Between the 4th and 6th centuries AD, with the punishment of the crimes, had consciously pursued not only objectives of defense of the social order and of general prevention but, unlike what is considered by the communis opinio, also a function of amend, to be understood in a wide range of meanings ranging
from the minimal, already present in the reflection of the Severian jurists to that much more significative, found in imperial legislation, as correction and repentance of the delinquent. In the light of this broader drawing of criminal policy, we can better understand the ratio of the indulgence measures that emperors adopted more and more frequently, to make it a habitual custom, during Holy Easter: even through them, in fact, the legislator aims at the delinquent amend, in full compliance with the principles of Catholic religion. The pursuit of this purpose means that the acts of imperial clemency of this era are not an expression of the
mere political arbitrariness of the sovereign but they justify and base the indulgence of the emperors in a coherent manner with the value system on which the criminal system is founded in that historical period.


Keywords: Punishment function; amend, indulgentia principis; amnesty.