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Constantius’ Slave Laws, 339 CE

Emperor Constantius I Chlorus“If any Jew should believe that he may buy a slave belonging to another religion [secta] or nation, let the slave be immediately appropriated by the treasury. But if has circumcised the slave, let him not only suffer the loss of the slave, but also the death penalty. But if a Jew does not shrink from buying slaves that belong to the honourable faith, all [the slaves] that are found in his possession shall be taken away immediately, and no time may be lost before he loses possession of those who are Christian.”

“Furthermore- as for women which Jews have bought into the society of their shame and which were previously in our textile manufacturing industry [gynaeceum], it is decreed- they must be returned to the imperial textile manufacturing industry. This shall be the rule for the future- they may not join Christian women to their shame, and if they do it nevertheless, they shall suffer the death penalty.”

Source- Stemberger, Gunter. Jews and Christians in the Holy Land. T&T Clark LTD 2000, pp. 178-179.

See also-

Jewish History Sourcebook- Jews and the Later Roman Law 315-531 CE

Posted in: Byzantine Period

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