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Meet General Maximus Decimus Meridius, the once powerful Roman general, forced to become a common Gladiator.
Emperor Marcus Aurelius enrages his son Commodus by passing him over as heir in favour of his favourite general, Maximus.
Commodus proceeds to murder his father then announces to Rome that he is the new Emperor, asking for the loyalty of Maximus… Maximus declines this offer and is then told he and his family will be persecuted. Following his capture he escapes, by removing the guards – returning home to find his family gone… The general is then sold into slavery to be trained as a gladiator – but his subsequent popularity in the arena threatens the throne.
“My name is MaximusDecimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and 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.”