• The
    Gladiator 2
    trailer features North Africa and naval reenactments, which are somewhat accurate.
  • While the Colosseum being flooded for naval battles is accurate, a gladiator riding a rhino lacks historical basis.
  • Gladiator 2
    ‘s characters, like Caracalla and Geta, take liberties for entertainment while maintaining some historical basis.

The Gladiator 2 trailer gets assessed by a historian in a reaction video that highlights its location details and inaccuracies. Directed once again by Ridley Scott, this time with a script written by David Scarpa, the long-awaited sequel is set two decades after the original film and follows an adult Lucius as he is forced into slavery and fights as a gladiator in the Colosseum. The Oscar-nominated Paul Mescal leads Gladiator 2‘s cast alongside Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, and Fred Hechinger.

In a video from History Hit, the historian, host of The Ancients podcast, and Gladiator megafan Tristan Hughes reacted to the Gladiator 2 trailer, assessing its location details and inaccuracies. Watch the full video below:

After detailing a key location in the trailer, North Africa, the historian assessed the accuracy of flooding the Colosseum for naval reenactments, the actual naval siege, and the rhino gladiator. Hughes also detailed the historical inspiration behind some of the characters, including Macrinus (Washington) and co-Emperors Caracalla (Hechinger) and Geta (Quinn).


Gladiator 2 Cast & Character Guide

The Gladiator sequel boasts a cast of characters both old and new, with actors from Stranger Things and The Mandalorian joining the epic story.

How Historically Accurate Is The Gladiator 2 Trailer?

It Gets A Lot Right & Wrong

The historian begins by breaking down a location seen in the Gladiator 2 trailer, North Africa, which is a key part of the plot. In the original Gladiator, Russell Crowe’s Maximus is sold into slavery in North Africa and reluctantly fights his way through the local tournaments. The sequel will follow a similar plot with Lucius living in Numidia, a province on the North African coast, when Pascal’s General Marcus Acacius leads an army to take over North Africa, forcing Lucius into slavery. As Hughes mentions, the medieval architecture seen in the trailer isn’t entirely accurate to its setting.

A major historical aspect of the Gladiator 2 trailer is the Colosseum being flooded for naval reenactments. As Hughes explains, this is historically accurate, as there were spectacles in ancient Rome when venues were filled with water for naval reenactments, known as naumachia. While there is a historical basis for naval reenactments happening inside the Colosseum, by the time Gladiator 2 is set in the early 3rd century, naumachia were no longer taking place in the Colosseum. On the other hand, there’s no historical basis at all for a gladiator riding a rhino in the Colosseum.

There are also some inaccuracies in the trailer regarding the Roman pilum, as Hughes explains.

Hughes goes on to discuss the historical Caracalla and Geta and how the former committed fratricide by murdering the latter. However, in the Gladiator 2 trailer, the brothers are portrayed more as Caligula, Nero, or Elagabalus figures. Hughes also discusses the loose historical basis for Macrinus, who ascended to the throne after overseeing Caracalla’s assassination. Overall, much of Gladiator 2 is rooted in some historical basis, though it takes a few liberties to help create an epic and entertaining blockbuster.

Gladiator 2 releases in theaters on November 22.

Source: History Hit

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