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erikaVT's avatar

What is true about Gladiator?

Asked by erikaVT (207points) October 18th, 2009

I am watching the movie right now and am wondering what is historically accurate and inaccurate about the film?

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3 Answers

drdoombot's avatar

Off the top of my head:

* Commodus didn’t actually murder his father
* Commodus was actually very interested in gladatorial games, not just to appease the Roman masses but because he loved to fight in them himself (and was very physically capable)
* There was no General Maximus in real life

@laureth‘s links are quite detail-rich and interesting to read.

AstroChuck's avatar

There are lots of untruths in Gladiator. Here are a few-

•Marcus Aurelius was not murdered by his son but died of natural causes.

•Commodus was not killed in an amphitheater but was strangled in his bath.

•Thumbs up doesn’t really mean anything in the arena, nor does thumbs down. The sign for clemacy was to make a “v” with the middle and index fingers (like a piece sign) and hold it out at arms length. The sign for killing was the thumb out and a poking pantamime towards the neck.

•In the movie you see some of the common mob wearing blue and purple clothing. This would never happen. Those colors were only to be worn by the very most important Romans. (They are also guilty of doing this in the BBC/HBO series Rome.)

•They didn’t run chariots in the Flavian Amphitheater (Colliseum). There simply wouldn’t have been enough room. Chariots were raced of course, but in the much larger Circus Maximus.

•Marcus Aurelius never suspended the glatiatorial games.

•Marcus Aurelius never tried to reinstate the old republican system.

Still, Glaiator is a pretty cool movie. And visually it’s really impressive.

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