Maximus is an accomplished general, and a close friend of the aging emperor Marcus Aurelius. While Aurelius and Maximus are on campaign in Germania, Aurelius tells Maximus that his son, Commodus, is unfit to succeed him as emperor, and that he wishes Maximus to be his heir instead. When Commodus learns of this, he kills Aurelius in anger.
Commodus asks Maximus to swear his allegiance to him, but he refuses. The furious Commodus has Maximus arrested, and orders Maximus's family to be killed. Maximus escapes, but he is too late to save his wife and son. He buries them, and then collapses in anguish, remaining motionless until he is taken captive by slave traders and sold to a gladiator trainer.
Although reluctant, Maximus quickly becomes a competent gladiator, and, when Commodus organizes gladiatorial games to celebrate his coronation, is sent to Rome. After winning an arena battle against all odds, Maximus becomes beloved by the crowd. Commodus offers his congratulations, and Maximus reveals his identity and swears his vengeance.
Maximus continues to win the love of the people, further infuriating Commodus. When Maximus learns that his legions are still loyal to him, he plots to escape and begin a rebellion to overthrow Commodus. Commodus learns of the plot, and the Praetorians capture Maximus and kill many of his allies. To regain the love of the people, Commodus challenges Maximus to a duel in the Colosseum, stabbing him beforehand to gain an advantage. Maximus wins the battle and kills Commodus, before succumbing to his wound. With his dying breaths, he calls for the political reforms that Aurelius wanted and freedom for his fellow gladiators. The Romans carry Maximus's body off to be buried, honoring him as "a soldier of Rome".
Battle vs. Leonidas (300) (by Omnicube1)
King Leonidas is strolling in a meadow when he sees General Maximus Decimus Meridius brandishing Roman weaponry. Leonidas tells Meridius to back off and choose a different route. The General refuses and wipes dirt on his hands and prepares for battle. Leonidas pulls out his Dory Spear and hurls it at Meridius. The General lifts his Murmillo Shield and the spear bounces of the shield at an angle. Leonidas draws his Kopis Sword and places his Spartan Shield on his arm. He lunges at Maximus but misses his stab. Maximus draws his Gladius and swings the Spartan king but the Spartan shield absorbs the blow. Leonidas pushes his shield at Meridius and knocks him over. Leonidas draws in for the kill but Maximus kicks the king square in the chest and pushes Leonidas back. Meridius retreats and pulls his Pilum from the ground and hurls it at the Spartan. The Javelin goes right through the shield; Leonidas tries to pull it out the bent point of the spear renders his shield useless and he drops the spear in disgust. He picks up his Dory Spear and closes in on Maximus, who has acquired a Retiarius' Trident and stabs at the king. Leonidas dodges the Trident and stabs back at Maximus. The spear finds its mark but has only pierced Maximus' gladiatorial armor, not his flesh. Meridius breaks off the Dory Spear and draws his Spatha Sword and Emperor's Stiletto. He hacks and stabs at Leonidas. He cuts Leonidas' arm but does not sever it. The Spartan draws back in pain and draws his Kopis sword and slashes back at the General. The Roman is able to deflect the sword but it backlashes and cuts his leg. He falls to the ground in agony. Leonidas stands above him and draws an Uber-Immortal Blade and prepares to finish off his enemy. Meridius pulls out his concealed Stiletto and throws it at the King. The Stiletto goes right through Leonidas' armor and leaves a mortal wound. The Spartan shrugs it off and stabs Meridius through the chest with his Uber-Immortal Blade. Leonidas whispers to his enemy, "You were the best warrior I have ever faced," and walks away grasping on his mortal wound.
WINNER: KING LEONIDAS
The experts believed that even Maximus' skill and strength couldn't match up to that of Leonidas, a fully fledged spartan who began his rigorous training at age seven, and came out on top as the king of Sparta. His greater experience gave the Spartan king an edge as well.
Mathayus has been captured by slave traders, however, he escapes, and Maximus approaches him to stop him from leaving, barring the exit. Mathayus fires an arrow, which gets lodged in Maximus' armor. Being out of range for all of his weapons, the Roman feigns death. Mathayus smiles and starts to walk toward the exit, but the moment he is in range, Maximus leaps to his feet and throws a pilum at the Scorpion King. Mathayus is caught off guard, but uses the time it took Mathayus to get up to dodge. Maximus pulls out a trident, and advances. He thrusts, but Mathayus backs up rapidly and throws a bolas. It gets tangled around Maximus' legs, and he falls. Maximus rips a torch off the wall as Maximus struggles to his feet, and swipes with it, but the General moves back. With another swipe, he misses except for a tiny spark that rests unnoticed in Maximus' hair. Maximus pulls out his stilleto and pulls the torch out of Mathayus' hand. He advances, stabbing at Mathayus. Mathayus is packed up against a wall, but suddenly Maximus' hair catches and he drops his stilleto. Mathayus punches him and grabs a scimitar. Maximus takes out a gladius, and the two begin to duel. Maximus catches Mathayus off guard, and grabs his back, thrusting his gladius into the Scorpion King's chest. Mathayus falls to his knees, then face,t then dies. Maximus, hair still ignited, screams a cry and with his hair looks really badass.
WINNER: MAXIMUS DECIMUS MERIDIUS
While Mathayus had a bow and arrow for extra range, Maximus' armor rendered this nearly useless as well as his closer range weapons losing some effect as well, as opposed to Mathayus who had little to no armor. That, along with Maximus' slightly superior training, won him the day.