Could “Gladiator,” have happened?

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
There is no sense at all in the movie.
And, as for I know, even if enslaved, he would have regained the status of free man and the Roman citizenship as soon as he would have passed the border of the Roman domains of the city [entering Roman territories he would have been a free citizen again]. It was the

"ius postliminii " [or postliminium]. If a Roman citizen and legionary had enslaved, reentering the Empire he regained freedom and citizenship.
 
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Feb 2011
1,202
Scotland
Emperors could strip senators of their status, and they also enjoyed the privilege of princeps legibus solutus, which meant that they could transcend legal stipulations. The lex de imperio Vespasiani also decrees that emperors have complete political, administrative, military and religious control should they wish to exercise it. As other users have pointed out, the limitations on emperors were social and practical rather than legal. If you undermine the privileges of senators or send too many of them to their deaths, that would be regarded as taboo (at least by the elites) and would encourage conspiracy (not to mention historians are elites and would thus present you to posterity as a tyrant). If we're talking about a military commander, whether senator or equestrian, this commander has the means to put up resistance and perhaps launch a usurpation through the bribing of soldiers, networking with other commanders, and so forth.
I agree. It was far more sensible simply to recall the commander to Rome and deal with him there.
A Princeps wouldn't wasn't to trigger a rebellion if he could help it.
Corbulo and Suetonius Paulinus were both recalled for political purposes and Corbulo was forced to suicide.
 
Oct 2018
2,092
Sydney
I agree. It was far more sensible simply to recall the commander to Rome and deal with him there.
A Princeps wouldn't wasn't to trigger a rebellion if he could help it.
Corbulo and Suetonius Paulinus were both recalled for political purposes and Corbulo was forced to suicide.
Oh definitely. Much better to separate the general from the army before you try anything (so long as the general agrees to leave his army!).
 
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Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,680
Australia
Fictional Emperor: "I want to restore the Republic... so I'll do nothing about it for my whole life, but appoint some general to do it on my deathbed cos, like, he'll somehow know what to do right?"

Implausible as a concept, but also obviously ahistorical. Marcus Aurelius, for all his claimed stoicism, was deadest on a family succession to his rule, naming every infant son he could as his heir. This man wasn't a republican of any sort, nor could you be one as Emperor. The republic wasn't something you could restore, short of maybe a catastrophic, long and bloody revolution of demographic shifting proportions. Nobody alive had any real idea of what a republic was like, it had collapsed over a long period due to systemic issues that couldn't be easily fixed, and had since gotten worse. It's hard to see how it could even functionally have been done to be honest. You can't unscramble an egg.
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
4,198
Slovenia, EU
Generals were *Senators*, or at least very high-ranking Equestrians, so they were really not likely to be thrown into slavery for debt. Plus, the movie ignored the thousands of very loyal troops that Max would have used at least to protect himself. The whole sequence of events that ended up with him fighting in the Colosseum in Rome was far less likely than getting kidnapped by aliens and becoming Emperor of Mars...

Basic rule of thumb? EVERYTHING in the movies is WRONG. Start from there. If something actually historical manages to slip in by mistake, please don't let it spoil your enjoyment of the film...

Matthew
Max's five numbers of robocops and terminators would have marched to Rome and filled few ditches full of noble and less noble heads. :p:p

Film was so far off that I was amused. I suppose scenography was spectacular. I have Braveheart and 300 in a same category of nonsense films.
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
4,198
Slovenia, EU
:) Absolutely! If he won't come, you know you have a problem on your hands...
A problem was if he was coming in front of his 6 or 8 legions. Especially when from southern Germany because there was no army to stop him entering Rome.