By April 8, 2008 Read More →

Modestinus, Corpus Jurus Civilis Digesta 48:8:11: Circumcision Limited to Jews

Herennius ModestinusThe following rescript, recorded by the lawyer Herennius Modestinus (first half of the third century C.E.) and included in the Justinian Code, effectively made it impossible for non-Jews to convert to Judaism since it forbade them undergo circumcision.

By a rescript 158 of the deified Pius 159 it is allowed only to Jews to circumcise their own sons; a person not of that religion who does so suffers the penalty of one carrying out a castration.

157. Trans. S. Berrin.

158. A rescript is a reply to the request of an individual or administrator for the opinion of the emperor on a legal matter.

159. Antoninus Pius, emperor from 138-161 C.E., was deified upon his death.

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