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The Saint Maurice Sword

$1,897.50  $1,840.58
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  • Model: AA0101009


St. Maurice is believed to have been an officer in a legion of Christian soldiers from Upper Egypt during the reign of Emperor Maximian Herculius circa 287. His legion Legio Thebiae (Theban Legion) is believed to have been composed of as many as 6600 Egyptian Christian Copts who had been originally recruited from and stationed in Thebias in Upper Egypt. Maximian transferred the Theban Legion among other imperial units to Gaul in an effort to crush a Gaulish revolt. The entire Theban legion was massacred en masse by their own side when they refused to participate in pagan sacrifices at Aaunum an area of modern Switzerland. The earliest surviving evidence for St. Maurice consists of a letter written during the early 5th-century. It names a late 4th-century bishop Theodore of Octodurum as the discoverer of the relics of St. Maurice and his companions. The fact that St. Maurice is said to have belonged to a legion called the Thebiae which was stationed in northern Italy in the early 5th century at the latest suggests that Theodore invented the story of St. Maurice in order to appeal to this legion for political reasons. One possibility is that he had been trying to persuade the legion not to accept the usurper Eugenius as their new emperor in 392. Saint Maurice is one of the most popular saints in western Europe. There are over 650 sacred places bearing his name in France alone and over seventy towns bear his name. In the Middle Ages Saint Maurice was the patron saint of a number of the dynasties of Europe and later of the Holy Roman emperors many of whom were anointed before the Altar of Saint Maurice at Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome. King Sigismund of Burgundy donated land for a monastery in his honor in 515. Henry I (919-936) ceded the Swiss province of Aargua in exchange for the Lance of the Saints; and another sacred relic the Sword of Saint Maurice (Vienna) which served as the coronation sword of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire (Germany and Austria sometimes with parts of Italy) for over 700 years. The Vienna sword was last used in the coronation of Emperor Karl of Austria as king of Hungary in 1916 and is now is kept in the Weltliche Schatzkammer Vienna . Saint Maurice's feast day is September 22. For additional information about the swords of St. Maurice see this very informative article by BjÃ


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