Ponderin' the Past...with the Theban Legion

Just yesterday I read Valeria's Cross and while I didn't think it was amazing, it wasn't bad either. I confess that I felt like it was a historical document being told to me instead of a Historical Fiction about Valeria's life. At the end of the book I discovered that Valeria's life was true. Interesting find! So I figured it would be perfect for today's post - I enjoyed the historical truths it held! :-)

Valeria's Cross

Since Valeria's adventures during her lifetime are numerous, I decided to go with just one major even in her life - the martyrdom of the Theban Legion. This marked such a big part of Valeria's life! What is the Maryterdom of the Theban Legion? Well, I will tell you! :-) It is when a whole legion of Christian soldiers for Rome refused to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods. When Diocletian, Emperor of Rome, heard about it, he ordered a decimation - one tenth of the soldiers were to be slain.

These soldiers willing relinquished their weapons and allowed themselves, without a struggle, to be beheaded instead of sacrifice to the Roman gods. When Diocletian sent them another request after the deed was done, asking them to join in the sacrifices. They refused. He ordered a second decimation...and then a third. The remaining soldiers of the Theban Legion sent a letter to the Emperor, explaining why they could not participate in the sacrifices because of their Christianity. After much pressure from those he counseled, Diocletian signed the orders that the entire Theban Legion be put to death. And so they were, every last man of the Theban Legion.

Some people believe that this story of the Theban Legion is just a legend, but the remains of 400 men have been found in the area where the murder of the Theban Legion took place. And the Catholic Church recognizes the event as fact.

So...that is the sad story of the Martyrdom of the Theban Legion. It's a sad story, but true and it is found within the pages of Valeria's Cross. If you are interested to read more of the Theban Legion and Valeria's story that connected her so much to this tragedy, check out your library or buy it on Amazon here!
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Photo credit: Lori Warman