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The Dying Emperer of Rome

Marcus Aerlius serves as Rome's Emperer at the start of the film. His empire is currently in a state of disorder, as corruption is rampant. Marcus believes in the virtures of wisdom, and honor. He shuts down the colliseum of Rome and the Gladiator fights because he feels such mindless violence does not serve the people
of Rome. Marcus comes to question just what the purpose of battle and conquest is. Of course it is "the greater glory of Rome." But just what is that he wonders. He believes that the glory has been lost and that only an honorable man can restore Rome to greatness after his eventual death.

Marcus tells his most trusted general Maximus that he wishes for him to become absoluate ruler of Rome to do what is necessary to weed out corruption and pave the way for a return to Rome's tradiational ways as a Republic, with a Senate and with true citizens. Marcus is slain by his own son, but his dreams for Rome do not die just there. Maximus while later enslaved and forced to fight in the Colliseum of Rome will ultimately emerge as the embodyment of Marcus' ideals.

Marcus Aerlius, the Dying
Emperer of Rome

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