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Gladiator: It cannot be that true, Can it?

Uploaded by SamJ75 on Oct 30, 2002

In Hollywood’s brief history of making movies, it has re-written history more than once. It is not that Hollywood intentionally meant to mislead the public or deliver false historical information. It is merely that a good story sells, and depending on the mood of the “people” at the time they maybe had to alter the facts a bit to provide an entertaining movie that the public would buy. In my research I found that while there were non-factual parts of the movie Gladiator was based on older movies such as Ben-Hur. Gladiator, “Is old, but it has a new twist” (Ressner).

Many aspects of the movie, Gladiator, were both factual and fictional. According to the begging of the film the time was 180 AD and the current emperor was Marcus Aurelius. This is a fact that Caesar Marcus Aurelius was emperor from 161AD-180AD in Rome, and he did have a campaign against Germania, or the barbarians as they are referred to in the film. However, Marcus Aurelius was not assassinated, as the movie depicts. Instead he died of natural causes. His heir to throne was in fact his son, Commodious, as the movie depicted and there was no indication that Marcus Aurelius intended to hand over his throne to just anyone.

There was one area that I could find that glaringly deviated from the truth. That was in the area of relationships. Commodus was not a single child he also had a sister, she married Luscious Veras both were children to Marcus Aurelius’s. And although killing each other was part of the Caesar history, the idea that Commodus killed his father is pure fiction. Historians generally agree that, “Marcus Aurelius died of the plague in Vienna on March 17, 180AD” ( It is also untrue that Marcus found his son unfit to rule. He had Commodus named Caesar when he was 5 years old, and named Commodus as his successor when he was seventeen. As a Roman father he undoubtedly loved and spoiled his son terribly.

The Roman legion depicted in the movie was true to fact. The core of the, “Roman legion consisted of heavily armored infantry” (Ward). Disciplined and well trained, these soldiers fought in closed ranks. At every level the men of a legion fought together toward ultimate victory. In contrast, most of the armies Rome faced were warrior based where each man fought for personal glory....

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Uploaded by:   SamJ75

Date:   10/30/2002

Category:   Film

Length:   10 pages (2,362 words)

Views:   2906

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