BONOSUS and MAXIMILIAN

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A late Passio, preserved in Latin, describes the martyrdom of two soldiers, Bonosus and Maximilian, at Antioch it mentions their bishop Meletius, at the time of the emperor Julian d. 363, 20 September. There is no ancient evidence of their cult at Antioch, nor any other historical evidence of them. Historians differ not only on the genuineness of the account but also on the existence of the two martyrs. The episode of the comes Julian, who must have been the emperor’s maternal uncle, asking them to remove the Christian monogram from the labarum seems to reflect the facts. The removal of the Christian symbol from the insignia is also present in the martyrdom of Juventinus and Maximinus, commemorated by John Chrysostom on 29 January In Iuventinum: PG 50, 574-578; Theodoret, HE 3,11; Malalas, Chron. 13,19. Finally, Wood asserts the authenticity of the martyrdom, even if the Passio has been embellished with fantastic elements. BS 2, 352-353; F. Scorza Barcellona, Martiri e confessori dell’età di Giuliano l’Apostata: dalla storia alla leggenda, in Pagani e cristiani da Giuliano l’Apostata al sacco di Roma, ed. F.E. Consolino, Soveria Mannelli 1995, 53-83; D. Woods, Ammianus Marcellinus and the Deaths of Bonosus and Maximillianus: Hagiographica 2 1995 25-55.

 


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