David Franzoni

While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand.
When falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall.
And when Rome falls -- the World.


What we do in life echoes in eternity.

If you find you're on your own, riding through green fields with the sun on your face, do not be afraid; for you're in Elysium and you're already dead!

TITUS: You would do as well to read the mind of a rhinoceros.

QUINTUS: These barbarians would rather drown in blood than yield an inch. If I didn't hate them so much I would admire them.

TITUS: They simply will not surrender.

MAXIMUS: A people should know when they are conquered. At the first signal release the catapults. We'll use the cavalry to cut off the retreat.

QUINTUS: People should know when they're conquered.

MAXIMUS: Would you Quintus? Would I?

QUINTUS: General, I don't recommend that. Our cavalry might be caught in the flames.

MAXIMUS: I hope not, because I'm going to be leading them. Why don't they know they're already dead?

MAXIMUS: At my signal, unleash hell.

GERMAN PRISONER: You have been in my homeland for twelve years. Of course I speak your language. So did my son, who you murdered. So did my daughter, who you raped.

MARCUS: I am Rome, what would you say to me?

GERMAN PRISONER: You are that sun, Rome, and your time is over... You can slit a thousand throats here, and you can put a thousand babies to the sword, but it will always be our home.

MARCUS: Now it is Rome.

GERMAN PRISONER: It will never be Rome. Not as long as one German breathes.

COMMODUS: Maximus, I would like to inspect the Felix Regiment at dawn. Please arrange it.

MAXIMUS: I can't do that.

COMMODUS: Excuse me?

MAXIMUS: My men have been fighting for five solid days. They're too busy dying to go on dress parade.

MARCUS: For twenty years I have been spilling blood. For twenty years I have written philosophy and ruminated and conquered. Since I became Caesar I have only had four years without war. Four years of peace in twenty. So perhaps I can be... forgiven.

While I have been fighting, Rome has grown mad and corpulent and diseased. I did this. And now I shall make it right.

MAXIMUS: Sire, you brought the light of the Gods to barbarian darkness. You brought civilization and justice to the farthest --

MARCUS: I have brought the sword -- nothing more! Rome is far away and we shouldn't be here. What matter is it to the Gods if we subdue one more tribe of Parthians or Gauls? What matter is it to Rome if a thousand more barbarians bend to our lash?

MARCUS: There was a dream that was Rome. I can only whisper of it now. Anything more than a whisper and the dream vanishes. It's so... fragile. The true glory of Rome is in a very fragile idea. Imagine a place devoted to the rights of the citizen. Where every free man has a voice. That was the dream... And I fear it will not survive the winter. Let's just whisper here, you and I.

MAXIMUS: Yes, Caesar.

MARCUS: If the dream is ever to live again the people must have a true voice. The voice I took from them. That all the Caesars took from them, bit by bit, conquest by conquest. And now that I am dying I am going to give them that voice again.

MAXIMUS: You're not dying.

MARCUS: I am, Maximus. It's strange... I find as I near the end I think little of the waning moments around me... instead I think much of the past... and of the future. How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher? The warrior? The tyrant? Or will there be a more golden sounding to my name? Will I be the Emperor who gave Rome back her freedom?

Before I die I will give the people this final gift. I will give them the Senate reborn. The voice of the people empowered again, as it was always meant to be. It is my design that they will elect the next Emperor. And I would put forward your name with my backing.

LUCILLA: He always favored you... Even over his son.

MAXIMUS: That's not true.

LUCILLA: Maximus, stop... Let me see your face. You've been crying.

MAXIMUS: I lost too many men.

LUCILLA: He will announce Commodus' succession. That's why he summoned us. Will you serve my brother as you served his father?

MAXIMUS: I will always serve the ideals of Rome.

MAXIMUS: May I be permitted to go, Highness?

LUCILLA: There was a time when you didn't call me "Highness."

MAXIMUS: And there was a time when you were just a little girl drowning in the sea. All that was a different life.

LUCILLA: Very different... I wonder if it was better?

MAXIMUS: It was more honest.

JUBA: If you die in the wagons they feed you to the lions... The lions are worth more than we are. I think we are worth more than the zebras though. So they don't feed us to them. I'm not sure about the giraffe.

SLAVE TRADER: Proximo, my old friend, see what I have for you today -- !

PROXIMO: Those giraffes you sold me won't mate! All they do is run around not mating! YOU SOLD ME EUNUCH GIRAFFES!!

SLAVE TRADER: I will make it up to you, Master. It's bargain day for you! Look, look, look -- I have two lions and a panther -- hear how they roar for you! "Bring me home, Proximo!"

PROXIMO: How much for the lot?

SLAVE TRADER: For you -- 8,000 sesterces.

PROXIMO: For me -- 6,000 sesterces and I want to see their balls first. And you throw in those two slaves.

JUBA: In the village I come from there was a man once. He went fishing one day and his boat was attacked by crocodiles. One of them ate his leg. He pulled himself to the shore and a lion attacked him. It ate one of his arms. He dragged himself through the desert on the way home and a scorpion stung his eye. So he only had one eye. When he reached the village I sat with him. I said, "You have lost a leg, an arm and one eye. You must have a mighty will to live." He said, "No, Lord, it's just better than the alternative."

Life is a gift from our fathers to us. Who are you to give it up for lack of lifting a spoon?

PROXIMO: Some of you say you can't fight, you won't fight... They all say that... But one day you will pick up a sword and thrust it into another man. And the crowd will cheer you and love you. And you will love them for it. On that day... you will be a gladiator.

In this life, we all die. All we can choose is how we die. And how we are remembered. Be remembered proudly.

PROXIMO: Well, I have nothing left to offer you! A man who turns down a butterfly, a woman, a boy and gold confuses me. Personally, I'd grab them all and then grab some more because the Gods are fanciful and take us at their whim. Does the Spaniard have any needs?

You fight like a soldier. You have wounds like a soldier who has been on long campaigns. You eye the world around you like an enemy. What is your name, Roman soldier?

MAXIMUS: Gladiator.

PROXIMO: And nothing more?

MAXIMUS: Nothing more.

JUBA: Among my people we honor the soil of our home. Our ancestors are in that soil. All their dreams live there. I will never see my home again. The soil is dead and no one honors them, so the dreams die.

MAXIMUS: Perhaps one day you'll return.

JUBA: How can I go back? I am not what I was. When a man kills for no reason, he has lost himself.

CASSIUS: ... and the Emperor will have no more animal battles today --

TRAINER #1: You promised me a bear match, Cassius!

TRAINER #2: I have ten damned gorillas! You said gorillas yesterday!

PROXIMO: I give you 30,000 my Spaniard will kill at least one of your Thracians.

TRAINER #4: 30,000?! On a Spaniard?! That provincial sun has curdled your brain!

PROXIMO: Then make the wager, you smug bastard!




JUBA: I will fight with you.

MAXIMUS: This isn't your battle.

JUBA: Better to die for a friend than to die for gold.

LUCILLA: Rich matrons pay well to be pleasured by the bravest champions.

MAXIMUS: I knew your brother would send assassins. I didn't think he would send his best.

LUCILLA: Maximus, listen to me --

MAXIMUS: My family were crucified and burnt while they were still alive.

LUCILLA: I knew nothing of that.

MAXIMUS: Don't lie to me.

LUCILLA: I wept for them.


PROXIMO: Gods! That old Homicide! The Emperor must truly hate you.

MAXIMUS: What can you tell me?

PROXIMO: He cheats.

MAXIMUS: Tell him we will enter Rome on the first day of Commodus' festival.

LUCILLA: And they will march on Rome for you?

MAXIMUS: Yes. But this letter must go to the lieutenant named Titus, no one else.

LUCILLA: Captain Marcellus will take it. And his City Guard will by with you when you get to Rome. Is that enough to face the Praetorian Guard?

MAXIMUS: The Felix Regiment will never be defeated.

GRACCHUS: I only have one question for you, General... Why? You will lead an army of your brothers on Rome. Many will die. Why?

MAXIMUS: I want Commodus dead.

GRACCHUS: That's not the reason. Tell me the truth.

MAXIMUS: Because one night an old man whispered to me about a dream. I will die for that dream.

LUCILLA: Caesar, you let this unduly worry you. At best he is a passing fancy -- he is a name, an image on a banner, ephemeral -- he will be forgotten as the next fancy appears --

COMMODUS: But I need to know -- why do they love him?

LUCILLA: Mercy. He will not kill in the arena. He is merciful. As they all wish they were in their own hearts.

COMMODUS: And for that moment in the arena they are merciful too. For a moment... they are Gods. Offering life.

COMMODUS: Take it, brother. Stand at my side as a free man worthy of your ancestors.

MAXIMUS: I only have ancestors because of you, brother. You killed everything that ever lived alongside me.

COMMODUS: Take it, Maximus. Let us heal that fatal wound together.

MAXIMUS: This is the new home you cursed me to. And I am safer here from your treachery than I could ever be outside.

MAXIMUS: I have more power as a slave in the arena than I could ever have as a free man. As the Colosseum goes, the people go. As the people go, the Empire goes.

COMMODUS: You think this is power? I could show you power, slave --

MAXIMUS: No, Caesar... I will show you.

MAXIMUS: -- a covert assault from within.

VIBIUS: We'll be killed.

MAXIMUS: Probably. But if we aren't... think of the glory. Do you remember glory, Gladiator?

JUBA: And if we die that day -- we die free men worthy of our ancestors.

VIBIUS: You didn't know my ancestors. A rotten bunch.

MAXIMUS: Then be worthy of him [Mars]. The old Titan who would rather die bravely in a just battle than slink off to grow old and fat.

JUBA: And impotent.

VIBIUS: If I die, I want a hundred whores at my funeral.

PROXIMO: You might have spared yourself the speech, General. The lady Lucilla bought all my gladiators two hours ago!

MAXIMUS: You pox-ridden bastard -- !

PROXIMO: I am the richest trainer in the Empire! And I will let my gladiators do anything you like! Conspire away, General!

But I tell you -- if you survive this madness I want you to go into business with me. I'll give you a quarter of my holdings.

MAXIMUS: A quarter?!

PROXIMO: A third. And not a hair more. And you'll have to start in the provinces! Cleaning up the lion shit!

MAXIMUS: You know, if you were half so awful as you pretend, you'd be a terrifying man.