts or bequests made by his father when he was alive, with the simple argument that the beneficiary of those was a Manichaean. In both cases, the courts not only had to elucidate between excluding property rights, but the judges had also to declare whether the accused were heretic or not and, although they may have had the cooperation of bishops, in practice it was not that simple, less so if we take into account the stealth of Manichaeans who used the names of other ascetic groups.

37These considerations had an influence in the enactment of the constitutio XVI, 5, 9, which was issued by Theodosius one year later. Experience and better knowledge of the elusive strategies used by Manichaeans, allowed Theodosius to give precise instructions to the praetorian prefect of the Orient, Florus, in order to facilitate their identification and prevent them from bequeathing their properties to the sect.

  • 96 On the organization of the community, hierarchy and moral code of Manichaeans vid. M. Tardieu, Le M (...)

38The law has two clear parts, separated in the text by the summary and conclusive phrase haec de solitariis, at the end of the first part and the ceterum which opens the second. The first part refers to the solitarii, that is, the electi, those who were demanded a strict observance of poverty by the socio-ethical code of Manichaeans96. The law pronounces them desecrators and corrupters of the Catholic discipline for abandoning the coetus bonorum and joining the secret mobs of the pessimi on the pretext of leading the solitary life of Manichaeans.

  • 97 In Diocletian’s rescript, Manichaeans are nequissimi homines, as opposed to the modesta atque tranq (...)
  • 98 On the legal treatment of the solitarii, that is, ascetics uagantes, according to the praxis tradit (...)
  • 99 CTh., XVI, 5, 9 (382): Quisquis manichaeorum uitae solitariae falsitate coetum bonorum fugit ac sec (...)
  • 100 G. Barone-Adesi, Dibattito cristiano, p. 246-249.

39The drafter of the text deliberately uses a denigrating language to refer to Manichaeans. Their communities are secret mobs of pessimi – the emphatic superlative adjective conveys evil in the highest degree – the antithesis of the coetus bonorum which they abandon to join the former97. With the term secretae turbae the legislator describes the conspiratory nature of their meetings and the social disorder and division caused by them, while singling out falseness as the distinctive feature of the life of the solitarii (manichaeorum uitae solitariae falsitate coetum bonorum fugit ac secretas turbas eligit pessimorum). As such, they must be subject to the law. They are deprived of the right of using their possessions, either inter uiuos or mortis causa, for illicit purposes and of conveying them to the despicable people they had joined. The inheritance of the solitarii98 is regulated non moribus, sed natura, that is, in favour of the legitimate heirs or the agnati, and not in accordance with the custom among ascetic movements of leaving the property of the adepts to their community. In the case of lack of descendants, the property was to be transferred to the treasury99. By establishing the legitimate inheritance of the property, the law encouraged the denunciation of Manichaeans, amongst themselves and their next of kin, more directly so than one year earlier. Not only did it try to hinder the economic growth of the sect, it also intended to keep the private property within the sphere of the respective families100, a concern which may be perceived as an indication of the great impact of the Manichaean influence in wealthy circles and of the effective practice of bequeathing their possessions to their co-religionists.

  • 101 Vid. G. Thome, «Crime and Punishment, Guilt and Expiation: Roman Thougtht and Vocabulary», AClass, (...)
  • 102 Diocletian, in his rescript against the Manichaeans, already calls them noua et inopinata prodigia (...)

40The second part of the norm is more severe and is addressed against Manichaeans who hid under the names of Encratites, Hydroparastates and Saccophores, thus hampering their identification and punishment as Manichaeans. Their monstrous nature – that is, their physical and criminal anomaly – can be noticed in the names given to them and in the terms facinus – that is, impious act – and crimen, which religiously and legally describe their behaviour101. We should notice that the adjective prodigiali, derivative of prodigium, is used to convey their anomaly, their maladaptation and oddity with regards to their environment, and as a result, the social danger they pose102. The black attire of the Saccophores, the long hair–short in the case of women – and the bearded faces that ascetics used to display were plastically evoked with this adjective.

  • 103 This is the opinion of D. Grodzynski, «Tortures mortelles et catégories sociales. Les summa supplic (...)
  • 104 Late criminal law gives torture a double function: it is a special form of questioning, aimed at ob (...)
  • 105 J. P. Callu, «Le jardin des supplices au Bas-Empire», dans Du Châtiment dans la cité, p. 313-357.

41The established penalty against them, once a court had proved they were Manichaeans, both if there was clear evidence of their crime or simply minor appearances, is the summum supplicium and the poena inexpiabilis, that is, torture ending in death. As in the rescript of Diocletian, used as a precedent for the drafting of the law, probably the summum supplicium, with which Manichaeans who pretended to be ascetics were threatened, was the crematio103, a fearsome and cruel torment104, which along with the crux and the decollatio were the three forms of dying after torture in late criminal law105.

  • 106 CTh., XVI, 5, 11 (383).

42From then on, Encratites, Hydroparastates, Saccophores and also Apotactics, although they are not mentioned in the norm, will be considered heretical groups, a remarkable change with regards to the law of 381, and as such they will be named in later regulations106. The policephalic monster that was Manichaeism, according to Epiphanius’ heresiology, meets its replica in the legal language.

  • 107 CTh., XVI, 5, 9 (382): Ceterum quos encratitas prodigiali appellatione cognominant, cum saccoforis (...)

43In matters of inheritance, the rulings of CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381), are kept, that is, the goods of Manichaeans who hide can only be transferred to their heirs if they do not share the way of life and the religious deviation of their parents107. Otherwise, the goods were to be confiscated.

  • 108 On the social rejection of informers, vid. J. Mélèze-Modrzejewski, «Sycophantes et délateurs, un ma (...)
  • 109 The lack of precision as regards the formalities to be observed leads us to presume that the text r (...)

44The appeal to denunciation within the family, which in 381 was implied, becomes explicit in 382. The chancery of Theodosius includes in the text of the law clear instructions for its enforcement. Theodosius urges the prefect of the Orient to persecute Manichaeans ex officio. To this end, the prefect must appoint investigators from amongst his officials – det inquisitores –, open his court and receive the denunciations of indices and nuntiatores, sine inuidia delationis, without an expiry date for the accusation. The key can be found in the formula sine inuidia delationis: it was not only ordered to create a specialized group for the police search for hidden Manichaeans but denunciation was authorised, warning the judge against the hostility provoked by denunciation108, and at the same time, ensuring informers – this is what is meant by indices and nuntiatores109 – that they would not be affected by the penalties set forth by Theodosius against denunciation.

  • 110 Vid. J. Gaudemet, «La répression de la délation au Bas-Empire», dans Miscellanea in onore di Eugeni (...)
  • 111 On Constantius’ inclination to take heed of rumores and sussurri to incriminate by means of maiesta (...)
  • 112 On trials for treason in Antioch vid. Amm., 29, 1, 4-29, 2, 28; 31, 14, 8-9; Eunap., VS, 7, 6, 3-7; (...)

45The practice of denunciation as a political form of settling rivalries, eliminating enemies and advancing careers within the imperial administration, obtaining praemia or appropriating sought-after goods and expanding personal wealth is common in the 4th century110. Ammianus’ work is an eloquent testimony of the judicial persecutions started by secret denunciations, in particular under Constantius II, who turned denunciation into a strategy of government111, but also under Valens, as demonstrated by the incidents which occurred in Antioch in 371 and 372 regarding the supposed conspiracy of Theodore112.

  • 113 CTh., X, 10, 2 (312?); 10, 1 (313); 10, 3 (335).
  • 114 Pan., 9, 4, 4: … te abolitarum calumniarum, te prohibitarum delationum, te reorum conseruationis at (...)
  • 115 CTh., IX, 6, 2 (376); CTh., IX, 6, 3 (397). Vid. L. Solidoro, «La disciplina del crimen maiestatis (...)

46On the other hand, the strict repressive regulation of these practices started by Constantine after the defeat of Maxentius to constrict the delatorum exsecranda pernicies113–which deserved the justified praise of the panegyrist of 313114–, and which was continued by his successors, although with little effect, shows the concern of the power to banish sycophants from social and political life and to bring certainty and security for the physical and economic integrity of their subjects. Nevertheless, the exception included in the clause that accompanied some of these provisions, to exclude the prohibition of the denunciations regarding the crimen maiestatis, detracted from their operativeness, since eventually, either directly or indirectly, anything was liable to be interpreted as an attack on the emperor115, if advisability thus dictated.

  • 116 We shall not go into the legal technicalities of the term delator, appropriately dealt with by Y. R (...)
  • 117 The expression delationes exsecramur is inspired by the Constantinian constitutio CTh., X, 10, 2 (3 (...)
  • 118 CTh., X, 10, 13 (380).

47The Codex Thedosianus compiles twenty-two constitutiones against denunciation, given between 312 and 426. Of these twenty-two, six were subscribed by Theodosius, two of them prior to the law against the Manichaeans of 382 and four of them afterwards. Along the line opened by the legislation of Constantine to suppress the authors of slanderous denunciations, Theodosius struggled, from the beginning, to remove himself from the abominable actions of informers, even though they sought, apart from their own benefit, to favour the treasury116. In the constitutio X, 10, 12 (380), addressed to the comes rerum priuatarum Pancratius regarding the attribution of the caducae facultates, declares himself categorically and totally, without exception, against fiscal denunciation, using the formula uniuersae delationes exsecramur117 and he states that he who made denunciations, even if they were fully justified, after his third judicial success, should be punished with the capital penalty, a penalty which is repeated in an edict to the provincials of 31 August of the same year118. Both laws, enacted in a short period of time, demonstrate the aversion of Theodosius to denunciation and his will to eradicate it, even though it may be based on good grounds. In this manner, from the beginning of his principality, the Augustus of the Orient showed himself to be against the political methods of his predecessor and gained supports from the powerful, who had been the favourite victims of delatores. Besides, he excluded himself by his own merit, from the list of tyrannical princes, who had been systematically linked by the senatorial historiographical tradition to malevolent denunciation.

  • 119 CTh., IX, 39, 1 (383).
  • 120 CTh., IX, 39, 2 (385). The constitutio is addressed to the vicar of Asia and expands the legislatio (...)
  • 121 CTh., X, 10, 19 (387).
  • 122 CTh., X, 10, 20 (392).

48In 383, he condemned slander in the name of the innocentia and the securitas to which people were entitled and established the supplicium for the manifestus calumniator119, although two years later120 he reduced the penalty substituting the death penalty with civil death, in the form of infamia and deportation. Finally, in 387 he gave assurance to the senators of Alexandria against slander121 and once again dealt with the protection of the same quies possidentium in 392122. The continuity and consistency of these measures denote an early, firm and unequivocal attitude against denunciation.

  • 123 The intimidating ingredient of the laws is evoked in the constitutio CTh., XVI, 5, 63 of 425, addre (...)

49However, as a man of power, Theodosius, who knew and abhorred whispers, rumours and libels, did not hesitate in making an exception in what seemed to be a rule of government and used the fear of secret denunciation to scare123 Manichaeans and to encourage denunciation by means of the constitutio XVI, 5, 9. Nevertheless, given the harsh and recent legislation against delatores, Theodosius needed to give guarantees to informers, encouraging them to make accusations without fear of reprisals, which in its turn decreased the legal security of those who were reported and intensified the effect of fear. With the authorization of the delatio against Manichaeans and similar sects, Theodosius sought deterrence, by means of terror. In order to fight heretics, he looked for the involvement of all, who thus became potential informers and, in particular, amongst the members of families, appealing to the fact that they were economically damaged by the customs of the heretic. Denunciation could come from an unknown person, but also from a relation. And also, after making the denunciation, and against usual regulations, the effects of the accusation did not expire: although the reported heretic tried to avoid the criminal and legal consequences that resulted from the denunciation, by hiding waiting for better circumstances, the threat continued to exist without the possibility of expiring (Nemo praescriptione communi exordium accusationis huius infringat).

  • 124 Amm., 29, 1, 27 says regarding the atmosphere of terror created in Antioch in 371-372 because of de (...)

50On the other hand, the text of the law implicitly indicates the imperial permission for the free circulation of rumores and susurri – so dreaded and effective in political battles in the 4th century –, to extend investigations as much as possible and to spread fear not only amongst heretics but also amongst those who, without being heretics, may attend their meetings or give them support by lending them their houses or estates for their illegal gatherings. By doing this they became accomplices to a crime that was punishable with the summum supplicium. Chain denunciations were an unavoidable consequence124. By encouraging them, isolation and social exclusion of Manichaeans were secured.

  • 125 Manichaeans did not have distinctive buildings as churches. They would meet in private houses or es (...)
  • 126 Instead, they celebrated the festival of Bema, Vid. J. Ries, «La fête de Béma dans l’église de Mani (...)
  • 127 On the christianization of the calendar vid. A. Di Berardino, «La cristianizzazione del tempo nei s (...)

51Finally, the law ends with the indication of another method to identify Manichaeans, thus easing the task of informers and making them more dreaded by those who were persecuted: by repeating the prohibition of secret meetings, the first clue to find them was given. The secrecy of Manichaean assemblies, which fuelled the suspicion of illicit practices, was identified by the double adjective – occulti, latentes conventus – and also, there is a casuistry of all the possibilities: in the country and within the walls of the city, in public or private areas125. The second indication and a reason for incrimination was the celebration of Easter on a different date from Catholics126, which the Council of Nicaea had placed on the Sunday after the full moon in the spring equinox, that is, between 22 March and 25 April127. In this manner, the legislator tried to avoid the parallel liturgy and the observance of a different calendar, typifying as criminal acts the events which served to bond the group.

52Denunciation almost always involves the moral defencelessness of the person reported and is always linked to the idea of a reward. Its existence is needed for the reporter to act. In this case, the possessions of the Manichaean could benefit the informer who was a member of his family or any other informer in favour of the treasury. By promoting denunciation, the chancery of Theodosius tried to intimidate Manichaeans with the real possibility of being reported by their relatives or by someone else and having to endure the inexpiable penalty of torture to death. By creating uncertainty and fear of suffering it was intended to deter people from embracing Manichaeism, and turn all Catholic Christians into potential persecutors of heretics.

  • 128 CTh., XVI, 7, 3 (383). The limit also applied to those who wanted to accuse a dead person of being (...)

53In practice, the enforcement of the law could have pernicious consequences. The retroactivity set forth by Theodosius in 381, by enabling the denunciation against dead persons, must have contributed to complex and unsavoury litigations regarding inheritance. Thus can be gathered from the constitutio issued in Padua in 383 by the chancery of the Occident. In this, the maximum period for accusing a dead Manichaean, challenging the legality of a will and securing a future trial on the question, was limited to five years128.

Conclusion

  • 129 CTh., XVI, 5, 17 (389). Vid comment of M. V. Escribano, Intolerancia y exilio, p. 184-208.

54The link between Manichaeism and maleficium since the rescript of Diocletian of 302, its spread throughout the Roman provinces in the Orient, the oral skills of its leaders in debates, the political danger that it posed due to the secrecy surrounding its practices, the religious division caused by its existence as an organized and hierarchical community, its mimicry of the Christian religious environment and the resulting difficulty in identifying its members and, what was more serious, its infiltration of the circles of power, may have been the causes that led Theodosius to threaten Manichaeans with infamy and legal incapacity in inheritance matters. By doing this, he joined a tradition, but made innovations by introducing infamy and legal incapacity as a criminal punishment against heretics. Seven years later, on 4 May 389, the chancery of Theodosius deprived Eunomians of their right to bequeath, own and purchase and to name an heir in any capacity129. The reason behind this was the influence achieved by Eunomians amongst the powerful eunuchs, that is, in the palace and amongst the emperor’s intimate circles. The final phrase sums up the meaning of the norm, which is the same as that of the Theodosian laws against Manichaeans of 381 and 382: Nihil ad summum habeant commune cum reliquis. A similar phrase to that which in June of the same year (389) ended the constitutio CTh., XVI, 5, 18, where the prohibition for Manichaeans to make a will was repeated: Nihil ad summum his sit commune cum mundo. Thus, the continuity of the antiheretical legislation regarding the limitation of rights and civic degradation, with the legal tradition regarding the non-observance of the religio, was sanctioned. The nexus between both was the rescript of Diocletian against Manichaeans, taken as a precedent by the Theodosian chancery when drafting the legislation against those who were considered heretics. Heresiology, difficulties in the enforcement of the law and procedural experience took part in the construction of a Manichaean identity by means of the laws.

Notes

1 Thus pointed out by G. Bassanelli Sommariva, «L’uso delle rubriche da parte dei commissari teodosiani», AARC, 14, 2003, p. 197-239. Cf. M. Urbano Sperandio, «Il Codex e la divisione per tituli», AARC 16, 2007, p. 434-472.

2 Dig., I, 1, 1, 2 (Ulp., Inst., 1):... publicum ius est quod ad statum rei Romanae spectat, priuatum quod ad singulorum utilitatem; sunt enim quaedam publice utilia, quaedam priuatim. Publicum ius in sacris, in sacerdotibus, in magistratibus consistit.

3 Vid. in this respect M. Urbano Sperandio, Codex Gregorianus, origini e vicende, Naples, 2005 and D. Liebs, Hermogenians Iuris Epitomae. Zum Stand der römischen Jurisprudenz im Zeitalter Diokletians, Göttingen, 1964.

4 These are not the only laws on religious matters included in the Codex: CTh., I, 27, De episcopali definitione; CTh., II, 8, De feriis; CTh., IV, 7, De manumissionibus in ecclesia; CTh., V, 3, De [bonis] clericorum et monachorum; CTh., IX, 45, De his, qui ad ecclesias confugiunt.

5 1: De fide catholica. 2: De episcopis, ecclesiis et clericis. 3: De monachis. 4: De his qui super religione contendunt. 5: De haereticis. 6: Ne sanctum baptisma iteretur. 7: De apostatis. 8: De iudaeis, caelicolis et samaritanis. 9: Ne christianum mancipium iudaeus habeat. 10: De paganis, sacrificis et templis. 11: De religione. Vid. K. L. Noetlichs, Die gesetzgeberischen Massnahmen der christlichen Kaiser des 4. Jahrhunderts gegen Häretiker, Heiden und Juden, Diss. Cologne, 1971; J. Gaudemet, P. Siniscalco et G. L. Falchi, Legislazione imperiale e religione nel IV secolo, Rome, 2000; L. De Giovanni, Chiesa e stato nel Codice Teodosiano. Alle origini della codificazione in tema di rapporti chiesastato, Naples, 2004; and J.-N. Guinot (éd.), Colloque International, Empire chrétien et Église aux ive et ve siècles: Intégration ou concordat? Le témoignage du Code Théodosien, Lyon, 2008 (= Empire chrétien et Église).

6 CTh., XVI, 5, 28, in 395.

7 Vid. Introduction by A. Canellis, Faustin (et Marcellin), Supplique aux empereurs (Libellus precum et Lex Augusta), précédé de Faustin, Confession de foi, Paris, 2006, p. 11-93 and M. V. Escribano, «Teodosio I y los heréticos: la aplicación de las leyes en el Libellus precum (384)», AnTard, 16, 2008, p. 29-43. On the changing situation of Lucifer de Cagliari from orthodox to heretical, vid. C. Humfress, Orthodoxy and the Courts in Late Antiquity, Oxford, 2007, p. 238-242 (= Orthodoxy and the Courts). The libellus precum allows us to know his theological itinerary: whereas between 356 and 361 the Sardinian bishop was considered as the champion of Nicean orthodoxy and the leader of the anti-Arian struggle in the Occident, 20 years later the term Luciferian had taken on heretical connotations. His treatment demonstrates the interdependence between theology and legislation, but also the improvisation of emperors when legislating depending on circumstances. Theodosius’ very decision of harbouring a group of people who accused Damasus of Rome of being a tyrannus, praeuaricator and perfidus was in clear contradiction with the declaration of orthodoxy set forth in the Cunctos populos, with Damasus as a model.

8 Vid. M. V. Escribano, «Los emperadores repiensan sus leyes: rectificaciones y revocaciones en Codex Theodosianus XVI, 5», dans G. Bonamente et R-Lizzi Testa (éd.), Istituzioni, carismi ed esercizio del potere (IV-VI secolo d. C.), Bari, 2010, p. 207-226.

9 Vid. R. Maceratini, Ricerche sullo status giuridico dell’eretico nel diritto romano-cristiano e nel diritto canonico classico, Da Graziano ad Uguccione, Milan, 1994, p. 69-108 (= Status giuridico).

10 D. Feissel, Pétitions aux empereurs et formes du rescrit, dans D. Feissel et J. Gascou (éd.), La pétition à Byzance, Paris, 2004, p. 33-52.

11 On the preparation of laws vid. A. M. Honoré, «The Making of the Theodosian Code», Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, RA, 103, 1986, p. 133-222; J. Harries, The Background to the Code, dans J. Harries et I. Wood (éd.), The Theodosian Code, Londres, 1993, p. 1-16; ead., Law and Empire in Late Antiquity, Cambridge, 1999, p. 36-55.

12 Vid. detailed consideration of these questions and relevant bibliography dans M. V. Escribano, «L’application des lois dans Codex Theodosianus XVI, 5», dans A. Laquerrière-Lacroix et P. Jaillette (éd.), Quatrièmes Journées d’études sur le Code Théodosien, Aux sources juridiques de l’histoire de l’Europe: le Code Théodosien, Clermont-Ferrand (forthcoming).

13 On the use of the historiographic category of identity to express the construction of religious difference, vid. E. Iricinschi et H. M Zellentin, «Making Selves and Marking Others: Identity and Late Antique Heresiologies», dans E. Iricinschi et H. M Zellentin (éd.), Heresy and Identity in Late Antiquity, Tübingen, 2008, p. 1-27 (= Heresy and Identity).

14 M. V. Escribano, «La construction de l’image de l’hérétique dans le Code Théodosien XVI», dans Empire chrétien et Église, p. 389-412 (= L’image de l’hérétique).

15 R. Lim, «The Nomen Manichaeorum and its Uses in Late Antiquity», dans Heresy and Identity, p. 143-167 (= Nomen Manichaeorum).

16 P. Giess., 40, I. S. Riccobono, Fontes iuris Romani antejustiniani, I, Florence, 1941, p. 445-449, n. 88. Vid. H. Wolf, Die Constitutio Antoniniana und Papyrus Gissensis, Cologne, 1976.

17 Cic. De domo sua ad pontifices oratio, 1, 1.

18 Vid. C. Ando, «Religion and ius publicum », dans C. Ando et J. Rüpke (éd.), Religion and Law in Classical and Christian Rome, Munich, 2006 (= Religion and Law), p. 126-145.

19 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 6, 4, 1: Quoniam piis religiosisque mentibus nostris ea, quae Romanis legibus caste sancteque sunt constituta, uenerabilia maxime uidentur atque aeterna religione seruanda, dissimulare ea, quae a quibusdam in praeteritum nefariae incesteque commissa sunt, non oportere credimus: cum uel cohibenda sunt uel etiam uindicanda, insurgere nos disciplina nostrorum temporum cohortatur. Ita enim et ipsos inmortales deos Romano nomini, ut semper fuerunt, fauentes atque placatos futuros esse non dubium est, si cunctos sub imperio nostro agentes piam religiosamque et quietam et castam in omnibus mere colere perspexerimus uitam. Vid. E. Volterra, «La costituzione di Diocleciano e Maximiano contri i Manichaei», dans La Persia e il mondo greco-romano, Rome, 1966, p. 27-50; H. Chadwick, «The Relativity of Moral Codes: Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity», dans W. R. Schoedel et R. Wilken, (éd.), Early Christian Literature and the Classical Intellectual Tradition. In honorem R. M. Grant, Paris, 1979, p. 135-153. According to E. Moreno, Constantino y los cultos tradicionales, Saragosse, 2007, p. 112-113, Diocletian, in the edictum de nuptiis, produced a new definition of religio, which included the cultus deorum and the mos maiorum.

20 Reality was quite different, vid. C. Humfress, «Citizens and Heretics, Late Roman Lawyers on Christian Heresy», dans Heresy and Identity, p. 128-142 (= Citizens and Heretics).

21 Vid. S. Corcoran, The Empire of the Tetrarchs. Imperial Pronuncements and Government A.D. 284-324, Oxford, 1996, p. 135. The arguments in favour of 302 in T. D. Barnes, The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine, Cambridge (Mass.) et Londres, 1982, p. 55, n. 41.

22 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 2-4: Maximi enim criminis est retractare quae semel ab antiquis statuta et definita suum statum et cursum tenent ac possident. 3. Unde pertinaciam prauae mentis nequissimorum hominum punire ingens nobis studium est: hi enim, qui nouellas et inauditas sectas ueterioribus religionibus obponunt, ut pro arbitrio suo prauo excludant quae diuinitus concessa sunt quondam nobis. 4. De quibus sollertia tua serenitati nostrae retulit, Manichaei…

23 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 4-5. Vid. P. Brown, «The Diffusion of Manichaeism in the Roman Empire», JRS, 49, 1969, p. 91-103.

24 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 6: Iubemus namque auctores quidem ac principes una cum abominandis scripturis eorum seueriori poenae subici, ita ut flammeis ignibus exurantur: consentaneos uero usque adeo contentiosos capite puniri praecipimus, et eorum bona fisco nostro uindicari sancimus. For punitive purposes, the difference between being accessory to or the author of evil practices is laid down by Paulus in his Sententiae: the magicae artis conscii must undergo summum supplicium, either be thrown to the beasts or crucified; the magicians – that is, the officiants – must be burnt alive, PS, 5, 23, 17: magicae artis conscios summo supplicio adfici placuit, id est bestiis obici aut cruci suffigi. Ipsi autem magi uiui exuruntur. The Severan lawyer, in his comment ad legem Corneliam de sicariis et ueneficis also included the penalty of burning the magic books in the criminal repertoire: PS, 5, 23, 18. On the questions regarding this text vid. D. Liebs, Römische Jurisprudenz in Africa, mit Studien zu den pseudopaulinischen Sentenzen, Berlin, 1993; id. «Die pseudopaulinischen Sentenzen. Versuch einer neuen Palingenesie», ZRG, 112, 1995, p. 151-171; id. «Die pseudopaulinischen Sentenzen. Versuch einer neuen Palingenesie, Ausführung», ZRG, 113, 1996, p. 112-241 and J. B. Rives, «Magic in Roman Law: The Reconstruction of a Crime», ClAnt, 22, 2003, p. 313-339.

25 Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 6-7.

26 On the concept of deportatio vid recent work by Y. Rivière, «L’interdictio aqua et igni et la deportatio sous le Haut-Empire romain (étude juridique et lexicale)», dans Ph. Blaudeau (éd.), Exil et relégation. Les tribulations du sage et du saint durant l’Antiquité romaine et chrétienne (ier-ve s. ap. J.-C.), Paris, 2008, p. 47-113; R. Delmaire, «Exil, relégation, déportation dans la législation du Bas-Empire», ibid., p. 115-132.

27 On the formalization of the legal category of heretic from Constantine onwards and the used procedures, vid. C. Humfress, «Roman Law, Forensic Argument and The Formation of Christian Orthodoxy III-VI Centuries», dans S. Elm, E. Rebillard et A. Romano (éd.), Orthodoxie, Christianisme, Histoire, Paris-Rome, 2000, p. 125-147. Cf. R. Maceratini, Status giuridico, p. 23-108.

28 Lact., de mort. pers., 33, 11-35, 1. Euseb., hist. eccl., VIII, 17, 3-10. Galerius does not name religio the secta of the christiani, whose attitude he puts down to their stultitia, although he accepts their existence (… qua solemus cunctis hominibus ueniam indulgere, promptissimam in his quoque indulgentiam nostram credidimus porrigendam, ut denuo sint christiani), in a gesture of clementia, in the interest of the salus of the emperors and of the res publica. Vid. P. Siniscalco, «L’editto di Galerio del 311 qualche osservazione storica alla luce della terminologia», AARC, 10, 1995, p. 41-53.

29 Lact., de mort. pers., 48, 2-13; Euseb., hist. eccl., X, 5, 2-4. Constantine and Licinius, as part of the agreements reached in Milan at the end of 312 or the beginning of 313, name the Christian cult religio in the rescript published in Nicomedia by the latter in June 313: (2)… ut daremus et christianis et omnibus liberam potestatem sequendi religionem quam quisque uoluisset...; (4)… quia eandem obseruandae religionis christianorum…

30 Vid. regarding this J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, Continuity and Change in Roman Religion, Oxford, 1979, p. 201-304. On the maintenance of the link between salus imperii and pietas and the role of the Christian prince as responsible for the balance between both of them vid. preamble of the imperial letter of 10 November 430, whereby Theodosian II and Valentinian III convened Cyril of Alexandria and the Egyptian bishops to the council of Ephesus of 431: E. Schwartz, ACO, 1, 1, 1, 114-116. Vid. K.L. Noetlichs, «Revolution from the top? Orthodoxy and the persecution of heretics in imperial legislation from Constantine to Justinian», dans Religion and Law, p. 115-125 (= Revolution).

31 CTh., XVI, 5, 40 in 407: Huic itaque hominum generi nihil ex moribus, nihil ex legibus sit commune cum ceteris. Ac primum quidem uolumus esse publicum crimen, quia quod in religionem diuinam conmittitur, in omnium fertur iniuriam.

32 On the antiheretical legislation of Theodosius I vid. amongst others, A. Tuilier, «La politique de Théodose le Grand et les évêques de la fin du ive siècle», dans Vescovi e pastori in epoca teodosiana, XXV Incontro di studiosi dell’antichità cristiana, Rome, 1997, p. 45-71; R. Lizzi, «La politica religiosa di Teodosio I. Miti storiografici e realtà storica», dans RAL, 9, 7, 1996, p. 323-361 (= La politica religiosa); R. M. Errington, «Church and State in the First Years of Thedosius I», Chiron, 27, 1997, p. 21-72; id., «Christian Accounts of the Religious Legislation of Theodosius I», Klio, 79, 1997, p. 398-443; H. Leppin, Theodosius der Grosse: auf dem Weg zum christlichen Imperium, Darmstadt, 2003, p. 35-86; I. Fargnoli, «Many Faiths and One Emperor. Remarks about the Religious Legislation of Theodosius the Great», RIDA, 52, 2005, p. 147-162; and M. V. Escribano, «Intolerancia y exilio, las leyes teodosianas contra los eunomianos», Klio, 89, 2007, p. 184-208 (= Intolerancia y exilio); ead., L’image de l’hérétique, p. 389-412; ead., «The Social Exclusion of Hereties in Codex Theodosianus XVI», dans J.-J. Aubert et Ph. Blanchard (éd.), Droit, religion et société dans le Code Théodosien, Troisièmes Journées d’Études sur le Code Théodosien, (Neuchâtel, 15-17 février 2007), Genève, 2009, p. 39-66.

33 T. D. Barnes, «Religion and Society in the Age of Theodosius», dans H. A. Meynell (éd.), Grace, Politics and Desire. Essays on Augustine, Calgary, Alberta, 1990, p. 157-175; N. McLynn, «Genere Hispanus: Theodosius, Spain and Nicene Orthodoxy», dans M. Kulikowski et K. Bowes (éd.), Hispania in Late Antiquity: Current Perspectivas, Leyde-Boston, 2005, p. 77-120 (= Genere Hispanus).

34 Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 12 notes that, although Theodosius prescribed serious penalties in the laws against heretics, he did not order their enforcement and, as an explanation, he points out that actually Theodosius did not intend to punish his subjects but to intimidate them, so that they would convert of their own volition.

35 CTh., XVI, 2, 27 in 390; 2, 28 in 390. Vid. Ambros., ep., 74, 6; ep., 76, 27; ep. extra coll., 1, 28; 11, 6; ep., 51, 5 and 13; De obitu Theodosii, 28 and 34; Ruf., hist. eccl., 11, 18; Paulin., V. Amb., 24; Aug., Ciu. Dei, 5, 26; Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 25; Theodoret., hist. eccl., 5, 17-18.

36 CTh., XVI, 5, 1: Imp. Constantinus A. ad Dracilianum. Priuilegia, quae contemplatione religionis indulta sunt, catholicae tantum legis obseruatoribus prodesse oportet. Haereticos autem atque schismaticos non solum ab his priuilegiis alienos esse uolumus, sed etiam diuersis muneribus constringi et subici. Proposita kal. sept. Gerasto Constantino a. VII et Constantio c. conss. (1 sept. 326).

37 Soz., hist. eccl., 1, 1, 15. K. L. Noetlichs, Revolution, p. 120.

38 On the Cunctos populos vid., amongst others, P. Barceló et G. Gottlieb, «Das Glaubensedikt des Kaiser Theodosius vom 27. februar 380. Adressaten und Zielsetzung», dans K. Dietz, D. Hennig et H. Kaletsch (éd.), Klassisches Altertum, Spätantike und frühes Christentum. Adolf Lippold zum 65. Geburtstag gewidmet, Würzburg, 1993, p. 409-423; J. Gaudemet, «L’Édit de Thessalonique: police locale ou déclaration de principe?», dans H. W. Pleket et A. M. F. W. Vergooth, Aspects of the Fourth Century AD, Leyde, 1997, p. 43-51.

39 Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 4. R. Lizzi, La politica religiosa, p. 346-347.

40 CTh., XVI, 1, 2. (28 febr. 380).

41 N. McLynn, Genere Hispanus, p. 80.

42 CTh., XVI, 5, 4 (376).

43 CTh., XVI, 6, 2 (377).

44 Zos., 4, 36, 5.

45 CTh., XVI, 1, 2: Imppp. Gratianus, Valentinianus et Theodosius AAA. edictum ad populum urbis Constantinopolitanae. … Hanc legem sequentes christianorum catholicorum nomen iubemus amplecti, reliquos uero dementes uesanosque iudicantes haeretici dogmatis infamiam sustinere nec conciliabula eorum ecclesiarum nomen accipere… Dat. III kal. mar. Thessalonicae Gratiano a. V et Theodosio a. I conss. (28 febr. 380).

46 Vid. N. Gómez Villegas, Gregorio de Nazianzo en Constantinopla. Madrid, 2000, p. 79 ff. and bibliography included regarding this.

47 In accordance with the dichotomy set forth in the rescript CTh., XVI, 5, 5 of 3 August 379, produced by the chancery of Milan on behalf of Gratian, Valentinianus and Theodosius, lex diuina must be understood as the law of God, specified in the prescriptions of the religio catholica: Omnes uetitae legibus et diuinis et imperialibus haereses perpetuo conquiescant.

48 In the opposite sense N. McLynn, Genere Hispanus, p. 84, who sees a figurative meaning in the expression sacrilegium committunt.

49 Ulp., Dig., XLVIII, 4, 1: proximum sacrilegio crimen est, quod maiestatis dicitur. Vid. G. Crifò, «Profili del diritto criminale romano tardoantico», dans A. Saggioro (éd.), Diritto romano e identità cristiana. Definizione storico-religiose e confronti interdisciplinari, Rome, 2005, p. 81-94.

50 CTh., XVI, 2, 25 (380).

51 E. Soller, «L’Église catholique sous la dynastie théodosienne: la genèse d’une Église d’État, en CTh. XVI», dans Empire chrétien et Église, p. 107-130.

52 On the complex concept of infamia, vid. also the classic work by M. Kaser, «Infamie und Ignominie in den römischen Rechtsquellen», ZRG, 73, 1956, p. 220-278, F. Camacho, La infamia en derecho romano, Alicante, 1997. He distinguished the infamia iuris and the infamia de facto. Besides, R. Maceratini, Status giuridico, p. 90-96.

53 Diocletian’s rescript has already been commented on. The constitutio of Valentinianus dates from 372: CTh., XVI, 5, 3. Impp. Valentinianus et Valens AA. ad Ampelium praefectum Vrbi. Vbicumque manichaeorum conuentus uel turba huiusmodi repperitur, doctoribus graui censione multatis his quoque qui conueniunt ut infamibus atque probrosis a coetu hominum segregatis, domus et habitacula, in quibus profana institutio docetur, fisci uiribus indubitanter adsciscantur. Dat. VI non. mart. Treuiris Modesto et Arinthaeo conss. (2 mart. 372).

54 Vid. comment on the circumstances surrounding the enactment of this law in M. V. Escribano, «Graciano, Teodosio y el Ilírico: la constitutio Nullus (locus) haereticis (CTh., XVI, 5, 6 en 381)», RIDA, 51, 2004, p. 1-34.

55 G. Bonamente, «La biografia di Eutropio lo storico», Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia di Macerata, 10, 1977, p. 161-210; PLRE, I, 317, Eutropius 2.

56 Soc., hist. eccl., 5, 2; Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 1.

57 Soc., hist. Eccl., 5, 7; Soz., hist. eccl., 7, 5.

58 Vid. C. Milani, «Note sul lessico della divinazione nel mondo classico», dans M. Sordi (éd.), La profezia nel mondo antico, Milan, 1993, p. 30-49; B. Cuny-Le Callet, Rome et ses monstres. Naissance d’un concept philosophique et rhétorique, Grenoble, 2005.

59 M. V. Escribano, L’image de l’hérétique, p. 389-412; Ch. Freeman, AD 381, Heretics, Pagans and the Christian State, Londres, 2008, p. 91-104.

60 Thus, in the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, written between 375 and 378. Pan., pr., 1, 1, 3. Vid. A. Pourkier, L’hérésiologie chez Épiphane de Salamine, Paris, 1992, p. 82 (= L’hérésiologie). Regarding the date, ibid., p. 47-51.

61 CTh., XVI, 5, 6 (381):… Is autem nicaenae adsertor fidei, catholicae religionis uerus cultor accipiendus est, qui omnipotentem deum et christum filium dei uno nomine confitetur, deum de deo, lumen ex lumine: qui spiritum sanctum, quem ex summo rerum parente speramus et accipimus, negando non uiolat: apud quem intemeratae fidei sensu uiget incorruptae trinitatis indiuisa substantia, quae Graeci adsertione uerbi ousia recte credentibus dicitur. Haec profecto nobis magis probata, haec ueneranda sunt…

62 On Gregory’s trinitarian doctrine, vid. Ch. A. Beeley, Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the knowledge of God: in your light we see light, Oxford, 2008, passim.

63 CTh., XVI, 5, 6 (381):… Qui uero isdem non inseruiunt, desinant adfectatis dolis alienum uerae religionis nomen adsumere et suis apertis criminibus denotentur.

64 Vid. H. O. Maier, «The Topography of Heresy and Dissent in Late Fourth Century Rome», Historia, 44, 1995, p. 232-249; C. Humfress, Orthodoxy and the Courts, p. 233-242.

65 CTh., XVI, 5, 3 (372):… his quoque qui conueniunt ut infamibus atque probrosis a coetu hominum segregatis…

66 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381):… quoniam isdem sub perpetua inustae infamiae nota testandi ac uiuendi iure Romano omnem protinus eripimus facultatem… See comment of E. H. Kaden, «Die Edikte gegen die Manichäer von Diokletian bis Justinian», dans Festschrift Hans Lewald, Bâle, 1953, p. 55-68; P. Beskow, The Theodosian Laws against Manichaeism, dans Manichaean Studies, Lund, 1988, p. 1-11.

67 M. Lauria, Ius Romanum I, 1, Naples, 1963, p. 55 ff.

68 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381): Idem AAA. Eutropio praefecto praetorio. Si quis manichaeus manichaeaue ex die latae dudum legis ac primitus a nostris parentibus in quamlibet personam condito testamento uel cuiuslibet titulo liberalitatis atque specie donationis transmisit proprias facultates, uel quisquam ex his aditae per quamlibet successionis formam collatione ditatus est, quoniam isdem sub perpetua inustae infamiae nota testandi ac uiuendi iure Romano omnem protinus eripimus facultatem neque eos aut relinquendae aut capiendae alicuius hereditatis haberesinimus potestatem, totum fisci nostri uiribus inminentis indagatione societur…

69 R. Bonini, «Appunti sull’applicazione del codice Teodosiano (Le costituzioni in tema di retroattività delle norme giuridiche)», AG, 32, 1962, p. 124-126.

70 CTh., XVI, 2, 25 (380). Vid. supra.

71 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381): Nec in posterum tantum huius emissae per nostram mansuetudinem legis forma praeualeat, sed in praeteritum etiam, quidquid talium personarum aut proprietas reliquit aut successio habuit, usurpatio fiscalis commodi persequatur. Nam licet ordo caelestium statutorum secuturis post obseruantiam sacratae constitutionis indicat neque actis obesse consueuerit, tamen, quoniam quid consuetudo obstinationis et pertinax natura mereatur, in hac tantum, quam specialiter uigere uolumus, sanctione iustae sensu instigationis agnoscimus et eos, qui etiam post legem primitus datam nequaquam ab illicitis et profanis coitionibus refrenari diuina saltem monitione potuerunt, tamquam in ipsius depictae legis iniuriam ueluti sacrilegii reos tenemus, seueritatem praesentium statutorum non tam ad constituendae, sed ad ulciscendae legis sanximus exemplum, ita ut nec defensio temporis prosit…

72 G. Barone-Adesi, «Dal dibattito cristiano sulla destinazione dei beni economici alla configurazione in termini di persona delle uenerabiles domus destinate piis causis », AARC, 9, 1993, p. 231-265 (= Dibattito cristiano).

73 G. Barone-Adesi, «Eresie sociali ed inquisizione Teodosiana», AARC, 6, 1986, p. 119-166 (= Eresie sociali).

74 Cologne Mani Codex, 65, 23-68. Vid. R. Lim, Nomen Manichaeorum, p. 143-167.

75 In Eusebius, hist. eccl., VII, 31, 1, Manicheism appears as a Christian heresy. Thus considered by Ambrosiaster, Comment. Ad II ep. Tim. Vid. J. D. Dubois, «Le manichéisme vu par l’Histoire Ecclésiastique d’Eusèbe de Césarée», ETR, 68, 1933, p. 333-339; S. N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism in Mesopotamia and the Roman East, Leyde, 1994, p. 119 ff. (= Manichaeism in Mesopotamia); id., «Christianity and Manichaeism», dans A. Casiday et F. W. Norris (éd.), The Cambridge History of Christianity, Constantine to c. 600, Cambridge, 2007, p. 279-294. On the consideration of Manichaeans as heretics and the tendency to distinguish them from other heretics, vid. M. Tardieu, «Une définition du manichéisme comme secta christianorum », dans A. Caquot et P. Canivet (éd.), Ritualisme et vie intérieure, Paris, 1989, p. 1167-1177; N. Adkin, «Heretics and Manichees», Orphaeus, 14, 1993, p. 135-140.

76 The Greek text is not preserved, except for some extracts transmitted by Epiphanius. However, the entire Latin translation made in 365 has survived. It was edited by C. H. Beeson, Hegemonius Acta Archelai, Leipzig, 1906 (GCS 16); Vid. studies of S. N. C. Lieu, «Fact and Fiction in the Acta Archelai », dans Manichaean Studies, Lund, 1988, p. 69-88 and M. Scopello, «Vérités et contre-vérités: La Vie de Mani selon les Acta Archelai », Apocrypha, 6, 1995, p. 203-234.

77 Vid. comment of C. Riggi, Epifanio contro Mani, revisione critica, traduzione italiana e commento storico del Panarion di Epifanio, Haer. LXVI, Rome, 1967 (= Epifanio contro Mani).

78 Epiphan., Pan., 66, 88. Vid. C. Riggi, Epifanio contro Mani, p. 389-395.

79 Vid. R. Lim, «Unity and Diversity Among Western Manichaeans: A Reconsideration of Mani’s sancta ecclesia », REAug, 35, 1989, p. 231-250.

80 R. Lim, Public Disputation, Power, and Social Order in Late Antiquity, Berkeley, 1995, p. 70-108, on the inclination of Manichaeans to oratory competitions.

81 Vid. M. Scopello, «L’epistula Fundamenti à la lumière des sources manichéennes du Fayoum», dans J. Van Oort et O. Wermelinger (éd.), Augustine and Manichaeism in the Latin West, Leyde, 2001, p. 205-217.

82 Vid. M. V. Escribano, Iglesia y Estado en el certamen priscilianista: causa ecclesiae y iudicium publicum, Saragosse, 1988; V. Burrus, The Making of a Heretic, Gender, Authority, and The Priscillianist Controversy, Berkeley, 1995, p. 47-78; M. Scopello, «Julie, manichéenne d’Antioche (d’après la Vie de Porphyre de Marc le diacre, ch. 85-91)», AnTard, 5, 1997, p. 187-209 (= Julie, manichéenne).

83 Vid. in this respect M. Scopello, Julie, manichéenne, p. 208-209.

84 CTh., XVI, 5, 7 (381): Nec se sub simulatione fallaci eorum scilicet nominum, quibus plerique, ut cognouimus, probatae fidei et propositi castioris dici ac signari uolent, maligna fraude defendant; cum praesertim nonnulli ex his encratitas, apotactitas, hydroparastatas uel saccoforos nominari se uelint et uarietate nominum diuersorum uelut religiosae professionis officia mentiantur. Eos enim omnes conuenit non professione defendi nominum, sed notabiles atque execrandos haberi scelere sectarum. About this way to allude the law, vid. F. Decret, «Du bon usage du mensonge et du parjure: Manichéens et Priscillianistes face à la persécution dans l’empire chrétien (ive-ve siècles)», dans M. M. Mactoux et É. Geny (éd.), Mélanges P. Lévêque, IV, Paris, 1990, p. 140-158.

85 Iren., adu. haer., 1, 28, 1. Cf. Clem. Al., Paed., 2, 2, 33; Strom., 1, 15, 71; 3, 9, 63; 3, 12, 81-82, 85; 7, 17; Hypol., Ref., 8, 20, 1-4.

86 Eus., hist. eccl., IV, 28-29. In his Chronicle he mentions the Encratites in the year XII of Marcus Aurelius (172 AD).

87 Ep., 188 and 199, of 375, are addressed to Amphilochios of Iconium. In the first letter, he refers to Manichaeans and Encratites; in the second, to Encratites, Saccophores and Apotactics. Vid. G. Barone-Adesi, Eresie sociali, p. 137-140. S. N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism in Mesopotamia, p. 105-107. On the correspondence between Basil and Amphilochios, vid. R. Pouchet, Basile le Grand et son univers d’amis d’après sa correspondance, une stratégie de communion, Rome, 1992, p. 405-438.

88 Epiphan., pan. haer., 41 (Apostolics, also called Apotactics); 46 (Tatianus); 47 (Encratites). He reports that in his time, Encratites were numerous in Phrygia and Pisidia. Vid. A. Pourkier, L’hérésiologie, p. 343-361.

89 Vid. J. D. BeDhun, The Manichaean Body in Discipline and Ritual, Baltimore, 2000.

90 Vid. analysis of the process by which both terms become synonyms in P. Boulhol, «Secta: de la ligne de conduite au groupe hétérodoxe. Évolution sémantique jusqu’au début du Moyen Âge», RHR, 219, 2002, p. 5-33.

91 CTh., XVI, 7, 1 (381). Vid. comment by M. P. Baccari, «Gli apostati nel Codice Teodosiano», Apollinaris, 54, 1981, p. 538-581.

92 Vid. F. Millar, A Greek Roman Empire. Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408-450), Berkeley, 2006, p. 7ss.

93 Vid. in this respect, M. P. Baccari, «Comunione e cittadinanza. A proposito della posizione giuridica di eretici, apostati, giudei e pagani secondo i codici di Teodosio II e Giustiniano I», SDHI, 57, 1991, p. 264-296.

94 L. Barnard, «The Criminalisation of Heresy in the Later Roman Empire: A Sociopolitical Device?», Legal History, 16, 1995, p. 121-146.

95 Vid. C. Humfress, Citizens and Heretics, p. 128-142.

96 On the organization of the community, hierarchy and moral code of Manichaeans vid. M. Tardieu, Le Manichéisme, Paris, 1981, p. 79-84.

97 In Diocletian’s rescript, Manichaeans are nequissimi homines, as opposed to the modesta atque tranquilla gens Romana. Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3, 3-4.

98 On the legal treatment of the solitarii, that is, ascetics uagantes, according to the praxis traditionally followed by the Manichaean electi vid. G. Barone-Adesi, Monachesimo ortodosso d’Oriente e diritto romano nel tardo antico, Milan, 1990, p. 127 ff.

99 CTh., XVI, 5, 9 (382): Quisquis manichaeorum uitae solitariae falsitate coetum bonorum fugit ac secretas turbas eligit pessimorum, ita ut profanator atque corruptor catholicae, quam cuncti suspicimus, disciplinae legi subiugetur, ut intestabilis uiuat, nihil uiuus impendat illicitis, nihil moriens relinquat indignis, omnia suis non moribus, sed natura restituat aut proximis, si deerit legitima successio, melius regenda dimittat, fisci dominio deficiente agnatione sine fraude molitionis intellegat obligata. Haec de solitariis.

100 G. Barone-Adesi, Dibattito cristiano, p. 246-249.

101 Vid. G. Thome, «Crime and Punishment, Guilt and Expiation: Roman Thougtht and Vocabulary», AClass, 35, 1992, p. 73-98.

102 Diocletian, in his rescript against the Manichaeans, already calls them noua et inopinata prodigia in hunc mundum de Persica aduersaria nobis gente progressa uel orta est (Mos. et Rom. legum collatio, 15, 3).

103 This is the opinion of D. Grodzynski, «Tortures mortelles et catégories sociales. Les summa supplicia dans le droit romain aux iiie et ive siècles», dans Du Châtiment dans la cité. Supplices corporels et peine de mort dans le monde antique, Paris-Rome, 1984, p. 361-403 (= Du Châtiment dans la cité).

104 Late criminal law gives torture a double function: it is a special form of questioning, aimed at obtaining the fundamental proof of the guilt which was confession; but it can also be a penalty in itself. Vid. A. Ehrhardt, Tormenta, dans RE, 611, col. 1775-1794, esp. col. 1776-1777.

105 J. P. Callu, «Le jardin des supplices au Bas-Empire», dans Du Châtiment dans la cité, p. 313-357.

106 CTh., XVI, 5, 11 (383).

107 CTh., XVI, 5, 9 (382): Ceterum quos encratitas prodigiali appellatione cognominant, cum saccoforis siue hydroparastatis refutatos iudicio, proditos crimine, uel in mediocri uestigio facinoris huius inuentos summo supplicio et inexpiabili poena iubemus adfligi, manente ea condicione de bonis, quam omni huic officinae imposuimus, a latae dudum legis exordio.

108 On the social rejection of informers, vid. J. Mélèze-Modrzejewski, «Sycophantes et délateurs, un mal dans la cité», dans La délation. Un archaïsme, une technique, Paris, 1992, p. 225-234.

109 The lack of precision as regards the formalities to be observed leads us to presume that the text refers to mere denunciations and not formal accusations.

110 Vid. J. Gaudemet, «La répression de la délation au Bas-Empire», dans Miscellanea in onore di Eugenio Manni 3, Rome, 1980, p. 1065-1083. Y. Rivière, Les délateurs sous l’empire romain, Paris-Rome, 2002 (= Les délateurs), where a distinction is made between the delatores fisci and the informers who act in criminal cases.

111 On Constantius’ inclination to take heed of rumores and sussurri to incriminate by means of maiestas, vid. Amm., 14, 5, 9: sub Constantio tormenta et poenae susurro tenus mouebantur; 16, 7, 1: auribus Augusti in omne patentibus crimen. Vid. comments of J. F. Matthews, The Roman Empire of Ammianus, Londres, 1989, p. 33-47 (= Ammianus).

112 On trials for treason in Antioch vid. Amm., 29, 1, 4-29, 2, 28; 31, 14, 8-9; Eunap., VS, 7, 6, 3-7; Zos., 4, 14, 1-15, 3; Lib., or., 1, 171-173; epit., 48, 3-4; Philostorg., hist. eccl., 9, 15; Soc., hist. eccl., 4, 19, 1-7; Soz., hist. eccl., 6, 35, 1-11; Joh., Ant. Fr., 184, 2; Theoph. a. m., 5865, 5867; Zon., 13-16; Cedrenus, p. 548. The best studies are those of H. Funke, «Majestätsund Magieprozesse bei Ammianus Marcellinus», JbAC, 10, 1967, p. 145-175; J. F. Matthews, Ammianus, p. 204-228; F. J. Wiebe, «Kaiser Valens und die heidnische Opposition», Antiquitas, 44, Bonn, 1995, p. 86-168.

113 CTh., X, 10, 2 (312?); 10, 1 (313); 10, 3 (335).

114 Pan., 9, 4, 4: … te abolitarum calumniarum, te prohibitarum delationum, te reorum conseruationis atque homicidarum sanguinis gratulatio. Vid. V. T. Spagnuolo Vigorita, Execranda pernicies. Delatori e fisco nell’età di Costantino, Naples, 1984.

115 CTh., IX, 6, 2 (376); CTh., IX, 6, 3 (397). Vid. L. Solidoro, «La disciplina del crimen maiestatis tra tardo antico e medioevo», dans F. Lucrezi-Crezancini (éd.), Crimina e delicta nel tardo antico, Milan, 2003, p. 123-200; R. Lizzi, Senatori, popolo, papi. Il governo di Roma al tempo dei Valentiniani, Bari, 2004, p. 209-252.

116 We shall not go into the legal technicalities of the term delator, appropriately dealt with by Y. Rivière, Les délateurs, p. 101-120.

117 The expression delationes exsecramur is inspired by the Constantinian constitutio CTh., X, 10, 2 (312): Comprimatur unum maximum humanae uitae malum delatorum execranda pernicies…

118 CTh., X, 10, 13 (380).

119 CTh., IX, 39, 1 (383).

120 CTh., IX, 39, 2 (385). The constitutio is addressed to the vicar of Asia and expands the legislation which suppressed the delatores fisci to the informer and authors of slander, applying to them deportatio and infamia. The reason given is that the soul of princes may not be indisposed by the imputation of facts that may not be proved. The aim was to protect the prince, who was ultimately responsible for the process started by a false denunciation. Slander is an attack against peace and order, which must be maintained by the emperor.

121 CTh., X, 10, 19 (387).

122 CTh., X, 10, 20 (392).

123 The intimidating ingredient of the laws is evoked in the constitutio CTh., XVI, 5, 63 of 425, addressed to the proconsul of Africa by Theodosius II and Valentinian. In it, all the enemies of the lex catholica were threatened with proscripti. This group was equally formed by heretics, schismatics, astrologists, whether leaders or participants, and the harshness of this measure was justified by saying that if they could not be separated from error by reason, they should be separated by terror. To intensify the terror that was instilled, it was warned that those who were condemned would perpetually lack any chance of appeal, which involved an obvious reduction of their procedural rights and a serious danger of irrevocability, should the penalty be based on false evidence.

124 Amm., 29, 1, 27 says regarding the atmosphere of terror created in Antioch in 371-372 because of denunciations: horror peruaserat uniuersos.

125 Manichaeans did not have distinctive buildings as churches. They would meet in private houses or estates. Valentinian I in 372 had already ordered the confiscation of the domus et habitacula where they used to meet (CTh., XVI, 5, 3).

126 Instead, they celebrated the festival of Bema, Vid. J. Ries, «La fête de Béma dans l’église de Mani», Augustinianum, 22, 1976, p. 218-233.

127 On the christianization of the calendar vid. A. Di Berardino, «La cristianizzazione del tempo nei secoli IV-V: la domenica», Augustinianum, 42, 2002, p. 97-125. id., «Tempo sociale pagano e cristiano», dans A. Saggioro (éd.), Diritto romano e identità cristiana. Definizione storicoreligiose e confronti interdisciplinari, Rome, 2005, p. 95-121.

128 CTh., XVI, 7, 3 (383). The limit also applied to those who wanted to accuse a dead person of being an apostate or a judaizer and challenged the legal value of their will. The law resumes the anti-Manichaean approach of Valentinianus and nostra decreta. In the Theodosian Code the anti-Manichaean laws of Gratian are not preserved. However, since they appear in the inscriptio of the Theodosian laws of 381 and 382, it can be presumed that he alludes to them.

129 CTh., XVI, 5, 17 (389). Vid comment of M. V. Escribano, Intolerancia y exilio, p. 184-208.

Notes de fin

1 This work is part of the Research Project HAR2008-4355/HIST, funded by the Dirección General de Programas y Transferencia del Conocimiento (Subdirección de Proyectos de Investigación) del Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

Auteur

Université de Saragosse

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