Roman emperor from the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, Maximian, co-ruling with Diocletian, became famous as persecutors of the followers of Christianity. Maximian was once to order the decimation (decimatio) of a legion (the so-called Theban legion, derived from Egypt) composed of Christian soldiers. The commander’s decision was based on the fact that the detachment refused to put down a revolt in Gaul, which was triggered by fellow believers.
After the first decimation, the legion still refused to obey the order and a further decimation was carried out; then the third, and so on until the last legionary was killed. Approximately six thousand people were reportedly killed. Few soldiers managed to escape, but also these were eventually captured and executed. Legion officer (primicerius) – Maurice to this day is a saint in the Catholic Church, and from his name comes the name of the Swiss resort of St. Moritz.