Roman Emperors Forbid Jews Buying or Owning Christian Slaves Hot

Roman Emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I forbid Jews from buying or owning Christian slaves. If any such slaves are found with Jews, they must be removed and sold to other Christians. If a Jewish master converts a Christian to Judaism, they will be severely punished.

This new law says:

"No Jew shall purchase a Christian slave or contaminate an ex-Christian with Jewish religious rites.

If a public investigation discovers that this has been done, the slave must be forcibly taken away, and the Jewish masters must be subjected to a punishment suitable and appropriate for this crime.

Furthermore, if any Jewish masters are still found with slaves who are either Christians or ex-Christian Jews, they are to be purchased from this unworthy servitude by Christians." [CTh 3.1.5]

This law is noteworthy for the fact that it treats the ownership of slaves, even Christian slaves, as not only acceptable but compatible with Christianity itself. It's only the idea of Jews owning Christian slaves that's a problem.

This attitude will cary through the entire history of western anti-Semitism as popes and dictators forbid Jews from employing Christians in a variety of capacities.


Emperors of Rome: Gratian

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