Professor Carlson Western Civ. To 1300

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Alex Clark

Professor Carlson

Western Civ. To 1300



I have chosen to do my film project on the movie gladiator. This movie is a very well done movie that gives a feel for the attitude and customs of the roman people, especially referring to their entertainment and the way they fought.

Gladiator is a fictional story of a general named Maximus Decimus Meridius. He was a very successful and honorable general, with many victories in war. He also had the trust of emperor Marcus Aurelias who had a dream of passing the power of Rome to the senate. The Power hungry son of Caesar betrays him and kills his family. He swears his life to the sole purpose of avenging his family and the emperor. He ends up as a slave and is sold to be a gladiator. He being a general is very skilled in combat and makes an impression on all the people of the small village that he fights in. He eventually earns a chance to fight in the coliseum of Rome. He becomes very successful in Rome. He does not hide his presence from the emperor. He becomes involved in a plot to overthrow Rome.

I feel this movie was very well done. The purpose of this movie seemed to be more for sheer entertainment rather than historical value. With that in mind it did incorporate a lot of parts of roman culture and beliefs. One example is the quote “what we do in life echoes in eternity” they believed that the things they did in this life will affect their standing in the afterlife.

Romans were very interested in entertainment. They had many arenas built and greatly enjoyed watching people fight to the death this is portrayed very well in this film. There were many historical faults in this movie. Allan Ward of the University of Connecticut states on of these about the very begging of the movie. The Scene described in the movie is a great last battle in Germany. He says “Right from the opening scene, the inaccuracies are legion. First, there was no last great battle with the Germanic tribes on the eve of Marcus Aurelius’ death.”

Professor Rollmops Touches on the subject as well in his article. He states “Gladiator is another production in which there is very little historical truth. It need only be pointed out that Maximus did not exist, that Commodus was already co-opted as co-emperor in 177, three years before the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180, and that he ruled until 193 when he was strangled to death by a professional wrestler as he lay in a drunken sleep, to illustrate the quite ridiculous historical inaccuracy of the film.” So as for the historical accuracy of the film the characters are fiction, and the film does not portray any important historical events. The Historical worth of this film though does indeed help you to visualize and feel what it may be like to be a gladiator or what the life of a roman might be like.

This film Relates to the course we are studding now by showing what ancient Rome was like. Though it was not about true historical events it does teach you about the coliseum and the role and importance of roman rulers. There are many other things to be learned from this film but this could help someone to visualize the things they are learning while studying about ancient Rome.

Works Cited

Ward, Allen. "The Movie "Gladiator" In Historical Perspective." The Movie "Gladiator" In Historical Perspective. 1 Jan. 2001. Web. 10 Sept. 2014.
Professor, Rollmops. "Gladiator & the Portrayal of the Roman Empire in the Cinema."Tragicocomedia. 12 July 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2014

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