Origins and early life
Maurice was born in Arabissus in Cappadocia in 539, the son of a certain Paul. He had one brother, Peter, and two sisters, Theoctista and Gordia, one of whom was later the wife of the general Philippicus. He is recorded to have been a native Greek speaker, unlike the previous emperors since Anastasius I Dicorus. Sources conflict over his birthplace, with some calling him a Cappadocian Greek, others a Hellenised Armenian; the historian Evagrius Scholasticus records a probably invented descent from old Rome.
Maurice first came to Constantinople as a notarius to serve as a secretary to the comes excubitorum (commander of the Excubitors, the imperial bodyguard), Tiberius, the future Tiberius II (r. 578–582). When Tiberius was named Caesar in 574, Maurice was appointed to succeed him as comes excubitorum.