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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Galdiator who Inspired Russell Crow Character in Movie "Galdiator" unearthed

The tomb of Marcus Nonium Macrinus, the general who served as the inspiration for the main character in the film Gladiator, has been unearthed in Rome. "[This is] the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for 20 or 30 years," said senior archeologist Daniela Rossi. Macrinus was a favourite of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and achieved major victories in Europe. He is reportedly the template for character Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe in Gladiator.

However, the real Roman general is not believed to have been sold into slavery as portrayed in the 2000 movie, which won five Academy Awards including best picture and best actor for Crowe. The tomb was discovered along Via Flaminia where construction work has been taking place. Workers renovating a stadium uncovered a vast complex of tombs that imitate the houses and streets of a real city. The site's marble columns, inscriptions and decorations have been well-preserved, according to archeologists, thanks to the mud caused by a centuries-old flood of the River Tiber.

"Perhaps we will also find the sarcophagus. It's also too early to say how big it is, but it appears there was a row of columns at least 15 metres long, so it was quite huge," noted Rossi. Inscriptions on the tomb detail the life of Macrinus, revealing that he came from Brescia in northern Italy, was a police commissioner, magistrate, a consul of Asia and a confidante of Emperor Aurelius.

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