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(2000) on IMDb

Gladiator (2000): A Classic Epic of Betrayal, Revenge, and Redemption

The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire.

A man standing at the center of the image is wearing armor and is holding a sword in his right hand. In the background is the top of the Colosseum with a barely visible crowd standing in it. The poster includes the film's title, cast credits and release date. Gladiator

An epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe as a Roman general who seeks revenge against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family and seized his throne.

“Gladiator” is a timeless epic set in ancient Rome that tells the story of Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), a respected general who is betrayed by the corrupt Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and forced into slavery. The film’s stunning visuals, breathtaking action sequences, and powerful performances from its cast make it a true masterpiece of the cinematic world.

One of the most striking aspects of “Gladiator” is its attention to historical detail. The film’s costumes, sets, and props are meticulously crafted to recreate the look and feel of ancient Rome. The Colosseum scenes in particular are a marvel to behold, with thousands of extras and intricately choreographed fight scenes that leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

But what truly makes “Gladiator” a classic is its unforgettable characters. Crowe’s performance as Maximus is one of the greatest in film history, capturing the character’s strength, courage, and unwavering sense of honor. Phoenix’s Commodus, meanwhile, is a deliciously evil villain, a spoiled and corrupt ruler who will stop at nothing to maintain his power.

The film’s themes of betrayal, revenge, and redemption are universal and continue to resonate with audiences today. Maximus’s quest for justice and revenge against Commodus is both thrilling and heart-wrenching, and the film’s ultimate message of hope and redemption is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit.

Overall, “Gladiator” is a true masterpiece of the epic genre, a film that transports viewers to a bygone era and immerses them in a story of epic proportions. Its powerful performances, breathtaking visuals, and timeless themes make it a film that will continue to inspire and captivate audiences for generations to come.

It has also been credited with rekindling interest in entertainment centered around ancient Greek and Roman culture, such as the TV series Rome.


  • Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius: a Hispano-Roman legatus forced into becoming a slave who seeks revenge against Commodus. He has earned the favor of Marcus Aurelius, and the love and admiration of Lucilla prior to the events of the film. His home is near Trujillo in today’s Province of CáceresSpain. After the murder of his family he vows vengeance. Maximus is a fictional character partly inspired by Marcus Nonius MacrinusNarcissusCincinnatus, and Maximus of HispaniaMel Gibson was first offered the role, but declined as he felt he was too old to play the character. Antonio Banderas and Hugh Jackman were also considered.
  • Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus: The amoral, power-hungry, twisted son of Marcus Aurelius, he murders his father when he learns that Maximus will hold the emperor’s powers in trust until a new republic can be formed.
  • Connie Nielsen as Lucilla: Maximus’s former lover and the older child of Marcus Aurelius. Lucilla has been recently widowed. She resists her brother’s incestuous advances and hates him, while also having to be careful to protect her son, Lucius, from her brother’s corruption and wrath.
  • Oliver Reed as Antonius Proximo: An old, gruff gladiator trainer who buys Maximus in North Africa. A former gladiator himself, he was freed by Marcus Aurelius, and gives Maximus his own armor and eventually a chance at freedom, and becomes somewhat of a mentor to Maximus. This was Reed’s final film appearance, before he died during the filming. In the original film script, Proximo was supposed to live.
  • Derek Jacobi as Senator Gracchus: A member of the Roman Senate who opposes Commodus’s rule and an ally of Lucilla and Maximus.
  • Djimon Hounsou as Juba: A Numidian tribesman who was taken from his home and family by slave traders. He becomes Maximus’s closest ally and friend, and inspires Maximus to bring down Commodus for the greater good before he joins his family in the afterlife.
  • Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius: The old and wise emperor of Rome who appoints Maximus, whom he loves as a son, to be his successor, with the ultimate aim of returning Rome to a republican form of government. He is murdered by his son Commodus before his wish can be fulfilled.
  • Ralf Möller as Hagen: A Germanic warrior and Proximo’s chief gladiator who later befriends Maximus and Juba during their battles in Rome.
  • Tommy Flanagan as Cicero, by his accent probably a native of Caledonia: Maximus’s loyal servant who provides liaison between the enslaved Maximus, his former legion based at Ostia, and Lucilla. He is used as bait for the escaping Maximus and eventually killed by the Praetorian Guard.
  • David Schofield as Senator Falco: A Patrician, a senator opposed to Gracchus. He helps Commodus to consolidate his power.
  • John Shrapnel as Senator Gaius: Another Roman senator allied with Gracchus, Lucilla, and Maximus against Commodus.
  • Tomas Arana as General Quintus: another Roman legatus, who served under and was a friend to Maximus. Made commander of the Praetorian Guard by Commodus, after betraying Maximus. In the extended version, Quintus sees the mad side of the Emperor when he is forced to execute two innocent men. Quintus later redeems himself by refusing to allow Commodus a second sword during the latter’s duel with Maximus, and promises to honor Maximus’s last wishes.
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Lucius Verus: The young son of Lucilla. He is named after his father Lucius Verus, who was co-emperor until AD 169 . He is also the grandson of Marcus Aurelius.
  • David Hemmings as Cassius: the master of ceremonies for the gladiatorial games in the Colosseum.
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen as Tigris of Gaul: An undefeated champion gladiator who is called out of retirement by Commodus to kill Maximus but is defeated by Maximus. Commodus then ordered Maximus to kill Tigris, but Maximus spared him, much to Commodus’ fury.
  • Omid Djalili as a slave trader.
  • Giannina Facio as Maximus’s wife.
  • Giorgio Cantarini as Maximus’s son, who is the same age as Lucilla’s son Lucius.

General Maximus Decimus Meridius

General Maximus Decimus Meridius
  • Alias – The Spaniard
  • Gender – Male
  • Race – Roman
  • Occupation – General of the Roman army, gladiator
  • Religion – Polytheistic (worships Roman gods)
  • Allies – Juba, Hagen, Cicero, Quintus
  • Enemies – Commodus, Tigris of Gaul, Lucilla (at times)
  • Abode/Base of operations – The Colosseum, Rome
  • Nationality – Roman
  • Languages – Latin, Greek
  • Alignment – Lawful Good
  • Affiliation(s) – Roman Empire, Roman army, gladiatorial school
  • Significant others – Wife and child (deceased)

General Maximus Decimus Meridius is a courageous and skilled military leader who serves under the Roman Empire. He is a loyal and respected commander who has earned the trust and admiration of his men through his unwavering commitment to their safety and well-being. Maximus is a man of great honor and integrity, who values the principles of justice and fairness above all else.

As a soldier, Maximus is driven by a desire to protect his people and uphold the law. He understands the importance of discipline and hard work, and he strives to lead by example. His ultimate goal is to retire from military service and return home to his family, who he loves dearly.

Despite his noble intentions, Maximus finds himself embroiled in political intrigue and power struggles when the emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, dies and his ruthless son, Commodus, seizes the throne. Maximus is betrayed by those closest to him and is forced into slavery, where he must fight as a gladiator in order to survive.

Throughout his journey, Maximus remains steadfast in his beliefs and refuses to compromise his principles, even in the face of great danger. He becomes a symbol of hope and inspiration for those who fight against tyranny and oppression. With his unwavering determination and courage, Maximus sets out to restore justice and bring peace to Rome, ultimately achieving his ultimate goal of reuniting with his family.

General Maximus Decimus Meridius

Medium humanoid (human), lawful good

Armor Class: 19 (lorica segmentata, shield) Hit Points: 220 (20d8 + 120) Speed: 30 ft.

STR 22 (+6) DEX 16 (+3) CON 22 (+6) INT 14 (+2) WIS 16 (+3) CHA 18 (+4)

Saving Throws: Str +12, Dex +9, Con +12, Wis +9 Skills: Athletics +12, Intimidation +9, Perception +9, Survival +9 Senses: passive Perception 19 Languages: Common, Latin Challenge: 17 (18,000 XP)


Multiattack: General Maximus can make three attacks with his gladius or two attacks with his pilum and one attack with his gladius.

Gladius: Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (1d8 + 12) piercing damage.

Pilum: Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d6 + 6) piercing damage.

Legendary Actions

General Maximus can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. General Maximus regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Move: General Maximus moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.

Gladius Attack: General Maximus makes one gladius attack.

Inspiring Speech (Costs 2 Actions): General Maximus gives an inspiring speech to all allies within 30 feet, granting them advantage on all attack rolls and saving throws for 1 minute.


  • Lorica segmentata
  • Gladius
  • Pilum
  • Scutum (shield)
  • 5 Javelins
  • Dagger
  • Noble’s Outfit
  • Signet Ring of the Emperor
  • 500 gold coins

Role Playing and mythology

If you like the Roman setting check out Rome

For more historical Gladiator Information

check out our gladiator page

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