Theban Legion

The Theban Legion was a Christian legion of soldiers during the reign of Diocletian. A legion of men consisting of 6,666 soldiers were all Christian. Called Theban legion because there were all from Thebias; they were quartered in the east until the emperor Maximian ordered them to march to Gaul.

Maximian ordered a general sacrifice they should take an oath of allegiance and swear, at the same time, to assist in the extirpation of Christianity in Gaul. Each refused to sacrifice or take the oaths. This so greatly enraged Maximian, that he ordered the legion to be decimated, every 10th man put to the sword. Still inflexible another decimation took place. Still with no effect on the soldiers, he ordered that each one be put to death. They were accordingly executed by the other troops, who cut them to pieces with their swords, Sept. 22, 286.

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