Davus loves Hypatia from afar, aware that as a slave, he is not her equal and cannot confess his feelings to her – and indeed, he does not even when he kisses her. He shows her how he feels, both in his anger and in his repentance and invitation for her to punish him (instead, she releases him from his slave necklace). He does what he thinks is right, even if others question it – offering to be flogged for a girl, because he sees it as wrong, lying about him being a believer, but then converting to Christianity through being touched by giving out bread to the poor. He acts on whatever he feels, and is often inconsistent, impulsive, and physical. He connects to the poor through feeding them, talking to them, and touching them. He joins a group of radicals, who let him be of useful service on the streets. He builds a 3-D model of the solar system – taking an abstract concept and turning it into a tangible thing. He goes from attacking Hypatia, to kissing her, to crying on her, and then to surrendering to her, in a matter of minutes, showing how inconsistent his actions can be and how fast they shift based on what he is feeling at the time. He is curious about the unknown, the stars, etc., but also doesn’t talk about them outside the forum when others ask him about them, instead remarking that no one really knows the truth. He often acts decisively on his feelings, including taking out his rage on a statue outside the temple and smashing it into pieces.

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Davus tends to adapt to anyone around him, whether that is to create a beautiful example of the solar system to please Hypatia based on her ideas, or to get sucked into a violent religious faction and start breaking statues of the gods and stoning people. He wavers between passivity and taking the punishment for another slave (he lies and tells their master that he too is a Christian, so he should bear the brunt for them both, then gets beaten for it), and aggression and outright anger. He begs God for Hypatia not to love another and then when she spurns him by calling him a “stupid slave” as she is distractedly trying to save sacred scrolls from being thrown into the fire, he storms away from her and becomes violent in the streets. He later returns to kill or rape her, but then winds up crying and silently begging for her to kill him, because he feels such shame at having groped and kissed her against her will. He finds his “place” and purpose among a violent group of radicals who patrol the streets, but later changes his mind and attempts to save her from death.

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