Attila

Attila (2001)

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Factual error: Aetius' troops don't look anything like 5th century Roman soldiers. They are carrying a large rectangular shield, a pilum (a spear which was used for throwing) and a sword (gladius) on their right. This was typical for the Roman army until about the 3rd century A.D. In Aetius' time, the soldiers would have had smaller oval shields, a hasta (a lance used for stabbing and for fending off cavalry attacks) and a sword (spatha) on their left. Also, there would be an enormous amount of "barbarian" mercenaries in the Roman army (Goths, Vandals, even Huns.), so it was hardly a Roman army anymore. And where's Aetius' cavalry?

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Other mistake: In the party/orgy scene where Aetius is showing off Rome to Attila, one can see a woman with her back to us reveal herself to a man and woman. Despite her veil, one can see her thong underwear. This type of underwear is a 20th century innovation.

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Factual error: The Roman emperor Valentinian III did not kill Flavius Aetius after his victory over Attila. He killed the general one year after Attila's death, in 454 A.D.

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Trivia: In the movie, a soldier called Petronius unsuccessfully tries to murder the emperor Valentinian. The name "Petronius" was probably chosen because in reality the emperor was eventually killed by a senator called Petronius.

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