Corrected entry: Historically speaking, the real Commodus fought in the arena. Unbeknownst to him, the soldiers preparing the gladiator to fight, would stab the opponent in the back, to weaken him in the same way that Commodus does to Maximus in this film.

Correction: There is no historical evidence of this. It is true that soldiers who were already wounded and citizens who were amputees or otherwise disabled would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay. Roman citizens who might be missing a foot or hand would be put in the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants. (Citation: Dio Cassius).

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Corrected entry: As the scene is ending with Marcus in the dungeon chained after his recapture, the next scene starts with the crowd chanting his name. A man cheering in the crowd comes into view in the bottom right corner wearing an olive green T shirt and a big radio headset. (02:15:45)


Correction: That is a woman wearing some form of toga not a shirt. And the "headset" is a headband/hairstyle holding her hair back - the "earpiece" isn't even over her ear.

Corrected entry: After the battle against the Germans, Maximus lets out a cry of victory: "Roma victor." This is supposed to be Latin, but, they got the grammar all wrong. "Roma" is feminine, so it should be "Roma victrix". Amazing how a mistake is still possible as there are only about three sentences in Latin in the entire movie and a lot of specialists were supposed to have been working on it.

Correction: The grammar is correct. "Victor" should not be understood as a noun here, but as an adjective. Not "Rome [is] the victor", but "Rome [is] victorious." The adjective "victor" is not inflected for gender in the nominative singular.

Don't think that's right. That would be "Roma vicit" or "Roma victrix (est). " The original correction was correct.

Correction: From "Il vocabolario della lingua latina " Castiglioni Mariotti: there no example at "victor, oris" wich could be used like noun or adjective, but at "victrix, icis" I read a real latin phrase "victrix Asiae Roma" wich means Roma winner of Asia, so I think the right way to celebrate victory is "Roma Victrix"

Correction: According to Google translate, "Rome is the victor" translated into Latin is, you guessed it, "Roma victor." The correction below is correct, but for the wrong reasons. Victor, as it is used in the movie, is a noun.

Corrected entry: Watch in the "Battle of Carthage" when Maximus rides past a chariot and whacks a female gladiator riding on it in the face with his sword. She lifts her head back up. Apart from the fact it should have smashed her face in it also should have killed her. (01:24:22)

Correction: Of the two female charioteers that he kills, neither of them are shown after he "whacks" them in the face. With the exception of one leaning backward for a split second she's in frame with blood gushing from her neck. You don't see either of them lift their heads.

Corrected entry: While in his tent, Marcus Aurelius shows Maximus a sword with the inscription "MARCUS AURELIUS FECIT" (Marcus Aurelius made [this]). The Roman alphabet did not include the letter U until the Middle Ages; V was used instead. Moreover, Latin text did had neither spacing nor punctuation. Thus, the inscription should have read "MARCVSAVRELIVSFECIT". (02:06:40)

Correction: Marcus Aurelius never shows a sword to Maximus. The only sword with an inscription that we ever see is the wooden sword (rudis) that Marcus Aurelius gave to Proximo when he set him free. This wooden sword carries the inscription: EX·ARENA·IN / LIBERTATEM / MARCUS · AURELIUS / CMXIV · CMXXII (From the arena to freedom. Marcus Aurelius 914-922). The spacing with interpuncts is exactly what we find in Latin inscriptions. What we don't find is the rounded U in the script Capitalis Quadrata and dates from the foundation of the city (a.u.c.) instead of the years of the emperor's reign.

Corrected entry: In the first battle scene against the Germanians, right after Maximus gets dismounted, he is lying on his back and an enemy soldier takes a swing at him with an axe. Maximus blocks it by holding the sword handle with his right hand and putting his left hand on the top of his sword blade. With the amount of force the axe came down with, blocking like that would surely cut off one's own hand.

Correction: Holding the blade of a sword is a perfectly valid technique. It would not cut off one's own hand because it would require a slicing motion to do so. As the force of the axe goes down, the blade might nick the hand, but not cut it off - a pulling motion along the blade would be required for that.

Corrected entry: In addition to the gas cylinder mistake, you can also see the handbutton the rider of the chariot uses to cause the explosion attached to the chariot as he drops it. (01:30:40)

Mortug Premium member

Correction: That may look like a button, but it is a whip.

Corrected entry: During the "Battle Of Carthage" fight in the arena when Maximum gallops past Juba on horseback, Juba shouts "Maximus!" and throws him a sword which Maximus goes to catch. But if you watch closely right at the end of the shot you can see Maximus' hand fumbles and doesn't actually manage to catch the sword - yet in the following shots he is still riding around the area, wielding the sword.

Correction: Watching frame by frame, he does not fumble. He catches it with the pointed end facing back and does a half twirl with his hand.

Corrected entry: At the start of the first battle when we see Maximus riding on a horse, he comes across a Germanian about to stab a soldier. He rides along and cuts the guy's hand off. If you slow this part down, it's not blood that comes out the wound but what looks like bits of wood. (00:09:55)


Correction: If you need to slow it down, it isn't a mistake.

Corrected entry: The forest in the opening battle scenes is man-made and not the natural, wild forest that would have covered Germania at this time. The trees are all in nice straight lines, there are no low hanging branches and no tangled growth on the forest floor. If this were a natural forest the Roman cavalry would not be able to gallop through it and weave effortlessly between the trees as is depicted.

New this week Correction: Note that you can find out where that stretch of woodland was just by looking it up. With a quick search on Google we discover: that the forest was Bourne Wood, Surrey, UK. The whole area was set to be deforested, so Ridley Scott approached the Forestry Commission and offered his own way of burning it down with pyrotechnics as part of the Roman artillery bombardment.

Correction: We can't fairly say what a given stretch of forest in that part of Europe 2000 years ago would look like. It could even be second growth forest, the original, denser primordial forest having been heavily cut by the tribes that obviously live there, and likely have for centuries.

Corrected entry: Just after Lucilla slaps Commodus while their father is lying dead in front of them, you can see Richard Harris (the "corpse") breathing.

Correction: Mistake already listed.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scenes of the Colosseum the shade of the arena is wrong. There would be two types of tickets: shade or sun. One half of the Colosseum would be shade and the other sun. This is still practiced in Spain at bullfights. The shade tickets are much more expensive of course. In the movie it looks more like closer to noon than four or five o'clock.

Correction: Games in the Colosseum sometimes lasted a week. Each day, there was a full schedule of events so ,obviously, one of the events would have to be around noon.

Corrected entry: When Maximus is walking through the parted crowed of other gladiators, all of them are yelling, " Spaniard" except one guy right in front.

Correction: So, the guy doesn't yell. It could be a character choice, maybe he does not like Maximus, or maybe he is mute or a million things.

Corrected entry: Commodus' white armor is made to resemble marble statuary. However, Romans painted their statues in brilliant colors and never left them pristine white.

Correction: Perhaps Commodus' armour was not yet completed, thus not painted. Besides, as pointed out in other corrections, Gladiator was never intended to be a historical epic, as such, artistic license applies.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film when the soldiers get told to "ignite" as in light their arrows, for a second before it cuts away you can actually see some aren't lit, and the camera quickly goes to a far away shot. (00:07:40)


Correction: I don't see why this is a mistake. It's perfectly realistic that some arrows just won't ignite. The archers will then fire them unlit, because they don't have all day to wait for them to catch the fire.

Corrected entry: Probably no big deal for the purposes of the movie, but Commodus ruled for 12 years after Marcus Aurelius' death (180-192 AD), not the one or two years that was portrayed in the movie.

Correction: This is not a documentary. The filmmakers merely took names from Roman history and made up a story using those names for the characters.

Corrected entry: Rome was not on its peak during Marcus Aurelius as the film claims, but during emperor Trajanus.

Correction: Rome is generally considered to be at its peak during the reigns of what were referred to as the Five Good Emperors, of which Trajan was the second, who did indeed extend the Empire to its greatest size. Marcus Aurelius was the last of these 'Good Emperors' and thus is still considered to have presided over Rome during its peak period.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Maximus cuts out his military tattoo, which would have definitely been a scar for life, but in the rest of the movie, his arm is fine.

Correction: I have looked for this scar as well, but there are no scenes that show that portion of his arm after he cuts out the tatoo. All the scenes either show his right arm only or the left arm covered with armor.

Corrected entry: Cicero lived at the same time as Julius Caesar (the 1st century BC), not during the 2nd century AD as the film claims.

Correction: There is never any suggestion that the Cicero who appears in the film is intended to be the historical individual of the same name. Cicero was a family name shared by hundreds of people.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Throughout the movie, Commodus is obviously right-handed. He writes with his right hand, uses his sword in his right hand, etc. The real Emperor Commodus was left-handed, and he is the only Roman Emperor about whom we can say this for sure.

Correction: The movie is not an historical biography. The only thing borrowed from history are some names.

Gladiator mistake picture Video

Visible crew/equipment: In the "Battle of Carthage" in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot. (01:22:55)

More mistakes in Gladiator

Commodus: What is your name, gladiator?
[Maximus turns away.]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name!
[Maximus slowly turns and removes his helmet.]
Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

More quotes from Gladiator

Trivia: The original ending for Gladiator was that Proximo would live and he would bury the figurines in the sand of the Coliseum. However, Oliver Reed's death during filming required the ending to be changed.

More trivia for Gladiator

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