Deliberate mistake: The historically inaccurate portrayal of stirrups in the film was actually due to the stuntmen enacting the cavalry charge in the initial battle scene. Apparently the stuntmen refused to ride the horses over the forest terrain at full gallop without stirrups because it was far too dangerous for both horse and rider. (Galloping a horse through forest or any uneven terrain is incredibly dangerous.) Stirrups were granted as a concession to the stuntmen on the grounds of saftey. Since they were included in this scene, the film makers decided to allow them in all other scenes where necessary. (Only seven stuntmen were used in the filming of these scenes - all the other riders are just CGI copies.)
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.
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