Gladiator

The Real Story: Gladiator

In the year 2000, masses lined up to cheer on Russell Crowe's Maximus in the Ridley Scott film, "Gladiator." More than 1,900 years earlier, they lined up for the real thing. It was a scene far bloodier and more brutal than any of the battles presented in the Oscar-winning film. We uncover the real story of "Gladiator," a tale of blood, death, obsession and violence. Demonstrations and new experiments reveal how these men really fought and died, and examine the emperor Commodus, a man who obsessed over gladiators while his empire crumbled around him.

<< Back to Series Home

The Real Story: Gladiator

The Roman bloodsport that inspired Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" was so brutal, filmmakers were forced to soften the ancient pastime for the silver screen. Now, researchers set out to unearth the real story, one of violence, seduction, and power.

Explore Categories