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Are we so different, you and I? [Commodus is clearly in shock and without words] You’ve got very persuasive friends.

Maximus: [teasingly] Man’s? So finally after 5 years of scratching a living in flea infested villages we are finally going back to where we belong, the Colosseum.

[Maximus stands up, clenching an arrow head in his right hand and in that same moment Lucius runs to join Commodus standing in front of him] They will not die for many years. But so did I. He must not rule.

Now, Edward Gibbon will tell you that there was no such general during Marcus’s reign; and that Commodus (thumbs up/down?

You may begin to love them for that. Why doesn’t the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name? “There was once a dream that was Rome. Maximus: Do you not understand? Gracchus: He enters Rome like a conquering hero. You go too far. Lucilla: This man wants what you want. It will lie at the bottom of the ocean as if wounded. The tyrant? So, Spaniard, we shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures and the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more. [Maximus then swings the sword at the guard, cutting him across the face and killing him]. Marcus Aurelius: Tell me about your home. [Juba takes Maximus’ hand as if to assure him that the time will come] Stay with me tonight? And your wife, moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again, and again, and again. Blessed father, watch over my wife and son with a ready sword. I couldn’t possibly care less. Maximus: I will win the crowd.


Lucius: I have to go.
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! Would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. Lucius: Gladiator, are you the one they call the Spaniard? I shall sacrifice a hundred bulls to honor your triumph. Proximo: That’s enough for the provinces, but not for Rome. [as Praetorian guards are trying to get into the Gladiator cells] Cassius: Uh, yes, Sire. Juba: It’s somewhere out there, my country, my home. Proximo: Hahh! Lucilla: I have much to pay for. But we have little time. [Maximus releases his hold on her throat], Lucilla: There are some politicians who have dedicated their lives to Rome. Lucilla: I am tired of being strong. Sheathe your swords! Or will I be the emperor who gave Rome back her true self? This is not it. Commodus: Quintus, sword!

Marcus Aurelius: And what would you believe? You shall watch as I bathe in their blood.” And the emperor was heartbroken. No Roman army has entered the capital in a 100 years. Maximus: Do you believe that you will see them again when you die? Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.” – Commodus, 4. Watching the movie and reading through the quotes above can leave you feeling ready to fight for justice. Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man’s life? Maximus: You must know. Stay with me! Proximo: The young Emperor has arranged a series of spectacles to commemorate his father, Marcus Aurelius. Never come here again. Oh, I know that you are a man of your word, General. And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom. His every victory is an act of defiance. Maximus: Do you believe that you will see them again when you die? Juba: Your family, in the afterlife? [Lucilla’s eyes slightly tear as she stands helplessly, staring at Maximus]. Falco: He is defying you. Juba: [to Maximus] You have a great name. The emperor knows too much. Commodus: [to Quintus] Strap on his armor.
[Lucilla stands and turns to Senator Gracchus and the crowd in the Colosseum] Commodus: …squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. Lucius will stay with me now and if his mother so much as looks at me in a manner that displeases me, he will die. the opening, Germania scene of Gladiator – begins with a somewhat formulaic list of people to whom the emperor gives credit for his life’s learnings.

Lucius: Gladiator, are you the one they call the Spaniard? Maximus: The time for half measures and talk is over, Senator. [they exchange a long tender kiss] Dust and shadows!” – Proximo, 22. Maximus: Do you find it hard to do your duty? [Lucilla’s eyes slightly tear as she stands helplessly, staring at Maximus] Maximus: And what does your father say?

He kills his father and eventually the wife and son of Maximus, who ends up being sold as a slave and trained as a Gladiator. Meanwhile, we found that we had accidentally memorised the script for random, uninvited use in conversation – a sort of shibbolethic phrase book for our group of friends.

Ancestors, I honor you and will try to live with the dignity that you have taught me.

Maximus: To wish me well before I leave for home. [The senators stand at the steps of the Senate, waiting, Lucius at their side, as the new Caesar and Lucilla enter on chariot surrounded by Praetorian] Maximus: Get me outside the city walls. Let us hope for the last time. Not yet. Always.

They just walk around eating, not mating. [Proximo grabs hold of the slave trader’s crotch] Commodus: [to Falco] And what of my nephew and what of his mother?

Maximus: Highness. Lucilla: Let me help you. Maximus: You see, my wife and my son are already waiting for me.


Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.” –Marcus Aurelius, 23. Maximus: They let you watch the games? You can help me. interconnect/it, Greater Polish representation with subverted expectations. And, then, within a couple of weeks, I was all-but sent down, which meshed rather too neatly – in my mind, if no-one else’s – with the betrayal of Maximus Decimus Meridius by an ancient and glorious institution he had put all his faith in. Commodus: He shouldn’t be alive. [after Proximo’s gladiators have won the battle in the Colosseum arena]

Commodus: Maximus. Not yet. “All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. There was a dream that was Rome, it shall be realized. [the senators are gathering for the upcoming fight at the Colosseum] Commodus: I think it is. Ridley Scott’s sword-and-sandal smash hit opened in the UK on 12th May 2000. Why doesn’t the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name? Maximus: [laughing] I knew a man who once said, “Death smiles at us all. Lucilla: For now, the first thing I shall do is have a hot bath.

These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius. Every day he lives, they grow bolder. “I think you’ve been afraid all your life.” – Maximus. Forget you ever knew me.


Falco: I have been told of a certain sea snake which has a very unusual method of attracting its prey. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. [below the Colosseum Commodus walks up to the chained Maximus]

Tell me why? [Tigris before he begins his battle with Maximus turns to Caesar’s box, with swords crossed, he bows]

Honor Maximus.

[the guards unsheathe their swords] I did not pay good money for you for your company, I paid it so that I could profit from your death and as your mother was there at your beginning, so I shall be there at your end. Did you enjoy these Gladiator quotes and lines? Commodus: Your fame is well deserved, Spaniard. Always. Lucilla: He’s been dying for ten years. Now, Edward Gibbon will tell you that there was no such general during Marcus’s reign; and that Commodus (thumbs up/down?

Lucilla: What did my father want with you? [in the Gladiator cells Maximus meets with Lucilla who has arranged for him to meet with one of the senators] Commodus: Which wiser, older man is to take my place? Commodus: Do you remember what our father said once? Maximus: You can buy my freedom and smuggle me out of Rome? Commodus: He’s made his decision. I will not make a martyr of him. Maximus: Are you not entertained?! “You should see the Colosseum Spaniard. What does ‘decolonising the curriculum’ mean? It will lie at the bottom of the ocean as if wounded. Commodus: Why is he still alive? We must leave tonight. I am terribly vexed. “Commodus.

[Commodus embraces Maximus and with one fierce thrust stabs him with his knife, which penetrates through his back where no one would see him bleeding and going through his lung space, then he kisses Maximus on the neck] Marcus Aurelius: Commodus is not a moral man. Maximus: You would fight me?

I think he could do very well. I’m talking about being introduced to someone at a dinner party and shaking his hand with the words “Strength and honour,” just to check that he’s a proper chap. Proximo: Here. [Maximus turns to walk away] This is not it! I may die in this cell tonight or in the arena tomorrow.

Proximo: Trust? Gracchus: Then perhaps Caesar would be so good as to teach us, out of his own extensive experience.

Commodus: Will you stay with me? Everything is prepared. Maximus: Let my men see me alive and you shall see where their loyalties lie. [in the bowels of the Colosseum Maximus practices with his sword while awaiting his entrance to the arena.

The gladiator who defied an emperor. Would I? But looking up a YouTube clip last night entitled ‘Strength and Honor’ (sic), I found a comment (1 of 47): ‘The last great release of the 20th century, movies were supposed to get even better. [the guards sheathe their swords] 1) If you have overcome your inclination and not been overcome by it, you have reason to rejoice. Guard! Lucius motions to Maximus to come towards him] Your servant, Cicero will be waiting there with horses. Marcus Aurelius: Enough of politics. We mortals are but shadows and dust. I said he touched me on the shoulder once! Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. I will not believe they fought and died for nothing.” – Maximus, 10. Must my son die too before you’ll trust me?

Or was it Hercules? Maximus: Not yet. Maximus: I will kill Commodus. All a man can do is smile back.” – Marcus Aurelius, 24. [turns away from Commodus] Gracchus: Have you ever embraced someone dying of plague, Sire? Lucilla: Many things, not everything. And then its enemies will take little bites of it, and yet it remains still. I also read the OG Marcus Aurelius (currently a ‘rediscovered’ hit on lockdown-Stoicism reading lists), prompted, I think, by the decidedly ungladiatorial Alain de Botton. [bows his head]

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