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Old 06-17-2002, 05:58 PM   #1
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GLADIATOR - Me thinks I needs some help! (re-post)

(This has been posted in Lemonade Stand as well)

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, 06:46 PM   #2
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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.

Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, 'Resumé'
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