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Maximian was a 4th-century Bishop of Carthage and founder of a splinter group that left (or reformed) Donatism.


He was one of several people excommunicated in 391 by Primian, Bishop of Carthage. Primian, was a convert to Donatism with all the zeal of a convert. He was great orator and thinker, but tactless and within a year had alienated large parts of the church. In 393AD a council of more than 100 Donatist bishops elected Maximian to replace Primian as Bishop of Carthages. Primian held a rival council in Bagai in April 394AD and excommunicated Maximian. Primian, a former Lawyer also used the civil courts to reclaim church buildings.

The schism that enveloped around Maximian was the largest splintering within the Donatist movement. With him Donatism took a less confrontational approach, and sought to reform the movement. However, it attracted limited adherents, but he was oft referenced by Augustine in his critique of the Donatists.

Maximian was a relative of Donatus of Casae Nigrae.

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