Gladiator Movie Compared to Roman Empire

Topics: Roman Empire, Augustus, Julius Caesar Pages: 3 (946 words) Published: April 14, 2013
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God (imdb)". (Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, A.K.A. Caligula). A sense of divinity was not an uncommon perception by many historic leaders. With a majority of the known world under your command, an army so vast it makes the ground tremble underneath it, and the ability to do anything at any time without repercussions, would make any mortal believe the contrary. Many films have been created depicting the historical accuracy of the events that occurred during the reign of the Roman Empire. One in particular, Gladiator, is a fictional film set during the time of the Roman Empire. As a story line it has no actual historic validity, however depicts the imperialistic, unscrupulous, and savage nature of the film’s villain, Commodus to Gaius Caligula perfectly.

Many of the physical features of these two characters are close in resemblance. Caligula was known to have black sunken eyes, as did Commodus in Gladiator. An aesthetic flaw by one who is usually sickly and or sleep deprived. Caligula was a mentally disturbed emperor with a passion for violence, power, and unconventional sexual practices. He forced his sister to marry him, a theme that was prevalent in Gladiator, when Commodus explicitly told his sister that she would produce him an heir of “True Blood”. This incestuous behavior was taboo even for those historic times.

The extent of violence depicted in Gladiator was not uncommon for Caligula’s time. When the Emperor perceived Maximus’ refusal to continue his service, he was ordered to be executed, followed by the crucifixion and repeated raping of his wife and child. A refusal such as this is completely rational of any sane human being. To a man who fancies himself a God, the price was surely death. Caligula’s wrath included gladiatorial...
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