For non-Classicists, I will point out that though Marcus Nonius Macrinus may well have 'inspired' Ridley Scott's movie ... Emperors didn't have the power to turn free-born Roman Consuls into slaves. All that 'Gladiator Maximus' would have had to have done is tell someone in authority that he was a citizen, and the mess should have been sorted out. Though of course then he would probably have been assassinated, and the movie would have been a lot shorter.
Tomb of the real 'Gladiator' discovered in Italy - The Times:
Richard Owen in Rome
Italian archeologists have discovered the tomb of the ancient Roman hero said to have inspired the character played by Russell Crowe in the film 'Gladiator'.
Daniela Rossi, a Rome archeologist, said the discovery of the monumental marble tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, including a large inscription bearing his name, was "an exceptional find". She said it was "the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for twenty or thirty years".
The tomb is on the banks of the Tiber near the via Flaminia, north of Rome. Cristiano Ranieri, who led the archeological team at the site, said the tomb had long ago collapsed into the mud but its columns, roof and decorations were intact. Some parts of the tomb had slipped into the river, but had been recovered.
Marcus Nonius Macrinus, born in Brescia in northern Italy, was a general and consul who led military campaigns for Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD. He became part of the Emperor's inner circle and one of his favourites, serving as proconsul in Asia. [continue reading]