On I April A.D. 326 the Emperor Constantine issued a strongly worded edict (CTh IX. 24. 1) violently attacking the practice of abduction marriage or bride theft. Addressed ‘to the people’ (‘ad populum’), the law demands the punishment of all persons involved in such cases, including even the girl herself and her parents, if they had later agreed to the marriage of their daughter with her abductor. This edict marks the first explicit recognition in Roman law of marriage by abduction, although it is clear from other literary sources that the phenomenon was not new to the age of Constantine.