“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
Is there anyone who doesn’t remember the expression on Russell Crowe's face while pronouncing those words (see the video below)?
Well, not only did Maximus have his vengeance in the movie, he also took his revenge in the real world. In fact his tomb has been found in Rome some days ago! Or better still the tomb which has been found is that of the Ancient Roman aristocrat who inspired Russell Crowe’s character in the film Gladiator. And his real name wasn’t Maximus Decimus Meridius, but Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a proconsul who achieved major victories for Marcus Aurelius, emperor from 161 AD to his death in 180 AD, in the wars against Germanic tribes in northern Europe.
Furthermore, fortunately the real Roman hero doesn’t seem to have ever been sold into slavery. He came from Brescia in northern Italy—almost a next-door neighbour of mine!—and was an intimate friend of the emperor-philosopher.
Read here (also video), here and here to learn more.