Sunday, July 3, 2011


St. Telemachus (also known as Almachius) was an Eastern ascetic who was stoned to death in Rome when he tried to stop a contest between gladiators in the arena. He entered the stadium while the games were in progress and, going down into the arena, attempted to separate the combatants. The spectators of this cruel pastime were infuriated, and at the instigation of Satan, who delights in blood, they stoned to death this messenger of peace. His death, according to Theodoret, caused Emperor Honorius to abolish gladiatorial contests.

Saint Telemachus was a monk who, according to the Church historian Theodoret, tried to stop a gladiator fight in a Roman amphitheatre, and was stoned to death by the crowd. The Christian Emperor Honorius, however, was impressed by the monk's martyrdom and it spurred him to issue an epic ban on gladiator fights. The last known gladiator fight in Rome was on January 1, 404 AD, so this is usually given as the date of Telemachus' martyrdom.
He is described as being an ascetic who came to Rome from the East. The story is found in the writings of Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria.
Although the site of Telemachus' martyrdom is often given as being the Colosseum in Rome, Theodoret does not actually specify where it happened, saying merely that it happened in "the stadium"

elemachus stood up in the amphitheatre and told the assembly to stop worshiping idols and offering sacrifices to the gods. Upon hearing this statement, the prefect of the city is said by this source to have ordered the gladiators to kill Telemachus, who promptly did so....

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