Constitutio Antoniniana

Documentary heritage submitted by Germany and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2017.

© The University of Giessen
Constitutio Antoniniana

The Constitutio Antoniniana is part of the Giessen Papyrus Collection which belongs to on of the three sub-collection of the Papyri Giessenses. The papyrus proposed for nomination contains the world's single copy of the Constitutio Antoniniana (212/3), which had been promulgated by the emperor Caracalla in order to unite Roman society in a crisis situation, gave Roman civil rights to all free inhabitants of the Roman Empire. Thus for the first time in world history, there was established a unitary citizenship in an area that included millions of people from different cultural background on three continents (Europe, Africa, and Asia). At the same time, people kept their current status: existing civil rights and local legal traditions were explicitly guaranteed, according to Roman legal tradition. In contrast to many other civil rights concessions in history, the measure was not oriented towards a specific European centre nor was it based upon a national constitution.  

  • Year of submission: 2016
  • Year of inscription: 2017
  • Country: Germany
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