“A Hero Will Endure”: Essays at the Twentieth Anniversary of 'Gladiator'

Rachel L. Carazo (Ed.)

by Kimberly A. Owczarski (Texas Christian University), Stefano Rozzoni (Universität Graz, Austria), Kristen Leer (University of Michigan Ann Arbor), Livio Lepratto (Università di Parma, Italy), James Shelton (Buckinghamshire New University), Loraine Haywood (University of Newcastle, Australia), Ashley Weaver , Peter Burkholder (Fairleigh Dickinson University), Krista Jenkins (The Pew Charitable Trusts), Rachel L. Carazo (St. Thomas University), Nicholas Diak , Antonio Valerio Spera (Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Italy), Matthew Hodge (William Peace University)

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If you are a fan of epic movies or cinematic history, you will be entertained and enlightened by this book celebrating the award-winning film ‘Gladiator.’ The content is chocked full of fascinating stories and behind-the-scenes details of the making of the film. I give both the movie and this book celebrating the movie my highest recommendation.

Dr. Teresa Welsh
Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science
University of Southern Mississippi

This volume adds to previous historical and political studies about 'Gladiator' with essays about the movie’s relation to pop culture and contemporary discourses. It not only relates 'Gladiator' to traditional cinema aspects such as heroism, music, acting, studio culture, and visual effects, but it also connects the film to sports, religion, and the environment, expanding the ways in which the film can be evaluated by modern audiences. The volume can be read by individuals or in classroom settings, especially as a recommended text for students studying the ancient world in film.

Introduction: On Comets, Cakes, and Toys – Marking ‘Gladiator Days’ for (More than) Two Decades
Rachel L. Carazo
St. Thomas University

Chapter 1 “A Vital and Adrenalized Contributor”: DreamWorks, Gladiator, and the Establishment of a Movie Studio
Kimberly A. Owczarski
Texas Christian University

Chapter 2 ‘Wailing’ and ‘Moaning’: Gladiator’s Music Phenomenon and Legacy
Matthew Hodge
William Peace University

Chapter 3 “What We Do in Life, Echoes in Eternity”: An Ecocritical Reading of the Scenery and Landscapes in Gladiator
Stefano Rozzoni
Universität Graz

Chapter 4 Maximus – The Twenty-First-Century Hybrid Hero: The Bridge Between Traditional and Counterculture Hero Archetypes in Gladiator
Kristen Leer
University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Chapter 5 “Father! I would butcher the whole world, if you would only love me...”: The Character of Commodus, between Historical Reality and Cinematographic Representation
Livio Lepratto
Università di Parma

Chapter 6 “Commodus is not a Moral Man”: Nemesis, Narrative Construction, and Historical Reconstruction in Gladiator
James Shelton
Buckinghamshire New University

Chapter 7 Games for the Throne, the Thread of Love, and Women and Heroes: Mythic Gendered Arenas in Gladiator and Game of Thrones
Loraine Haywood
University of Newcastle, Australia

Chapter 8 “…But Not Yet”: Reflections on Juba, the Spirit Guide and “Eternal Echo” of Gladiator
Ashley Weaver
Independent Scholar

Chapter 9 Ecce homo heroicus! The Enduring Maximus, Twenty Years On
Peter Burkholder
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Krista Jenkins
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Chapter 10 Roman Religious Figurines that “hear you […] in the afterlife”: Maximus’ Lares, His Vilica, and the Pomerium of Elysium in Gladiator
Rachel L. Carazo
St. Thomas University

Chapter 11 Dance or Dēcēdere: Gladiator and Industrial Music Sampling
Nicholas Diak
Independent Scholar

Chapter 12 Gladiator and Contemporary Roman Customs: The Myth of Maximus on the Roma and Lazio Soccer Fields
Antonio Valerio Spera
Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”


Rachel L. Carazo is an Ed.D. candidate (St. Thomas University), an MLIS candidate (The University of Southern Mississippi), and an MSc Ancient Worlds Candidate (The University of Edinburgh). She has a graduate degree in English (M.A.) and four undergraduate degrees, one of which is in history. In addition to publishing numerous essays in edited volumes on literature, film and television, and pop cultural trends, she has also written two novels. Her fandom of 'Gladiator', which has endured since 2000, inspired her to choose this topic for her first edited volume, and her experience writing, tutoring, and teaching has aided in its creation.

Gladiator, pop culture, digital media, ecocriticism, the environment, character studies, heroism, ancient history, film studies

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

“A Hero Will Endure”: Essays at the Twentieth Anniversary of 'Gladiator'





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


12 B&W

Publication date

February 2023