Minority, Religion and Roman Law,
Minority, Religion and Roman Law, Alessandro Saggioro, University of Rome La Sapienza and Seth Schwarz, Columbia University.
Free and open to the public.
On February 15th, 438 the Emperor Theodosius published the so called Codex theodosianus which, by the following year, was applied in the Western and Eastern Roman Empire. With its collection of imperial constitutions from Constantine to the first half of the 5th century, the Codex mirrors a highly multifaceted epoch. Over this long time span, the concepts of religion and minority changed dramatically. Christian values came up against the institutional rules of the Roman Empire, passing from the end of the dramatic era of persecution to that of «religio licita», up to the affirmation of Christianity as the official religion of the «res publica». The imperial code provides evidence of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, with a number of laws that ended up limiting, for religious reasons, the statute of « religio licita » of the Jewish community within the Roman order.
Alessandro Saggioro is Associate Professor of History of Religions at the University of Rome La Sapienza from which he graduated and received his doctoral degree. He has been member of research projects including: «Defining Religious Pluralism” (Sapienza 2015-2017); “The Rise of Intolerance in the Mediterranean: In Search of the Origins of Religious Conflict (II-VI centuries AD)” (2016-2019); «Difining religious minorities» (IAHR – SMSR 2014-2016); «Dynamics of Religion: Past and Present» published in Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni; «Schamanic Wisdom. Critical review, interdisciplinary mapping and global perspectives of a religious concept» – Sapienza University of Rome – Interdisciplinary Research Projects (2008-2010). He is member of the scientific board of the Journal “Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni”, Morcelliana, Brescia; “‘Ilu. Revista de Ciencias de las Religiones”; and Historia Religionum, Turin-Pisa.
Seth Schwartz is Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization (BA, Classics, Yeshiva University, 1979; PhD, History, Columbia, 1985). He is a political, social and cultural historian of the Jews who specializes in the period between Alexander the Great and the rise of Islam, and has become especially interested in the anthropological and social theoretical aspects of his field. Before returning to Columbia in 2009 he taught for fourteen years at the Jewish Theological Seminary after having been a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a senior research fellow at King’s College, Cambridge. In 1999/2000 he was a Guggenheim Fellow and in 2006/7 a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is co-author, with Roger Bagnall, Alan Cameron and Klaas Worp of “Consuls of the Later Roman Empire” (Atlanta, 1987), and author of “Josephus and Judaean Politics” (Leiden, 1990) and “Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 BCE to 640 CE” (Princeton, 2001)