Corrected entry: In the real gladiatorial games of ancient Rome, the emperor didn't make the gesture of "thumbs up" (kill) or "thumbs down" (live) That was the job of a referee, even though it isn't as dramatic. Also, the thumbs down sign usually didn't mean death for the defeated gladiator, but instead he would face a flogging.

Correction: There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that this was the case. The thumbs up or thumbs down issue has been argued by top historians for a long time. The emperor always had final say (sometimes with the crowds help). The referee's or Lanista as they were called usually just carried out the emperors wishes.

Corrected entry: The daughter of Marcus Aurelius could not be called "Lucilla" because Roman women were named after the female form of their father's nomen (second or clan name). Since "Aurelius" is the emperor's nomen, his daughter's name should be "Aurelia" (female form of the nomen) not Lucilla. She can be named Lucilla if her father's nomen is Lucius.


Correction: This is correct, however since all daughters by the same father would therefore have the same name, daughters were often given nicknames to distinguish them from the others (much nicer than Aurelia Prima, Aurelia Seconda & Aurelia Tertia). I have no idea how many daughters Marcus Aurelius had, but even if he had only one, 'Lucilla' could conceivably be her nickname.

Corrected entry: Throughout the film, the main character is referred to as Maximus. However, as his name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, there is no way that anyone in the army, even the highest officers, would have called him by his first name. The higher officers may have referred to him as Meridius, but only his family and very close friends would have adressed him as Maximus. However, in several places in the film, his junior officers refer to him as Maximus.

Correction: "Maximus" is probably his last name. His first name is most likely to be "Decimus", the only name he is given in the film that was actually a Roman first name. The Romans didn't consider names as fixed as we do, and regularly left bits out and mixed up their order, resulting in the "Maximus Decimus Meridius" statement in the arena, which could never have been an actual Roman name in that order.

Corrected entry: During the Battle of Carthage, there is a female gladiator cut in half by a passing chariot. Watch carefully before she's bisected, and you'll see she's leaning forward inside her chariot trying to release the chariot from a wounded horse, which oddly is still moving. However when she's cut in half, she's kneeling on the ground, not in the chariot. It happens very fast, but if you have it on DVD you can clearly see the error.

Correction: This is wrong, the black woman that is shown trying to free herself from the chariot while its still in motion is another woman, the driver of the chariot, she is not the woman that gets cut in half. After the woman gets cut in half you can see that the chariot looses control and the black woman in the chariot is trying to take control before it crashes.

Corrected entry: In one of the scenes after the first big battle, there is a horse in the background. You see it stand up. If you look closely, there is about 5 feet of chain, attached to its leg, holding it to a nearby tree.

Correction: It is not a chain. The horse is standing on a branch of the nearby fallen tree, and when it lifts its foot, the branch springs up, making it look like it's something attached to the horse's leg.

Corrected entry: When Maximus arrives in Rome there are no scars on his shoulder. There should be after his sword cut and removing his tattoo.

Correction: You *can* see the scars. They're just under the edge of his sleeve, and can be glimpsed when he moves.

Corrected entry: In ancient times busts of philosophers or emperors were coloured to look lifelike. The busts you find in Marcus Aurelius's tent are all blank.

Correction: Not true. Many busts remained the color of the material from which they were chiseled from (mostly marble). It was up to the artist or at the request of the person for whom the bust is being made whether or not color will be added to it. Plus, there is no telling how old or new those busts were. Perhaps Marcus Aurelius preferred them to be colorless, or they had not yet been colored.


Corrected entry: Maximus received his wound (which runs horizontally across his deltoid) from a clash with a praetorian guard but Maximus was wearing steel plated shoulder guards at the time which didn't seem to be punctured from the clash. After the clash, Maximus reaches under his shoulder guard and draws blood on his fingers. How did he get this wound?

Correction: When Maximus drew his arm up to hack at the praetorian with his sword, he exposed much more of his arm. The wound was inflicted when his arm was exposed.


Corrected entry: When Maximus is running through the tunnel to escape watch carefully, at one point some fire drops off his torch and starts to burn the wall. This shows the wall was made of plastic.

gandolfs dad

Correction: No, this shows that whatever dropped onto the wall (probably a kerosene) was flammable.

Sol Parker

Corrected entry: At the parade with Commodus in the chariot there is a part when Commodus is riding toward the camera. Look behind him at the horsemen and you can see one struggling to keep his horse in a straight line.

gandolfs dad

Correction: Perfectly believable that a horse is acting up - not really a mistake.

Sol Parker

Corrected entry: The Pretorian troops were ordered to kill Maximus. Maximus gets away and then appears in the coliseum, which startles Commodus. Didn't Commodus ever wonder why his troops never came back to confirm Maximus was actually executed?

Correction: In the "Deleted Scenes" on the DVD you can see the scene which would have explained this. Commodus presides over the execution of the two Roman soldiers who found the dead Praetorians. They explained that they thought the Praetorians had been killed in a barbarian raid and that they assumed that Maximus had been killed and his body carried off.

Corrected entry: In the scene where there is a team fight in Morroco, watch when the first man to come out get wacked round the face with the spiked ball. He sprays the blood out of his mouth.

gandolfs dad

Correction: Dude, I think after getting whacked round the face with a mace, you'd spray blood.

Corrected entry: Throughout the film, Maximus refers to his home back in Spain, and he is called "The Spaniard" in gladiatorial contests. Spain as a nation, or even as a concept, did not exist until much later. That land was known to the Romans as Iberia, and Maximus would therefore be called an Iberian, NOT a Spaniard.

Correction: Some people have said it derives from Hispania, but there wasn't a Roman province called "Hispania". The provinces were "Baetica", "Tarraconensis", etc. "Hispania" was a general concept, purely geographical (like Scandinavia now). They could call him "Hispanicus". But "Spaniard" is a poor choice, because it comes from "Spain" and Spain is not "Hispania", like you could not call a Roman, an "Italian".

Corrected entry: When the slaves have their first big fight in the Roman colosseum, Djimon Honsou's character throws a weapon to Russell Crowe, addressing him as "Maximus". However, this is before he had revealed his real name to anyone, and he was simply called "Spaniard". He doesn't reveal his name until the fight is over, and the Emperor comes out to meet him.

Correction: He might already have told his friends his real name, off camera.

Corrected entry: The Emperors' box was on the second level (first tier) in the colosseum, and he would never be so close to the fights as he could have been hit by a stray arrow, spear or a gladiator could have just walked up and stabbed him.

Correction: The hierarchal society in Rome was ruled by class, status and rank in power, who were seated closer to the action - despite the dangers, hence the Roman Emperor and Senators were on the first tier, as portrayed in the film.

Corrected entry: During the first battle, Maximus has a dog with him, and it runs into battle with the men. What happens to the dog? If it isn't important, then why did they even bother to have it in the first place?

Correction: Dogs were used to find a route through fire - so the cavalry wouldn't end up in a burning circle. If you listen to the director's commentary on the DVD version, he said they were going to have the dog killed in the tent when the soldiers took Maximus to kill him, but took out the scene because they thought it was too depressing.

Corrected entry: When Maximus nails Titus' foot to the ground, Titus bends over and blood pours from the mouth of his mask, is there some connection with the foot and mouth? Was the dreaded "Foot and Mouth" disease present then?

Correction: He'd just been hit in the face by Maximus' shield

Corrected entry: The very first scene is a winter battle. Romans did not fight in winter. In winter supplies and logistics were too hard to manage at the same time as expanding an Empire. Everyone stayed at home (or guarded frontiers).

Correction: If they felt there was a large advantage to be gained by attacking in winter the Romans would advance, for example, Julius Caesar advanced against Vergentorix during the Gallic campaigns to catch him off guard.

Corrected entry: When Maximus's master is purchasing the slaves he tells the guy that he will give him 2 for the slaves and 4 for the beasts (or the other way around) and then tells him that it is 5000.

Correction: This is bulk buying - individually they're priced at 2000 and 4000, but because he's buying both, and is an "old friend", he wants a discount.

Corrected entry: The legionaries all draw their swords across their bodies, the swords being in hilts on their left, but Roman soldiers actually carried swords on their right, and twisted their hands round to draw them.

Correction: Not necessarily. The sword on the right side is something which was typical for the earlier days of Rome. by the time Marcus Aurelius was emperor, Roman troops wore their swords on the left. Not to mention that cavalry and officers always had the sword on the left.

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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