Historical Truth of Gladiator Essay example

2402 Words May 6th, 2006 10 Pages
In the year 2000 Universal Studios released the film "Gladiator." This film directed by Ridley Scott is both a great and terrible depiction of the Roman Empire in its "Golden Age." Some of the tiniest details of this time period have been observed and recreated skillfully, yet some major issues have been completely altered or tweaked. Right from the opening scene one can view historical inaccuracies. First, there was no last great battle against the Germanic tribes the day before Marcus Aurelius' death. However, a great battle was fought late in the campaign in 179 C.E., yet Marcus Aurelius did not die until the year 180 C.E.# This leads to another point of error in this film; Marcus Aurelius was not murdered by his son Commodus. …show more content…
History has it that Commodus was constantly surrounded by "three hundred beautiful women, and as many boys, of every rank, and of every province," and that he had had incestuous relations with all but one of his many sisters. Ironically enough, Lucilla, the sister portrayed in the film, is the only sister that the actual Commodus had not been accused of having sexual relations with, and despite this fact she did actually take many attempts at the life of Commodus during his reign. Beyond these facts the movie and history separate rather quickly. As the movie indicates Lucilla had married Marcus Aurelius' former co-emperor Lucius Verus when she was just fourteen. After marrying Verus in 164 C.E. Lucilla gave birth to three children before she was widowed in 169 C.E. Therefore, the boy of eight years named Lucius Verus in the movie is unhistorical. In fact, Lucius and Lucilla's only son and one of their two daughters were killed as infants. Their one surviving daughter eventually wed Claudius Pompeianus Quintianus, and both were involved in the plot of 182: an attempt on the Emperor Commodus‘ life. This plot was unsuccessful and cost Lucilla her life, despite the fact that she survived the movie. As for the manner of the real Commodus' death one must understand that there was no "Maximus" that ever went down in history. The film's Maximus is a sort of pastiche character made up of the attitudes and

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