To all Jews who live in Genoa

Those Jews of Genoa had addressed their ruler, as they would have done a century or two earlier no less frankly, to ask for permission to renovate and extend their religious property. Theoderic was cautious in his response.8

To all Jews who live in Genoa

When we are the object of requests, we always wish to give our assent to what is just. Equally, however, we want to make sure that our generosity does not give rise to fraud and trickery carried out under cover of law—especially in matters of religion.

Roman emperors always had to worry about the way they were being used. Most lawmaking consisted of responses to requests from interested parties, who did not always make the fullest and most frank representation of the facts that underlay these requests, and often the imperial blessing appeared to many as a support for the grasping, the greedy, and the well connected.

So we do not want people who are devoid of God’s grace to become too full of themsel