Gladiator

Gladiator (2000)

84 corrected entries

New this month 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.

New this month 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

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.

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tattooduck

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.

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.

xx:xx:xx

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".

xx:xx:xx

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.

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Mortug

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.

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The-Immortal

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.

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

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.

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The-Immortal

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

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

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.

Rlvlk

Corrected entry: The tattoo Maximus has, the so-called 'mark of the legion', is wrong. In the time of Marcus Aurelius, the legionnaires were given an identification tag made of bronze or lead. The tattoo was introduced decades later.

Correction: There was also at no point in Roman history a general called Maximus Decimus Meridius, nor was Emperor Commodus killed during a gladiator battle in front of a crowd (in reality he was strangled in his sleep by a man named Narcissus). Rome did not return to a period of republicanism as it does at the end of the film, either, nor was there a senator Gracchus to lead the new Roman regime. The film script purposefully adds or alters certain elements of Roman history whenever it suits the plot, as the tattoo's presence decades before being introduced did.

Corrected entry: In the middle after the gladiator match in the Roman province arena, Maximus and Proximo are talking in Proximo's place. Maximus starts laughing, and Proximo's position in the room changes dramatically between shots.

xx:xx:xx

The-Immortal

Correction: He stands on the exact same point in front of the table throughout the shots until we see him walk away from the table.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the scene near the beginning when we see Maximus and Lucilla talking for the first time, after Lucilla says " Maximus stop" for the second time, in one shot Maximus is not facing Lucilla, yet in the following shot he is fully facing Lucilla.

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The-Immortal

Correction: You are being fooled by the camera angle. If you watch closely you can see Lucilla standing in the same spot on the side of Maximus and he is never facing her between the shots.

Mortug

Corrected entry: When Commodus walks up the steps in Rome to meet the other men, on the far away shot, there are a lot of steps to go up, yet when we see Commodus pass Lucilla after a few steps, he is suddenly at the top with greetings from the men in white clothing.

xx:xx:xx

The-Immortal

Correction: Well, we could have watched Commodus climb up a lot of steps, but it would have been a bit boring. This is a standard editing technique to speed things up a bit - by no means a mistake.

Tailkinker

Corrected entry: When Proximo is testing each slave, by giving them a wooden sword, they practice with a bigger slave. After each fight, Proximo says either yellow or red. The black guy who fights gets a red mark, so does Maximus, yet in the Roman Province scene in the small arena, someone says put red with yellow, yet when Maximus and the black guy come out, they are both "red".

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The-Immortal

Correction: Maximus is never given a red mark - he refuses to fight in the testing, which (although we don't actually see Proximo state a colour) would certainly earn him a yellow mark, allowing him to be paired with the red-marked Juba. The yellow mark on his tunic can be seen very clearly on multiple occasions during the arena fight.

Tailkinker

Corrected entry: When Commodus is speaking to Maximus at the end just before the fight you can see Maximus's hand slipping out of the cuffs holding him to the wall.

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gandolfs dad

Correction: After watching the scene it is obvious that his hands would never slip entirely off the cuffs. His wrist is too big to get through.

Mortug

Corrected entry: At the end of the first battle sequence there is a brief "victory" shot of the Roman army celebrating. Towards the bottom of the screen you can see an obviously dressed Germanian warrior cheering alongside some Roman soldiers. Wonder what he has to be happy about, except for maybe being alive in the middle of that bunch.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: There are no Germanian warriors anywhere near the cheering Roman crowd.

Mortug

Corrected entry: Before one of the gladiatorial fights in the Colosseum, there are chariots with men throwing free bread to the crowd. The camera angle changes and they have moved further away from the crowd.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: What we see are chariots on each side of the Colosseum. On one side the chariots are closer to the crowd than the other chariots.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the scene where Maximus is escaping, and he sees his friend Cicero on his horse, Cicero shouts "Maximus." as he tries to warn him. The horse is startled and runs off, but the noose around Cicero's neck pulls him and flings him backwards. As he swings backwards, he hits the tree. In the next shot, Cicero is alive. But someone that had been alive, even with a noose around their neck, would have twitched, or made some indication of trying to pull away from the tree.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: He broke his neck and was paralyzed.

Mortug

Corrected entry: When Maximus is being taken to be executed we see the hands of a hung, dead roman soldier. At the last second just before the camera changes you can see the man flick his thumb.

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gandolfs dad

Correction: Those are Maximus' tied hands we are seeing.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the first battle against the Germanians, after the Roman army shoots their arrows, if you look hard enough, you'll notice all the soldiers aren't "real" people. Some of them are obviously mannequins and they just stand there.

Correction: I have looked but I can see no evidence that they have used mannequins, or see any soldiers that look like mannequins in the battle.

Mortug

Corrected entry: At the very end of the film, Juba is burying Maximus' figurines on the floor of the Colosseum. He digs a deep enough hole to bury the bag but as he's covering it up with dirt, he totally messes up and hardly any of the bag would actually be covered if the shot lasted long enough for us to see his hand move away.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: It's a part of a ritual where he holds his hand over the buried figures and prays for Maximus and his family.

Mortug

Corrected entry: There seems to be a mystery surrounding Hagen. Although he dies by being shot and stabbed at Proximo's home, when Maximus dies, we see someone looking suspiciously like him come forward to carry Maximus. Does he have a long-lost twin, or is he immortal?

xx:xx:xx

Correction: He certainly looks like Hagen, but it isn't him.

Mortug

Corrected entry: When Maximus is walking to the Colosseum and his friend uses a black-haired woman to pass him the message (his carvings), she grabs his chest plate and almost pulls off the metal horse. A second later the metal is back on his chest guard undamaged.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: She isn't even near his chest plate.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the first fight in Morocco, Maximus pulls those two swords out of the warrior and slices his head off. Watch the section where the camera is behind the warrior as his head is chopped off. If you look carefully you can see that he has a dark stick supporting the head.

Correction: Not even in slow motion can the stick be seen that you mention.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the scene in the beginning of the film, Marcus Araelius is in his tent working on a document. The writing utensil he's using looks suspiciously like a number two pencil. This is seen again just after the Battle of Carthage; Commodus repeats the scene, working on some document with, obviously, a number two pencil.

Correction: You really don't think the director is stupid enough to use a number two pencil? Twice? That is an ink pen.

Mortug

Corrected entry: In the very first scene, after the battle is done, Maximus shouts 'Roman Victor' If you watch very closely, his lips are not moving to what he says.

Correction: They match perfectly. Also the scene is played in slightly slow motion for dramatic purpose. It would sound silly if the voice would be in slow motion as well, wouldn't it?

Mortug

Corrected entry: In one of the first scenes of the movie, when Maximus is first taken from his room to be executed, all of the guards grab him and he begins to struggle. If you watch behind him, a guard raises his sword (unsheathed) and apparently strikes him in the back of the head. A strike like that should have killed Maximus, or at least left some sort of gash in the back of his head, yet when we see him later, there is no mark.

Correction: The Praetorian struck Maximus with the hilt, not the blade.

Corrected entry: In the very first scene, when the Roman army is moving towards the Germanians, the way they attack is incorrect. As they first start to attack, they attack in rows, which is what any army should have done. But as soon as the armies clash, the Romans completely scatter. Had these soldiers done this, they would have been completely slaughtered.

Correction: This isn't a film mistake, it is your opinion of how the Romans handled themselves in this particular battle. In fact on the outskirts of their Empire the Roman Army was constantly troubled by undisciplined local conscripts reverting to their usual, chaotic style of skirmish fighting.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Maximus is pounced on by the tiger while fighting Tigris, if you look close enough you notice that the tiger lurches for Maximus's hand. If you look even closer, you can see Maximus holding food in his hand so the tiger would jump on him.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: This is not true, Maximus may be holding something that looks like food, but there would be no reason to. Using real tigers, and allowing them to pounce on the actor would be extremely dangerous, so they used model tigers. If you have the DVD, look at the 'still picture' gallery, and you can see a few shots of 'Maximus' with model tigers on top of him.

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.

xx:xx:xx

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.

xx:xx:xx

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

Mortug

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.

xx:xx:xx

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

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.

xx:xx:xx

gandolfs dad

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

Mortug

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.

xx:xx:xx

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

Mortug

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.

xx:xx:xx

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

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

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.

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.

megamii

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.

furious1116

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.

furious1116

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: 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.

Corrected entry: When Maximus asks how long the messengers had been gone, the guy replied in hours. The concept of the 24 hour clock had not yet been thought of - it was thought of by a group of monks who needed to know when to start their morning prayers in the 1330's.

Correction: The Romans divided the time from dawn till dusk into 12 "hora" (hour) (length depending on the season). They divided the night into 4 "vigilia".

Corrected entry: The Emperor tells Maximus that his son "squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross". But we've seen that he was trampled by the horses, so: what did they crucify him for and how could he have squealed? The Emperor could be just lying, but anyway he says "nailed him to the cross" and there was no such a cross (what we see looks like they were hung).

Correction: Commodus said that because he wanted Maximus to charge at him so the guards could kill him. If Maximus attacked the Emperor, there would be good reason to kill him, and it wouldn't just be a murder.

Corrected entry: When Maximus is in the arena with the tigers, the tigers have chains around their necks, and several men on the end of the chains to control how close the tigers get to the gladiators. But why don't the tigers just turn around and attack the men holding the chains? It seems unlikely that they'd know which humans to attack and which ones to leave alone.

Krista

Correction: The chains go through metal rings (which you can easily see) for exactly this reason - if the tiger wants to get close to the person holding the chain he has to drag against them pulling the chain. Only a loose chain would allow the tiger to run towards the leash holders by making it go slack.

Corrected entry: In the battle against the Barbarians, Maximus and the other Roman officers wear helmets that have the crest going front to back. Greek helmets' crests went front to back - Romans' crests went right to left.

Correction: The crest on a roman helmet depended on the kind of officer. Higher officers (legates, tribunes) had "Greek helmets" - crest front to back. Centurions had their crest left to right. Maximus is a higher officer, so he would have had a Greek style helmet.

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".

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Quotes

Commodus: The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?
Maximus: You would fight me?
Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid?
Maximus: I think you've been afraid all your life.

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Mistakes

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.

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Trivia

The two prostitutes who were all over Maximus after his first battle in Rome, and after the fight with Tigris when Cicero gave him the idols, are both amateur adult film stars. Prostitutes were very common during this time and were often rewards for gladiators who had proven their mettle by surviving many battles.

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