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CALUMET . intercultural law and humanities review
ISSN 2465-0145 (on-line)
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Constantine’s Statutes on Sunday Rest. Social and Juridical Remarks
Agnati U.
Two fragments of two statutes issued by Constantine, preserved in the Codex Theodosianus and in the Codex Iustinianus, contain the prohibition of jurisdictional activities and of some other forms of work on the dies Solis (Sunday). By means of a detailed survey of the norms issued by the Emperor and his successors and by the analysis of Christian literary testimonies in the early centuries AD, we reached the conclusion of linking – with a high degree of certainty and in disagreement with recent research – the Constantinian rules on dies Solis with the aim of fostering Christian worship on dies Dominica. The Jews had already obtained this recognition, and Constantine afforded this privilege also to Christians. Religious freedom has always had a twofold dimension: having internal freedom which had to be matched with “acting” freely in the political sphere, in order to practice religion in society. Hence, the time to dedicate to worship (along with the space) has been one of the main factors regarding the realization of the external profile of religious freedom.


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