La Non-violence selon l'Ecriture et la Tradition

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Chapter 4

1. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MSS. Parisini lat. 16929-16935.

2. E. Le Blant, Manuel d'Epigraphfe Chrétienne d'après les marbres de la Gaule (Paris, 1869), 15-16: 5.42 percent of the pagan inscriptions were of soldiers compared to only 0.55 percent of the Christian inscriptions. See also Le Blant, Inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule (Paris, 1856), I, 84.

3. Leclercq, "Militarisme," col. 1130. 4. Ibid., cols. 1155-1167.

5. Ibid., cols. 1167-1170.

6. Ibid., cols. 1170-1179. Leclercq provided significant details about only a few of these.

7. Ibid., col. 1155 (italics mine).

8. Ibid., col. 1164, no. 47; Diehl, no. 277; CIL, VI, no. 37273. Its first modern rendering was in O. Marucchi, "Lavori nelle catacombe romane," Nuovo Bullettino di Archelogia Cristiana, 6 (1900), 338. Leclercq dated it without hesitation from the diarchy of Septimius Severus and Caracalla (198-211). Diehl was unsure whether to date it in this period or in the diarchy of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus (177-180).

9. C. Mercurelli, "Il sarcofago di un centurione pretoriano cristiano e la diffu­sione del cristianesimo nelle coorti pretorie," Rivista di Archeologia Cristiana, 16 (1939), 73-99. The author's thesis-that there were numerous Christians among the praetorian troops-is too bold. But one must bear in mind the inscription from which he began. It reads as follows, with Mercurelli's interpretations (p. 84):

AELIUS MARTINUS Aelio Martino [centurioni]

COHIPR ET STATIAE cohortis primae praetoriae et Statiae

MOSCHIANETI CONIV Moschianeti coniu

CIETUS ET STATIAE MAR gi eius et Statiae Mar

TINAE FILLAEORUM tinae filiae eorum

AELIUS VERINUS EVOK AUGGN Aelius Verinus evokatus Augustorum nostrorum

FRATRI BENEMERENTIBUS fratri, benemerentibus

FECIT fecit

That this inscription was that of a Christian is clear from certain characteristic details in the imagery of the bas-relief. Mercurelli conjectured that this could have been the same Aelius Martinus who had already buried a first wife, Aurelia Julia, and their son, Aelius Martinus, aged ten while he was centurion to the Legion 22a Primigenia at Mainz. Their inscription (Diehl, no. 735) was recognized to be crypto-Christian, be­cause it used the expression Innocenti spirito for the child.

Another praetorian centurion's epitaph, which is full of lacunae, was found at Rome in the Christian cemetery in the Viale Regina Mergherita, to the left of the Via

Tiburtina (Rivista di Archeologia Cristiana, 11 [1934], 247, no. 198; L'Année épi- graphique (1935) i.e., Revue Archéologique 6th ser. 6 [1935], ii 245, no. 155). But the fragment itself contains nothing which distinguishes it as a Christian inscription, and the place of its discovery is arguably not sufficient evidence for regarding it as one.

10. G. Mihailov, Inscriptiones Graecae in Bulgaria repertae (Sofia, 1966), III, i, 80, no. 80. See the first commentaries by Jeanne and Louis Robert, "Bulletin épi- graphique," Revue des Etudes Grecques, 75 (1962), 175, and in "Séance du 4 Mai 1962," Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Leitres pour 1962 (Paris, 1963), 115, which Louis Robert quoted and developed in his Noms indigènes ènes dans l'Asie-Mineure gréco-romaine (Paris, 1963), 364 n.

11. W. M. Ramsay published this inscription for the first time in "The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia," Journal of Hellenic Studies, 4 ( 1883), 428 ff. In the notes below I shall cite the more recent editions of the same inscriptions.

12. Aurelioi** Gaios kai Menophilos** apo ,sstrateion,** paides ,Aur . . . hos medeni** hetero(i) exeinai episenenkein a theinai xenon nekton a sophon monois gnesiois he­mon teknois, ktl. W. M. Ramsay, The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (Oxford, 1897), fI, 717.

13. This inscription, which has often been reproduced (e.g. the bibliography of it in DAL, V (1922), col. 742, no. 19), has been systematically studied by Louis Robert (Noms indigènes, 360-365). See also Hellenica, 11-12 (Paris, 1960), 399.

14. This inscription, which was first published by G. B. de Rossi (Inscriptiones Christianae urbis Romae [Rome, 1861], I, no. 9), is reproduced in DAL, III (1914), col. 146, and in Diehl, no. 3332. See also Cadoux, Early Church, 392 n., for the epitaph of Prosenius, and 421 n., for the addition of Ampelius.

15. One of the points under discussion was whether these were physical tortures, as W. M. Calder ("Studies in Early Christian Epigraphy," Journal of Roman Studies, 10 [1920], 53) and H. Grégoire ("Les Inscriptions hérétiques d'Asie Mineure," Byz, 1 [1924], 695-710) believed, or merely moral torments, as A. Wilhelm ("Griechische Grabinschriften aus Kleinasien," Sitzungsberichie der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-Hist. Klasse, 27 [ 1932], 792-865) and F. Halkin (" Faux martyrs et inscriptions hagiographiques," AB, 67 [ 1949], 90) asserted.

16. The value of this inscription had already been well demonstrated by C. M. Kaufmann (Handbuch der altchristlichen Epigraphie [Freiburg/Breisgau, 1917], 114). The remaining pages in which Kaufmann discussed other Christian soldiers (Handbuch, 114-118) dealt above all with the period after Constantine. He devoted pp. 249-251 to Eugenius. The translation which I use is Caldei s ("Studies," 45), with slight modifications. The primary authorities on this inscription-in addition to Calder himself-have been Grégoire ("Les inscriptions," 695-699) and Wilhelm ("GriechischeGrabinschriften," 834-847).

17. H. Grégoire ("Notes épigraphiques, IV," Byz, 8 [1933], 68-69) argued that Eugenius could not have left the service at once and that he was obliged to sacrifice. This epitaph would thus have been the clear echo of the justification which Eugenius could give-according to Canon 3 of the Council of Ancyra-in order to escape ex­communication and, a fortiori, to become a bishop.

18. W. M. Calder, "The Epigraphy of the Anatolian Heresies," in idem and W. H. Buckler, eds., Anatolian Studies presented to Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (Manchester, 1923), 59-91. See also H. Grégoire, "Les inscriptions," 695-710, which sums up and substantially confirms Calder's work, but which does not accept the identification between our Julius Eugenids and the heretic Eugenius who is attested by another inscription.


19. Leclereq, "Militarisme," col. 1157, no. 12; Diehl, no. 400; CIL, XIII, no. 5383, add. 71. But the titles of legionary centurion and quaestor are only attested by the ligatures, of which the reading is not absolutely certain.

20. DAL, IV (1921), cols. 63-64; Diehl, no. 280; CIL, III, no. 8752, add. 2261. It will be noticed that, if the soldier mentioned in this case was the husband of the deceased, he was not the man who erected the monument.

21. Leclercq, "Militarisme," list in cols. 1155-1165, no. 5 (DAL, XI, col. 1156); Diehl, no. 396; CIL, III, no. 8754, add. 1510; DAL, IV, col. 39.

22. Leclercq, lists as in n. 21 above, no. 30 (DAL, XI, col. 1162); Diehl, no. 414; CIL, VI, no. 32691. M. Durry (Cohortes prétoriennes, 355) recognized this inscription as valid, even though his general thesis (pp. 348-358) was that the Christians were not present among the praetorian troops. He was also inclined (p. 354) to think that inscriptions 24 and 32 were Christian, while G. Lopuszanski ("Les Chrétiens dans l'armée romaine," unpub. PhD thesis, Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Brussels University, 1949) considered them to be doubtful. Inscription 24 is the description of the beneficiary Maritus (Diehl, no. 409; CIL, VI no. 32971), which Bainton("Early Church," 192-193) accepted as going back to the period before Constantine. Inscrip­tion 32 is a description of the soldier Pyrrus (Diehl, no. 415a; CIL, VI, 32979). Durry (p. 355) identified the inscriptions in Diehl, nos. 414, 2199 (CIL, VI, nos. 32980, 32654) as referring to Christian praetorians. But these inscriptions are too badly damaged to be deciphered with certainty.

23. Diehl, no. 398b; CIL, VI, no. 2873, add. 3377.

24. Diehl, no. 402, where it is dated 384; CIL, VIII, no. 9967, add. 976.

25. Diehl, no. 403, where it is dated 372; cf. references in CIL, VIII, no, 21634. 26. Diehl, no. 411, where it is dated 408; CIL, VI, no. 33712.

27. Diehl, no. 412, where it is dated as well after the beginning of the Christian empire.

28. Diehl, no. 423, where the date of 583 is hazarded; CIL, VIII, no. 9870, add. 2059.

29. Diehl, no. 394; CIL, VIII, no. 9909, add. 2065. According to Lopuszanski (" Les Chrétiens," 46), it is not even certain that this is a Christian inscription.

30. Diehl, no. 397; CIL, VI, no. 32974.

31. Diehl, no. 401; CIL, III, no. 4190, add. 1751.

32. Diehl, no. 407; CIL, VI, no. 2870, add. 337 only the appearance of this (proba­bly pagan [ Diehl, IV, 407] inscription indicates possible third century dating.

33. Diehl, no. 406; CIL, VIII, no. 9964; DAL, IV, col. 1450. 34. Diehl, no. 410; CIL, VI, no. 2704, add. 3370.

35. Diehl, no. 416; CIL, VI nos. 3565 and 32975. 36. Diehl, no. 426; CIL, VI, no. 33010.

37. Diehl, no. 428; CIL, VI, no. 3450.

38. Bainton, "Early Church," 193. .

39. The teaching of John the Baptist (Luke 3:14), the centurion whose faith Jesus admired (Matthew 8:5-13), the centurion Cornelius (Acts 10:1-7), and the jailor at Philippi (Acts 16:27-34).

40. Bainton, "Early Church," 191. A. J. Visser ("Christianus sum," 17) and A. Benoit (review of EL, RHPR, 42 [ 1962], 341-342) were upset by this sentence and em­phasized that other historians have drawn the opposite conclusion from this silence. But these critics do not seem to have noticed that, in the very next sentence, I have dealt with precisely that alternative interpretation. It is true, as Benoit rightly re­marked, that in the French edition I dealt "a little too quickly" with the question of "the witness of the stones." As a response to this fair criticism, the present edition in­

corporates a more fully developed study of that topic.

41. Cadoux (Early Church, 440 n. ) quoted and then refuted the writings of those who considered Christian conscientious objection to have been a late phenomenon. Even Ryan ("Rejection," 11) maintained that until the middle of the second century those who were converted while in the army did what they could to leave it, and that those who were already Christians did not join it. He went on to maintain that Chris­tian soldiers became more numerous at the end of the third century (cf. pp. 11 and 23; there is surely a misprint here, and we should read second century)"despite the unfa­vorable attitude of the Church and of the body of the Christian people" (p. 15).

42. In the following chapter I shall demonstrate that the divergence of the two attitudes which the early Christians took toward the military profession originated here, and only here. Some believers, starting from the Church s constant principle which forbade the seeking out of martyrdom, believed that, provided both that they had been constrained by external forces and that they were not called upon to commit homicide, they could don the military uniform without its being-strictly speaking­a denial of their faith. Others who, like Tertullian, were more rigorous, rejected this concession to adverse circumstances. It is clear that these two points of view are still very close to each other. It is not fair, with D'Alès (Théologie, 414-415), to account for Tertullian's intransigent antimilitarism by identifying it with the Montanism of his final years. In fact, it is a viciously circular argument to reject his firmest text on this subject on the grounds that they emanated from his final and heretical period, and for that reason to dismiss them as being unrepresentative of the thought of the Church. For, in general, the only means of dating the works of Tertullian is by the extent of their unbending severity, a quality which many have assumed that he increasingly manifested as he advanced in age. But it is hardly a fair procedure to advance a hypothesis (i.e., severity) as a criterion for chronological classification, and then to claim to prove this hypothesis on the basis of the classification which had only been assumed. Moreover, in my opinion Tertullian's position was far more consistent­from the start to the finish of his writings-than many have alleged. This is also the point of view of Visser ("Christianus sum," 7), who has boldy written that according to the alternative interpretation, which for him is exemplified by Leclercq's article in the DAL ("Militarisme"), Tertullian would have thought-during his first, Catholic, period-"more or less like a contemporary French patriotic Catholic à la De Gaulle."

Writing of Tertullian's attitude to human wisdom, A. Labhardt ("Tertullien et la Philosophie ou la Recherche dune Position pure," Museum Helveticum, 7 [1950], 166-167) observed that in this area there was "a line of thought which [he] had never abandoned for one moment in his spiritual development after his conversion. The or­thodox thinker's convictions were the same as those of the Montanist afterwards, the disciple of Montanus's views just like those of the defender of orthodoxy." This judg­ment could easily be applied as well to his position regarding military service. Moreover, other Fathers, who have never been accused of Montanism, shared his point of view on this question. As Daniélou stated categorically (" La Non-Violence," 20), "The texts here are clear and must not be minimized. The military profession was shown to be incompatible with the profession of Christianity." If Tertullian was the first to articulate that opinion clearly, this can certainly in no way be attributed to his heresy. In fact according to Daniélou, "it is certain that it was only the echo of the Church's regulations."

Cyprian, who in the years immediately following Tertullian's time was bishop of Carthage and primate of Africa, and whose catholicity has never been questioned, regarded Tertullian with reverence as his master in Christian thinking. Cyprian's former private secretary recalled that Cyprian "was accustomed never to pass a day


without reading Tertullian, and that he frequently said to him, 'Give me the master,' meaning by this Tertullian" (Jerome, De Vir. ill., 53). In particular, Cyprian was in total agreement with Tertullian's views concerning the emperors and the army. P. Monceaux (Saint Cyprien [Paris, 1914j, 170-180) showed that the saint based his whole attitude on Tertullian, although he never quoted him because Tertullian had died a schismatic and thus Cyprian "could not have quoted his master's name without condemning his memory" (p. 175).

43. Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., 10; idem, Div. Institutiones, IV, 24. See also Fliche et Martin, II, 462; Lods, "L'Eglise," 24; and above all Moreau, "Notes," 89­92.

44. On this point, see J. Fontaine's critical edition of the De Corona (Coll. Erasme, XVIII [Paris, 1966], 11, 18).

45. Tertullian, De Corona, 1.

46. Idem, Apol., 37, 4; 42, 3. See also idem, Ad Nat., I, 1-2; in addition, for the number of Christians especially in the province of Africa, but without special reference to the army, see idem, Ad Scap., 5, 2-3. Concerning what one should make of these statements, see my"Etude," 4, and Visser, "Christianus sum," 7.

47. Clement of Alexandria, Protrept., X, 100 (end).

48. Leclercq, "Militarisme," cols. 1125 n. and 1130. There is a marked dif­ference, for no obvious reason, between the two translations which Leclercq quoted. The first of them reads: "The gnosis has taken hold of you when you were in service; obey the righteous orders of your leader," The second of them is different: "The Christian faith has taken hold of you while under warlike arms; listen to the captain whose rallying cry is righteousness." Could Leclercq possibly have been in doubt between one interpretation, whereby the soldier, once he had become a Christian, could still obey the "righteous orders" of his superiors but would henceforth have to disobey unrighteous orders, and another interpretation-which in my view in the context is infinitely more probable-whereby the soldier who had become a believer has passed from submission to a human leader to obedience to the only true Leader, who was God?. I am convinced that the text can only be understood through the spiritual transformation of military terminology which we have considered at length in chapter 3. A parallel can be adduced in the declaration of Speratus, the martyr of Scilli, who told the proconsul, "Never have we uttered a curse; but when abused, we have given thanks, for we hold our own emperor in honor." But he also asserted, "I do not recognize the empire of this world, ego imperium huius seculi non cognosco" (Passio Scillitanorum, 2, and 6).,Cadoux (Early Christian Attitude, 76) was eminently justified in glossing, "We pay heed to our emperor (i.e., Christ)." Visser ("Christianus sum" 18 n. ) explicitly expressed his inability to accept the interpretation of the passage from Clement which I am here advancing. Bayet (Pacifisme, 112-113), on the other hand, contended that Clement in this text would have preferred to refer to Christ, but that at the same time he did not want to upset Christians who had ac­cepted military service.

49. "It will perhaps be objected that, when speaking to the soldier, Clement does not tell him explicitly to continue, as he does the two others, and indeed that the imperfect tense instead of the present might indicate a different idea. But the close connection with the two others would seem to exclude any hesitation, and this triple admonition is, in truth, only a paraphrase of the words of St. Paul: 'Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called' (1 Cor. 7:20)" (Lebreton and Zeiller, History of the Primitive Church, IV, 1031 n. ).

50. Cadoux (Early Church, 418 n. ), who quoted this passage (A. von Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, 2 vols.

[ London, 1908], II, 55 n. ) without comment, was apparently in agreement with it.

51. Cadoux, Early Christian Attitude, 233 n., with reference to Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics, II, 717.

52. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, III, 12, 91. 53. Ibid., II, 11, 117; IV, 14, 96.

54. Romans 8:38-39.

55. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, II, 18, 82. 56. Cyprian, Ep., 39, 3.

57. Leclercq, "Militarisme," col. 1132.

58. Basil of Caesarea, Various Homilies, 18, 7. One cannot help sensing in these lines an element of self-justification against the prevalent opinion that there was a contradiction between military service and the Christian faith.

59. This martyrdom, which was supposed to have taken place in 320, had inspired many other well-known homilists (DAL, XIV [1948], col. 2004). In reality, however, it was a legend which was based on the incidents which occurred in the army of Licinius after 315 when he had reverted to paganism and tried to force his soldiers to sacrifice (Cadoux, Early Christian Attitude, 242). At least two cases of refusal to enlist, those of Marcellianus and Theogenes, occurred in the same period and the same circumstances, although it is hard to disentangle the various motives for their refusal (ibid., 260; idem, Early Church, 591 ).

60. Basil of Caesarea, Various Homilies, 19. 61. Giet, Ges Ides, 163.

62. Basil of Caesarea, Ep. 116.

63. Ibid., 106. Although Basil was one of the propounders of the then-emerging view that monasticism was the only certain route to a perfect Christian life (by depart­ing altogether from the preoccupations of the present world), it is notable that in this passage he argued the opposite case. In Sulpicius Severus (Vita Martini, 2, 8) one finds the same conditional approval of involvement in worldly affairs.,Cf. Fontaine, SCH, CXXXIV, 468-473, 501-503.

64. Basil of Caesarea, Homilies on the Psalms, 1, 6.

65. H. Delehaye, Les G~gendes grecques des Saints militaires (Paris, 1909), 2. Thus a "former naval chaplain," the Abby C. Profillet, delighted in compiling-for purposes which can easily be guessed-a martyrology of military saints (Les Saints militaires, Martyrologe, Vies et Notices, 6 vols. [Paris, 1891]), of which approximately one hundred pages were crammed with names and dates alone. H. Gaubert (Les Saints sur les Champs de Bataille [Paris, 1941)) had the same idea. But after St. Martin, whose case caused Gaubert some embarrassment (see n. 150 later in this chapter), the first saint whom he found on a battlefield was St. Leger in the seventh century.

66. Delehaye, Les L~gendes, 112. It is true that on the following page he also mentioned the opposite case of the "demilitarization" of saints who had probably originally been soldiers.

67. Ibid.

68. H. Delehaye, "Saints de Thrace et de Mesie," AB, 31 (1912), 265-268; idem, Les Passions des Martyrs et les Cenres litt~raires (Paris, 1921), 321-328. See also J. Du­bois, "Dasius," Catholicisme, III (1952), col. 471.

69. Acta Dasii, 6-10.

70. D. van Berchem, Le Martyre de la Legion th~baine (Basel, 1956), 46, which cited the various passages in which Delehaye had provided this evidence.

71. In all the military legends "one can recognize one and the same pattern and an identical purpose" (Delehaye, Les L~gendes, 118). See also B. de Gaiffier, "Saint


Marcel de Tanger ou de Lion," AB, 61 (1943), 132 n. [On the extension of military imagery in Christian iconography and pastoral care, see Charles Pietri, Roma Chris­tiana (Rome, 1976), I, 316, 541 ff.]

72. See the studies by J. Guey: "La Date de la Pluie miraculeuse (172 apres J. C. ) et la Colonne aurrslienne," MA H, 60 (1948), 105-127, and 61 (1949), 93-118; and "En­core la Pluie miraculeuse," RPh, 23 (1948), 16-62. For Bardy's controversy with Guey on this subject, see SCH, XLI, 30 n.-31 n.

73. Fliche et Martin, I, 316; Leclereq, "Militarisme," col. 1131; DAL, V, cols. 2692-2703; Cadoux, Early Christian Attitude, 230. It is astonishing to observe that all of these authors-even though they recognized that there was no historical basis for the tale of a Christian legion which prayed for rain, had its prayer heard, and for that reason had received the name Fulminata-nevertheless concluded that the account proved that during that period there were numerous Christians in the army. Cadoux's only reservation was that no doubt the religious authorities had not approved of this.

74. Eusebius, Chronicle, 238 olymp., xiii (pp. 206-207); idem, HE, V, 5, 3 ff.; Tertullian, Apol., 5, 6; idem., Ad Scapulam, 4.

75. For a sound and detailed study of this passion, see ASS, November, III (1910), 748 ff. Its main arguments can be found more conveniently in two works of H. Delehaye: "Le Culte des Quatre Couronn~s a Rome," AB, 32 (1913), 64-71; and Etude sur le G~gendier romain, les Saints de Nooembre et de D~cembre (Brussels, 1936). The learned Bollandist has shown that nothing can be made of the Passio fto­mana, which tells of five soldiers as martyrs at Rome, and that the most that can be ac­cepted is the Greek version which speaks of stone-cutters who were put to death in Pannonia. It was probably the word "coronati" which encouraged the "militariza­tion" of these stories. See also DAG, XIV, cols. 2009-2014. [Dom Dubois has recently suggested (Annuaire de l'Ecole pratique des hautes Etudes [Paris, 1972], 503-505) that this confusion arose from the fact that these men were said to be working "in comitatu," which meant "at the court," but which has been misinterpreted as mean­ing "in the imperial army."]

76. They are known only through the martyrdom of Symphorosa and her seven sons. She, who was supposed to have been the wife of Getulius and the sister-in-law of Amantius, has declared to the emperor Hadrian: "Vir mews Getulius, cum fratre suo Amantio, tribuni tui cum essent, pro Christi nomine passi sunt diversa supplicia, ne idolis consentirent ad immolandum."

77. VSB, XI (1954), 207. 78. Ibid., 332.

79. There is no historical basis for the martyrdom. But it is rooted in an ancient tradition, since in 514 Severus of Antioch devoted an entire homily to the two saints. Cf. VSB, X (1952), 191-197.

80. B. Aub~, L'Eglise et G'Etat dans la Deuxteme Moitt~ du Ille SiQcle (Paris, 1886 ), 377.

81. Eusebius, HE, VI, 41, 11. I mention this fact here because of the close contact which existed between the state and the army. Later, for instance, during Diocletian's persecution, one of the martyrs was to be Philoromos, "who had been entrusted with an office of no small importance in the imperial administration at Alexandria, and who, in connection with the dignity and rank that he had from the Romans, used to conduct judicial inquiries every day, attended by a bodyguard of soldiers" (HE, VIII, 9, 7).On the spread of Christianity throughout the upper strata of Roman society, in connection with the legend related by Eusebius (HE, V, 21) of the Senator Apollonius, see both the note in G. Bardy's edition of the HE (SCH, XXXI [ 1952], 63) and the comments of M. Lods (" L' Eglise," 17).

82. Eusebius, HE, VI, 41, 22.

83. I say "perhaps," because, although the text of the martyrdom 0f Julian speaks of Ferreolus, the best recension of the martyrdom of Ferreolus does not refer to Julian. References to him occur only in the recension reproduced by ASS, September, V (1857), 764-765. On the nature of the post filled by these two men, see below, p. 318.

84. Eusebius, HE, VII, 15. 85. Ibid., VIII, 1, 7.

86. Ibid., VIII, 4, 2-3. A similar "purge" was also undertaken soon thereafter by Galerius (ibid., VIII, app. 1).

87. See the unpublished thesis of A. Mascaux ("Les Martyrs militaires en Afrique ~ la Fin du IIIe Si~cle" [Faculty of Protestant Theology, Paris, 1925]), which was entirely devoted to these texts, and the more recent work of Visser (" Christianus sum," 8-11 and 16-17 dealing with Maximilianus, 11-13 with Marcellus, and 15-16 with Juhus).

88. Lods, "L'Eglise," 25-26.

89. The italics are mine. The minimizing of the emperor's divinity prior to 291 is essential to Seston's thesis, as is the overrating of it after that date.

90. Seston, "A propos de la Passio," 241. 91. Ibid., 243.

92. For the details of this evolution, see Seston, Dtocl~tien, 212-230, 354-355. I follow him completely in his rejection of H. C. Babut s thesis concerning the adoratio (L'Adoration des Empereurs et les Origines de la Persecution de Diocl~tien [Paris, 1916], 21 ); but I can no longer follow him in his suggestion that the increase in the emperor's religious status, which he described superbly, constituted not only an increase but also a radical change in conception from the thinking which had been prevalent since Augustus (Diocl~tien, 356). The same thesis had been put forward al­ready in ASS, October, XII (1867), 535.

93. P. Allard (La Persecution de Dlocl~tien, 3rd ed. [Paris, 1908], I, 97-98) was of the same opinion as other authors against whom I am arguing-that the antimilitarist attitudk\ was confined to Africa, where it derived from the Montanist teaching of Tertullian, and that it had been clearly excluded from the teaching and practice of the Church. Allard's originality lay in his insistence that this attitude survived, as a sort of family tradition, in certain circles which otherwise returned to complete orthodoxy. He apparently did not see an unsurmountable obstacle in the fact of a father, who was himself a soldier, bringing up his son in antimilitarist family tradition (ibid., 100). Monceaux began his study (La Vraie L~gende, 249) by speaking of Maximilian in these terms: "An uncompromising Christian, by virtue of a personal conception which was contrary to the Church's traditions and teaching, he was convinced that he must refuse military service. But he was not punished as a Christian. If he had consulted his bishop, he would not figure among the martyrs. His story is nevertheless very touching." Allard's opinion (La Persecution, 105-106) was much the same. But I have already demonstrated that the tradition of the Church on this point was not what Monceaux assumed; and in the next chapter I shall show that the same applied to its teaching. I can imagine that such a contention may have seemed strange to someone who belonged to a community which claims to be a Church with an infallible and un­changeable teaching; for clearly with time the tradition and regulations of the Church on this point have altered considerably. On the essential historical fact, however, I am in agreement with Monceaux. Maximilian was condemned as a conscientious objec­tor, not as an atheist (in the Roman sense). Cadoux too, whose historical honesty was punctilious and in no way was distorted by his personal religious convictions, wrote


(italics mine): "It is fairly clear from the martyi s own words that his objection was largely, if not solely, to the business of fighting. The question of sacrificing to idols or to the emperor is not mentioned by either party" (Cadoux, Early Christian Attitude, 149; idem, Early Church, 585). [See the recent study of Paolo Siniscalco (Massimi­liano: un obiettore de coscienza del tardo impero [Turin, 1974], 134-135) who, after citing a whole list of authorities, pronounced firmly: "The question of sacrificing to idols does not play a noticeable part. As a matter of fact, nowhere in the entire Passio is it even expressly mentioned." He added (p. 135 n. ), however, that he did "not feel [that he could follow] in toto and per totum" the position elaborated in the present paragraph, which he quoted from the French edition. Unfortunately, he did not specify the nature and extent of his dissatisfaction. ]

94. This Fabius Victor was temonarius. [For a full discussion of the hypotheses of various authors concerning the precise meaning of this almost unknown Latin word, see Siniscalco, Massimiliano, 10-11, 39-40.]

95. Mihi non licet militare, quia Christianus sum. (Acta Maximiliani, 1-2, (Homus traps. ))

96. Seston, "A propos de la Passio," 242.

97. Non possum militare; non possum malefacere. Chrtsttanus sum. 98. Lods, "L'Eglise," 21.

99. Non milito . . . non milito saeculo, sed militd deo meo.

100. Militia mea ad Domtnum meum est. Non possum saeculo militare. lam dixt, Chrtstianus sum.

101. If Seston's explanation were right, how could the Church have avoided con­demning these new idolators? And why did the martyr not reply to his interrogator that if they remained in the army, they would thereby lose any right to be called Christians? [See D. F. O'Reilly, "The Theban Legion of St. Maurice," VC, 32 (1978), 201. ]

102. Cadoux (Early Christian Attitude, 150 n.) wrote: "Ruinart . . . tells us that this last question and answer are absent ' in editis,' the reason for the omission ap­parently being that the words contradict the traditional Roman Catholic view of war. Ruinart inserts the words but suggests that they mean that Maximilianus'did not re­ject military service as if it were evil in itself, but on account of the opportunities of sinning which soldiers often meet with.' This is clearly insufficient to account for the language used; and the Roman Catholics remain faced with the awkward fact that one of the canonized saints of the Church died as a conscientious objector! It is signifi­cant that Bigelmair, throughout his full treatment of the early Christian attitude to military service, makes no mention of Maximilianus at all. He is certainly an awkward martyr for a Romanist to deal with, but doubly so for one who is both a Romanist and a German." In Early Church, 585 n., Cadoux was more lenient in his judgment. He also removed the anti-German bias, which was obviously nothing more than an in­verted nationalism.

103. Especially M. Meslin, review of EL, Archives de Sociologie des Religions, 10 (1960), 184, and Jacques Fontaine, "Sulpice Swore a-t-il travesti S. Martin de Tours en martyr militaire?" AB, 71 (1963), 43 n.

104. See above, pp. 25-26.

105. Roger Mehl was convinced-wrongly, to my mind-that Seston had overstressed the importance of the innovation of 291. He wrote ("Christianisme primitif" ), "The refusal of idolatry has played a major part since the beginning. The human Caesar's claim to be Lord collided head-on with the Christian conviction that Christ alone is Lord." (For subsequent lines of this passage, see ch. 1, n. 48. ).

106. Monceaux, La Vrate L~gende, 257-258. See also his earlier and more

detailed work, "Etude critique sur la Passio Tipasii," Revue archeologique, 4, no. 4 ( 1904 ), 267-274.

107. Or before, if we accept that this episode had been added to Tipasius's 1'assio at a later date in order to make the position less absolute-for after Constantine's concordat conscientious objection was no longer generally maintained.

108. This introduction, which comes from the M 2 family of MSS, is of a later date. B. de Gaiffier ("Saint Marcel," 116-139) does not reproduce it. It can be found in AB, 41(1923), 261; Knopf, 87; Musurillo, 250-251.

109. Le., a week earlier.

110. Sacramenta huic militare non posse,~(MS. M. ). VSB, X, 990-following the Madrid MS, supplied by de Gaiffier, which reads huic officio militare non posse­translates this as "I could not serve him as an officer," something of a mistranslation.

111. The Madrid MS has "to act as you have done," whereupon it breaks off. 112. "Molestiis saeculi militare'' (MS. N ). [This is to be preferred to the formerly accepted text of "militia saecularibus militare." See F. Dolbeau, "A Propos du texte de la'Passio Marcelli Centurionis'," AB, 90 (1972), 331, who has finally settled the question. ]

113. AB, 41 (1922), 277-278.

114. Leclercq, "Militarisme," col. 1142.

115. "Septies in hello egressus sum, et post neminem retro steti nec alicuius infe­rior pugnavi" (Pussio luli Veterani, 2, 2). I stress in hello and pugnavi, for these two terms directly contradict the thesis which I shall be advancing in the next chapter. But this may be why Julius goes on to say that he had strayed (errare) when agreeing to become a part of the army (see below, n. 117).

116. "I have always adored the God who made heaven and earth. I still try to serve him today" (2, 3).

117. In vana militia quando uidebar errare (2, 1 ).

118. Eusebius, Martyrs, 11, 20-21: "He had served in the army ... [He) belonged to a picked band of young men in the army; and of those who held positions of rank among the Romans had attained to no small distinction." In the second recen­sion of the text Eusebius added in the following paragraph (22): "He displayed himself a true soldier of Christ."

119. In the Acta Tarachti there are many episodes, of which I quote only one, from the first chapter. "The Governor Maximus: `What is your name?' Tarachus: `I am a Christian.' Maximus: `Don't say that impious word, tell me what your name is.' Tarachus answered again in the same manner. Then, after being slapped, he continued: 'The name I have given you is indeed the one I bear personally. But if you want the name which is in common use, I was called Tarachus by my parents, and while I was a soldier, I was given the name Victor.' Maximus: ' Where do you come from?' Tarachus: 'I am of Roman and military race, born at Claudopoiis_in Isauria.'.." Then Tarachus explained how, because he was a Christian, Fie-had asked for and ob­tained his discarge from the army. The Greek words here are nun paganeuein he (i)retesamen, which the old Latin version rightly translates as renuntiavi militare. In Chapter 2, I showed how the use of military metaphors in Christian parlance was purely spiritual. Here we have an exact counterpart, in what to modern ears sounds like a spiritual metaphor given a military connotation: "to become pagan" means to cease to be a soldier.

120. E. Am~lineau, Les Actes des Martyrs de l'Eglise copte (Paris, 1890), 26-29, 42, 48, 49, 58, 59, 97.

121. Ibid., 103.

122. Ibtd., 34, 36, 37, 75-77, 104.


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