The essay deals with the problem of the character of episcopalis audientia between fourth and fifth centuries. In particular, the investigation focuses on Constantine measures reported in CTh.1.27.1 and C. Sirm. 1, respectively 318 and 333, which determined the recognition for assessing the impact and the effects on the configuration as merely arbitration or more properly jurisdiction of the bishop activity in the judicial field. The comparison with the testimony of the literary sources and the measures of successive emperors, in particular CI. 1.4.7 of Arcadio and CTh. 1.27.2 of Honorius, shows that while Constantine has put the two jurisdictions, imperial and ecclesiastical, on the same level, recognizing the plaintiff the right to bring the case to the bishop or to the imperial official, the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, on the contrary, demanding the consent of both the litigants because the cause could be discussed before the episcopal court, they have ended up enshrining the exceptional nature of the jurisdiction of the bishop in private disputes.
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