Flavius Mauricius : glimpses into the life and career of Roman military official

Title: Flavius Mauricius : glimpses into the life and career of Roman military official
Author: Honzl, Jiří
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2020, vol. 25, iss. 2, pp. 99-120
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

A small collection of textual evidence, two papyri, three inscriptions, and three literary testimonia, is brought together and examined. All these pieces of evidence possibly mention the same person, a high military official Flavius Mauricius of the fourth century CE. The individual pieces of written evidence are at first considered separately in their context, with the focus put on particularities possibly significant for the current study. In the next step they are all evaluated for the likelihood of being in fact related to one another. As a consequence, they are sorted into groups of ‘core' evidence, almost certainly belonging together, and ‘peripheral' evidence only possibly related to the rest. Finally, the available evidence is analysed and considered in the context in order to allow at least a partial reconstruction of the background, career, and other bits and pieces of the life of Flavius Mauricius. The best and most certainly documented part of his career is the period of service in the capacity of dux Aegypti, a military commander of the province, which took place no earlier than 368 CE and continued at least until 375 CE and maybe later. Other less certain pieces of evidence possibly allow to also get a glimpse into other stages of Mauricius's life, as he may have taken part in the Persian campaign of emperor Julian and could have been buried in the Macedonian city of Philippi. Quite remarkably, all the contemporary pieces of evidence were written in Latin, either entirely or in combination with Greek. Thus, it is considered separately, what the reasons for the choice of this language were and whether it was a result of Mauricius's personal preference. Overall, like many of his fourth century contemporaries, Flavius Mauricius appears throughout his life to have his identity rooted in the Roman tradition, while concomitantly he was able to embrace some of the ongoing changes in society.
The paper was written within the framework of the project 'Continuity, Discontinuity and Change. Adaptation Strategies of Individuals and Communities in Egypt at Times of Internal and External Transformations' supported by the Czech Science Foundation (grant no. 19-07268S). The author would like to express his gratitude to Daniela Urbanová and Filip Coppens for their suggestions, comments, and corrections, and to Ulrike Ehmig, and Rudolf Haensch for valuable consultations.
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