Comments to: David Woods
Last Updated: April 2000

The Origin of the Cult of SS. Sergius and Bacchus

(This is a revised version of my paper "The Emperor Julian and the Passion of Sergius and Bacchus", Journal of Early Christian Studies 5 (1997), 335-367)

Summary: The passion of Sergius and Bacchus purports to describe the deaths of two members of the imperial bodyguard under the eastern Roman emperor Galerius Maximianus (305-11), Bacchus at Barbalissus, and Sergius at Resapha. Although archaeology has proven that Resapha was the focus for an important cult of Sergius by c.425 at latest, the passion has often been dismissed as a fiction. Others have argued that these martyrs were executed under Maximianus' junior colleague Maximinus. Yet the claim that Maximianus punished the martyrs by dressing them in women's clothing points towards the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-63) instead, the only emperor who ever inflicted such humiliating punishment upon his soldiers. Other elements within the passion reinforce this impression, that it relates to the sufferings of two confessors under Julian, so that it is clear that the author used a historical account of such confessors under Julian as the main source for the first half of this fictitious passion, while drawing upon the stock themes of hagiography to complete this work. The martyrs Sergius and Bacchus did not exist as such. The most probable explanation for their cult is that some otherwise anonymous remains were mistakenly identified as those of early Christian martyrs, for whatever reason, and that growing demand for more information soon prompted the composition of this fictitious passion.

The older Greek passion of Sergius and Bacchus (BHG 1624) describes the trials and deaths of two military martyrs during the reign of the Roman emperor Galerius Maximianus (305-11).1 These martyrs enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout late antiquity, Sergius in particular. Sergius' shrine at Resapha lay in the late Roman province of Augusta Euphratensis, at the empire's eastern extreme about 23 kilometers south of the middle Euphrates, and enjoyed the patronage at various times of such notables as the Roman emperor Justinian I (527-65), the Ghassanid phylarch al-Mundhir (570-81), and the Persian king Khusrau II (590-628).2 Excavations within the walls of Resapha have revealed a stone martyrium whose dedicatory inscription dates it to 518.3 It states that this new shrine replaced an earlier mud-brick construction, and excavations have proved this to be the case. Finds from this brick building date it no later than c.425, and it has now been identified as that which bishop Alexander of Hierapolis subsidized shortly before the council of Ephesus in 431.4 There the matter must rest for the moment. There is no clear evidence for the cult of Sergius or Bacchus much before this date.5 The composition of their early passion even has been dated to the mid-5th century on the basis that it describes the construction of a shrine to Sergius within Resafa as if this had occurred only a few years earlier, and that this is identifiable as the mud-brick construction built probably by bishop Alexander of Hierapolis.6 This leaves a gap of about 120 years between the alleged date of the martyrdom of Sergius and Bacchus and the first appearance of their cult, which naturally raises doubts concerning the origin of the same. The late 4th and early 5th centuries saw a rapid development in the cult of martyrs, and much traffic in relics.7 Military martyrs such as Sergius and Bacchus were especially popular. Fictions and inventions inevitably resulted.8 So did Sergius and Bacchus ever exist ? How much trust can we place in their surviving passion ? It is my intention now to answer these questions by offering a new explanation for the origin of their cult through a re-examination of this passion.

According to the passion, Sergius was a senior officer, the primicerius, within one of the imperial bodyguard units, the schola gentilium, in which Bacchus also served as one of his fellow officers, the secundocerius. They enjoyed the favour of the emperor Maximianus, and this aroused the envy of other members of the schola gentilium. These complained to Maximianus that Sergius and Bacchus were Christians, and persuaded others to become Christians also, contrary to the laws which required all to worship only the pagan gods. Maximianus did not believe the informers, but decided to set a test for Sergius and Bacchus. He ordered them to join his escort, and went to offer sacrifice then at the temple of Zeus. His whole escort were feasting on the sacrificial offerings, when he noticed that Sergius and Bacchus were absent. They had remained outside the temple, refusing even to witness his sacrifice. He sent some guards to fetch them in, but he could not persuade them to join the feast. He was incensed by their refusal, and paraded them back to the palace through the centre of town, chained and in female dress. They continued to defend the Christian faith, so he sent them to the military commander of the province of Augusta Euphratensis, the dux Antiochus, in the hope that he would be able to change their minds. For Antiochus was an old friend of Sergius, through whose influence he had obtained his post as dux.

The martyrs travelled from city to city until they finally reached Antiochus at his seat in Barbalissus. An angel had appeared to them during their journey, and bade them take courage, and another appeared to them during their first night at Barbalissus also. The following day they were brought to trial before Antiochus, but remained steadfast in their faith. Sergius was returned to his cell, while Bacchus was beaten to death over several hours. At the very moment of his death, a great voice was heard welcoming him into heaven, and his tormentors were stupefied. Antiochus forbade the burial of his remains. Instead he left them exposed outside the fort to be preyed upon by dogs and other scavengers. Yet these refused to touch the remains. They even maintained a vigil over them. The following morning some monks living nearby buried them in one of their caves. The night following his death, Bacchus had appeared to Sergius, and urged him on in his faith. Antiochus proceeded to Sura the next day, and brought Sergius with him. Sergius refused another opportunity to offer sacrifice to the gods, and Antiochus punished him by having nails driven upright through the soles of his boots. He then forced him to run before his carriage for the nine-mile journey to the fort of Tetrapyrgium. That night an angel healed Sergius' feet. Next morning Antiochus was astounded at Sergius' rapid recovery, and accused him of sorcery. He forced him to endure the same punishment once more, this time during the nine-mile journey to Resapha. He then gave him a final chance to change his mind. But Sergius refused to do so, and Antiochus ordered him to be led away and executed.

A voice from heaven spoke at Sergius' death also. Some witnesses buried him at his place of execution, and a chasm opened up in the earth to protect his remains from the pagans. A long time afterwards some pious men from Sura tried to steal his remains, but the martyr would not allow this. He asked God to warn the inhabitants of Resapha what was happening, and God caused a huge blaze to light up his burial-place. The soldiers at Resapha saw this fire, thought that it meant an enemy attack, and came out armed and ready. They prevented the theft, and persuaded the thieves to build a small shrine to Sergius instead. Later again fifteen bishops gathered to consecrate a new shrine in Resafa itself to which the martyr's remains were removed on the very anniversary of his death, 7 October. Great cures were worked wherever his remains had lain, and wild animals gathered at his first shrine on his feastday every year, but they never harmed anyone.

It is evident even from this short summary that the passion of Sergius and Bacchus cannot be accepted at its face value. Angelic visitations, supernatural healings, voices from heaven, a miraculous chasm and tame wild- animals, all serve to undermine our confidence in this text as an accurate historical record. There are a number of serious anachronisms also which must further contribute to any scepticism in this matter. The result is that this passion has often been dismissed as an "epic passion", a total fiction.9 Rather than examine each of these anachronisms in turn, as is customary in this matter, I propose to begin here with a detailed examination of one particular passage which holds the key, I believe, to the correct interpretation of the rest of the passion. I will then discuss the anachronisms in the light of my conclusion concerning this passage, and show how it contributes to a complete re-evaluation of the same.

Female Dress as Military Punishment

The key to the correct interpretation of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus lies in the following passage which describes Maximianus' reaction when they refused to join the rest of his escort in their feast upon the sacrificial offerings in the temple of Zeus:

The emperor's countenance was transformed with anger; immediately he ordered their belts cut off, their tunics and all other military garb removed, the gold torcs taken from around their necks, and women's clothing placed on them; thus they were to be paraded through the middle of the city to the palace, bearing heavy chains around their necks.10

The most striking feature of this passage is the claim that Sergius and Bacchus were punished by being dressed in women's clothing. Why was this ? One commentator has alleged that "this was a classic mode of embarassing males in a society obsessed with warrior masculinity", and that "the parading of Serge and Bacchus through the streets of the city does recall the penalty for homosexual acts described by Procopius (Secret History, 11), Malalas, and Theophanes."11 Yet a closer examination of the relevant passages reveals only a most superficial resemblance, simply that during the reign of the emperor Justinian I some notable individuals who had been convicted of homosexual acts were also exposed to public ridicule.12 Most importantly, there is no suggestion that the wearing of female attire formed part of their punishment. As far as the comparisons quoted are concerned, that which caused the ridicule of those convicted of homosexual offences was the mutilation of their genitals, not the nature of their attire. Furthermore, the exposure of convicted criminals to public ridicule was a widespread practice, particularly when mutilation had taken place, and such exposure revealed little in itself about the nature of the charge on which the victim had been convicted.13 So the comparison of the punishment of Sergius and Bacchus to the punishment of those convicted of homosexual offences is misleading at best.

This same passage had attracted comment earlier by Pio Franchi de Cavalieri in his study of the sources for the military martyrs Iuventinus and Maximinus who had been executed at Antioch in Syria during the reign of the emperor Julian (361-63), on 29 January 363 to be exact.14 He contended that the passion of Sergius and Bacchus drew upon a lost passion of the martyrs Iuventinus and Maximinus.15 So he was of the belief that the above passage related to the punishment of Christian soldiers by Julian rather than Maximianus, and remarked accordingly: "Questa pena derisoria parrebbe piu conforme all' umore sarcastico di Giuliano che alla brutale ferocia di Galerio, e richiama Filoromo cui l'Apostata, secondo Palladio (Laus. Hist. 45.1), avrebbe fatto radere e schiaffeggiare da fanciulli."16 Surpisingly, he overlooked an almost exact parallel which would have greatly strengthened his argument. This occurs in the Historia Nova of Zosimus, where he describes the behaviour of Julian Caesar following his victory at the battle of Strasbourg in 357 (HN 3.3.4-5):

And I ought not omit what Caesar did after this victory. He had a troop of 600 horse, well trained in war, on whose strength and experience he so relied that he hazarded many of his hopes with them. When the battle began, the whole army fell upon the enemy with maximum enthusiasm so that the Roman army was gaining considerable advantage, but these alone broke ranks and fled, and even though Caesar himself and a few others rode after them and called them back to share in the victory, they would not have any part in the battle. Caesar was therefore very properly angry with them because, as far as they were concerned, they had abandoned their countrymen to the barbarians, but he did not impose on them the penalty defined by law; rather he dressed them in women's clothing and led them through the camp to expel them, thinking this a punishment worse than death for manly soldiers.17

This seems to have been an unique incident, since I have been unable to find evidence to suggest that any other emperor, Augustus or Caesar, ever acted to discipline his troops in this manner.18 The closest parallel seems to be the humiliating punishments which Augustus Caesar (31BC-AD14) sometimes inflicted upon his officers when he ordered them to stand all day before his tent, in tunics without their sword-belts, holding ten-foot poles or even clods of earth.19 So Julian's behaviour here was a purely personal matter, and does not constitute evidence of a wider cultural phenomenon. This point is reinforced by Zosimus' specific statement that this was not the penalty laid down by law for such behaviour as these men had exhibited. Death or mutilation were the punishments more normally meted out in such circumstances.20 Even Julian himself resorted to the death penalty occasionally, as he was to do in 363 later when some of his cavalry retreated before their Persian enemy.21

In so far as Zosimus composed his history at a relatively late date c.502-18, questions must be asked concerning the nature and value of details which he provides about events which had taken place one and a half centuries earlier.22 Fortunately, two of Julian's contemporaries, Libanius and Ammianus Marcellinus, lend their support to Zosimus' description of events. In his funeral oration upon the emperor Julian which he had composed by the autumn of 365, Libanius tells how the cavalry on Julian's right-wing, whom he mistakenly describes as "standard-bearers," retreated in panic before the onslaught of the Alamanni (Or. 18.57-59, 66), although they eventually rallied to the attack again when Julian personally chided them.23 Following his victory, therefore, Julian punished these "standard-bearers", but remitted the death sentence because of his victory. A similar account occurs in the Res Gestae which Ammianus composed c.392. He records how the heavily armoured cavalry on Julian's right broke and ran when their commander was wounded and one of their horses collapsed under the weight of its armour.24 Julian spurred his horse towards one of their tribunes, and managed to recall them all to their duty once more.

Although each author records the event slightly differently, it seems clear that a part of Julian's cavalry was put to flight during the battle of Strasbourg. Most importantly, in the present context, Libanius' claim that these men were punished, but not by the death penalty, lends credibility to Zosimus' claim also concerning their punishment. This is hardly surprising because Zosimus' account of Julian's career, both as Caesar and Augustus, is usually rated very highly. He seems to have used one main source for this period, the history which Eunapius of Sardis composed during the late 4th or early 5th centuries, and to have followed it very closely.25 Indeed, Photius (Bibl. Cod. 98) complained that one might say that Zosimus did not write a history, but rather that he copied out that by Eunapius, condensing it merely.

Any final doubts in this matter are easily dispelled when we take into account various other descriptions of Julian's actions which tend to support Zosimus here. Ammianus' account of Julian's elevation as Augustus during the spring of 360 is particularly revealing (Amm. 20.4.17-18):

Then, being placed upon an infantryman's shield and raised on high, he was hailed by all as Augustus and bidden to bring out a diadem. And when he declared that he had never had one, they called for an ornament from his wife's neck or head. But since he insisted that at the time of his first auspices it was not fitting for him to wear a woman's adornment, they looked about for a horse's trapping, so that being crowned with it he might display at least some obscure token of a loftier station. But when he declared that this also was shameful, a man called Maurus, afterwards a count and defeated at the pass of Succi, but then a standard-bearer of the Petulantes, took off the neck-chain which he wore as carrier of the dragon and boldly placed it on Julian's head.26

The fact that Julian refused to allow himself to be crowned with an item of his wife's jewellry, despite the urging of his soldiers, reveals that he was much more sensitive than they to the issue of gender.27 Any female adornment at all, however temporary, was totally out of the question as far as he was concerned. This seems entirely understandable of a commander who was used to punishing his soldiers by dressing them in women's clothing. The same element of Julian's character reveals itself again in Libanius' account of his behaviour before the Persian city of Ctesiphon in 363. Much to Julian's disgust, the defenders of Ctesiphon decided to wait behind their walls for a relief-army rather than risk all by sallying forth against his arrayed might. He then rode up to their walls and accused these cowards of behaving like women rather than men (Lib. Or. 18.259). One presumes that he expressed similar sentiments six years earlier also as he forced the deserters at Strasbourg to don female attire.

The fact that Julian punished deserters in Gaul in 357 by parading them in female attire is directly relevant not merely to the form of punishment of Sergius and Bacchus, i.e. that they were paraded about in women's clothing, but also to the formal charge on which they were punished. They had refused to accompany Maximianus into the temple of Zeus, and remained outside while he offered sacrifice within together with the rest of his escort. In so far as they were not present at their posts exactly as instructed, Sergius and Bacchus had made deserters of themselves, technically speaking at least. Hence the accusation which Maximianus made against them when his guards had forced them into the temple:

When they had entered, the emperor said to them, "It appears that, counting on my great friendship and kindness - for which the gods have been your defenders and advocates - you have seen fit to disdain imperial law and to become deserters and enemies of the gods."28

It can be seen, therefore, that the similarity between the punishment of Sergius and Bacchus and the punishment which Julian inflicted upon some deserters in Gaul in 357, together with the identical nature of the charge in each case, desertion, and the highly unusual nature of the punishment itself, tends to support the argument that the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus used a lost account of the persecuting activity of Julian as a key source for much of his passion. It is my purpose now to reinforce this argument by identifying those other elements of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus which have also been borrowed, most probably, from this same account. These elements will prove that we should seek the source of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus not so much in a lost passion of Iuventinus and Maximinus as in a lost account of the sufferings of some of their fellow Christian soldiers at the same period. But it is appropriate to explain in more detail first why we cannot accept this passion simply at its face value, as the account of two martyrs under Maximianus. We turn now to an examination of the anachronisms within this text.

Anachronisms Resolved

The anachronistic nature of some of the details within the passion of Sergius and Bacchus provides important pointers as to where we should begin our investigation of this text. The first and most obvious anachronism in a text which purports to describe events during the reign of Galerius Maximianus is the claim that Sergius and Bacchus served in the schola gentilium, a claim which has attracted far more attention to the passion than it might otherwise have received.
29

Our most important source for the late Roman army is the Notitia Dignitatum which lists all the military units throughout the empire at its date of composition.30 It consists of two different parts, the first listing the units in the eastern empire has been dated c.394, while the second listing those in the western empire shows signs of having been revised as late as the 420s.31 It lists seven scholae palatinae, i.e. seven units of the imperial bodyguard, subject to the command of the eastern magister officiorum, and five subject to the command of the western magister officiorum.32 The fact that the different halves of the Notitia were each composed at a different date means that the same unit may occur twice in its lists as the result of its transfer between East and West during the period between the composition of these two halves. So although the Notitia lists three scholae gentilium, both a schola gentilium seniorum (Or. 11.6) and a schola gentilium iuniorum (Or. 11.10) among the eastern scholae, and another schola gentilium seniorum (Oc. 9.7) among the western scholae, this is a result of the transfer of a single schola gentilium seniorum from East to West during the period between the composition of the two halves of the Notitia. In reality, there were only two scholae gentilium c.394, a single schola gentilium seniorum and a single scholae gentilium iuniorum.

It has long been accepted that many pairs of units distinguished only by their suffixes seniores and iuniores probably resulted from the division of a single original unit, and that in many cases the most likely occasion for such an event was the division of the army in 364 between the new emperors Valens and Valentinan I.33 As there is no evidence to suggest that there existed more than one schola gentilium Before 364, this seems the most reasonable interpretation of the evidence at present, that a single schola gentilium was divided in 364 to create a schola gentilium seniorum and a schola gentilium iuniorum.34 It is a minor point, but one worth bearing in mind nevertheless, that the absence of the titles seniores or iuniores in the present passion may point to the use by the hagiographer of a source-text describing the period before the division of the original schola gentilium into two similarly entitled units, i.e. to a source-text describing events before 364. More importantly, there is no evidence to support the existence of the scholae palatinae as such before the reign of Constantine I. Hence the claim by some that he was responsible for their creation.35 Our earliest firm evidence in this matter comes from a late 4th-century law which reveals that Constantine I had given the right to receive corn-dole at Constantinople to members of the scholae scutariorum and the schola clibanariorum, which right presumably dates to the period of his formal dedication of his new capital on 11 May 330.36 Constantine had both the opportunity and the motive to reorganise the imperial bodyguard. For he had disbanded the old imperial bodyguard, i.e. the praetorian cohorts and the equites singulares Augusti, following the support which they had given his rival Maxentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312.37 It may not be without significance either that the most senior, and therefore oldest, of the scholae palatinae, the schola scutariorum prima, had as its shield-emblem a large chi-rho, because of which sign Constantine had won the battle of the Milvian Bridge, or so he was to claim.38 It is possible, so, that Constantine created this unit, and perhaps the schola scutariorum secunda also, as the immediate replacement of the old bodyguard which he disbanded in 312. Whatever the case, there is no firm evidence at present that any early 4th-century emperor other than Constantine ever possessed scholae palatinae as such, except for the passion of Sergius and Bacchus.39 This fact, that it flies in the face of all the other evidence, seems sufficient reason to dismiss the testimony of the passion in this matter as an unfortunate anachronism.

There was a strong tendency for late-antique hagiographers to borrow details from existing texts in order to lend their creations that extra air of authenticity. This was particularly true in the case of the passions of various military martyrs where the ability to name the unit to which the martyr allegedly belonged seems to have been highly regarded. So, for example, the author of the early passion of St. Theodore of Amasea (BHG 1761) describes him as a member of a legion of Marmaritae, a unit whose title he had learned from the passion of St. Christopher (BHG 309) which describes him simply as a member of a unit of the Marmaritae.40 It is an obvious suggestion, therefore, that the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus borrowed the title of the schola gentilium from an earlier hagiographical work. In this context, it is noteworthy that John Malalas specifically records that the martyrs Iuventinus and Maximinus were known by the Antiochenes as gentiles, an attribution which is supported by Syriac sources also.41 The most natural interpretation of this appellation is that it refers to their membership of the schola gentilium. So there is a strong temptation at this point to assume the use by the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus of a lost account of the martydom of Iuventinus and Maximinus.

A more detailed comparison of the circumstances of the martyrdom of Iuventinus and Maximinus and the circumstances of the martyrdom of Sergius and Bacchus cautions against such an assumption. The whole point of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus is that the martyrs did not join their fellow soldiers when they feasted upon the sacrificial-offerings in the temple of Zeus. This gave the emperor an opportunity to accuse them of desertion because they were not where he had instructed them to be. In the case of Iuventinus and Maximinus, however, their problems arose precisely because they did join with their fellow-soldiers at their feast, although not in a temple. They drank too much, and the result was some incautious remarks concerning the emperor.42 It was these remarks which formed the basis for their trial. In order to reconcile the circumstances of the deaths of both sets of martyrs, one has to assume that a great deal of change or error has occurred in one or other tradition. But I question whether this is the right approach at all. The deaths of Iuventinus and Maximinus clearly reveal that there was some opposition within the schola gentilium to the religious policies of Julian. Why must we assume that this resulted in open confrontation between the emperor and members of this unit on one occasion only ?

The experience of the Ioviani (Cornuti) Seniores, the most senior of the palatine legions, during the same period is most instructive. A Latin passion (BHL 1427) has preserved the account of the martyrdom under Julian of Bonosus and Maximilianus, the standard-bearers respectively of the Ioviani (Cornuti) Seniores and its associate the Herculiani (Cornuti) Seniores, to give these units their full titles.43 Their crime had been their refusal to accept the new standards of their units which Julian had apparently restored to their pre-Constantinian form, as he imagined it at least, so that they again bore the images of the gods Jupiter and Hercules.44 This had resulted in the execution of these martyrs at Antioch on 20 September 362. Yet the resistance of the Ioviani (Cornuti) Seniores to the policies of the new regime did not end there. On 1 January 363 the tribune of this unit, the future emperor Valens ("Valentinian"), struck a priest who sprinkled him with water as he accompanied the emperor into the temple of the Genius of Antioch.45 Valens ("Valentinian") was exiled to a remote fortress in the Thebaid as a result. This illustrates the occurrence of continued resistance to Julian's policies over a period of several months, even by members of the same unit, and there seems no reason why the situation within the schola gentilium should have been any different. The fact that Iuventinus and Maximinus were executed on 29 January 363 does not preclude the punishment of other Christians within that unit, and on different charges, at various times before or after that date. Indeed, it seems quite clear that we do not possess a full account of what happened even on that one occasion. For Libanius (Or. 18.199) tells of an incident when ten soldiers were revealed by their loose talk at a feast to be in conspiracy against the emperor, which has been widely identified as the occasion on which Iuventinus and Maximinus were arrested.46 Elswhere, however, Libanius lets slip that Julian actually excused eight of these alleged conspirators.47 Why was this ? One suspects that they reconciled themselves to Julian the easiest way possible, by offering sacrifice in his presence, and that only two of the original ten refused to do so, Iuventinus and Maximinus. So the whole incident was a significant defeat for Christianity, since eight out of ten had preferred apostasy to death, although one would not gather as much directly from any of the surviving Christian sources.

It seems initially suspicious, of course, that of the five scholae palatinae probably in existence under Julian, only one, the schola gentilium, should have produced any martyrs or confessors, according to our surviving sources at least. Yet a detailed examination of the history of the scholae for the short period up to and including Julian's sole reign easily explains this situation.48 The schola gentilium had been one of two scholae present with Julian in Gaul during his period as Caesar 355-60, and while the other schola deserted him during his revolt in the spring of 360, for which Constantius II rewarded its commander Agilo with a promotion as general, the schola gentilium had remained loyal. Unexpectedly, however, Julian inherited the whole empire in November 361, and was able then to purge the scholae of those whom he accused of plotting against him.49 This was his chance to weed out potential Christian opponents from four of the five scholae, but he had no pretext for such action in the case of the schola gentilium. So by the time that Julian revealed the true nature of his regime during the winter of 362/63, the Christians within the schola gentilium were isolated and alone, the unwitting victims of their previous loyalty to the emperor.

I have tried to show that we must not underestimate the strength or duration of the resistance to Julian's policies within the army. Nor must we overestimate the completeness and accuracy of our sources in this matter. The fact that the deaths of Bonosus and Maximilianus are known only from a late Latin passion of relatively poor quality, but that the Res Gestae of Ammianus vindicates in a most marvellous fashion the main substance of this passion, suffices to warn us that there survived in late antiquity a great deal more material concerning the persecution of Christians during the reign of Julian than has endured until the present day. My concern is that we should not forget this fact when we consider the origin of the material which the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus used to compose his fiction.

It is appropriate at this point to draw attention to the extended use by this author of his lost source for the Julianic persecution. He did not borrow the title of the schola gentilium only, and ignore the rest of his lost source. The fact that golden neck-torcs seem to have formed part of the uniform of all members of the scholae palatinae, and relatively few others outside these units were so-privileged, suggests that the description of Sergius and Bacchus as members of the schola gentilium, and the description of the manner in which they were stripped of their golden neck-torcs, originate in one and the same source. 50 Furthermore, the only credible explanation for the manner in which the emperor himself took a personal interest in the religious beliefs of Sergius and Bacchus, and expected them to accompany him wherever he went, including the temple of Zeus, is that the source for these chapters must also have described its original subjects as senior officers within the emperor's immediate bodyguard, i.e. members of one of the scholae palatinae. Even the incidental reference at one point to the servants of the martyrs, while it proves nothing in itself, rings entirely true to what we know of the life-style of scholares.51 So the whole of the first part of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus, up to the point where the emperor sends them to the dux Antiochus, is explicable simply as an account of the persecution under Julian of members of the schola gentilium which has experienced a certain amount of reworking, chiefly in the speeches which are attributed to the martyrs. This is not an unusual claim by any means, that the author of an account of a military martyr should have made extended use of a pre-existing account of another military martyr or confessor altogether. It has been argued, for example, that bishop Cyrus of Cotyaeum (c.443-50) used Basil of Caesarea's homily in honour of Gordius of Caesarea (BHG 703) as the main source for his fictitious account of the military martyr Menas of Cotyaeum (BHG 1250).52 Again, the anonymous African author of the late-4th century passion of Typasius (BHL 8354), another fictitious military martyr, turned to the Vita Martini of Sulpicius Severus and the Breviarium of Eutropius to assist him in his work.53 But there is little need to dwell at length on this point.

Another anachronism which provides an important pointer to the correct interpretation of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus centres on the claim that they were killed during the reign of Maximianus, i.e. Galerius Maximianus. The passion begins with the description of a general persecution of Christians which, taken literally, best suits the circumstances shortly after the publication of the first edict of persecution against the Christian population as a whole on 23 February 303.54 The problem is that Galerius Maximianus spent very little time in the East after this date. He left Nicomedia for the Balkans in spring 303, and returned there again for several months in 305 also, but that was it. So if one accepts that the passion describes events at Antioch, and most commentators do, then it is clear that the emperor whom Sergius and Bacchus served cannot have been Maximianus, because he did not visit Antioch after 299.55 The obvious solution to this problem is to assume that a copyist's mistake occurred sometime during the early transmission of the passion, and that the name of the emperor should read Maximinus rather than Maximianus.56 Maximinus Daia ruled most of the East for the period 305-313, was certainly present at Antioch during much of 312, and had probably visited it several times during the period 309-11 also.57 But this seems a rather arbitrary course of action, and there remain two strong objections which are equally applicable whether we prefer to read Maximinus or Maximianus.

Firstly, it is unlikely that Sergius and Bacchus could have served as described within the imperial bodyguard of either Maximianus or Maximinus. The persecution of the Christians within the army, of those in the imperial bodyguard in particular, had begun much earlier than the general persecution of Christians. According to Lactantius, Diocletian had been offering sacrifice one day when some Christians among his attendants made the sign of the cross in order to protect themselves from the demons.58 His haruspices then told Diocletian that the reason why they could not detect the usual signs on the entrails of their victims was the presence of these profane Christians at the ceremony. Diocletian was enraged and ordered that all in the palace were to offer sacrifice, and wrote to his commanders that those who refused to offer sacrifice were to be discharged from the army. Since Maximianus was present with Diocletian at this time, we may assume that the Christians within his palace-staff, including his bodyguard, suffered similar treatment.59 While it is difficult to date this event exactly, it certainly took place several years before the general persecution of Christians, probably in 299.60 Given this background, how do we explain the presence of Sergius and Bacchus within the imperial bodyguard still only a few years later ? While it is just about possible that one or two Christians might have slipped unnoticed into the bodyguard among a large number of fresh recruits, their seniority surely requires that Sergius and Bacchus were long serving members of the bodyguard, whose service dated back before the expulsion of Christians in 299. Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that they would ever have concealed their Christianity in the manner required, so open was their defiance of the emperor which led to their deaths eventually. They would not have been content, for example, simply to cross themselves when attending a sacrifice in the hope that this would excuse their error. Finally, although the edict of toleration which Maximianus issued on 30 April 311 ended the persecution of Christians in the East for a short period, Maximinus resumed it by November 311, and so obvious had been his reluctance to allow toleration in the first place, that it is difficult to believe that he accepted Christians within his bodyguard during the short intervening period, or that any Christian would have been so foolhardy as to wish to join his bodyguard anyway.61 So it is impossible to envisage how two Christians could have risen to become senior officers within the imperial bodyguard in the East at any time during the period 299-312.

Secondly, the most striking feature of the passion, surely, is that it attributes the martyrs to the sole reign of a single emperor, whether this is Maximianus or Maximinus. For neither Maximianus nor Maximinus ever ruled alone, but always as one of a college of emperors, in whose joint names each individual emperor was accustomed to act.62 Even the authors of the poorest and most obviously fictitious passions seem to have been dimly aware of this fact, and to have acknowledged it appropriately, although they sometimes harnessed some unusual pairs of emperors.63 Yet the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus betrays not the slightest knowledge that there ever existed other than a single Augustus ruling in splendid isolation. He does not contrast, for example, the behaviour of the "evil" emperor in the East to that of the "good" emperor in the West, i.e. to that either of Constantius I or Constantine I. He does not even care to include some vague reference at least to another of those notorious persecutors - Diocletian, Maximianus/Maximinus, or Licinius. Such restraint is entirely admirable, but unusual. In brief, the system of government as envisaged by the author of this passion is reminiscent of the age of Julian rather than of Maximianus or Maximinus. I suggest, therefore, that the author stuck quite closely to his source and model for the first part of this passion, simply substituting the name of Maximianus for that of Julian, and that the result was as we possess it still, a text which shows absolutely no understanding of the collegial nature of government in which Maximianus actually participated.

A final anachronism lies in the claim that monks recovered the body of Bacchus thrown outside Barbalissus and buried it in one of their caves.64 There is no other evidence to support the existence of monks living near the middle Euphrates during the early 4th century. In all fairness, however, there is little evidence in this matter for the mid-4th century either, and it would be wrong to attempt to use this anachronism to bolster the present interpretation of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus, that it relates to the reign of Julian rather than of Galerius Maximianus. The important point here is that this anachronism occurs in the latter half of the passion which includes all the miracles also. The rapid decline in the quality of the narrative from the point where the emperor decided to send the martyrs to Antiochus is significant, I believe, because it marks the complete departure of the author from whatever historical source he had been using previously. In the absence of this source, the author sought increased refuge in the stock themes of hagiographical literature, which include not only miracles, but monks also. The monks who buried Bacchus ought to be compared, for example, to the implausibly early Palestinian monks who joined in the dedication of a shrine to the martyr Varus, or so his passion (BHG 1862) would have us believe.65 Figments of the imagination both, by authors who could not really comprehend that there had ever been an age when the countryside did not overflow with monks.

It is appropriate at this point to comment in brief upon the travels of Sergius and Bacchus, and the locations of their trials and executions. A strange absence is immediately noticeable in that nowhere does the passion name the city in which the martyrs had their initial confrontation with the emperor himself. Otherwise, an abundance of locations are named in the province of Augusta-Euphratensis: Barbalissus, where Bacchus was killed by the dux Antiochus; Sura, where Sergius was taken after the death of Bacchus; Tetrapyrgium, where Sergius was taken after Sura; and Resapha, where Sergius was finally killed. Although John Malalas claims that the province of Augusta- Euphratensis was a creation of Constantine I, its name occurs in the so-called Verona List whose composition has been dated to the period 314/15-24.66 So although it has not been proven beyond a doubt, this province may well have existed as early as 303, for example, and the passion cannot be faulted in this detail. Galerius Maximianus' great victory against the Persians in 298 may well have occasioned its creation as part of a reorganisation of the eastern frontier at that time.

In so far as Barbalissus, Sura and Resapha are named in the exact order as they occur on the Roman road travelling eastwards, then it seems clear that the confrontation between emperor and martyrs was envisaged to have taken place somewhere West of Barbalissus, a conclusion reinforced by the apparent command of Maximianus that the martyrs be sent to eastern parts.67 Furthermore, although the text is rather vague concerning the distance travelled by the martyrs, or the duration of the journey, it does not seem to require a journey of any great length. Finally, it is clear that the confrontation took place at a city of some size, which included an imperial palace and a large temple of Zeus. It is a distinct possibility, therefore, that it was at Antioch where our two martyrs first confronted the emperor, as most have concluded. Yet perhaps the best clue to the identification of this anonymous settlement lies in the name of the dux of Augusta-Euphratensis, Antiochus. One commentator has detected in this name "an obvious allusion to the Seleucid king of the second century BC against whom the Maccabees rebelled."68 This remains possible, but a more probable alternative, I suggest, is that the author named the persecutor of Sergius and Bacchus after the city from which they had been sent to him, Antioch. If this appears somewhat obvious on his part, then one should note the absence of named characters within this work other than the martyrs, the emperor and Antiochus himself. His failure to name any of the minor characters proves that imagination was not one of this author's strongpoints.69 As for the omission from the passion of the name of Antioch as such, perhaps the author was afraid that its inclusion might lead to a claim by Antioch for the restoration of all or part of the relics of "its" martyrs. One notes, in particular, the hostility between bishops Alexander of Hierapolis and John of Antioch (428-42) which led John to visit Resapha c.434 and consecrate a bishop there, although the area had been under the direct control of the bishop of Hierapolis previously.70 Hence the omission of the name of Antioch from the surviving passion may point to its descent from a text first composed during the last years of Alexander of Hierapolis when relations with the see of Antioch were extremely poor, and the Antiochene connection was played down accordingly. Less probably, the name may simply have been overlooked because it seemed so obvious from the context that the confrontation between the martyrs and Maximianus could only have occurred at Antioch.71

To recap at this point, it has been my argument that the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus used as his source and model a lost account of the punishment by Julian at Antioch of some Christian members of his schola gentilium. It has been established that previously in 357 Julian had punished members of his cavalry by forcing them to parade in women's clothing, and that by January 363 there was resistance among the schola gentilium to Julian's religious policy, exactly as occur in the passion. It has also been argued that the choice in the passion of Antiochus as the name of the dux Augusta- Euphratensis points to the occurrence of Antioch in the lost source, probably as the site as the initial confrontation between the members of the schola gentilium and the emperor, which site the passion prefers to leave unidentified. Let us focus, therefore, on the activities of Julian while at Antioch in order to determine what other similarities there are with events as described by the passion.

Julian at Antioch

Julian arrived at Antioch sometime during July 362 and did not leave until he set out on his fateful Persian expedition on 5 March 363.72 As part of his preparations for his Persian expedition, he was deeply concerned that both he and his soldiers should have the gods on their side.73 Accordingly, he was accustomed to offer frequent and large sacrifices at many temples throughout the city.74 The passion of Sergius and Bacchus opens with a vivid description of the contamination which was caused as fumes rose from numerous altars throughout the city.75 Franchi de Cavalieri rightly drew attention to the similarity between this description of affairs and the description of the contaminated state of Antioch which occurs in Chrysostom's homily in praise of Iuventinus and Maximinus.76 I suggest, however, that the similarity between these descriptions is not so much a result of their use of a common source, a lost passion of Iuventinus and Maximinus, but an inevitable consequence rather of the attempts by any two independent authors to describe a very specific phenomenon to which a limited vocabulary naturally applied. Hence the similarity to the descriptions by the pagan Libanius also of the same situation at Antioch.77 It is clear, therefore, that the description in the passion of Sergius and Bacchus of the extent of sacrifice under Maximianus would have been equally, if not more, applicable to the situation as existed at Antioch under Julian.

We must consider next the allegation that, on the day of his confrontation with the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus, Maximianus led them to the temple of Zeus. Again, this is an element of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus which distinguishes it from the traditions concerning Iuventinus and Maximinus, and from the hypothetical source of these traditions, therefore, the lost passion of Iuventinus and Maximinus. It seems hardly surprising that there was a temple of Zeus at Antioch, but is there any record that Julian ever actually visited this temple ? Our best information in this matter comes from the Misopogon of Julian himself in the form of a complaint which he attributes to the people of Antioch (Misop. 346 B-C):

"The emperor sacrificed once in the temple of Zeus, then in the temple of Fortune; he visited the temple of Demeter three times in succession." (I have in fact forgotten how many times I entered the shrine of Daphne, which had been first abandoned owing to the carelessness of its guardians, and then destroyed by the audacious acts of godless men.) "The Syrian New Year arrived, and again the emperor went to the temple of Zeus the Friendly One. Then came the general festival, and the emperor went to the shrine of Fortune. Then, after refraining on the forbidden day, again he goes to the temple of Zeus the Friendly One, and offers up prayers according to the custom of our ancestors. Now who could put up with an emperor who goes to the temples so often, when it is in his power to disturb the gods only once or twice, and to celebrate the general festivals which are for all the people in common, those in which not only men whose profession it is to have knowledge of the gods can take part, but also the people who have crowded into the city ?"78

It is clear not only that there was a temple of Zeus within the city of Antioch, but also that Julian was accustomed to make regular visits to this temple. It is not possible, therefore, to identify any more closely the exact occasion of the confrontation between Julian and the anonymous members of the schola gentilium, the account of whose mistreatment seem to have been a source and model for the present passion. Evidence does survive, though, to prove how seriously Julian regarded the absence of any individual whom he had expected to accompany him on a visit to this temple. In his autobiography (Or. 1.121), Libanius recalls that he had received a letter of reproof because of his absence one occasion when Julian was offering sacrifice at the temple of Zeus, and this even though he was not a member of that crowd who regularly attended upon Julian on such occasions. Such concern at the absence of a civilian, who was free to come and go exactly as he pleased, provides a clue as to how ill Julian would have taken it had some of his bodyguard refused a direct command to join with him at such an event.

We can also verify that it was Julian's custom to lead large groups of soldiers to the public temples at Antioch where he allowed them to feast at length upon the meat of his sacrificial-offerings. For Ammianus provides a unique description of such behaviour as follows (Amm. 22.12.6):

Nevertheless he drenched the altars with the blood of an excessive number of victims, sometimes offering up to a hundred oxen at once, with countless flocks of various other animals, and with white birds hunted out by land and sea; to such a degree that almost every day his soldiers, who gorged themselves on the abundance of meat, living boorishly and corrupted by their eagerness for drink, were carried through the squares to their lodgings on the shoulders of passers-by from the public temples, where they indulged in banquets that deserved punishment rather than indulgence; especially the Petulantes and the Celtae, whose wilfulness at that time had passed all bounds.79

Curiously, no surviving Christian source provides the slightest indication that such behaviour ever presented any problem to the Christians among Julian's forces. Certainly, some complaints were voiced concerning the pollution of foodstuffs in general. According to Theodoret (HE 3.11), Julian threw portions of his sacrifices into the wells in the city and into the spring at Daphne so that those who used these waters might partake in his offerings. Bread, meat, fruit, and every kind of food sold in the market were sprinkled with lustral water in accordance with his direct command also. It was the widespread pollution of foodstuffs in this manner which had provoked Iuventinus and Maximinus to make their brave but ill-judged remarks concerning the emperor. One must distinguish here between the widespread pollution of food and drink so that almost everything anyone had to eat or drink was profaned, wherever and whatever the meal, and the more specific subject of military feasts in the public temples. The fact remains that there is a noticeable omission in our Christian sources for the reign of Julian, none of which comment on the attitude of Christian soldiers to the military feasts in the public temples. So striking is this omission, that one commentator has been tempted to argue from this silence that there existed "a live-and-let-live tradition within the armed forces."80 Due recognition now of the source and origin of the early part of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus supplies the rather obvious gap in our Christian sources, and brings them into better agreement once more with the testimony of an independent pagan witness, Ammianus.

It is interesting to note here that the present interpretation may best explain also the execution by Julian of Iuventinus and Maximinus, a measure which seems rather excessive on the part of an emperor who normally appreciated how important it was not to provide any further martyrs for the Christian cause.81 The remarks which led to the execution of Iuventinus and Maximinus stemmed from the pollution by Julian of all foodstuffs in the city, and to this extent they seem to have shared opinions concerning polluted foodstuffs similar to those which had led other members of the schola gentilium earlier to refuse to join the feast in the temple of Zeus. I believe that the punishment of those who had refused to join the feast in the temple of Zeus, probably by exile, constituted a public warning by Julian that he would tolerate no dissidence on this subject within his guard. When Iuventinus and Maximinus started complaining once more about the pollution of foodstuffs, they were ignoring, in effect, an earlier warning by Julian not to raise this issue again, behaviour which must have seemed all the more defiant because they belonged to the same unit, the schola gentilium, as had the earlier protestors. Hence Julian had Iuventinus and Maximinus executed not so much because of the nature of their remarks themselves, but because they were judged to be in contempt of an earlier warning in this matter.

An important question remains at this point concerning the reason why the author of the original passion of Sergius and Bacchus chose the text which he did as the source and model for his work. Why did he choose an account of soldiers who suffered under Julian the Apostate as the model for events which he wished to locate during the reign of Maximianus instead ? It is possible, of course, that his choice was dictated purely by chance, and that there was really no discernible logic or reason to his final decision. Yet a strong cult of military martyrs had developed by a relatively early date in the late Roman period, and the author must have had a large range of materials from which to choose. It is difficult to believe, therefore, that there is not some more positive explanation of his choice of source. For some reason or other, an account of the sufferings of members of the schola gentilium under Julian caught his attention in a way that no other text did. But why ? Since Sergius' cult centred on Resapha, one of the few restraints upon the author's imagination was the need to include Resapha itself within his fiction, with a secondary aim, perhaps, of explaining the presence of the relics of Bacchus at Barbalissus. Hence the topographical rather than the historical accuracy of the passion.82 So it may well have been the occurrence of the names of either of these sites in a text which served to focus his attention on the possible use of that particular text as a source for his fiction. In this manner, a different question now presents itself. How might one best explain the occurrence of Resapha especially, but of Barbalissus also perhaps, in a text describing the sufferings under Julian of Christian members of the schola gentilium ?

The answer to this question lies in the way in which Julian normally treated the opponents of his regime, in particular of his use of internal exile as a form of punishment. Ammianus provides several examples of men who were sentenced to exile by Julian. If Julian did not himself personally exile the victims of the so-called Commission of Chalcedon during the winter of 361/62, then he certainly connived at their punishment in this manner (Amm. 22.3.1-6). Palladius, a former magister officiorum was sentenced to exile in Britain, while Taurus, a former praetorian prefect, was exiled to Vercellae in Italy, and Florentius, another former magister officiorum, was exiled to the Dalmatian island of Boae. However, these were all members of the civilian rather than of the military administration, and very senior officials indeed.83 Other of Julian's victims include two priests whom he exiled to Gildoba in Mauretania.84 Much more important in the present context is the treatment which was afforded Romanus and Vincentius, tribunes of the schola scutariorum prima and the schola scutariorum secunda respectively, who were also sentenced to exile, although Ammianus does not record the final destination in their case (Amm. 22.11.2). This proves that exile was considered a suitable form of punishment for members of the scholae palatinae. Some soldiers who protested at the manner in which they had been tricked into appearing to offer sacrifice when they accepted a donative from Julian were also exiled, to the remotest regions of the empire apparently.85 More interesting again is the treatment which was received by the future emperor Valens ("Valentinian") following his striking of a pagan priest, as previously mentioned. Theodoret claims only that he was exiled to an outpost in the desert, while Philostorgius is more precise and identifies the location as Thebes in Egypt, by which he may mean the province of Thebais rather than Thebes itself.86 It can be seen, therefore, that it would have been entirely in keeping with his normal disciplinary measures had Julian exiled some outspoken members of his schola gentilium to relatively isolated outposts at Resapha or Barbalissus to be detained indefinitely by the garrisons there.87

A number of minor points remain. For example, one may detect the historical interests of the original author of the passion not just in his use of an account of two exiles under Julian as his main source, but in his description also of the manner in which the dux Antiochus punished Sergius. The claim that Antiochus forced Sergius to run before his carriage first to Tetrapyrgium, then to Resapha, reminds one of a celebrated incident in 296 when Diocletian forced Galerius Maximianus to run for several miles before his carriage, angry at Maximianus' recent defeat by the Persians.88 The possibility that the author of the passion knew of this incident is increased by the fact that it occurred in Syria so that he may have been familiar with a local tradition in this matter, if he had not simply read one of the many surviving descriptions of the event. Questions remain also. Were Sergius and Bacchus the real names of the two soldiers who were exiled under Julian, or had these names become attached to the relics before the passion was created to explain their origin ? Either seems possible. What was the significance of the choice of 7 October as the feastday of Sergius ?89 It may represent another borrowing from the historical account of the two exiles under Julian. They may have been tried and sentenced on that date, for example. Then their exile on 7 October 362 would fall neatly between the execution of Bonosus and Maximilianus on 20 September 362 and the execution of Iuventinus and Maximinus on 29 January 363, as part of the same campaign of repression which Julian began to wage against the Christians within his forces at this period. Alternatively, this may well be the genuine date on which the "relics" of Sergius were originally dug up somewhere, perhaps the occasion of their first translation from the shrine outside Resapha, to that within its walls, exactly as the passion alleges. The claim that the date of this translation was chosen because it was the anniversary of Sergius' death may represent no more than a late rationalisation of this earlier event by the mid-5th century author of the surviving passion. Again, either interpretation seems possible. The only certainty here is that Sergius and Bacchus are fictitious martyrs whose sufferings were based in part upon a lost account of two exiles under Julian. But the extent and detail of the borrowings between their passion and this lost source must remain a mystery for the present.

Conclusion

In the absence of further evidence, either literary or archaeological, the most plausible explanation for the development of the cult of Sergius is that an anonymous grave near Resapha slowly gained the reputation as the burial-place of a martyr. It should be compared, for example, to the anonymous grave in Gaul which had gradually acquired its devotees also until bishop Martin of Tours (370-97) had declared that there was a robber buried there, not a martyr.90 This grave attracted further attention next when it was centre of some apparently supernatural phenomena. I refer in particular here to the mysterious blaze which allegedly warned the inhabitants of Resapha that pious men from Sura were trying to steal Sergius' relics.91 Dare one suggest that this blaze was an entirely natural phenomenon, caused by the sudden escape of a pocket of natural gas, for example, rather than that Sergius had sent a sign to the citizens of Resapha ?92 As for the men from Sura, they were probably soldiers who had been sent to investigate this strange blaze. It had caught their attention in the same way that it caught the attention of the people of Resapha also. Soldiers were sent from Resapha, they met those from Sura, and they joined in a common search for the cause of this mysterious blaze. This happened at or near the alleged burial place of some anonymous martyr. Then, since the blaze seemed to have no natural cause, they realized that it must have been a sign from the martyr. So the men from Resapha accused those from Sura of trying to steal the martyr's relics, and vice versa.

That soldiers from Sura and Resapha should both have set out to investigate reports of a strange fire - possible enemy activity - in the one area is revealing in two ways. Firstly, it suggests that this anonymous grave lay approximately mid-way between these two forts, with the result that both garrisons felt obliged to respond to an incident which seemed to occur at the limits of the areas for which they were responsible. So modern efforts to locate the first shrine of Sergius in close proximity to Resapha, more particularly in the grave-yard to the immediate north of the city, are probably misconceived.93 Secondly, the fact that soldiers from Tetrapyrgium did not respond to this mysterious blaze also seems most strange. After all, Tetrapyrgium lay about half-way between Sura and Resapha, so that this fire must have occurred on its doorstep almost. The obvious solution to this problem is that Tetrapyrgium was no longer garrisoned at the time of this incident. This coincides with the evidence of the Notitia Dignitatum which lists no fort by this name, nor one identifiable as such, in its brief catalogue of units and forts subject to the command of the dux Syriae et Augusta-Euphratensis.94 To this extent at least, the story of the confrontation between the soldiers of Sura and Resapha, but not of Tetrapyrgium, corresponds to the military reality by the end of the 4th century, c.394.

Whatever its exact cause, the result of this mysterious blaze was that the cult of the unknown martyr received a massive boost. Both groups of soldiers were so impressed by the miracle which they had witnessed that they united to construct the first proper shrine to this martyr, and his fame spread. Eventually the inhabitants of Resapha decided to remove the martyr's remains to a new shrine within their walls, if for no other reason than to secure their control of the same. So a brick shrine was built within Resapha c.425, and fifteen bishops were summoned to celebrate its dedication. Yet such a ceremony required much more than a simple admission that no-one knew the martyr's real name or how he had died, and pressure mounted to discover the name and story of Resapha's greatest treasure. Fortunately, some enterprising individual rose to the occasion. Whatever the formal explanation of his composition was, that he had suddenly remembered some tale current in his childhood, that the martyr himself had appeared in a dream to him, or that he had rediscovered some ancient manuscript, he actually based his work upon an historical account of the exile to the area under Julian of two Christian soldiers. A little imagination and some local geography helped complete the rest. The end result was much as we have it now, and everyone was pleased.

Some final comment is necessary at this point concerning my repeated assertion of a lost source for the reign of Julian. The major factor contributing to the loss of the account of those brave members of the schola gentilium who refused to join the feasting in the temple of Zeus, and were exiled as a result, was their failure to achieve martyrdom. By their failure to achieve martyrdom, they failed also to achieve liturgical commemoration, and it is this commemoration which has proven so decisive in determining whose deeds were forgotten and whose will live forever. Let us consider for a moment to what good fortune we owe the memory of Iuventinus and Maximinus. They are known only from liturgical commemorations, i.e. homilies delivered on their feastdays and notices in early church calendars, and from the historical works of two authors, Theodoret and Malalas, who wrote either at or in the vicinity of Antioch and were clearly influenced by the continued commemoration of these martyrs at Antioch in their day also. Confessors, those who suffered under Julian but did not achieve the final glory of martyrdom, were not so lucky. They had to rely solely on historical writings for the preservation of their memory, and these by authors who were unmoved by any continued commemoration of their sufferings. Unfortunately, such historical works have often proved of far less durability. As to the identity of this work which the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus used to such great effect, the dedication of Sergius' new shrine c.425 provides its terminus antequam, while the death of Julian in 363 provides its terminus postquam. It is possible even that this work was the same source also of the notices in the histories of Philostorgius, Sozomen, and Theodoret concerning the exile of Valens ("Valentinian") under Julian. These authors chose to describe the suffering of Valens ("Valentinian") because, as a future emperor, his experience was judged more interesting, and, in so far as it demonstrated how greatly God rewarded a pious confessor, more relevant to the ideological purpose of their works. Obviously, they could not include in their works everything which they knew concerning the sufferings of various Christians under Julian, and the incident at the temple of Zeus was one of those events which had unfortunately to be excluded. Yet this brings us little nearer to identifying this lost source. We cannot even be sure that it was a Christian source, a lost ecclesiastical history, or an obscure polemic against Julian. The author of the passion may well have read any of the lost pagan accounts of the reign of Julian - works by Seleucus, Oribasius, Magnus of Carrhae, or the full text of Eunapius of Sardis even - and adapted as required their original accounts of two rebellious Christian soldiers whom Julian let off lightly.95 The possibilities are many, the evidence little, and progress unlikely.

To conclude, therefore, the account of the punishment by the emperor Maximianus of Sergius and Bacchus when he forced them to wear women's clothing provides a vital clue to the origin and nature of their passion (BHG 1624). For only one emperor is known to have punished his troops in this manner, Julian the Apostate, and this suggests that it is an incident during his reign which lies at the heart of this passion. Further examination of the details of this passion, including the emphasis of the frequency and size of sacrifices, the assumption that one emperor ruled alone, the attribution of religious dissidents to the schola gentilium, and the siting of the confrontation between soldiers and emperor in Antioch, and at the temple of Zeus in particular, all of which are also reminiscent of the reign of Julian, reinforce this initial impression. All points to the conclusion that the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus used as the source and model for the first half of his passion a lost historical account of some members of the schola gentilium who defied Julian by refusing to participate in a military feast at a public-temple, and suffered humiliation and exile as a result.


Notes

1    Ed. I. van den Gheyn, "Passio antiquior SS. Sergii et Bacchi Graece nunc primum edita," Analecta Bollandiana 14 (1895), 373-95. I refer to all hagiographical texts in accordance with their listing in the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina Antiquae et Mediae Aetatis [BHL], Subsidia Hagiographica 6 (Brussels: Societe des Bollandistes, 1898-1901), and in F. Halkin, Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca [BHG], Subsidia Hagiographica 8 (Brussels: Societe des Bollandistes, 1957). An early Latin translation (BHL 7599) of this passion has been published in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum [AASS], Oct. t.III, 863-70, together with the later Greek text (BHG 1625) by Symeon Metaphrastes, 871-83. A Syriac translation of the early text has been published by P. Bedjan, Acta Sanctorum et Martyrum III (Paris, 1890-97), 283-322.

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2    On the popularity in the East of the early cult of St. Sergius, see now the excellent dissertation by E. Key Fowden, Sergius of Rusafa: Sacred Defense in Late Antique Syria-Mesopotamia, submitted in 1995 at Princeton University (UMI no. 9611553).

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3    See P.-L. Gatier and T. Ulbert, "Eine Tursturzinschrift aus Resafa-Sergiupolis," Damaszener Mitteilungen 5 (1991), 169-82.

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4    See M. Konrad, "Flavische und spatantike Bebauung unter der Basilika B von Resafa Sergiupolis," Damaszener Mitteilungen 6 (1992), 313-402, at 349.

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5    Sergius is mentioned by Theodoret, Graec. Affect. Cur. 8.69, but the date of this work remains uncertain. See P. Canivet, Theodoret de Cyr. Therapeutique des Maladies Helleniques, Sources Chretiennes 57 (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1958), 28-31, arguing that it was written before the council of Ephesus in 431, maybe even before Theodoret became bishop of Cyrrhus (423-66). An inscription has been claimed to date the construction of the church of Sergius in the village of Eitha/Hit as early as 354. But it is not clear whether the stated date - March 249 - should be reckoned according to the calendar of the province of Arabia or that of nearby Maximianopolis/Shaqqa. Hence Key Fowden, Sergius of Rusafa, 89, concludes that "no arguments for the precocious spread of the Sergius cult ... can be based on the evidence from Hit." Elsewhere, an inscription at the modern village of Sogutlu dates the consecration of a martyrium of Sergius there to 431, while bishop Ibas of Edessa (436-57) also constructed two churches in his honour, for which see Key Fowden, 101-2.

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6    I concur here with Key Fowden, Sergius of Rusafa, 22, n. 71, that "it seems unlikely that the Passio was commissioned by Alexander on the occasion of the new church's dedication, since the author does not name Alexander and underlines the continued and superior powers of the old site outside the walls."

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7    In general, see P. Brown, The Cult of the Saints (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981); also E.D. Hunt, "The Traffic in Relics: Some Late Roman Evidence," in S. Hackel (ed.), The Byzantine Saint, Studies Supplementary to Sobornost 5 (London: The Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius, 1981), 171- 80.

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8    E.g. see D. Woods, "The Origin of the Legend of Maurice and the Theban Legion," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 45 (1994), 385-95; also N.B. McLynn, Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital, The Transformation of the Classical Heritage 22 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 209-19.

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9    E.g. H. Delehaye, "La Legende de Saint Eustache," repr. in his Melanges d'Hagiographie Grecque et Latine, Subsidia Hagiographica 42 (Brussels: Societe des Bollandistes, 1966), 212-39, at 238, classes the passion of Sergius and Bacchus among those works "depourvues de tout caractere historique."

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10    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 7, 380. The translation is from J. Boswell, The Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995), 375-390. Although this is not without its faults (in particular a curious misinterpretation of the term schola as school, i.e. an educational establishment, rather than a type of late Roman military unit), it does serve as a useful introduction to the subject.

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11    Boswell, The Marriage of Likeness, 148-49. Later, 158, he seems to attach some importance to the fact that of the pairs of martyrs whose passions he had reviewed (Perpetua and Felicity; Nearchos and Polyeuct; Sergius and Bacchus), "two of the three stories involved gender cross-dressing, though not voluntarily."

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12    See E. Jeffreys, M. Jeffreys, R. Scott et al., The Chronicle of John Malalas, Byzantina Australiensia 4 (Melbourne: Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 1986), 253, commenting on Malalas, Chron. 18.18, for a fuller list of sources in this matter.

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13    E.g. Malalas, Chron. 18.47: in 529 some gamblers at Constantinople were found guilty of blasphemy, as a result of which their hands were cut off, and they were paraded around on camels. In general, see R. MacMullen, "Judicial Savagery in the Roman Empire," Chiron 16 (1986), 147-166.

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14    See P. Franchi de Cavalieri, "Dei SS. Gioventino et Massimino," in his Note Agiografiche 9, Studi e Testi 175 (Rome: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1953), 169-200.

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15    Ibid., 199, for his conclusion "che lo scrittore della Passio ss. Sergii et Bacchi, inspirato dalla Passio ss. Iuventini et Maximi, immagino ufficiali dei gentiles ed amici due martire siri, dei quali ignorava la storia."

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16    Ibid., 198, n. 1.

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17    From the translation by R.T. Ridley, Zosimus' New History: A Translation with Commentary, Byzantina Australiensia 2 (Canberra: Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 1982), 50.

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18    Note the similarity, though, between the punishment of Sergius and Bacchus by Maximianus and the punishment of Gordius of Antioch by the same emperor as recorded in the passion edited by F. Halkin, "Un second Saint Gordius ?," Analecta Bollandiana 79 (1961), 5-16, ch. 1. Largely because of the homonymous nature of their names, and the identical dates of their feasts (3 January), Halkin concluded, 8, that Gordius of Antioch was a fictitious martyr, "un dedoublement de l'unique S. Gordius, martyr en Cappadoce." On the punishment of Antiochus, see especially Halkin's "Note additionelle", 15, and the important distinction he makes between the forced wearing of female attire as punishment and the exchange of clothing between male and female for the purposes of escape. It seems clear, however, that the author of the passion of Gordius of Antioch made use not only of material relating to Gordius of Caesarea but also of a passion of Sergius and Bacchus. In particular, this latter passion furnished the location of the martyrdom (Antioch in Syria), the name of the persecuting emperor (Maximianus), the status of Gordius (a soldier in the imperial guard), and the initial form of punishment of Gordius (the forced wearing of female attire).

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19    Suetonius, Aug. 24.2. I thank Dr. B. Campbell for drawing this to my attention.

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20    E.g. see C.Th. 7.18.4 (380), and C.Th. 7.18.8 (391), on the death-penalty. Ammianus' account of the campaign by Theodosius the elder against the African rebel Firmus c.373-75 provides numerous examples of the sort of treatment which deserters could normally expect. Demotion occurred (Amm. 29.5.20), but mutilation (Amm. 29.5.22, 31, 49) and the death-penalty (Amm. 29.5.24, 32, 49) were more frequent.

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21    He had 10 soldiers executed in the apparent belief that this was what the ancient Roman practice of decimation required (Amm. 24.3.2).

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22    In general, see R. T. Ridley, "Zosimus the Historian," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 65 (1972), 277-302.

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23    See D. Woods, "On the `Standard-Bearers' at Strasbourg: Libanius, Or. 18.58- 66," Mnemosyne, forthcoming. Libanius has confused two possible interpretations of the term exillarius, bearer of a type of military-standard, a vexillum, or member of a particular type of cavalry unit, a vexillatio.

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24    Amm. 16.12.37-41. In general, see R.C. Blockley, "Ammianus Marcellinus on the Battle of Strasburg: Art and Analysis in the History," Phoenix31 (1977), 218-31.

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25    See R. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus I, Arca 10 (Liverpool: Francis Cairns (Publications), 1981), 1-26.

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26    From the Loeb translation by J.C. Rolfe.

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27    In general on Julian's attitude towards women, see C. Head, "Women and the Emperor Julian," Byzantina 11 (1982), 11-20, although this neglects the material discussed here.

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28    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 6, 380; transl. by Boswell, The Marriage of Likeness, 378.

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29    E.g. see A.H.M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire 284-602: A Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1964), 54, 613. The most recent evaluation of this text by a military historian is by D. Hoffmann, Das spatromische Bewegungsheer und die Notitia Dignitatum, Epigraphische Studien 7 (Dusseldorf: Rheinland-Verlag, 1969), 282-83.

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30    The only edition is by O. Seeck, Notitia Dignitatum (Berlin: 1876; repr. Frankfurt: Minerva GmbH, 1962).

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31    See J.H. Ward, "The Notitia Dignitatum," Latomus 33 (1974), 397-434; W. Seibt, "Wurde die Notitia Dignitatum 408 von Stilicho in Auftrag gegeben ?," MIOEG 90 (1982), 339-46; J. C. Mann, "The Notitia Dignitatum - Dating and Sur- vival," Britannia 22 (1991), 215-19.

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32    Not. Dig. Or. 11.4-10; Oc. 9.4-8. In general, see D. Woods, "The Scholae Palatinae and the Notitia Dignitatum," Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies7 (1996), 37-50.

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33    See R.S.O. Tomlin, "Seniores-Iuniores in the Late-Roman Field Army," American Journey of Philology 93 (1972), 253-278. While T. Drew-Beaclar, "A Fourth-Century Latin Soldier's Epitaph at Nakolea," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 81 (1977), 257-274, proves that the suffix seniores was in use as early as 356, it remains probable that the majority of such pairs had their origin in 364, for the reasons already outlined by Tomlin above. See also R. Scharf, "Seniores-Iuniores und die Heeresteilung des Jahres 364," ZPE 89 (1991), 265-272.

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34    In general, see D. Woods, "Ammianus and Some Tribuni Scholarum Palatinarum c.AD353-64", Classical Quarterly 47 (1997), 269-91.

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35    See R.I. Frank,Scholae Palatinae: The Palace Guards of the Later Roman Empire, Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 23 (Rome: American Academy, 1969), 47-49.

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36    C.Th. 14.17.9 (389): annonas civicas in urbe Constantinopolitana scholae scutariorum et scutariorum clibanariorum divi Constantini adseruntur liberalitate meruisse. That the schola gentilium is not specifically mentioned here may even point to its creation after 330.

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37    Aurelius Victor, Caes. 40.25; Zosimus, HN 2.17.2. In general, see M.P. Speidel, "Maxentius and his Equites Singulares in the Battle at the Milvian Bridge," Classical Antiquity 5 (1986), 253-62.

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38    See D. Woods, "Eusebius, VC 4.21, and the Notitia Dignitatum," Studia Patristica 29 (Louvain: Peeters, 1996), 195-202; also, with some differences, M.P. Speidel, "Die Garde des Maximus auf der Theodosiussaule," Istanbuler Mitteilungen 45 (1995), 131-36. The Notitia lists both an eastern (Or. 11.4) and a western schola scutariorum prima (Oc. 9.4) which points to the division again of a single original schola scutariorum prima, probably in 364.

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39    On the argument by M.P. Speidel, "A Horse Guardsman in the War between Licinius and Constantine", Chiron 25 (1995), 83-87, that a certain Valerius Victorinus served in a schola palatina belonging to the emperor Licinius (308- 24), see now D. Woods, "Valerius Victorinus Again", Chiron 27 (1997), 85-93.

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40    See AASS, Nov. t.IV, 2; also D. Woods, "St. Christopher, Bishop Peter of Attalia, and the Cohors Marmaritarum: A Fresh Examination," Vigiliae Christianae 48 (1994), 170-186.

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41    Malalas, Chron. 13.19. On the Syriac sources, see P. Peeters, "La date de la fete des SS. Iuventin et Maximin," Analecta Bollandiana 42 (1924), 77-82.

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42    Theodoret, HE 3.11; Chrysostom, Homilia in SS. martyres Iuventinum et Maximinum (PG 50, col. 571-578), col. 574. See most recently, F. Scorza Barcellona, "Martiri e confessori dell' eta di Giuliano l'Apostata: dall storia alla legenda," in F. Ela Consolino (ed.), Pagani e Cristiani da Giuliano l'Apostata al Sacco di Roma (Catanzaro: Rubbettino, 1995), 53-83, at 76-78.

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43    On the value of this text, see D. Woods, "Ammianus Marcellinus and the Deaths of Bonosus and Maximilianus," Hagiographica (1995), 25-55.

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44    See D. Woods, "Julian, Arbogastes, and the Signa of the Ioviani and Herculiani," JRMES 6 (1995), 61-68.

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45    This is the event described by Theodoret, HE 3.16, and by Sozomen, HE 6.6. Although both authors attribute the incident to Valentinian, I have argued in detail elsewhere that the best explanation of our conflicting evidence for the early career of Valentinian is that this incident actually relates to Valens instead. See D. Woods, "Valens, Valentinian I, and the Ioviani Cornuti," in C. Deroux (ed.), Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History IX (Brussels: Latomus, 1998), pp. 462-86. In the present paper I will refer to the relevant indi- vidual as "Valens ("Valentinian")" in order to highlight my departure from the actual reading of our sources in this matter. A pagan version of the same event has also been preserved, (Amm. 23.1.6).

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46    E.g. see W.E. Kaegi, "Domestic Military Problems of Julian the Apostate," Byzantinische Forschungen 2 (1967), 247-264, esp. 260; also G.W. Bowersock, Julian the Apostate (London: Duckworth, 1978), 107, n.5.

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47    Libanius, Ep. 113 (Norman).

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48    See Woods, "Ammianus and Some Tribuni Scholarum Palatinarum," passim.

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49    Amm. 22.4.1-8, on which see also D. Woods, "Ammianus 22.4.6: An Unnoticed Anti-Christian Jibe," Journal of Theological Studies 49 (1998), forthcoming. A certain Marcellus was executed, and the tribunes Romanus and Vincentius were exiled, probably at this period (Amm. 22.11.2).

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50    On neck-torcs, see Franchi de Cavalieri, "Dei SS. Gioventino e Massimino," 197-198; also, most recently, M. Speidel, "The Master of the Dragon Standards and the Golden Torc: An Inscription from Prusias and Prudentius' Peristephanon," Transactions of the American Philological Association 115 (1985), 283-287. The latter's argument, largely on the basis of Prudentius' description of the golden torcs of the martyrs Emeterius and Chelidonius as sauciorum praemia (Peristeph. 1.65), that dona militaria, including golden neck-torcs, were still awarded in the later Roman empire remains open to doubt. I believe that Prudentius described Emeterius and Chelidonius as a pair of scholares, very much in the manner of Sergius and Bacchus, which raises an interesting question concerning his main source. Did he use the same lost source as the author of the passion of Sergius and Bacchus also used ? I believe so, and will discuss this in more detail elsewhere. His description of candidati cohortes under the command of Christ (Peristeph. 1.67), seems designed to evoke the candidati of the imperial guard, a chosen group of scholares, in an attempt to contrast service in the earthly imperial guard to service in the heavenly imperial guard. So when he describes the golden torcs as sauciorum praemia, he merely alludes to the elite status of the scholae palatinae, membership of which was often the reward of brave deeds in the field. In that sense alone were their neck-torcs sauciorum praemia.

51    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 12, 384. While he was a scholaris, even the young Martin of Tours maintained a personal servant (Sulp. Sev., V. Mart. 2.5). In general, see M.P. Speidel, "The Soldiers' Servants," Ancient Society 20 (1989), 239-248.

52    See P. Peeters, Le Trefonds Oriental de l'Hagiographie, Subsidia Hagiographica 26 (Brussels: Societe des Bollandistes, 1950), 40. The identification of Cyrus as the author of the passion of Menas of Cotyaeum has been generally well received, as by A. Cameron, "The Empress and the Poet: Paganism and Politics at the Court of Theodosius II," Yale Classical Studies 27 (1981), 217-89, at 245-47.

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53    See D. Woods, "A Historical Source of the Passio Typasii," Vigiliae Christianae 47 (1993), 78-84, and "An Unnoticed Official: The Praepositus Saltus," Classical Quarterly 44 (1994), 245-251; also F. Scorza Barcellona, "Per Una Lettura Della Passio Typasii Veterani," Augustinianum 35 (1995), 797-814.

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54    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 1, 375-76. For the start of the general persecution, see Lactantius, De Mort. Pers. 12.1; Eusebius, HE 8.2. In general, see W.H.C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1965), 477-535.

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55    See T.D. Barnes, The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 62-65.

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56    The Maximinus at Antioch solution is preferred, for example, by Hoffmann, Das Spatromische Bewegungsheer, 282; also Key Fowden, Sergius of Rusafa, 8-11.

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57    See Barnes, The New Empire, 65-67.

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58    Lactantius, De Mort. Pers. 10.1-5.

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59    Lactantius, Div. Inst. 4.27.4-5, indicates that two emperors were present without actually naming them.

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60    See R.W. Burgess, "The Date of the Persecution of Christians in the Army," Journal of Theological Studies 47 (1996), 157-59.

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61    Lactantius, De Mort. Pers. 35-37; Eusebius, HE 9.1-2. In general, see S. Mitchell, "Maximinus and the Christians in AD312: A New Latin Inscription," Journal of Roman Studies 78 (1988), 105-24.

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62    See Barnes, The New Empire, 3-9.

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63    E.g. the author of the fictitious passion of the soldier Callistratus (BHG 290z) names the emperors during whose joint-reigns he died as Valens and Diocletian. See F. Halkin, "La Passion Ancienne de S. Callistrate", Byzantion 53 (1983), 233-49.

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64    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 19, 389.

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65    See D. Woods, "Varus of Egypt: A Fictitious Military Martyr," BMGS 20 (1996), 175-200. Again, a comparison of the older passion of St. Athenogenes of Pedachthoe (BHG 197b) and the late reworking of the same (BHG 197) reveals a similar phenomenon, the creation of monks and monasteries where none had previously existed. See P. Maraval, La Passion Inedite de S. Athenogene de Pedachthoe en Cappadoce (BHG 197b), Subsidia Hagiographica 75 (Brussels: Societe des Bollandistes, 1990).

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66    Malalas, Chron. 13.3; Barnes, The New Empire, 201-08.

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67    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 10, 383.

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68    See Barnes, The New Empire, 186. The importance of the Maccabees in modern discussions of the origin of the Christian concept of martyr, evidenced most recently in G.W. Bowersock, Martyrdom and Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 9-13, 77-81, and reactions to the same, may lead at times to a rather exaggerated estimate of their practical influence upon those actually engaged in the production of hagiographical literature during late antiquity.

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69    He leaves anonymous those soldiers who made the initial complaints against the martyrs to Maximianus (ch. 3), nor does he name one individual member of Antiochus' staff despite various references to a commentariensis (ch. 15), torturers (ch. 18), and several guards (ch. 11, 13, 23, 26). Contrast this, for example to the passion of Gordius of Antioch (see n. 18) where the author names four individual members of the imperial staff who allegedly participated in Gordius' trial (Julian, Zeugmatius, Theodore, Ammonius).

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70    See Key Fowden, Sergius of Rusafa, 20-21.

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71    Ibid., 9.

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72    His arrival is dated by the festival of Adonis (Amm. 22.9.15), on which see the excellent note by J. den Boeft, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst, H.C. Teitler, Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXII (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1995), 177-80, but the date of his departure is directly stated (Amm. 23.2.6).

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73    Libanius, Or. 18.167.

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74    On Julian's religious beliefs, see most recently, R. Smith, Julian's Gods: Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate (London: Routledge, 1995), passim, and the bibliography therein.

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75    Ed. van ven Gheyn, ch. 1, 375-76.

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76    See Franchi de Cavalieri, "Dei SS. Gioventino et Massimino," 199, n.4.

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77    Libanius, Or. 1.119; Or. 18.126.

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78    From the Loeb translation by W.C. Wright.

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79    From the Loeb translation by J.C. Rolfe.

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80    See R. MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire (AD 100 - 400) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984), 46-47, particularly his characterization of an army whose "members accepted quite casually the notion of sitting down (more accurately, lying down) to dinner with comrades who were not of their own faith, and corporately joined their commander in his piety."

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81    Hence the complaints by church historians that Julian acted purposefully to deprive the Church of martyrs (e.g. Sozomen, HE 5.4.6-7; Socrates, HE 3.12.5; Theodoret, HE 3.17.8), or the occasion at Antioch when his praetorian prefect Salutius had to remind an angry Julian of his normal policy in this matter (Rufinus, HE 10.37; Sozomen, HE 5.20.1-3; Theodoret, HE 3.11.1-3). An awareness of the need not to create martyrs was expressed even by Libanius, Ep. 103 (Norman). In general, see R.J. Penella, "Julian the Persecutor in Fifth Century Church Historians," Ancient World 24 (1993), 31-44.

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82    See A. Poidebard and R. Mouterde, "A propos de Saint Serge: aviation et epigraphie," Analecta Bollandiana 67 (1949),109-16, on the discovery of a fort identifiable as Tetrapyrgium.

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83    It is noteworthy that all three were exiled to western locations, and it may be that there was a security aspect to this in that by early 362 the new regime had not yet secured its grip on all the eastern provinces. So the exile of senior members of the administration of Constantius II to the West rather than the East served to isolate them from their most natural supporters and those regions most susceptible to an attempted revolt.

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84    See B. de Gaiffier, "Les martyrs Eugene et Macaire morts en exile en Mauretanie," Analecta Bollandiana 78 (1970), 24-40.

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85    Theodoret, Gregory of Nazianzus, Or. 4.83-84.

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86    Theodoret, HE 3.12; Philostorgius, HE 7.7, 8.5. According to the Notitia (Or. 31.38), Thebes had as its garrison a detachment of the legio III Diocletiana, so Valens may well have been detained there under the guard of this unit, although one normally associates exile in the Thebaid with a stay at one of the more remote outposts at Oasis Minor (Or. 31.56) or Oasis Maior (Or. 31.55).

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87    According to the Notitia, Barbalissus was garrisoned by the equites Dalmatae Illyriciani (Or. 33.25), while Resapha was home to some equites promoti indigenae (Or. 33.27).

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88    Eutropius, Brev. 9.24; Jerome, Chron. s.a. 300; Festus, Brev. 25; Ammianus, 14.11.10; Orosius, Adv. Pag. 7.25.10.

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89    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 30, 395.

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90    Sulp. Sev., V. Mart. 11.

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91    Ed. van den Gheyn, ch. 29, 394-95.

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92    Other fires in late antiquity which soon gained the status of supernatural phenomena include the balls of fire which burst forth from the foundations of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem when an attempt was made to reconstruct it during Julian's reign (e.g. Amm. 23.1.3; Gregory of Nazianzus, Or. 5.3-4; Socrates, HE 3.20).

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93    I diagree here with Key Fowden, Sergius of Rusafa, 134-48, who seeks to identify the so-called praetorium of al-Mundhir, in the grave-yard just north of Resapha, as the site of Sergius' first shrine.

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94    Not. Dig. Or. 33.24-28.

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95    On Seleucus, see Libanius, Ep. 142 (Norman) ; on Oribasius, see Eunapius, Frg. 15 (Blockley); on Magnus, see Malalas, Chron. 13.23. The relationships between the various pagan accounts of Julian's reign, when, where, and even whether they were actually published at all in some cases, are the subject of much controversy. See, for example, C.W. Fornara, "Julian's Persian Expedition in Ammianus and Zosimus," Journal of Hellenic Studies 111 (1991), 1-15.

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