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How Authentic is the Combat in Gladiator?

by Kevin Blood When we watch the trials of the fictional Roman General Maximus in Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film Gladiator, the arena fights that we see make for vivid, nail-biting spectacle, but how close to the truth is Scott’s depiction of professional gladiatorial combat? Films like Gladiator become part of our cultural memory, and inaccuracies

Emperor Commodus: Was He Really So Terrible?

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom The Roman Emperor Commodus (161-192 AD) is widely regarded as one of the ‘bad emperors’ and a bloody tyrant. This image has been perpetuated in several movies, especially the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) and Gladiator (2000). His reign and life were extraordinary by

The tainted glory of the gladiator

By Ben Potter The sun rises high over Rome’s Amphitheatrum Flavium, the mightiest arena in the world. Only the colossal statue of Nero, which one-day will lend the stadium its eternal pseudonym, dwarfs it. The 50,000 strong crowd of men and women, young and old, rich and poor, are tightly coiled; one giant organism ready