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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Corrected entry: The use of cavalry in the opening battle is wildly inaccurate, and not reflective of Roman cavalry practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Corrected entry: One of the senators claim that "Rome was founded as a Republic". This is wrong, Rome was founded as a Monarchy.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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).
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.