Apr. 1, 409

“Against God-fearers and Conversion to Judaism” Issued by Honorius and Theodosius II [Holy Roman Empire; Present-day Italy]: “For it is certain that whatever deviates from the faith of Christians is contrary to Christian law. And certain persons even now dare thus to tamper with the law unmindful of their souls and the statutes, since these evil proselyters try to force certain Christians to adopt the foul and degrading name of Jew. Nevertheless it will not hurt to remind you frequently that those persons who are conversant with the Christian mysteries must not be forced to adopt the Jewish superstition or any other such sect adverse to the Roman rule after once accepting Christianity. And if anyone has tried to do this we decree that the authors of the deed with their accomplices shall be apprehended and punished by the penalty prescribed by the former laws, seeing that it is a worse thing than death and more awful than destruction for any Christian to be infected by the contagion of Jewish belief. And therefore lest we sanction something harmful to the churches or permit the loss of any person to the faithful and beloved of God, under the following precise definition, we decree that, if any one attempts to break this law, he will be held for the crime of lese-majeste.” [Editor’s note: Author’s footnote dates this law in 409 as Theodosian Code 16.8.19]
“The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428).” James Everett Seaver. 1952, Page 60; Accessed online 8/2/2011