THE PROHIBITION OF INCEST IN ROMAN LAW AND CHURCH LEGISLATION (III-VI)
Roman Law enlarged the number of marital prohibitions based on kinship and affinity in the period from the end of third century to sixth century: there were prohibited marriages with nieces, between consobrini, and between related in the second degree of affinity in the collateral line. It is important to observe that only two Roman Church synods – in the period from the end of third century to sixth century – took into consideration incest problem. The Synod of Elvira (circa 295-306) banned the connection with the deceased wife’s sisters and with the stepdaughters. The Synod in Neocesarea (circa 314-319) excluded the successive woman’s marriage with two brothers. The influence of the Church law cannot explain the sharpening of Roman legislation applied to incest, neither the influence of bishops like St. Ambrose can explain emperors’ decisions. It should be rather assumed that pagan sexual morals became stricter under the influence of new political elites and stoicism.
AfiliacjaKatolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II