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Christianity And The Legal Status Of Abandoned Children In The Later Roman Empire, Joshua C. Tate Jan 2008

Christianity And The Legal Status Of Abandoned Children In The Later Roman Empire, Joshua C. Tate

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Late Roman imperial legislation relating to abandoned or exposed children has been the subject of much debate. Some have argued that the constitutions of Constantine relating to abandoned children marked a new Christian influence, and that the years between Constantine and Justinian merely refined and explained Constantine's legislation. This paper argues that the legislation of Constantine was not distinctly Christian in content, but that some Christian influence can be seen in the rhetoric of imperial constitutions beginning in the fifth century, and that Christian ideas seem to have affected both the substance and the rhetoric of Justinian's legislation. The paper …