Theban Legion

theban_1

Saint Maurice was the captain of the Theban Legion, a unit in the Roman army that had been recruited from Upper Egypt and consisted entirely of Christians. Although loyal to the Empire (ruled over by Maximinus Daia and Diocletian), they still remembered the words of Jesus to render to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God. During the Bagaude, an uprising of the Gauls, Maximinus marched against them with the Theban Legion as a part of his army. The revolt was quelled, and upon their return to Aguanum (now Saint-Moritz or Saint Maurice en Valais) in Switzerland, Maximinus gave the order that the whole army should give sacrifices to the Roman gods in thanks for the success of their campaign. As part of the celebration, Maximinus ordered the execution of a number of Christian prisoners. The Theban Legion refused to comply with the order and withdrew from the rites, even going so far as to camp away from the rest of the army so as not to be drawn into what they saw as horrifyingly against their beliefs.

http://www.touregypt.net/chiste3.htm

http://www.blackpast.org/gah/st-maurice-ca-250-ca-287

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