An edict is a decree or announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism, but it can be under any official authority. Synonyms include dictum and pronouncement.
Edict derives from the Latin edictum.
- Edicts of Ashoka, by the Mauryan emperor, Ashoka, during his reign from 272 BCE to 231 BCE.
- Edictum perpetuum (129), an Imperial revision of the long-standing Praetor's Edict, a periodic document which first began under the late Roman Republic (c.509–44 BC).
- 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 Galerius before his death. This proclamation 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 Empire would be neutral with regard to religious worship, officially ending all government-sanctioned religious persecution, especially of Christianity.
- Edict of Paris (614), by Clotaire II of 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 chivalry of the High Middle Ages. It also ordered the construction of fortified bridgeheads to deal with Viking raiders.
- Edict of Expulsion (1290), by King Edward I of England. It ordered the expulsion of all Jews from England and the confiscation of their real property.
- Edict of Worms (1521), by the Diet of Worms, with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V presiding. It declared Martin Luther to 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 toleration that recognized the existence of the Protestants and guaranteed freedom of conscience and private worship. It forbade Huguenot worship 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 all of the above listings the French Protestants (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in France, a Catholic nation.
- Edict of Restitution (1629), by Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. It attempted to restore the religious and territorial settlement after the Peace of Augsburg (1555). It forbade the secularization of land and property belonging to the Catholic Church.
- Sakoku Edict (1635), the third of a series issued by Tokugawa Iemitsu, shōgun of Japan from 1623 to 1651. The Edict of 1635 is considered a prime example of the Japanese desire for isolationism (sakoku). This decree is one of the many acts that were written by Iemitsu to eliminate Catholic influence, and enforced strict government rules and regulations to impose these ideas. The Edict of 1635 was written to the two commissioners of Nagasaki, a port city located in southwestern Japan.
- Edict of Fontainebleau (1685), by Louis XIV of France. It revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598) and ordered the destruction of Huguenot churches.
- Sacred Edict (1670), by the Kangxi Emperor of China. Made up of 16 maxims, it served to instruct the average Chinese people of the basic principles of Confucianism. The Sacred Edict was subsequently expanded upon in a separate edict issued by the Yongzheng Emperor in 1724.
- 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 occasions, then he was to be tied to a post with the cloth attached to him.
- Edict of Toleration (1839), by King Kamehameha III of Hawaii. It allowed for the establishment of the Catholic Church in Hawaii.
- Hatt-ı Hümayun of 1856 (Reform Edict of 1856) by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I, promised equality in education, government appointments, and administration of justice to all regardless of creed.
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