History Buffs: Gladiator

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Gladiator (Profession) film review movie review history buffs historical accuracies historical inaccuracies Marcus Aurelius (Monarch) Commodus (Monarch) Review (Media Genre) History (TV Genre) roman history

Patrick Stewart
If you had a slave that was a scribe who could read and write 7 languages, why would you make him a Gladiator? He'd be more useful as, well, a scribe!
Say What
I beg to differ, Hans Zimmer could make a 10 minute long single shot of an empty can of baked beans look epic.
Masashiro Knight of Cookieland
I never viewed Gladiator as a "historical" flick. It was simply a good, entertaining movie.
Justin Watson
Amazing how this movie was released 20 years ago yet looks like something that could’ve been released now. Amazing visuals in so many ways.
Turul HEMA
Great video, but there were a couple things you missed here. 1. Flaming arrows would largely be wasted arrows. They don't go far, would be expensive to make, and have reduced penetrating power. 2. Most gladiator fights did not end in death. Most deaths were accidental and the owner of the gladiator who was responsible for the death had to pay for the gladiators replacement. 3. The Colosseum is not nearly as large as it is depicted in the film. 4. The whole thumbs up or down for live or die did not happen and was actually conceived of in a painting called "Pollice Verso" that you actually included in the video. Bonus Fact. Not all legionaries wore red tunics. Roman Marines wore blue, and land units largely had a choice of color. It is said that legionaries like the color red, but that is largely the end of the historical description. Tunics likely were Red, White, as well as Yellow as those were cheap colors to make. The tunic colors were likely based upon where that legion is from. For example a Legion from modern day Spain would likely have yellow tunics as that was a regional dye.
Carl Johan Rehbinder
Another historical flaw is that they call Colosseum by the name it got almost a 1000 years after it was built - Colosseum. The original name was the Flavian Theatre, which it kept until around the year 1000.
Dylan Wight
I thoroughly, _fundemantally_ disagree with your position. Hans Zimmer can make _anything_ look epic
Atticus TheDeathMetaller
By God the fucking beginning is the best part of the movie!!!! Ihr seid verfluchte Hunde!
Max Jet
I am very sorry, but I feel that you did an inadequate job on this video. There is just so many obvious things I feel you have left out. Just to name a few examples. 1. During the first battle the formations by the Roman troops were drastically incorrect. Any leak in the formation would have resulted in the forces being slaughtered instead of prevailing through 1 to 1 combat. Roman forces were very ill equipped and ill trained for 1 to 1 combat, there are hundreds historical events where the break of formation resulted in a total rout. Also Romans certainly didn't have german shepperd dogs. Onagers never fired into shelter like deep woods or at hills. That would be nonsensical 2. The depiction of Rome and it's architecture is grossly wrong, leaned on paintings from the Renaissance, but absolutely incorrect EXCEPT maybe the collosseum. 3. The gladiatorial fights are in no way historically accurate. Gladiatorial fights had a very little death rate and were primarily for show. Most of the gladiators put on huge weight in order to show injuries in a more specacular way and trying to protect bones and inner organs from being cut. Gladiators didn't want to kill each other, they wanted to entertain. Most fights were staged, they had much more to do with modern Wrestling, than actual fights. There are dozens of other important things. I feel you could have done a lot more research on it.
Joshua Fox
Can't believe they didn't say anything about how RARE deaths were in Gladiatorial games. you really think the owners would spend all that money treating them like " well-bred race horses" if there were a 50% probability of losing one each match? How much would you invest in a race horse if you knew that if it did not win it would be immediately slaughtered? Gladiatorial combat was basically ancient RAW ( as in American wrestling) only less scripted.
It may not be 100% accurate, but it treats much of it's topic matter with respect. That's why people would think of this film as a good historical movie about a piece of Rome
paco ramon
No word about how Maximus gone from Germany to Spain in no time.
The problem between a historical film and history leads to complex discussions. A historian watches a film and criticize all its inaccuracies, taking into account all the collected knowledge that: as an expert, has accumulated through years of book research. The objective of such professionals is to be closer to the actual true. On the other hand, the objective of a film is to tell a story. During production, all the crew members work together against time and budget. A lot of individuals with different opinions who are focused by the director to create the best product possible. These artist deal with locations, weather, technology, scenarios, and actors... to create a world that does not exist. Nevertheless, neither the film nor the historian have the final true, because the historian never was present at ancient periods of time; and the film just wants to establish an epic legend, not factual history. Similar to the Aeneid, written by Virgil between 29 and 19BC. It is well known how the poems from the ancient writers depict fantastical events, which are impossible nowadays. The main reason of a film is to inspire our human nature as equal as the beauty of written poems.
19:46 '...until it finally disappeared forever'. The Roman Empire ended in 1453 AD, 1261 years after Commodus died. I don't think he can still get the blame after that length of time.
"completely horrific and alien to us..." ever seen an mma bout or boxing match? yea humans are still disgusting and love violence
Bread and circus - Still used today, bedazzle the public while screwing them. U.S is a good example.
Mitch Williams
Only movie that ever makes me cry every time I see the ending.
my name is my name
never spoil your kids
Nowel Bobke
God fucking damn it is that movie good, I dont cry easy, but that fucking soundtrack when Maximus dies man, god damn it's so sad and so good.
Katha Rina
What a brilliant mind George R.R. Martin has. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard how Commodus died was that he died a Tywin Lannister death. And that made me think: The Lannisters were basically Commodus. Who was groomed for his father‘s legacy all his childhood but didn’t actually want to do it? Jamie Lannister. Who loved games and self-portrayals that were somewhat cruel? Jeoffrey. Who command over a group of elite fighters ( *cough* the kingsguard)? Also The Lannisters, especially Jamie as commander, and Cersei (over the mountain ^^). And why is that significant? How were the people called that run Gladiators schools? Lanistas. *mic-drop*
It was actually quite rare for a gladiator to die in the arena. It happened but it was not the norm. Race horses are a good analogy, a skilled gladiator was very valuable! You wouldnt want your race horse to be killed if it came second. Imagine if football teams where given knives and the last man standing won. Barcelona vs man city would have a massive impact on the transfer market, their clubs and their agents... thats a bad buissiness model.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix
Within 4 years of Commodus' death, Septimius Severus had restored order and set Rome back on the straight and narrow. I'd consider the Crisis of the Third Century the big break between relative strength and stability and gradual decline (of the west, that is). During Commodus' reign the frontiers were quiet, there were no civil wars, the Antonine Plague died down, and the emperor's eccentricities were confined to the capital. The senators may have been alarmed, but your average provincial wouldn't have given a fuck so long as they could live their lives in peace. The shit hit the fan after Commodus died and the subsequent murder of Pertinax.
Bottom line on Gladiator: were you not entertained?
Milan Judák
I cringe every time i see thouse flame arrows Also gladiator deafs were rare There job was to fight not to kill Same with modern boxers Killing was not the goal
The Hollywood historical revival has been made possible by Braveheart 5 years prior to Gladiator. Sorry but it's the truth...
hernan reipp
Hi Nick, I want to tell you that I really like this movie, because I really love history, and really enjoy your videos. In addition, you have noticed when the germanic leader appears shouting against the romans, his you listen well and paid good attention the germans war cry its the one used by the zulues in the movie Zulu from 1964, another movie I enjoy.
Lame Clay
you cant deny this movie is far superior than any other roman empire themed movie and one of the best movies in history
Prince of Antioch
4:14 "See that map on the wall, Marcus? It's a 12th Century Arab Muslim World Map, and shouldn't exist yet,"
Joseph M
Gladiator was a fine movie, Russel Crowe was excellent.
Sick Bars 4 lyfe
One thing, Romans favorite form of entertainment was actually chariot racing, supporters would kill each other over loses, with after some races hundreds of people would die
Eduard Macovei
In my opinion, at 4:20 it's clear to see that Marcus Aurelius speaks about the world ''I created''' because he refers to himself as '''Caesar'', which is, beside the actual title - ruler, emperor, you name it, a standard, a thing beyond the meaning of the titles. I think that's more in his mind than the actually title. It's like a superpower, it's like a demigod thing. I don't know if it's true, but this thing can be an explanation.
There seems to be many deleted scenes here that were not in the final cut of the film.
Miquel Vico
A slave speaking (and apparently writing) seven languages wowld be equivalent to a high end computer, and using such a slave as a gladiator wowld be like using a world- class dog-show winning dog for low dog-fighting training bait.
Michael Lu
Pretty sure gladiatorial matches didn’t usually result in death. They were expensive to build up so most owners didn’t want their champ to die. They were to put up a show.
Drvsvs Perennis Of Rome
You forgot to mention that the pila were not spears but were thrown at the enemy before the main engagement took place
Sándor Gróf
Not to mention there was volunteer gladiators for money and glory.
Doofus Rufus
'Glad he ate her.' ;)
Charles Xll
''The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, it's the sand of the Colosseum.'' For some reason I just love that quote.
2:40 is that . . . Obi-Wan?
Hugh Smith
This one confused me... There is little historical accuracy in this film but you halfway through your video start giving us a synopsis of the film. Where was the critical historical analysis?
rene hernandez
hey nick, have given any thought about doing one on TROY?
Rick Veenbergen
sea battles in that coleseum...... I WANNA TRAVEL BACK IN TIME NOW !!
peter Buchan
Must be reviewing directors cuts because I keep seeing scenes that were never in the televised versions. That scribe gladiator, the revelation of selling the grain, and the execution by archers wasnt in the cinematic or first release I swear it. I watched this film like a dozen times
Vaughn Russell
Omg... they sound bit Zulu!?
White Pride
8:26 the gladiator stuff starts here and K
Digby Crowhurst
Do a hacksaw ridge video
Robert R
My biggest issue with the film is that it cemented the idea that gladiators were all forced into these brutal fights to the death. Firstly, most gladiators joined voluntarily because it was a highly desirable job. Secondly, the overwhelming majority (>90%) of fights didn't end in the loser's death. The trainer had final say over whether the gladiator died and almost never did because gladiators were expensive and time-consuming to train and good gladiators were celebrities. Oh and also the whole thumb up/down thing is bollocks.
Kriste Isopahkala
18:40 Russell must've laid there for quite a few takes, for having them make that sand pillow under his head to make him more comfortable.
Inge Bolme
I fucken loved Gladiator. A great moment in my childhood. I cried like a water fountain at the end. Such a powerful film. And ofc, very little could save Rome at the end, except maybe marcus aurellius taking care of his son properly, but yeah, who cares about the accuracy, when the movie is made that fucking good.
Patrick Best
What is that entrance music? I've been wondering for a while.
Ethan Davies
I hate it when I see the Roman Empire fall or decline
Rowan Gallagher
Love your videos, but I'd suggest dropping the intro. I, and probably many others, skip it every time.
390 years of use give or take a bit. About 400,000 deaths. And almost 1 million deaths of animals. Yes ppl died. Yes it was common up until a certain point when it was then viewed as immoral. And yes. Mock Naval battles were indeed there. Once they stopped the mock naval battles, the area was filled with walls. So anyone who goes to the colosseum now and says oh no way there's no space for anything didn't understand that the walls were added.
Ryan Allen
Do a video on Independence Day, I can name over a dozen inaccuracies in it. I mean, Bill Pullman wasn't even president until the invasion had been quelled and Will Smith's adopted son had blown his hand off with fireworks that he'd been given from Jeff Goldblum a few years later. I should also mention that Randy Quaid didn't die when he flew his fighter jet into the aliens massive weapon to destroy them, he ejected in time to land safely and be rescued before the alien ship crashed down to earth. I can go on all day about their poor portrayals of the heroes that fought off the alien scourge that day, and the horrible embellishments they made about the story of what really happened.
Iskinder Sam
Soundtrack was amazing in the movie too.
Verne Fits
as accurate as an episode of Game of Thrones LoL
every time i think about the roman empire it reminds me of the current situation in the west, its like empires are bound to fall no matter how dominant they are at some point.
Joanna Godfrey
my pet hate, stirrups and the wrong saddles, wish they'd go to some of the reenactments along Hadrian's Wall
Phil Bolton
These days when I watch a "historic" movie, I go in assuming its pretty much all bullshit. But I'm usually willing to cut them slack if its a good story that at least looks authentic.
Actually, There where referees and other people who Made sure that if one of the gladiators got hurt he could stand up and continue and if one of the gladiators got hurt or gave up they would stop the fighting.
Hodges? do you have a brother sean xD?
Richard Russom
Did you completely miss the fact that in the movie at least Marcus could see the kind of man his son had become? What was the character suppose to do? Hand everything over to a person he knew to be a despotic psychopath? Yes, in reality it was different. But if a movie were a 100% factual recreation of an event the audience would become bored to tears most of the time.
Brian Orr
Hmm ^^ Cool to learn the actual history and know Gladiator sparked more history movies.
How do you not mention that gladiators were rarely killed in these games?
I need to detour away from your video's to get away from your accent.
Anonymous Coward
The life of Brian is a historical film cover that one.
Cringerbread Man
lol they never flooded the colosseum with water for ship battles, ive been to the colosseum,, the center where the fighting would have been is extremely small i doubt you could even fit 1 decent sized ship in there
Zach Burwell
Dam i would love to be a gladiator. U know... Minus the actual... Gladiatoring
IMSOL OfficialYT
I completely disagree with your analysis of the opening battle sequence. NO, the Romans did not have NAPALM, no they did not break ranks immediately after contacting the enemy in melee combat, no they did not use volleys of fire arrows. How is this at all an accurate recreation of Roman military tactics?
You should have mentioned the fact that thumbs up and thumbs down actually meant the reverse of what most people think. Thumbs up meant death, and thumbs down meant swords down.
Nicktrains thompson
Flaming arrows did exist! They were recorded as being used in the war between the Judeans and the assyrians in 700 bc, and the roman had a number of different devices for launching them. Hah
Thijmen De Mare
I think this movie is really accurate for a movie. If you want to see historial accuracy go watch a documentary. This is a movie, it doesn't have to be that accurate. Gladiator makes up with the great story.
Shane Sinclair
Just one point of criticism I have. Not that I'm defending any of the movies you review. But they're pieces of art. Like a play or theater. You can't go in to all of these exspecting a historical movie. Which is how I feel like you handle it
I swear to god if you ruin this film for me!!!
Escorpion Venenoso
Actually onagers and catapults were mostly used during sieges, not open battles.
jAM Ab
`a romi dha` romi ! phoenician sayin tat a roman always stays and acts like a roman .
Karsten Shields
I love this movie but it's about as accurate as a 17th century musket at a range of 50 feet
Free Alter
I think the bath strangling would’ve been an excellent scene
August P
Legionaries used javelins as spears and got their formations broken in seconds etc :/ Awesome movie nonetheless.
One of my all time favorite flicks!!
one thing i wished was mentioned was the "thumbs up you live; thumbs down you die" It's actually the reverse, a more likely translation is "thumbs up/go ahead and kill him' thumbs down/back off"
Rome growing soft and being open to barbarian invasion reminds me of modern Europe.
Damn boiiiiii gotta love that opening music!
frederik du plessis
It is worth noting that this is a story a fantastical tale of days gone. Of course it's embellished of course it's inaccurate but this story is incredible, revered and widely regarded as the best ever told.
I freaking love Gladiator.
Lawrence Geller
ya gotta see it as an alternate history or parallel universe or whatever
Justin 123
You know what funded the Colosseum? In 70 CE, Rome took Jerusalem, burned the city, and carried away all the Temple's gold. That gold was then used as currency to build that horrid place.
So marcus's son was not going to be emperor because he stole fizzy lifting drink>?
Ben Prior
Whats the music at the end
Flooding of the arena didn't actually happen by the time that gladiator is set. Due to the expansion of the works underground by Domitian the Coliseum could not host sea battles. Other places around the world (i can think of one in spain) DID do this for their entire lifetime. but the coliseum in Rome could not. It had a wooden floor which concealed the underground tunnels and was not water tight or could hold the weight of water. It is possible before these reforms it did but by 180ad that was no longer an option.
Alexander Hughes
i think its time to stop when the intro lasts 5 6 SECONDS
Asa Hamarrhjarta
I love Commodus's death scene in this, with the rubber prop dagger bending during their struggle 😂
I know it took a lot of work, and that it looks really good and it is cool. But a minute for a youtube intro is frankly ridiculous.
Craig Dillon
Why does no one mention Demetrius And The Gladiators??? This was a great film from 1954-ish. Victor Mature, he is great in the arena. WATCH IT!!
Daniel H
Arim Oh
So.... Obi Wan has joined the dark side and became the new emperor. God help us all.
javier ortega
Your cartoon looks like a band member from gorillaz
Didivs Ivlianvs