Dorothea of Alexandria
Saint Dorothea of Alexandria (died ca. 320) is venerated as a virgin martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

. Her legend states that she was courted by the Emperor Maximinus
Maximinus II , also known as Maximinus Daia or Maximinus Daza, was Roman Emperor from 308 to 313. He was born of Dacian peasant stock to the half sister of the emperor Galerius near their family lands around Felix Romuliana; a rural area then in the Danubian region of Moesia, now Eastern Serbia.He...

. She rejected his suit in favor of her adherence to Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and her commitment to virginity, and he had her beheaded
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 circa 320.


Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon...

 writes that Maximinus conceived an insane passion for a girl of noble birth noted for her wealth, education, and virginity. When the girl refused his advances, he exiled her and seized all of her wealth and assets. Eusebius does not give the girl a name, but Tyrannius Rufinus
Tyrannius Rufinus
Tyrannius Rufinus or Rufinus of Aquileia was a monk, historian, and theologian. He is most known as a translator of Greek patristic material into Latin—especially the work of Origen.-Life:...

 calls her "Dorothea," and writes that she fled to Arabia. Caesar Baronius
Caesar Baronius
Cesare Baronio was an Italian Cardinal and ecclesiastical historian...

 identified the girl in Eusebius' account with Catherine of Alexandria
Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius...

, but the Bollandists rejected this theory. In the 16th century, Dorothea was confused with Dorothea of Caesarea
Dorothea of Caesarea
Saint Dorothy is a 4th century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse. She is called a martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution, although her death occurred after the resignation of Diocletian himself...

, a more famous saint of the same name, whose feast day is 6 February. This confusion resulted in 6 February sometimes being given as the feast day of the Alexandrian saint as well. She is not included in the Roman Martyrology
Roman Martyrology
The Roman Martyrology is the official martyrology of the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. It provides an extensive but not exhaustive list of the saints recognized by the Church.-History:...

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