Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maijastina Kahlos

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190067250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190067250.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 June 2020

The realities of legislation

The realities of legislation

(p.27) 2 The realities of legislation
Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450

Maijastina Kahlos

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the development of the legal status of religious dissidents. The imperial rhetoric of alienation and aggression is counterbalanced by a discussion of the limits of power, such as the realities of making laws. Late antique legislation was articulated in uncompromising and moralizing language. Religious groups were condemned with harsh, insulting terms. The morally charged language of the legislation implies severe imperial authority. However, the authoritative language of legislation was used not only to manifest imperial power, but also to reinforce it. Furthermore, there was no imperial programme of efficient and organized coercive legislation from Constantine until Theodosius II and beyond. Instead, there was a great deal of incoherence and ambivalence. Moreover, the existence of harsh legislation does not necessarily imply that laws were widely obeyed. The prohibitions were renewed again and again, and punishments became more severe. Enforcement of laws often depended on regional circumstances and the initiatives of local leaders such as bishops.

Keywords:   imperial power, rhetoric, legislation, religious dissidents, coercive legislation, enforcement of laws, alienation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .