Ramsay, however, doubts this (The Church in the Roman Empire, London, 1893), and argues that it was due to a long series of instructions to provincial governors (mandata, not decreta) who interpreted their duty largely in conformity with the attitude of the reigning emperor.
Decreta, scita or placita.
It still means " doctrine " when the collected decreta of Trent bear on their title-page (1564) reference to an Index dogmatum et reformationis; but here " dogma " is already verging towards the narrower and more precise sense - truth defined by church authority.
Immunity: Ricci, Synopsis, decreta et resolutiones (Palestrina, 1708).
Index: Index librorum prohibitorum (Rome, 1900), Rites: Decreta authentica (Rome, 1898).
Indulgences: Decreta authentica (Regensburg, 1882); Rescripta authentica (ib., 1885).
The new law (jus novum), which consisted of the ordinances of the emperors promulgated during the middle and later empires (edicta, rescripta, mandata, decreta, usually called by the general name of constitutiones), was in a condition not much better.
Legislation: Acta et Decreta Concilii Plenarii Baltimorensis, iii.