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Old 06-17-2002, 04:26 PM   #1
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GLADIATOR (me thinks I need's some help)

Ok, here's the thing. I've got an assignment that I need to do during the day tomorrow (in calss essay). However I'm not sure if I know enough to write it. So I'm looking for a helping hand. If anyone has seen the movie could you please just post your thoughts on this question;

The story told in 'Gladiator' is entertaining but is it truthful? Where and why does the movie deviate from historical truth, either in the outline of events, or the development of characters, or in the depiction of the world of ancient Rome?

I'm just really interested in the 'where' does the movie deviate from the truth part. I'm pretty sure that I can figure out why they did. Thanks to all who post, your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-17-2002, 04:55 PM   #2
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This is a question I should know!!
but I don't really.
I'm a history major working on hons and I don't really know.
in defense I've only done 2 medieval history courses and one ancient history course.

But I can say that they're depiction of the battle scenes and the attitude towards barbarians was accurate.
Of course, I don't think there was a miximus and I don't think any of the main events actually did happen.
i.e. Soldier becoming gladiator who gains ove of people.
and at no point did a ceasar come out and fight a gladiator.

Its a typical historical fiction.
Fictional events taking place within a real time frame, with real historical figures.

Readothy Findleys "Famous Last Words" for the best historical fiction I've ever come across.
The line between fiction and fact is so blurred I didn't know where one ended and the other picked up.
He is the master of the genre, however.
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Old 06-17-2002, 06:04 PM   #3
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Historical Fiction...right

Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
This is a question I should know!!
but I don't really.
I'm a history major working on hons and I don't really know.
in defense I've only done 2 medieval history courses and one ancient history course.

But I can say that they're depiction of the battle scenes and the attitude towards barbarians was accurate.
Of course, I don't think there was a miximus and I don't think any of the main events actually did happen.
i.e. Soldier becoming gladiator who gains ove of people.
and at no point did a ceasar come out and fight a gladiator.

Its a typical historical fiction.
Fictional events taking place within a real time frame, with real historical figures.

Readothy Findleys "Famous Last Words" for the best historical fiction I've ever come across.
The line between fiction and fact is so blurred I didn't know where one ended and the other picked up.
He is the master of the genre, however.

Don't worry about your qualifications mate. I asked for help and I'm grateful that you replied, no matter what you qualitfications are.

However, I'm almost certain that this Caesar DID come out and fight in the gladitorial events more than one occation, much like one of his predicesors Nero did with the play's that where held in Rome, alot of funny stories behind that, but all for anouther time. And for the idea that Maximus didn't exist, I'm not sure of this but I think there really was a general, as far as the story I'm not sure how much of it is true.

I like the 'historical fiction' in movies, but sometimes they take it too far (again this is discussion must be held until later). Historical fiction as it is really makes research/understanding of the past blured. For instance, did you know that in Rome (at the time gladiator is set) when the Emperor wanted the gladiator in question to be killed he would put his thumb UP not down as it is shown in the movie (and for living the oposite).
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Old 06-17-2002, 06:32 PM   #4
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I don't know if I can be of any assistance as I am no expert in the realm of medieval history.... but from what my brother has researched on the subject soley for his own enjoyment, Maximus did in fact exist. Not necesarily to the extent he played in the movie but apparently the movie was based on this 'legend'. The thing is with Roman History... so much of it is based on Legend, not fact, so it is really hard to know what we learn is indeed true or not.

Not that you asked, but I loved that movie!

Good luck on your assignment.
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Old 06-17-2002, 06:55 PM   #5
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Getting worried

Your right Angel most of the histories from the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks are greatly stretched. Greeks more so, however, the Romans did do their share of stretching.

Jeezz seems like I'm doing most of the historical explaination! Someone! Please! Dio needs help! I'm getting worried here, tomorrow is closing in fast, and I still don't know what I'm going to write about.
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Old 06-17-2002, 07:07 PM   #6
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Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor in the beginning of Gladiator, did in fact exist and he is considered to be the last Roman emperor. (If not the last emperor, then the last *good* Roman Emperor.)

Commodus was Marcus Aurelius's son, but didn't kill him to gain the throne. (He didn't have to, because he had already shared it with him.)

Maximus was not a real person, but he was based on a few historical figures. I know he was based on at least 2 generals that served in Marcus Aurelius's army. One of the people that he was based on did have ideas for a Roman revolution, but they were never executed to the extent that they showed in the movie.

Commodus actually ruled for 10-15 years or so, and while he fought in gladiatorial events (as many emperors did), he wasn't killed in the arena.

Another thing that you might want to look up is the timeline in the movie compared to the actual historical timeline of events (i.e Commodus's length of reign in the movie vs. actual length of reign).
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Old 06-17-2002, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by kariatari
Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor in the beginning of Gladiator, did in fact exist and he is considered to be the last Roman emperor. (If not the last emperor, then the last *good* Roman Emperor.)

Commodus was Marcus Aurelius's son, but didn't kill him to gain the throne. (He didn't have to, because he had already shared it with him.)

Maximus was not a real person, but he was based on a few historical figures. I know he was based on at least 2 generals that served in Marcus Aurelius's army. One of the people that he was based on did have ideas for a Roman revolution, but they were never executed to the extent that they showed in the movie.

Commodus actually ruled for 10-15 years or so, and while he fought in gladiatorial events (as many emperors did), he wasn't killed in the arena.

Another thing that you might want to look up is the timeline in the movie compared to the actual historical timeline of events (i.e Commodus's length of reign in the movie vs. actual length of reign).

Thanks!!! I was planning on writing about the time difference and the fact that they call him "spaniard' even though spain didn't exist as a country at that time, and the word would have no meaning. But I was looking for any other aspect that I might have missed, like Maximus's's's's's's' non-existance. Thanks again mate.
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Old 06-17-2002, 08:58 PM   #8
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Hey Diogenes;

I am by no means an expert in Roman History, but it has been an interest of mine for quite some time. I can safely say that most of the first half of Gladiator is pretty much historically accurate. That is to say, there was a conflict with the Germanic tribes around Marcus Aurelius' death, there were some conspiracies against Commodus, and people do believe that Commodus had Aurelius killed. However, the following subplots are apparently false;

1. Aurelius certainly did not have any Republican wishes for the Empire. He did not consider Commodus unfit to rule, and firmly believed that he should be his next sucessor. Aurelius certainly had no interests in 'giving the power back to the people of Rome'.

2. Commodus wasn't killed in the short period the film made it out to be. He reigned for decades. However, he WAS assasinated by an athlete of sorts, but not a gladiator.

3. Lucilla had no interest in killing or assasinating Commodus, however, Commodus did send her away to an island and then had her executed.

4. There was a Spaniard general, but his name as not Maximus Decimus Veridius, it was Vespasius Something.... I forget. He was deposed of power by Commodus because he felt he was gaining too much popularity with the Army.

5. Commodus, though insane in real life, never fought in the arena... that was Nero. In fact, Commodus never restored the gladiatorial games, they came back later. Also, it is much disputed that Marcus Aurelius banned the games.

6. Commodus did not personally kill Marcus Aurelius, though many historians, such as Tacitus and Suetonius, speculate that he arranged it all. Commodus could not have personally killed Aurelius because Aurelius was at the German front while Commodus was somewhere in Africa. Commodus never visited the Germanic front.

Other interesting facts include;

1. Lucilla's husband was joint ruler with Marcus Aurelius when he was alive.

2. Lucilla had many lovers, but didn't have an affair with Maximus, as he never existed.

3. Aurelius, the calm, stoic and benevolent Emperor, had much reason to wonder if he would be known as the 'tyrant'; as he was solely responsible for the destruction of most Christians. He had them slaughtered by the masses, far more than Nero did. This is nothing to marvel at, since the Christians were nothing but a cult sensation in those days, and were seen as potential threats to the Empire.


Hope that helps.

Ant.


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Old 06-17-2002, 09:34 PM   #9
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Thank You.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! You have saved my history mark! I owe you, ALL of you. Thanks be to you.


on a completly unrelated topic look at this picture


(i don't know if it will work, it's my first time putting a pic)



RIGHT CLICK ON THE X WHERE THE PIC SHOULD BE AND GO TO SHOW PICTURE AND IT WILL WORK









OK I don't know what's wrong but just go to http://block.canadianwebs.com and click on the files to view them THAT should work
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Old 06-18-2002, 01:28 AM   #10
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I thought I read somewhere that Commodus did fight in the games, but only against heavily drugged animals. i think it was an encyclopedia or something... i got interested in the real history after seeing the movie.

i also heard from some people who thought the fighting was inaccurate because the romans didn't stay in tight formation and various other things i can't remember (long time ago). Also, supposedly the equipment some of the gladiators had was way more expensive than gladiators would really have (i'm thinking that whole chariot battle reenactment part)
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Old 06-18-2002, 12:30 PM   #11
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LOL at all of the inconsistencies just on this board! I don't think anyone will ever agree on the fact vs. fiction factor in Gladiator!

Good luck sorting through all of that, Diogenes!
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Old 06-18-2002, 01:05 PM   #12
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It seems highly unlikely that Emperors would take part in gladiatorial games, as they were seen (along with theatre) as lowly and demeaning professions, and certainly not for the Emperor. One of the very few Emperors who participated in these sports was Nero, who has gone down in history as one of the most insanse, next to Caligula and the much debated Commodus.

However, I do agree that there is much debate as to the facts in this forum. Interesting.

Ant.
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Old 06-18-2002, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
It seems highly unlikely that Emperors would take part in gladiatorial games, as they were seen (along with theatre) as lowly and demeaning professions, and certainly not for the Emperor. One of the very few Emperors who participated in these sports was Nero, who has gone down in history as one of the most insanse, next to Caligula and the much debated Commodus.

However, I do agree that there is much debate as to the facts in this forum. Interesting.

Ant.



I'm pretty sure that Nero was the one that was in the theaters, and Commodus was the one in the sports. But that doesn't matter!


THANKS AGAIN TOO ALL WHO REPLIED, I WROTE THE ESSAY TODAY. I'LL POST MY MARK, IF ANYONE CARES. JUST SO YOU KNOW WHAT I GOT, AGAIN, IF ANYONE REALLY CARES. TELL ME IF YOU DON'T.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-18-2002, 05:42 PM   #14
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Actually, Nero did also compete in sports as well as theatre; gladiatorial, athletic and 'swiming' events were arranged in his arenas.

Ant.
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Old 06-18-2002, 06:39 PM   #15
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I'll take your word for it
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