An edict is an announcement of a
law, often associated with monarchism. The Popeand various micronational leaders are currently the only persons who still issue edicts.
Edicts of Ashoka, by Ashoka the Great, of the Mauryan dynastyduring his reign from 272 BCE to 231 BCE.
Edict on Maximum Prices(301), by Roman Emperor Diocletian. It attempted to reform the Roman system of taxation and to stabilize the coinage.
Edict of Toleration(311), by Galeriusbefore his death. This proclamation that removed all previous restrictions on the Christian religion, allowing it and all other religions to be practiced throughout the Roman Empire.
Edict of Milan(313), by Constantine the Great, and Licinius, the Eastern tetrarch. It declared that the Roman Empirewould be neutral with regard to religious worship, officially ending all government-sanctioned religious persecution, especially of Christianity.
Edict of Paris(614), by Clotaire IIof Neustria. It tried to establish order by standardising the appointment process for public officials across the realm. It guaranteed the nobility their ancient rights, and in this respect has been seen as a French Magna Carta.
Edict of Pistres(864), by Charles the Bald. It reformed the West Frankish army and laid the foundations for the famous French chivalryof the High Middle Ages. It also ordered the construction of fortified bridgeheads to deal with Vikingraiders.
Edict of Expulsion(1290), by King Edward I of England. It ordered the expulsion of all Jewsfrom England and the confiscationof their real property.
*Edict of Worms (1521), by the
Diet of Worms, with Holy Roman EmperorCharles V presiding. It declared Martin Lutherto be an outlaw and banned the reading or possession of his writings. The edict permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence.
Edict of Saint-Germain(1562), by Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France, in January 1562. It was an edict of tolerationthat recognized the existence of the Protestantsand guaranteed freedom of conscienceand private worship. It forbade Huguenotworship within towns (where conflicts flared up too easily), but permitted Protestant synods and consistories.
Edict of Nantes(1598), by King Henry IV of France. It granted the French Protestants (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in France, a Catholicnation.
Edict of Restitution(1629), by Holy Roman EmperorFerdinand II. It attempted to restore the religious and territorial settlement after the Peace of Augsburg(1555). It forbade the secularizationof land and property belonging to the Catholic Church.
Edict of Fontainebleau(1685), by Louis XIV of France. It revoked the Edict of Nantes(1598) and ordered the destruction of Huguenotchurches.
* A French edict by Finance Minister Colbert (17th century) was intended to improve the quality of
cloth. This law declared that if a merchant's cloth was not found to be satisfactory, on three separate occasions; then, he was to be tied to a post, with the cloth attached to him.
*Edict of Toleration (1839), by King
Kamehameha IIIof Hawaii. It allowed for the establishment of the Hawaii Catholic Church.
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