The Fall of the Roman Empire

Factual error: In reality, Commodus did not die in the arena - he was strangled in his apartments in 192 A.D. by an athlete who was hired by a group of Senators conspiring against him.

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Trivia: The reconstruction of the Roman Forum at Las Matas for this film holds the record for the largest outdoor film set ever constructed. The various ancient Rome settings covered 55 acres.

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Trivia: While the "auction" to choose a new emperor actually did occur, it did not happen immediately after the death of Commodus, but after the death of Pertinax, Commodus' immediate successor.

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Trivia: Alec Guinness plays Marcus Aurelius, the father of Commodus (Christopher Plummer). In real life, Guinness was only 15 years older than Plummer.

Victorinus: We're in command now Livius, the throne is yours.
Senator: Gaius Mettelus Livius, the people are asking for you.
Livius: You would not find me very suitable, because my first official act would be to have you all crucified.

Livius: A few days longer, Caesar, we'll bring you his head.
Marcus Aurelius: No Livius, please don't bring me his head. I wouldn't know what to do with it.

Closing Narrator: This was the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire. A great civilization is not conquered from without, until it has destroyed itself from within.

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