Gladiator

Corrected entry: In the restaurants outside the Colosseum you see glass bottles on the table and the senators drinking from glasses. But glass was much too expensive in that time to be used in such ordinary restaurants. (01:02:50)

Correction: Not so. The Romans were masters of mass production and had learned how to mass produce glass years before Commodus became emperor. Therefore, glass objects were also available to the lower classes.

Corrected entry: At the start of the "Battle of Carthage", a man shouts: "Far away, in Zarma." Zarma is not the name for the land. It's Zama.

Correction: The long a (ar) as opposed to the short a (ah) is entirely due to the speaker's accent. Unless he is carrying around a sign with the name misspelled, this is not a film mistake.

Corrected entry: The throne on which Commodus sits at his palace looks like an 18th century "Empire" style chair typical of Napoleon's period, (I believe the Romans used marble thrones with cushions). Also it is situated in front of an opening that looks like a balcony. Not considering the fact that the Emperor could catch his death of cold, it would have been extremely easy to murder him. Also where was his Praetorian Guard (the only army allowed in the city of Roman who acted as the Emperor's bodyguards) when he moved in the Palace?

Correction: The only imperial thrones made out of marble (or any other type of stone) stood in the senate or in the abs of the basilica. Any other roman furniture was almost always made out of wood. The throne we see in the movie probably resembles something close to the real thing. In fact, there are numerous roman reliefs' that show almost identical chairs. As Archaeologists of the 18th century "discovered" ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, the designers and craftsmen of the time based there designs on these reliefs.

Corrected entry: The upper part of the Colosseum was made out of wood and was not replaced with stone until 223 AD. Marcus Aurelius died in the year 180. In the movie you can see that the upper portion is made of stone.

Correction: This is true, but there is evidence that suggests the Romans used stucco and plaster to conceal the wooden construction and make it look real. This was done for various reasons such as a lack of money or just a lack of time.

Corrected entry: The use of cavalry in the opening battle is wildly inaccurate, and not reflective of Roman cavalry practice.

Correction: This depends on both the type of battle and the era. In the Aurelian era cavalry were used in all of the Germanic battles. The battle conditions also made a surprise cavalry attack the ideal option.

The Doctor

Corrected entry: Although many like to quote it, few have apparently read "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by British historian Edward Gibbons. For it clearly describes a Roman general named Maximus Quintillian. He may or may not be the person portrayed in the movie, but there was a Roman general named Maximus who defeated the Germanians and was a favourite of Marcus Aurelius. He was killed by Commodus.

Correction: Actually, if you watch the documentary on the VHS called 'Blood, Sand and Celuloid', it clearly states that Maximus was the only fictitious character in the film. If you read 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' and other related texts properly, it is quite clear that Maximus Quintillian was a favourite of Marcus Antonius Aurelius, not Marcus Aurelius. It is true that Quintillian was killed by Marcus Antonius Aurelius' son, but he was called Antonius Commodus. As such, this was an entirely different father and son, though the names are similar. There is no record of a general called Maximus at the time of the early Aurelians, the time of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.

The Doctor

Corrected entry: After the battle with the Germanians Marcus Aurelius says to Maximus, "You have proved your valor, yet again Maximus." The camera then shows Maximus turning around to face him. Then it shows Marcus Aurelius again and if you look to the right (his left), behind him is a horse on the ground. The horse gets up and tries to walk away, but can't because his back right foot has a rope around it, that is tied to the ground to keep the horse in place. (00:15:05)

Correction: Actually, its foot is stuck in the branches from the bush on the ground.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene when Maximus and Juba are fighting (tied together with a chain) against other gladiators, they kill the last one and win the contest. Hagen was also fighting and is alive later in the movie. But when the camera is turning around to show Maximus and Juba with the arena and the spectators in the background, Hagen is not there. (00:55:55)

Correction: When the camera is turning around in circle we can't see the whole arena. For all we know Hagen is exhausted and is sitting on the ground below camera view.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: Watch when Maximus has thrown his sword at the box and is saying "are you not entertained?" there is a shot where it shows the whole arena. One of the men is looking up at him even though they are all supposed to be dead. (01:05:00)

gandolfs dad

Correction: He's not dead, he's wounded.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In one of the first gladiator fights, when Maximus chops off the head of his enemies with two swords, it can be clearly seen that the head, or object posing as a head, is already detached. (01:04:40)

Correction: You can see that the head doesn't come off until impact.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the battle against the Germanians, the Romans are using German Shepherds as attack dogs. The German Shepherd didn't exist at that time. The Romans used the Mastino-Napolitano (commonly known as the Mastiff), a much older and fiercer breed, in war and in the arena. They even provide armor and helmets for those dogs.

Correction: According to the script, Maximus' canine companion is supposed to be a wolf, not a German shepherd.

Corrected entry: During every Colosseum fighting scene, the senators are all wearing white togas. They would have only worn them during election time, not to attend the games in.

Correction: While during elections a candidate's toga was specially whitened with chalk to produce a blindingly white toga candida, the normal white toga, without chalk, was routinely worn by Romans citizens.

Corrected entry: In the battle with the Germanians, we see a Roman soldier killing a fallen opponent with the tip of his spear. This would not happen in reality. The spear is a javelin, or 'pilum', used for throwing. If the soldier still had his pilum, he would have used the reverse end of it, the 'shoe', for finishing off his foe. The shoe was a sharp metal point used to stick the spear into the ground. (00:09:35)

Correction: Another of those entries that is really just an "I would have acted differently" submission. Faced with a German barbarian, nothing a Roman soldier does with a weapon that stops him, is a mistake.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the four Praetorians are taking Maximus out in the woods to execute him, the swords don't add up. Maximus grabs the first Praetorian's sword and kills him with it. Then the other one tries to take his own sword, but the frost makes it stick to the blade and then he is killed. Maximus yells for the third, and when he comes closer, Maximus throws his sword at him, so he dies. He yells for the fourth and last Praetorian, and suddenly he has a sword in his hand - where did it come from? The only available sword was stuck in the scabbard by frost.

Correction: The sword that was stuck in the scabbard by frost, wouldn't necessarily be stuck there forever - with a little effort and a few seconds I'm sure Maximus could get it out. Besides, there's also the sword from the third Praetorian, killed by the first sword at close range. What's to keep Maximus from grabbing that sword?

Corrected entry: In the first battle in Rome the gladiators are running through the chamber to the arena. Maximus is at the back of the group, though when they emerge from the tunnel Maximus is at the front of the group. What happened?

Correction: He isn't at the front after entering the arena. The camera spins round, and you can see that about one third of the gladiators are behind him, and about two-thirds are ahead of him. They've spread out as they pass through the gate, and he's moved ahead of a few of them.

Corrected entry: One of the senators claim that "Rome was founded as a Republic". This is wrong, Rome was founded as a Monarchy.

Correction: This isn't really a "mistake". The senator is a republican, and Rome had been a republic. Modern politicians come out with self-serving distortions of history all the time. There is no reason to suppose Roman politicians were any different.

Corrected entry: At the time of the movie the name "Colosseum" would not have been used. It's original and correct title is the Flavian Amphitheatre. Colosseum is a nickname given to it in the 9th century by an English explorer because of the colossal bronze statue of Nero as the sun god which used to stand next to it.

Correction: While technically correct, virtually all of the dialogue in the movie represents an idiomatic translation of Latin into English. While in official documents and in proper (upper-class) Latin the Colosseum would be referred to as the Flavian Amphitheatre (or, idiomatically, simply The Amphitheatre), commoners, slaves, and soldiers in Rome had a whole host of names for what we now call the Colosseum. Christians were often known to call it "The Place of Blood" and other such colorful names. Again, because this is an idiomatic translation, this "error" is more likely simply "translator's license."

Corrected entry: At the end fight there are rose petals falling all over the coliseum. But how did the rose petals get in the middle? Did mother nature decide to rain rose petals?

gandolfs dad

Correction: The petals are being thrown from the sides, and they blow into the middle. In some of the long shots you can see them lying in drifts, showing where they've been blown by the wind.

STP Premium member

Corrected entry: How did Maximus get the horse he rides in the "Battle of Carthage"? We never see him cut the ropes/chains and the horse obviously didn't grab a sword and cuts the chains off itself.

gandolfs dad

Correction: There is a moment where we see Maximus busy cutting or undoing the harness, before he rides away on the horse.

STP Premium member

Corrected entry: Maximus states the number of his troops incorrectly a couple times. In the German fight, he says something to the extent that he has 4000 troops plus another 2000 making 5000 altogether. At the end of the battle, he says 2000 died, but when talking to Gracchus later he says he has 5000 men waiting for him.

Correction: First of all 2000 4000=6000, not 5000. If he lost 2000, he would have had 4000. His army could have easily received 1000 reinforcements.

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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