Maximus, Bishop of Turin

Maximus, Bishop Of Turin, was born towards the close of the 4th century, and early in the 5th was elevated to the episcopate. But little is known of his life. His signature is affixed to a document expressing the approval by the bishops of Northern Italy of pope Leo's letter to Flavian on Eutychianism (Leo, Opp. ed. Quesnel, p. 291). Among the signatures to the acts of a synod held at Rome in A.D. 465, his name appears immediately below that of pope Hilarius, the successor of Leo, a circumstance that marks him as the oldest bishop of the assembly. His writings, chiefly homilies, are rich in descriptions of the life of the Christians, at a time when paganism, although tottering to its fall, was still powerful among the rural population, and when the empire was trembling before the power of the invading hordes of barbarians. During the irruption of Attila he displayed a lofty faith in God, and succeeded in arousing his people from their despair, which had determined them to forsake their homes and seek safety in flight. The people of Turin obeyed his counsel, and their city was spared. But when the Huns departed from Italy, and the citizens purchased a share of their spoil, including slaves, he did not hesitate to condemn their conduct, and even compared them to wolves following in the track of lions, in order to gorge themselves on their abandoned prey. His homilies often censure the still prevailing idolatry, particularly the cultus Dianae arvorum numinis, the practice of the priests in inflicting wounds on themselves to do honor to their goddess, etc., and also defended the orthodox doctrines of the Church against Eutychians, Nestorians, Pelagians, and Manichaeans. The best edition of his works is that published at Rome in 1784, found in Migne, vol. 57. See also Schonemann, Bibl. Hist. Lit. (Leips. 1794), 2:607 sq.; Acta Sanct. June 25; Biographie, Universelle, vol. 27, s.v.; Herzog, Real- Encyklop. 9:208 sq.; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 12:782 sq.

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