« Maximianus I., M. Aurelius Valerius Maximianus, a Donatist Maximianus, archbp. of Constantinople »

Maximianus, a Donatist

Maximianus (2), the man from whom a special sect among the Donatists derived its name; that schism within a schism, which rent it asunder and helped to bring about its ultimate overthrow. He is said to have been related to Donatus the Great, and was a deacon at Carthage when, at the death of Parmenian, Primian was appointed bp. of the Donatists there A.D. 391. Primian found fault with four of his deacons, especially Maximian, whom he appears to have disliked most. He tried to persuade the "Seniors" of Carthage to condemn them all, but they refused, and Primian then proceeded to excommunicate Maximian, who was ill and unable to appear. The Seniors summoned Primian to meet them to explain this arbitrariness, but he refused. They then wrote to the bishops of the district, entreating them to meet and inquire into the case. Forty-three met at Carthage; and their proceedings, notwithstanding the violence of the supporters of 709Primian, who was himself absent, resulted in his condemnation. In June or July 393, at a second meeting of Donatist bishops at Cabarsussum, a town of Byzacene, Primian was more formally condemned, his deposition pronounced, and a resolution apparently passed that Maximian should be appointed in his place. He was accordingly ordained at Carthage by 12 bishops. But Primian was not crushed by this, for at a council of 310 bishops at Bagai, Apr. 24, 394, at which he himself presided, the supporters of Maximian, of whom none were present, were condemned in most opprobrious language. Notwithstanding the defection of the Maximianists, who appear to have rebaptized those who joined them, the validity of their baptism was not denied by the other Donatists, a point which Augustine frequently uses against them. Unremitting persecution induced many Maximianists to return at length to the Donatist community, but of Maximian himself we hear little or nothing subsequently; other names are most prominent in the party's history. Aug. c. Cresc. iii. 16, 59, iv. 3, 4, 6–9, 55, 57; En. Ps. (Vulg.) xxxvi. 19, 20, 23, 29; Ps. cxxiv. 5; Epp. 43, 26, 76; 44, 71; 53, 3; 141, 6; 185, 17; de Gest. Emer. 9; c. Parm. i. 9; Tillem. Mém. vi. 65–72; Morcelli, Afr. Chr. vol. ii. pp. 310–326; Ribbeck, Aug. und Don. pp. 206–236.

[H.W.P.]

« Maximianus I., M. Aurelius Valerius Maximianus, a Donatist Maximianus, archbp. of Constantinople »





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