Archaeologists find tomb of the real hero who inspired epic film.
Italian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of the Ancient Roman hero who inspired Russell Crowe’s character in the film Gladiator.
Daniela Rossi, a Rome archaeologist, said that the discovery of the marble tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, which has an inscription bearing his name, was “the most important Ancient Roman monument to come to light for 20 or 30 years”.
Marcus Nonius Macrinus, born in Brescia, northern Italy, was a general and consul who led military campaigns for Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor in 161-180AD. He became part of the emperor’s inner circle and one of his favourites, serving as proconsul in Asia. His patrician villa at Toscolano Maderno on Lake Garda has been identified and partially excavated.
The character of Maximus also drew on accounts by Roman historians of a wrestler named Narcissus, who murdered the Emperor Commodus by strangling him, and the life of Spartacus, the leader of a revolt by slaves and gladiators in the 1st century BC.