Gladiators of the Past

Essay by upstart39High School, 11th gradeA, May 2004

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Gladiators of the Past

Hollywood has made countless attempts at creating a movie based upon a historical theme with the characters, settings, costumes, and props as historically accurate as possible whilst providing the audience with an enjoyable movie with the entertaining special effects that is seen so often nowadays in movies. Needless to say most of these attempts failed, as critics brought them down based upon inaccuracies that arose during the movie. Despite the countless failures, there have also been successes such as Ben Hur and Spartacus, which have even won Oscars for their accurate costumes and extraordinary settings and now, the 2000 film production of the Gladiator comes under the inspection glass. Was the Gladiator able to entertain the audience whilst also being historically accurate?

Gladiators were chosen from slaves, criminals and prisoners of war whom were suitable for the job. Free men also volunteered to become gladiators as they hoped it would aid them in their quest for fame and glory within the arena.

Gladiators were given the leisure of choosing whichever and

whatever weapons and armor they wished to fight with. Weapons and armor used by the gladiators included the Gladius (sword), Scutum (shield), trident, dagger, net, and a galea (visored helmet). The only condition was that the armor could not be Roman armor, as the Emperor wanted to prevent any wrong messages being sent to the general populous. Did the gladiator accurately portray these historical details within the thrilling movie? It sure did! Within the movie many scenes prior to the battles within the arena showed Maximus (Russell Crowe) choosing weapons and armor within a fully stocked armory beneath the arena. The weapons were also historically accurate as the Gladius (Maximus' weapon of choice) and trident and javelin/spear appeared several times along...