Frumentius is a character from the Greek writer Emmanuel Rhoides's 1866 romantic novel Papess Joanne. He is portrayed as the lover of Joanne, a woman who becomes Pope as in the medieval legend of Pope Joan.
In Rhoides' novel, Frumentius is a scribe at the German monastery of Fulda. There, he encounters Joanne, a young girl of Irish ancestry also working as a scribe, having turned to the monastery after the death of her father. He becomes her paramour and he elopes to Athens with Joanne dressed up as a male monk. In Athens, they will live together pretending to be foreign monks, with Joanne becoming progressively more versed in religious matters until one morning, after a long sojourn of ten years, suddenly, Joanne abandons Frumentius in a cave outside the port of Piraeus and embarks on a ship to take her to Rome where, eventually, she is elected Pope of Rome. Frumentius, at first, wants to die, and for many days he weeps and mourns refusing to eat or drink, until finally, as we learn from Emmanuel Rhoides, he is rescued by the occurrence of a holy miracle. After that, he finds solace in another woman, and abandons the cassock. It is to be noted that the story of the female Pope Joan, despite being in Rhoides's novel as a historical subject, is now recognized by most historians to have been a medieval legend with no basis in fact. See the article on Papess Joanne for a discussion of the evidence.
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