Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 6.49.30 pmTHE LAST MARTYR OF THE COLISEUM, TELEMACHUS, ROME, A.D. 391.

Telemachus was a peace-loving priest who caringly kept his garden and lived in a small farming province in Asia. However, though he normally feared the hustle and bustle of large cities, when he heard God's voice: "Go to Rome!", he packed and left immediately.When he arrived in Rome, the city was in the midst of celebrating its victory over the Goths in the north. Troops marched through the streets with spoils  and dragged behind them those prisoners taken in battle, some of them were generals and kings. Emperor Honorius had paraded through the streets earlier in the car of victory  and headed to the Coliseum.
Though Constantine the Great had put an end to the death of Christians in the Coliseum in 313, Honorius had given in to the whims of the populace and retracted the prohibition against the gladiator contests.
As Telemachus made his way through the crowd, he looked onto the floor of the Coliseum to see two lines of young men armed with swords and three-pronged spears and nets. They stopped before the emperor's box and raised their weapons.
"Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant!" ("Hail, Caesar, those about to die salute you!").
Telemachus was dumb-struck: Four centuries after Christ and they are still killing each other for entertainement?.
Suddenly one young man with a sword was caught in a net and thrown to the ground. The opponent called out, "Hoc habet!" ( "He has it!"). Many in the audience began to stand, holding their thumbs down. "Recipe ferrum!" ( "Recive the steel!"). The opponent drove the spear through the chest of his victim, whose death cry was lost in the cheers around him.
Soon the other gladiators returned to their positions. Before they could resume, Telemachus leaped the wall separating the crowds from the arena and ran to a position between the two fighters nearest the emperor's box and put his hands on the chests of the two men to divide them, calling out, "In the name of Christ, stop!"
The crowd was only stunned for a moment. "This is no place for preaching!", someone shouted. "The old customs of Rome must be observed - on gladiators!"
One of the gladiators hit Telemachus in the stomack with the handle of his sword, doubling him over and dropping him to his knees. Telemachus rose back to his feet quickly and stepped between them again, pussing them apart. "In the name of Christ, stop!".
One of the gladiators turned on Telemachus suddenly in the frenzy, driving his sword up to its hilt into the old man's stomach.
Suddenly the angry crowd hushed to an eerie silence. Telemachus sank to his knees, his blood flowing from his wound into a growing pool of crimson in the sand. With his last breath, he again shouted out, "In the name of Jesus, stop!".
No one else said a word. Then a man got up and made his way out of the arena. Another man and his wife followed. Then more. Slowly the trickle grew until everyone had risen to their feet and all the spectators had made their way out of the Coliseum in a painful, guilty silence.
Never again were gladiator contests held in the Coliseum... (The Voice of the Martyrs).



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