Tuesday, 21 May 2019

M. Victoria Escribano: The enforcement of anti-­Pelagian legislation: bishops and imperial functionaries

On April 30, 418, Honorius issued a law by which Pelagius and Caelestius were expelled from Rome as capites of an execrating dogma (ut pulsis ex urbe primitus capitibus dogmatis exsecrandi Caelestio et Pelagio). The followers of the impia commentatio, if they persisted in their deviation, had to be brought before a judge and, if found guilty, punished with deportatio. This law, the first among anti-­Pelagian laws, was addressed to Palladius, praetorian prefect of Italy and has been transmitted in the Collectio Quesnelliana (Coll. Quesnell. 14). The same collectio has preserved the edict that implemented the imperial order (Coll. Quesnell. 15).The debate has focused preferentially around the causes of Honorius' legislative intervention and less attention has been paid to its consequences.This paper analyzes therefore the forms assumed by the enforcement ofHonorius' law and the legislative dynamics that caused the intervention ofbishops and imperial officials in this implementation. For this purpose, special attention will be paid, on the one hand, to the letter of Flavius Constantius to the urban prefect Volusianus (Coll. Quesnell. 19), probably dating from the autumn of 418, and to the edict of publication of the aforementioned letter by Volusian (Coll. Quesnell. 20), and, on the other hand, the letter of Honorius to Bishop Aurelius of Carthage of June 9, 419 (Coll. Quesnell. 16).

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