Researching Late Antiquity

Researching Late Antiquity

AHIS120 Antiquity’s Heirs:
Barbarian Europe, Byzantium, and Islam

Research Exercise:

Part A: Historical Commentaries

1. Theodosian Code

In fourth century, development of Roman economic and administrative faced a crisis and relation of the church to social structure became practical and speculative concern. The struggle to achieve a single Roman-Christian identity continued to be the hallmark of imperial religious policy through the fifth and sixth centuries.
Political centralisation, establishment of a public work system, maintenance of military, generosity towards clergies and extravagance of Roman Emperors had increased the amount and variety of taxation to such extent. For example, exemption of its corporate privileges, immunity of its officials from public services and the claim of its courts to exclusive jurisdiction over litigation.
The pandect of Roman law Theodosian Code was published in 438 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius Ⅱ (408–450 AD). The code covers political, socio-economic, cultural and religious subjects of the fourth and fifth century in the Roman Empire. Theodosian Code is undeniable foundation of modern constitution laws and instigates the consolidation of Christian faith in Roman Empire. However, the necessity of defending the orthodox interpretation of history against heretical concepts, which retained a certain allure for many, was without doubt widely felt.
Under the pious rulership of Theodosius П, the impetus came from the advanced theological arguments of the view that there were two natures, both man and God. It was adopted by the Western Roman Empire and had influenced on the laws of Alaric, the king of the Visigoths (Breviary of Alaric).

Bury, J.B. (1923), History of the Later Roman Empire, London, 2, 139-157
Boyd, W. K. (1905), The Ecclesiastical Edicts of the Theodosian Code, PhD thesis, Columbia University, 24 (2), 9-24
Cameron, A. (1993), The...

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