Evaluation Of Historical Accuracy In The Film Gladiator

The Roman Empire General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who served the true emperor Marcus Aurelias. Maximus wanted revenge after Commodus sent him to be executed and for his family to be commended to death. The once powerful general forced to become a gladiator to entertain the crowds of people.

Throughout this inaccurate historical film, the Roman Empire is portrayed as a power-hungry nation looking to become the largest empire the world has ever seen. A traditional character known as Maximus Decimus Meridius as highly known general of the Roman Empire who is respected by his soldiers and by the Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelias. The film is seen as a man who is look for redemption and revenge for both of his families lives and for Marcus Aurelias. ‘Gladiator’ represents Commodus as the enemy from Maximums point of view which creates the question on how accurate or inaccurate this film is to historical sources. The Director Ridley Scott and Actor Russell Crowe used the emersion of the crowd and how brutally exciting a gladiator fight scene is. All actors who played as Gladiators did a fairly good job of showing how a real-life gladiator lifestyle would have worked with training and where they would have stayed when they were a gladiator.

The accuracy of this movie takes back to the current day of when Felix Legions of the Roman Empire, led by General Maximus (Crowe), defeat Germanic tribes, bringing temporary peace to the Roman Empire on the northern frontier. The weapons and armor which was used during throughout this battle, was accurate they used the right weaponry like the gladius (sword) and therefore the correct legionary shields (Scutum) which were shown during the battle which had correct markings that the important historical shields did have. The roman soldiers’ costumes which all actors were wearing during the battle against the Germanic tribes were historically correct. Keeping in mind that the movie is ready within the middle of the 2nd century AD, the body armor worn is Imperial Gallic, which was implemented by Roman legions from 75 AD and was changed by a replacement design in 100 AD. The traditional German uniforms appear to be from the stone-age period which portrayed the Germanic tribes as ruthless and vicious army. The roman cavalry which seen within the battle had the right armor for both soldiers and horses, but stirrups were seen on the horse, which was inaccurate, but they were utilized in the movie for obvious safety reasons, a correct Roman saddle being difficult to ride. “Stirrups were invented in Asia during the Roman Empire period, the Romans never adopted them. The catapults and ballistae would not have been used in a forest. They were rarely used in open battles and reserved primarily for sieges to knock down walls or heavily impact enemy soldiers. The director of movie wanted to show off Roman weaponry and for creating the emersion of the forest being burnt and Germanic tribes being burnt by the fires and large projectiles which conclusively looked like arrows from the ballistae.

A great part of the infantry battle is appeared as one-on-one duelling between people. The profoundly composed Romans would not have permitted this to occur, as there was a higher possibility of an individual legionary falling in single battle than if he was battling as a component of a unit. Roman soldiers weren't trained in individual combat techniques and would be severely punished if they broke formation to try and do so. The organized, cohort-based fighting sort of the post-Marian army which the Germanic tribes would not last against. Both this and the above inaccuracy is because of the relative monotony of actual Roman tactics. additionally, the Barbarians were individual warriors which their army that attempted to attack the Romans with known plan on how they could defeat the Empire. ‘Not so different: individual fighting techniques and small unit tactics of Roman and Iberian armies… ’. Through the starting battle we can the Roman Legionnaires marching forward in a phalanx formation where the toughest foot soldiers would shield themselves with long spears out on the frontlines to defend from cavalry or infantry attacks. The phalanx formation was used most frequently during the Roman Empire and Republic battles it was tactic to hold the line so enemies couldn’t overwhelm the soldiers whom were defending the frontline from attack. In the forest Maximus had unit of cavalry which main purpose was to do a hammer and anvil strategy, or another name is the flanking attack. This type of tactic was to overwhelm the back line of any army with stronger soldiers either on horseback or not.

“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.”

That’s a direct quote shown in the film in some of the dialogue where Maximus is trying to explain in furious on why he wants his vengeance. In addition, the scene is showing Commodus as a sinful emperor whom had killed his farther and his Family. Even though Maximus is a invented character he death would of happened faster if the crowd wasn’t yelling “LIVE LIVE LIVE”!! which contradicted Commodus from kill him and the other gladiators which were in the colosseum during that time.

Scott Ridley received considerable criticism for having female gladiators within the film. Nevertheless, in step with the traditional sources, they did, in fact, exist. The emperor indicates the fate of a gladiator by showing thumbs up or thumbs down, which may be a common misconception, as there's no historical evidence for this interpretation. Some scholars contend that the particular sign was a thumb to the throat for death (meaning plant the sword within the downed gladiator's neck), and thumb in fist (like a sheathed dagger) or thumbs down (to indicate sticking the swords point within the ground) if the gladiator was to measure. The chronicle repeatedly turned up the phrase 'turning the thumb' without specifying exactly what that meant, which does yield an excellent deal of leeway in how this was presented within the film. Gladiatorial combats were among musicians who altered their tempo to match that of the combat within the style now accustomed to music in action movies.

Gladiatorial combatants weren't as violent as portrayed, nor did they forcibly fight to the death. Similarly, to modern-day professional athletes, gladiators were too profitable of an asset to disregard their lives so callously. In fact, deaths within the arena were relatively rare, and on condition that the loser were particularly bad would the general public kindle his killing. Maximus only fights gladiators he doesn't know during the varied games. This depiction is unusual, because it was the conventional practice outside of rare special events for gladiators to fight only those they trained with from their own school. Many of the fights within the film are fought between gladiators of varying weights and sizes. However, like modern boxing bouts, gladiators matched opponents of the same size as today's athletes, gladiators did product endorsements. Especially effective gladiators (such as Maximus) will support products in the arena until they start battle. Although originally included within the script, this practice was later rejected as not a fact the audience would believe.

Overall, the Gladiator has a very efficient understanding of historical accuracy with props and other items which were made to create an emissive environment. Most characters in the is movie were portrayed correctly with costumes and weaponry. Even though the main character was invented for purpose of the film it almost felt that the entire movie was based off a true story which happened back in the Roman Empire period. Only minor additions or changes to characters were made to the story to keep it more motivating and interesting to keep then audience’s engagement throughout the film. The nature of the fighting was very well signified in the film when comparing other Roman Empire battles and tactic and the Gladiatorial Games. The film is made from the of a lone Gladiator (Maximus) who portrays Commodus as the man who took everything from him. The film is a good representation of an unhistorical event but using historical weapons and costumes and other equipment that is seen throughout the movie. I give Gladiator 3 out of 5 for historical accuracy.

16 December 2021
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