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Alypius and gladiators

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Saint Augustine (354-430 CE) says the story of a Alypius, a young Christian who was pushed to saw – by his companions – gladiatorial fight. He believed that this type of entertainment is barbaric and contrary to the teachings of Christ.

Alypius arrived in Rome thanks to his parents, who sent him to law school. The young man supposedly had a sensitive personality and the prospect of watching the bloody gladiatorial struggles at the Colosseum frightened him.

Eventually, he agreed, but insisted that he would not open his eyes during the fight. At one point in the arena one of the gladiators fell to the ground, being wounded. There was a huge noise in the audience that expressed great emotions. Alypius, unable to stop his curiosity, opened his eyes to see what had happened.

From this moment Alypius was a great fan of gladiators’ fights. Saint Augustine complains that his companion’s soul suffered more than the body of an injured gladiator.

Sources
  • Saint Augustine, Confessions, VI.7

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