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E03573: The author of the Copenhagen Continuation of Prosper, an anonymous continuation of the Latin chronicle of Prosper of Aquitaine, records that the Lombard duke Zafan was defeated in battle near Saint-Maurice-d'Agaune (eastern Gaul), where the *Theban Legion and its commander Maurice (S00339), were martyred. Composed in northern Italy, c. 625.

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posted on 2017-08-17, 00:00 authored by dlambert
'Final parts of the Copenhagen continuation' (Auctarii Hauniensis extrema) 7

Quo mortuo per XII ann. absque rege fuere Langobardi: tantummodo duces praeerant. inter quos primus Zafan Ticinensium dux, qui Gallias aggredi conatus est et maximum robur Langobardorum super amnem Rodanum haut procul a loco Agaunensium martyrum, quem praecipue Mauricii martyris virtus illustrat, cum dedecore amisit et cum paucis, qui ex fuga remanserant, Italiam repetit.

'After his [King Cleph's] death, the Lombards were without a king for twelve years: only dukes ruled. First among them was Zafan, Duke of Ticinum [Pavia], who tried to invade Gaul and disgracefully lost the greatest strength of the Lombards on the the river Rhone, not far from the shrine of the Agaunensian martyrs (whom the virtue of the martyr Maurice especially distinguished), and sought Italy again with the few who remained from his flight.'

Text: Mommsen 1892, 338. Translation: David Lambert.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Theban Legion, soldiers commanded by *Maurice, martyred in Gaul, ob. 286 : S00339

Saint Name in Source

Agaunenses martyres; Mauricius

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Cult activities - Places

Place of martyrdom of a saint


The Copenhagen Continuation of Prosper is a continuation of the chronicle of Prosper of Aquitaine compiled in about 625 by an anonymous author living under Lombard rule in northern Italy. It was given its name by Theodor Mommsen (in its Latin form, Continuatio Prosperi Hauniensis) because the only manuscript to preserve it is in the Royal Library at Copenhagen. The final section of the continuation, covering the period from the 550s to the 620s, in which the author becomes less dependent on earlier sources and includes more material based on his independent knowledge, was printed by Mommsen as a separate item in his Chronica Minora, under the title Auctarii Hauniensis extrema ('final parts of the Copenhagen continuation').


Zafan's name is given in other sources as Zaban. His incursion into Gaul (in about 574) is recorded in more detail by sources such as Gregory of Tours and Paul the Deacon (see PLRE IIIB, 'Zaban'). The reputed site of the martyrdom of Mauritius and the Theban Legion was at Acaunum in the upper Rhone Valley (present day Saint-Maurice-d'Agaune, Switzerland). The author is presumably thinking of the monastery dedicated to them there by the Burgundian king Sigismund in 515. The chronicler seems to use the monastery merely as a geographical indicator, notably failing to mention that the Lombards occupied and sacked it, as is mentioned in other sources (see $05956, E05959).


Edition: Mommsen, T., Auctarii Hauniensis extrema, in: Chronica Minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII. (I) (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 9; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 337-339. Translation: Muhlberger, S., "The Copenhagen Continuation of Prosper: A Translation," Florilegium 6 (1984), 71-95. Further reading: Muhlberger, S., "Heroic Kings and Unruly Generals: The 'Copenhagen' Continuation of Prosper Reconsidered," Florilegium, 6 (1984), 50-70.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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