The Justice of Constantine
Law, Communication, and Control
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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The present book is the revision, largely accomplished in Heidelberg, Germany, of my doctoral dissertation, “The Legislation of Constantine the Great: Justice, Administration, and Reform,” which I submitted at Yale University in October 2008. I was blessed to call the Yale Department of Classics my academic home, ...
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List of Abbreviations
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The present book treats several related subjects concerning the administration of the Roman Empire under Constantine the Great: the record of his legislation in the Codex Theodosianus; its formal characteristics and novel features; the transition from Diocletian to Constantine as reflected in imperial legislation; ...
1. The Sources and the Codex Theodosianus
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Constantine was remembered as a prolific legislator even in antiquity, whether one celebrated or reviled him.1 A study of the legislation of Constantine presumes the survival of a substantial amount of that legislation some 1,700 years after the reign of its author. Much of the legal and administrative work of Constantine ...
2. Formal Characteristics of the Legislation of Constantine
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The extant legislation of Constantine attests all of the forms that late antique legislation might take, including edicts, official letters, “orations” to the Senate, as well as private rescripts; but beyond offering excellent specimens for general acquaintance with the sources of law, the constitutions of Constantine also illustrate the means of their dissemination. ...
3. Changes in Legislation from Diocletian to Constantine
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The figure of Constantine looms over the legal history of the Later Roman Empire no less than the religious. The reign of Diocletian marked the passing of an age, the reign of Constantine the birth of another. The reign of Constantine marked a rupture not with classical law, for most of it remained in force, ...
4. The Propagation of Justice
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The universal edict was the natural vehicle to convey the pretensions of the Constantinian regime to the masses of the empire.1 Imperial edicts were heard with awe.2 These constitutions indeed suggest that just governance and the integrity of imperial officials ranked among the foremost ambitions of Emperor Constantine. ...
5. Constantine and the Provincials
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An edict that survives in two fragments looms heavily over the following discussion. It ranks among the most vehement denunciations of judicial corruption produced by the Later Roman Empire.1 Among other things, this edict to the provincials famously forbids the exaction of fees for legal services. ...
6. Constantine and the Imperial Bureaucracy
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The edicts to the provincials in September 325 and November 331 are a testament to the value perceived in communication under the reign of Constantine. By means of universal edicts, Constantine could inform both administrators and subjects of the law, of his expectations of the imperial bureaucracy, of available legal remedies, ...
7. Control and Consultation: Breves, Relationes, Consultationes
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Several of the constitutions discussed in previous chapters illustrate evidence of a further means of controlling the administration, namely the traffic of reports. Official correspondence between provincial administrators, whether gubernatorial, fiscal, or military, and the imperial court was brisk. ...
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Appellate jurisdiction may seem a surprising subject with which to conclude a book dedicated to the administration of Constantine the Great. The appellate system under Constantine,1 however, brings together the separate threads of this study. The provincial administration of the Roman Empire knew no independent judiciary. ...
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The Constantinian legislation on appeal, which culminated in the edict of August 331, ties together the separate threads and major themes of this book: the utilization of distinct forms of legislation to communicate with distinct audiences; the practice of addressing the inhabitants of the empire generally in universal edicts, ...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Law and Society in the Ancient World