One Person Standing Alone Can Make a Difference
Often it seems like it doesn’t do any good to do something good and right, or to make a stand against the masses , especially if you are all alone in doing it. After all, what can one solitary person do to effect any real change in the world?
There are many examples in history of how a single person really was able to make a huge difference in the world. One such man was a little-known monk named Telemachus. He is remembered for singlehandedly being responsible for ending the bloody gladiator games!
For roughly 600 years gladiators fought to the death in Rome to entertain the masses. Gladiator contests lasted from two to three hundred years (depending on what source you believe) BC until January 1st, 404 AD.
Two gladiators fighting to the death wasn’t the only way gladiators competed. There were chariot races (not the certain death or injury of gladiator fighting, but chariot racing was often fatal),fights against wild animals and other brutal contests, but two gladiators fighting each other to the death was classic.
“The trade in gladiators was empire-wide, and subjected to official supervision. Rome’s military success produced a supply of soldier-prisoners who were redistributed for use in State mines or amphitheatres and for sale on the open market. For example, in the aftermath of the Jewish Revolt, the gladiator schools received an influx of Jews – those rejected for training would have been sent straight to the arenas as noxii (lit. “hurtful ones”). The best – the most robust – were sent to Rome. In Rome’s military ethos, enemy soldiers who had surrendered or allowed their own capture and enslavement had been granted an unmerited gift of life. Their training as gladiators would give them opportunity to redeem their honour in the munus (gladiator game).”
There were even female gladiators!“ From the 60s AD female gladiators appear as rare and “exotic markers of exceptionally lavish spectacle”. In 66 AD, Nero had Ethiopian women, men and children fight at a munus to impress the King Tiridates I of Armenia. Romans seem to have found the idea of a female gladiator novel and entertaining…”~ Wikipedia
At the height of the contests, between 108 and 109 AD, Emperor Trajan celebrated his Dacian victories with a reported 10,000 gladiators and 11,000 animals over a period of just 123 days.
Gladiator contests were big business, much like today’s athletes. The “Circus Maximus” was Rome’s biggest entertainment venue—the largest sports arena in the whole Roman Empire, holding up to 150,000 spectators—more than twice the capacity of Texas Stadium! Some superstar gladiators were paid over 1 billion dollars in today’s money.
“A gladiator might expect to fight in two or three munera annually, and an unknown number would have died in their first match. Few gladiators survived more than 10 contests, though one survived an extraordinary 150 bouts…” ~Wikipedia
What finally stopped the bloody and brutal gladiator fights to the death? One man: Telemachus.
“Telemachus was an ascetic monk from the east who, upon coming to Rome, was horrified at the cruelty of the gladiator games. Even though Christianity had been made the official religion of Rome by Emperor Theodosius in A.D. 380, the games had continued.
According to the writings of the 5th century bishop Theodoret of Cyrus, Telemachus ran into the middle of the gladiator games and tried to physically stop the gladiators from fighting. The spectators were so upset that they stoned him to death.”
From his seat, he had yelled out to the warriors: “In the Name of Jesus, Stop!” Then he jumped over the wall and into the battle arena of the fighters. Can you imagine the courage it took to try to stop a major sports event in such a way?
“The Emperor Honorius was so disturbed by the murder of the holy monk that he banned the gladiator games from that day forward. They were never resumed – that was that.” ~ www.churchpop.com
You just never know when standing up alone against incredible masses or odds might make a huge difference in this world. Telemachus did!
“It’s easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone. ”Mahatma Gandhi
“It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.” ~ Hans Froði Hansen
“There is no support so strong as the strength that enables one to stand alone.” ~ Ellen Glasgow
“Stand up for what is right even if you stand alone.” ~ Suzy Kassem
“It is easy enough to vote right and be consistently with the majority. But it is more often more important to be ahead of the majority and this means being willing to cut the first furrow in the ground and stand alone for a while if necessary.” ~ Patsy Mink