« Maximus Petronius, emperor of the West Maximus, bp. of Alexandria Maximus, bp. of Jerusalem »

Maximus, bp. of Alexandria

Maximus (9), bp. of Alexandria, 14th "successor of St. Mark," had been a presbyter under bp. Dionysius. During the Decian persecution, after Dionysius had been carried away by some Christians of Mareotis into Libya, Maximus with three other presbyters "kept themselves concealed in Alexandria, secretly carrying on the oversight of the brethren" (Dionys. to Domitius and Didymus, ap. Euseb. vii. 11). It is surprising that their ministrations were undetected by the inquisitorial severity of the local government, which found victims among the virgins of the church (see Eus. vi. 41). Seven years later, when Valerian's persecution began, we find Maximus attending his bishop (who calls him his "fellow-presbyter") to the tribunal of the prefect Aemilianus, as involved with him, and three deacons and a Roman lay Christian, in the charge of contumacious rejection of the gods who had "preserved the emperor's sovereignty," and whose worship was in accordance with "natural" law. He was banished with Dionysius to Cephro in the Libyan frontier, sharing in the rough reception the heathen inhabitants gave to the bishop and assisting him in the preaching which ere long won over "not a few" of them to "the word then sown among them for the first time." After a while the party were removed to Colluthion, much nearer to Alexandria (ib. vii. 11). When Dionysius, "worn out with years," died early in 265 (in Mar. according to Le Quien, Oriens Christ. ii. 395; Neale says Feb., Hist. Alex. i. 39, 83), Maximus was appropriately elected to succeed him. Maximus died on Sun. Apr. 9, 282 (Le Quien, ii. 396) and was succeeded by Theonas.

[W.B.]

« Maximus Petronius, emperor of the West Maximus, bp. of Alexandria Maximus, bp. of Jerusalem »





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