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A general who became a slave, a slave who became a gladiator, a gladiator who defied an empire.
— Commodus

Maximus Decimus Meridius is a fictional Hispanic-Roman general and the protagonist of the 2000 film Gladiator.

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. Mathayus (by Codgod13)[]

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.


Expert's Opinion[]

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.

The original battle, weapons and votes can be found here.