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March 10, 418 Emperors Theodosius II (408 – 450) and Honorius (393 – 423)

Roman HelmetExclusion of Jews from the Military

“The entrance to State Service shall be closed from now on to those living in the Jewish superstition who attempt to enter it. We concede therefore to all those who took the oath of the Service, either among the Executive Agents or among the Palatins [executives in the financial departments], the opportunity to terminate their service on its statutory term, suffering the deed rather than encouraging it, though what we wish to be alleviated at present to a few shall not be permitted in the future. As for those, however, who are subject to the perversity of this [Jewish] nation and are proven to have entered the Military Service, we decree that their military belt shall be undone without any hesitation, and that they shall not derive any help or protection from their former merits. Nevertheless, we do not exclude Jews educated in the liberal studies from the freedom of practicing as advocates [lawyers], and we permit them to enjoy the honor of the curial liturgies [civil community service duties], which they possess by right of their birth’s prerogative and their family’s splendor. Since they ought to be satisfied with these, they should not consider the interdiction concerning the State Service as a mark of infamy.”

Source: Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations

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