Legio I Maximiana

Thebaei unit shield pattern, according to Notitia dignitatum.

The Legio I Maximiana (of Maximian) was a comitatensis Roman legion, probably created in the year 296 or 297 by the Emperor Diocletian.

The I Maximiana was formed together with II Flavia Constantia, to garrison the newly created province Thebaidos, in Aegyptus. The legion is also known as Maximiana Thebanorum or Thebaeorum ("Maximian legion of the Thebans"). Since no Legio I Maximiana is listed as being stationed at Thebes in the Notitia Dignitatum, the designation is interpreted more broadly as of the Thebaid in general. The cognomen Maximiana originated from Maximian, Diocletian's colleague.

In 354, I Maximiana was in Thrace, in the neighborhood of Adrianople (modern Edirne). Thus it is likely that it fought in the Battle of Adrianople, in 378, when emperor Valens was defeated by Goths. According to Notitia Dignitatum, the I Maximiana Thebanorum was still under Thracian command (magister militum per Thracias) at the beginning of the 5th century, while the I Maximiana was in Philae (Egypt, south of Aswan), under the dux Thebaidos.

There exists also a Theban Legion in the legend of Saint Maurice from the 5th century. According to that tradition, this (Prima Maximiana Thebanorum) was a legion from Thebes that was ordered to move by Maximian. Thus it is sometimes related to I Maximiana Thebanorum. However, according to tradition, the Theban Legion of Saint Maurice was martyred in 286, while the I Maximiana was not founded until ten years later.

See also

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