Fall of the Roman Empire, The (1964) Movie Script

Two of the greatest problems in history
are how to account for the rise of Rome
and how to account for her fall.
We may come nearer to understanding
the truth,
if we remember that the fall of Rome,
like her rise,
had not one cause, but many.
And it was not an event,
but a process spread over 300 years.
Some nations have not lasted as long
as Rome fell.
In the year 180 A.D.,
the Emperor Marcus Aurelius,
was leading his Roman legions
against the Germanic tribes along
the Danube frontier.
My lord, Caesar. The omens are bad.
I could not find its heart.
When I was a child, Timonides,
I had a secret fear
that night would come
and would never end.
That we would live out our lives
in total darkness.
It was a small fear then.
Yet my lord, Caesar,
the sun always rises,
and will again.
So you say.
It is said more people die this moment
when night is about to give way to day
than at any other time.
It seems to me night whispers:
"Come away with me... "
"to the west, abd sleep forever."
What has another day to offer you?
What has another day to offer you,
My lord, Caesar,
The sun.
As you predicted.
I congratulate you, Timonides.
Timonides. Livius.
How is Caesar?
Well, in order to answer that question,
one must consider three aspects of
the situation.
One, our emperor has been
at the wars for 17 years
and lived under
very difficult conditions.
Two, no one could ever describe
Marcus Aurelius
as a robust man.
There's a joke among the soldiers here
about Timonides.
They say: Ask Timonides what day is it,
and he will lecture you
on the history of the calendar.
You are well my lord, Caesar.
It seems that every governor, every king
in the whole empire
is waiting in the valley below.
I invited them here
for a particular purpose.
I've also asked my son, Commodus.
Your great friend, Commodus.
Tell me of your last campaign
in these barbarian forests.
Two or three times,
we thought we had Balimar, their leader,
but each time he was able to get away.
A few days longer, Caesar,
we'll bring you his head.
No, Livius.
please don't bring me his head.
I wouldn't know what to do with it.
Bring him to me alive.
But he is the heart of the barbarians.
Then bring me
the heart of the barbarians.
I wish to speak with him.
Speak with him?
Rome has existed for a thousand years,
it is time we find peaceful ways
to live with those
you call barbarians,
so bring me this Balimar
alive, and quickly.
There was a rumour that Lucilla was here.
Lucilla, Caesar's daughter.
Ah yes, Caesar's daughter.
As the dove fears the eagle,
as the lamb fears the wolf,
so is my heart heavy with fear.
Oh, mother Vesta,
eternal mother of Rome.
Help me.
Bring back the health of my father.
Protect us from the danger
which hangs over the empire.
Let there be peace over all Rome.
You are beautiful.
You are beautiful...
What does that mean?
It has been so long.
I had forgotten.
Why didn't you ever try to see me
when you were in Rome?
It seemed you did not
really want to see anyone.
I thought by living alone away
from the world,
I could find peace.
Then I found there is no real peace
in being alone.
There is only loneliness.
I too have been lonely, Lucilla.
I'm here now, Livius.
And if my father's health improves,
and if your duties
as a soldier do not prevent it,
we may see each other,
if you want to.
I want to.
Mithridates, king of Petra.
Welcome, Mithridates. Welcome Petra.
Costobacus, king of the Omnia.
Greetings, Costobacus, king of the Omnia.
Serverus, proconsul of Judea.
- Virgilianus, proconsul of Syria.
Marcellus, governor of Egypt, I think.
Marcellus, friend of Caesar.
And who would this be, Timonides?
Virgilianus, proconsul of Syria.
My greatful thanks, Timonides.
Virgilianus, friend of Caesar.
Pericles, proconsul of Athens.
Pericles of Athens.
Rome is honored, Sohamus,
that Armenia's king is with us.
My lord, Caesar.
Armenia hopes for
even closer ties to Rome.
Pertinax, Britannia.
Welcome, Pertinax.
Welcome, Britannia.
Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
Governors, consuls,
You have come from the deserts of Egypt,
from the mountains of Armenia,
from the forests of Gaul,
and the prairies of Spain.
You do not resemble each other,
nor do you wear the same clothes,
nor sing the same songs,
nor worship the same gods.
Yet, like a mighty tree
with green leaves and black roots,
you are the unity which is Rome.
Look about you and look at yourselves,
and see the greatness of Rome.
Two hundred years ago
the Gauls were our fiercest enemies.
Now we greet them as friends.
In the whole world,
only two small frontiers
are still hostile to us.
One here in the north which separates us
from those who are called barbarians.
The other in the east, Persia.
Only on these two borders will you find
Walls, palisades,
Forts, and hatred.
But these are not
the frontiers Rome wants.
Rome wants and needs human frontiers.
We've had to fight long wars.
Your burdens have been great.
But we come now to the
end of the road.
within our reach,
golden centuries of peace.
A true Pax Romana.
Wherever you live,
whatever the color of your skin.
when peace is achieved,
it will bring to all,
the supreme rights of Roman citizenship.
My lord, Caesar. Are you ill?
A small pain in my side. It will pass.
No longer provinces, or colonies
but Rome,
Rome everywhere.
A family of equal nations.
That is what lies ahead.
May the Gods hasten the day.
Each time I see you
I wonder how it is possible,
I've fathered something so beautiful.
You make it hard for me
to take leave of this life.
you have a long life ahead of you.
Death is in the order of things.
Didn't they teach you that at school?
I will not let you leave me.
Is there a choice?
Soon this trickle of blood,
these few bones,
this net woven of nerves
and arteries will be dust.
No choice.
Now that I'm here.
I will see that
you take better care of yourself.
Even so,
time is short.
And there is a decision
which I can no longer delay.
I must sacrifice the love of my son.
Commodus must never be my heir.
It is my wish that you should succeed me.
And I intend to present you
to the leaders of the empire,
openly, as my successor.
you said yourself, Caesar.
It needs someone who will change,
who will find new ways.
A man of the tenth century of Rome.
I know only the ways of war.
I would not know how to make allies
out of the barbarians.
You will find new ways.
You have a heart for it, Livius.
But Commodus already
shares the throne with you.
I had hoped that position and
responsibility would make him grow up.
But he is interested only
in games and gladiators.
But it was you, Caesar,
who brought me into your family.
Commodus and I are like brothers.
I love Commodus, too.
But that's just a feeling.
A personal feeling.
My lord, Caesar.
Prince Commodus sends you his greetings.
He is in the snow country,
two days' journey from here.
Perhaps, I should meet Commodus,
my lord, Caesar.
- Yes, Livius. Go to meet him.
And think about what I said
but remember my time is short.
Even though Commodus is my brother,
I would have done as you did, father.
And would you also have chosen Livius?
Why did he hesitate?
If he'd not been the kind of man
who hesitates when faced
with such a great responsibility
I would not have chosen him.
Come and sit by me.
Let me look at you.
Are you happy?
You seem reasonably happy, and yet...
And yet, father?
A disturbing whisper reached me
that you thought once of retiring to
the temple of Vesta.
I know it is too simple to think of life
as either beautiful or ugly.
But there was a time
when life seemed very ugly to me.
It was because of your mother.
I was ashamed.
And she brought you such pain.
I knew moments of happiness with her,
and beauty.
But she looked for love elsewhere,
since she could not love me.
You, the best. The greatest of men.
Is that the way it must be, father?
Only moments of beauty
and then, betrayal.
We must try to
understand other people more.
Understand cruelty and weakness?
Even that.
You have such a gift for life, Lucilla.
But I think you ask too much of it.
Learn to pity.
Learn to have compassion.
For yourself, too.
Pity and compassion to yourself.
The future will make
great demands on you.
Oh, father.
Gaius Livius! Warrior! Voyager!
Commodus, Commodus!
Most Roman of them all!
I've missed you!
Are you well?
I'm never unwell!
I have much to tell you.
And I you!
We've all come up from Rome.
Niger! Claudius!
I've seen too little of you.
That was not my wish.
Nor mine.
But this wars have been endless.
Endless because,
You were too gentle.
I would have fought
these wars differently.
There's a lot we do
differently, Commodus.
I wish you could have
come to Rome more often.
There's a new generation there,
there's a whole new feeling.
You mean I'm getting old,
senile perhaps.
Rome has changed since you were there.
Rome has changed.
It is now crawling with gladiators.
I thought you'd retired as a Vestal virgin.
And abandon Rome to you?
And your athletes?
Female philosopher!
As I remembered, you two
began to quarrel as soon as
you could walk. I expect you're tired.
And thirsty.
We'll talk together soon.
Come, let us find some wine...
The tribunes, Polybius and Victorinus.
We have fought four campaigns together.
Ferilus, the greatest
gladiator of all Rome,
survivor of a hundred combats.
We've come to fight your battles.
Gladiators to fight as soldiers...
Why not?
We'll teach your legionaires how to kill.
Let's have some wine.
Marcus Aurelius, our Caesar...
does not look well.
Dying men never do.
But you knew Caesar was dying.
What else could have
pulled you and your kind away
from the city of Rome.
You know, Livius...
it's when I'm with you,
that I feel... good.
Don't ever change.
Caesar was just telling me
I should change.
Oh, father thinks too much.
There is much for a Roman
to think of these days.
Why Livius,
For a moment that honest warrior's face
of yours took on the philosopher's look.
Let's not think, let's drink.
As in the old days?
As in the old days.
Did you study logic?
Do you know what a dilemma is?
A dilemma.
When there are only two possibilities
and both of them are impossible.
That is a dilemma.
Drink with me.
Now drink with me.
Drink with me!
I'm Caesar's son,
I could have you burned alive!
Why Livius...
My friend.
My brother.
Something is struggling you, isn't it?
Your father...
has asked me...
to be his heir.
My own father.
But I'm his son.
He must hate me very much.
He does not hate you.
I did not ask for this, Commodus.
Nor did you refuse.
Ask me to refuse!
Ask you?
If you listen carefully...
you will hear the gods...
you will hear the gods laughing.
I do not hear them laughing.
You will do what the gods decide!
She is for you.
She thinks.
Have you finished
with Commodus and wine?
My world has suddenly become strange.
I'm not sure where I am.
I'm sure of only one thing.
I love you, Lucilla.
If you are so sure,
why did it take you so long?
I think I must have known
all these years.
I must have been certain
that one day this would happen.
Known, yet not known.
Known and not known?
How can that be?
I'm not sure how it was.
But I know now.
You were always with me.
I took you into battle with me.
You were with me in the gold fields.
But you know this.
Only this.
I know this.
You were with me, too.
There were times when I wanted to
run away from life,
I did not because I told myself that...
one day...
you will be with me.
I want to be with you
for the rest of my life.
For I love you.
Do you, Livius?
Bring him back to me safely.
Bring him back to me quickly.
Make him love me forever.
Get these men back behind the lines.
We're setting a trap for Balimar.
I will lead the attack.
The men we send first into battle
Will be used as bait.
Many will die.
It will be especially
dangerous for their leader.
We will be the first into this battle.
We will be your bait.
And if I die,
then the gods were not with me.
Then Livius, my friend...
my brother...
will it not relieve you
of a great burden?
At the command
you will lead your men forward.
You will move deeper
and deeper into that forest,
until the barbarians are convinced
that it is safe to attack.
You will stand and hold until
we move in and close the trap.
We will stand and hold.
Balimar has escaped,
because some of your gladiators
were cowards.
It has been decided, Lucilla.
Armenia and Rome will become even closer.
A part of Rome,
a lovely part,
will become Armenia.
I want you to take care of these.
I wrote them while campaigning
in these forests.
I will watch over them, father.
I have tried to convince myself,
but my fears for
the empire are unreasonable.
But my fears are reasonable.
The east, Lucilla,
is where our danger lies.
We must make an alliance
that will show the whole world
what value Rome places on
her eastern frontier.
An alliance with Armenia.
And so...
Caesar must give his daughter
in marriage
to the king of Armenia.
I had hoped the gods would be kind.
I had hoped you would not
have to marriage without love.
You know better than anyone
what a marriage without love can mean.
Yes. I do.
I know you love me.
Therefore, if you ask me,
it can only mean that you must
have tried with all your strength
to find another way.
Yes,s I have.
And you could not?
I could not.
Therefore, it must be time.
does Rome punish cowards!
Stop this!
Stop this! Stop this!
You call us cowards?
Let 20 of your men fight 20 of ours
if they dare, and then see who are cowards.
Move out of the way!
No one touches Verilus!
I am commander of the northern army.
Continue the punishment.
I will not permit this!
Withdraw, Commodus!
I cannot.
Nor can I.
Then let the gods decide.
Yes, the omens have been bad.
Bad for whom?
For us? for Rome?
At least here we can speak clearly.
What would you like, Julianas?
That the gods send us written messages
advising us on each small move we make?
Is the murder of an emperor
a small move?
Caesar is dying and knows it.
At any moment, he will disinherit
Commodus and proclaim
Livius his heir.
Once he does that, publicly,
what hope is there for us?
To kill Caesar!
Does Commodus know?
Commodus does not know.
He must never know.
Caesar is guarded.
There are so many close to him.
How can it be done?
Quite easily.
We all of us know that Caesar loves fruit.
Now, this blade carries a deadly poison,
on the side with the carved snake.
Cut fruit with it, an apple.
Offer the poisoned half to Caesar.
Eat the other half for yourself
and then, long live the emperor, Commodus.
It could be done
before hundreds of witnesses.
No one could be suspected.
From whom will Caesar accept fruit?
Who is close enough to him?
I am.
You are blind.
I have only to feel the blade
to know which side.
And who better than a blind man?
Are you a man to enjoy
an irony, Marcus Aurelius?
Look well then
at the emperor of all Rome
become no better than a slave.
And who or what is your master?
A small point in your side.
Perhaps no larger than
a grain of wheat.
Of what use is your wisdom now?
No answer?
Think of all you have read
and pondered over the years.
And the talk, Marcus Aurelius.
The hours of talk with your friend,
Surely it must have prepared you
for this moment.
But it has failed you, hasn't it?
You are not prepared.
In all that talk did this
this topic, death
slip your minds?
Or did you know deep down
that your wisdom would be helpless
before this mystery
of mysteries.
But once you admit that,
all other knowledge and skill only
becomes trivial and meaningless.
But then you would not have
thought and read
And talked and wondered.
So, perhaps it is just as well.
For if men do not think, read,
talk to each other,
above all else, talk,
they are no longer men.
He has come for me.
The silent boatman to ferry me across
the shadowed river.
I am not ready for you.
I've always been willing
to bargain with my enemies.
Can we not make a treaty?
For your part I ask you
to wait two years.
One year.
I cannot do it in less than a year.
I do not seek pleasures,
or friendship, or love.
I speak only of Rome.
And when I say Rome, I mean the world.
The future.
For my part,
I am prepared to live on in pain.
A year. What is a year to you?
Coarse, vulgar, stupid thing.
Yet it was I who said,
Is it not in the nature
of the fig tree to give figs, as for
the honey bee to give honey,
and for the lion who fall upon the lamb?
So it is in the way of things
that you should come for me.
Forgive me, Boatman.
I did not realize you were blind
and deaf.
Come for me when you will.
My hand shall lead us.
But I tell you this:
There is a great truth
we have not yet divined.
Oh, it is you Cleander.
Is there something
I can do, my lord Caesar?
I'm in pain.
The Greeks say there is nothing better
than fruit to soften pain.
Share this with me.
I have been pledged to king Sohamus.
But you are mine!
My father gave his word.
Come away with me.
Where could we go?
Anywhere where we could be alone.
But there is no such a place.
I'm Caesar's daughter.
You're a woman...
That is a much higher rank.
I couldn't live that way.
Nor could you.
I could.
If I had to choose between
being Caesar's heir or your love.
I choose your love.
I cannot.
How can you do anything else?
Only this is real.
All else is half life.
Dream. Only this.
How can you ask me
to forget everything that I am?
All that my life means.
How can your life
mean anything without love?
I will not let this happen.
why did you deny me?
Caesar is dying!
You are looking for
a document, Timonides?
A document in which my father
named me his heir.
There is no such document.
There must be.
His last word was Livius.
I will bare witness
that it was Caesar's wish,
that you'd be his heir.
If it was only your word, Lucilla,
there would be doubt.
Caesar must be undoubted Caesar.
Is it not possible, Lucilla,
that there are
other ways of becoming
the real heir of Marcus Aurelius?
Hail, undoubted Caesar!
Hail Commodus!
Hail Caesar!
Hail Commodus!
Hail Caesar!
Hail Commodus! Hail Caesar!
Hail Commodus!
I will never forget
what you have done today.
Let this be heard over
the four corners of the empire,
that I Commodus,
now Caesar,
do proclaim Gaius Martellus Livius
Commander-in-chief of all Roman armies,
proconsul of the Roman Empire,
second only to Caesar himself.
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
Remember, thou art mortal.
Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!
In these buildings
you store all the law,
and all the writings of
the great men of Rome.
I am leaving with...
my husband.
And soon I'll be far from this city.
Now I ask,
that you guard these,
the meditations of my father,
Marcus Aurelius.
Whatever else happens
in the days to come,
let not these be destroyed.
For this is Rome.
my father was dying,
I spoke to the gods,
I am not like my father.
and if I'm to be crowned Caesar,
I would change all he did.
I offered them my life,
and told them that if it is
not for the good of Rome
that I be Caesar,
then let me be killed.
But you see...
I'm alive.
And Caesar.
I wish to see Rome once more...
the city of light.
Gaiety, beauty and strength.
We will have games.
The people of the city will be fed.
You and your eastern provinces
will send us
Twice the grain they've been sending
The taxes on them will be doubled.
My lord, Caesar.
This cannot be done.
We have famine.
Not only in our provinces of
Syria and Egypt,
but also in Armenia, Cappadocia,
In the whole eastern
half of the Roman Empire,
People are dying of hunger.
- When the words spread that
you had sent for us,
there was joy and hope. Our people said,
Rome cannot let us die.
Our young Caesar will send us help.
If we carry out these orders,
we risk having the entire East
rise up against Rome.
You will tell your provinces,
Egypt, Syria,
the entire eastern half of the empire
that if there is the
least resistance to my orders,
I will destroy them.
You will also let them know,
they must forget
the weakness of my father.
The tribune Polybius and his legion,
death marched, ambushed.
Barbarians. Human sacrifice. Romans.
Balimar! Balimar!
Lay down your weapons and swords.
We have fought each other long enough!
You will never drag me
and my people through
the streets of Rome as slaves.
You or your people will never be slaves!
This I pledge you on my honor!
Caesar will never accept this.
They are prisoners of war.
They must be sold as slaves.
Let us die killing Romans!
Put them in chain! Put them in chain!
Until we can talk to them as men.
We are asking only that
you give us your words,
and your chains will be removed.
You don't seem to understand.
Gaius Martellus Livius
wishes to remove your chains.
He wishes to make free men,
free women of you.
Wishes to make you Romans.
Is it that you doubt the word of Livius?
Tell me, I want to help you.
This is Wotan,
our god of war.
If your gods are stronger than ours,
they will give you strength.
If they are not, you will
reach out and touch Wotan.
You are surrounded by Roman soldiers.
At my first scream
they will fall upon you and kill you.
We have lost the battle,
Wotan says we must die.
Let us look upon this logically.
You wish to know
if our god are stronger than your god.
One, what will you know if
I touch your god.
Only that I am weak.
We wish to help you,
To free you.
If I scream you will all die.
Although I've been a slave,
I'm not accustomed to pain.
All I am is a philosopher,
I am weak.
They're not worthy of it.
Monsters! Animals!
Then touch Wotan and we'll know
your gods are weak.
I cannot,
I cannot bear this.
It's beyond all human endurance.
I cannot.
Oh, Livius.
What a world...
when its future rests in such as these.
I have no intention of turning...
My faith was not strong enough!
You did not even scream.
There's no reason to take our god.
That's no reason to change your ways.
Don't you want us, Roman?
You miserable, uneducated, half men.
You are not at all what we fought for.
And yet...
Yes, we want you.
We want you.
If he'd not been Caesar,
he'd been the greatest gladiator in Rome.
Yes! You do belong in the arena.
You mean to say you came
all this way to sharpen your wits.
Everything you do has a purpose.
I came to tell you
what your friends dare not.
You are pushing our eastern provinces
to rebellion.
Oh, I see.
You've come to scold me.
May I remind my sister,
that her younger brother can
no longer be ordered about and ridiculed.
You seem to forget that I'm Caesar.
I do as I wish.
Do you? Do you?
You've had only one idea,
to smash and destroy
everything father did.
You've always resented me, Lucilla.
What have I ever done to you?
It's what you are doing now!
You're lying.
Don't you suppose I know that it was you
who poisoned father against me.
I did not have to.
Father knew about
the cruel things you did.
How is it he never
knew about the cruel things you did,
especially to our own mother.
I was in the room when she died.
when our mother died...
I heard her beg you:
"Why do you hate me so?"
"If I've done anything to hurt you,"
"forgive me."
And you let her die without a word.
Wasn't that cruelty?
There was a reason.
What was it? Tell me?
Tell me.
Tell me!
You are unarmed.
Even a woman with a dagger
can be dangerous.
She has no dagger.
She is my sister.
Leave us.
So, you came to warn me.
No other reason.
Didn't you know Livius
was on his way back to Rome?
I did not know.
Do you know why he is coming?
Stay here with me, Lucilla.
We'll find other ways
to ensure the loyalty
of Armenia.
Gaius Martellus Livius.
I heard a whisper that
Lucilla is here in Rome.
Have you not also heard them
saying that anything is possible now
that Commodus has become Caesar?
I've been hearing these
wild rumors
that you've come with
your head full of ideas
for a new Rome.
The Rome of my father.
And that you intend to come
before the Senate
with these ideas?
These wild schemes of yours?
What would you do
if I were to say, Livius...
I don't want you to do this.
Just that, nothing more.
I would still do
what I believe must be done.
Abandon this plan, Livius,
and I will see to it that you
and Lucilla can always be together.
Oh, Livius.
Oh, what will I do?
I'm not as strong as I thought I was.
I have not learned to live without you.
There is no life for
either of us apart, Lucilla.
I told you this before
but you would not listen.
I thought you had betrayed my father.
But now I know.
You've found your own way of
making the world he wanted.
And yet if I try to make that world,
Commodus will keep us apart.
Make that world, Livius,
and then let's see,
what will keep us apart.
Hail Livius, conqueror of the Germans.
Hail Livius Germanicus!
Honorable fathers!
And Senators of Rome.
Have you heard what is being proposed?
Gaius Martellus Livius,
has asked that we, the Roman Senate
should give
these barbarians,
these savages
Roman citizenship
and settle them on Roman lands.
To treat these wondering murderers
as brothers,
And what of our other provinces?
What of Gaul? So loyal to us.
What of Syria,
and Egypt which sends us our grain?
If we make Romans of these barbarians,
can we withhold
Roman citizenship from them?
No! Then what becomes
of the precious prize
Roman citizenship once was?
It becomes a cheap, common thing.
It will be given away like bread.
I say no!
We are Romans! Warriors!
Let us rid our minds
of this poisonous idea.
Crucify their leaders.
Sell the rest as slaves.
Teach them once and for all
what it is to make war on Rome.
is the Roman way.
Honorable fathers of Rome!
You have greeted me as a soldier,
who came in small triumph from the wars.
And I thank you for it.
But you will have
a hard decision to make here today!
And it must not be I as a soldier
swayed your vote.
I ask, therefore, of Caesar,
that a man who is
neither soldier nor senator,
but a philosopher,
a man of reason,
be permitted to speak for me.
Fellow Romans!
Greek! Greek!
Born a Greek, I became
a Roman by choice.
Slave! Slave!
Born a slave...
I won my freedom.
Fellow Romans.
I am a teacher,
and as a teacher I know that when I have
tried to teach the same lesson
for a hundred times
and still the pupil does not understand,
then I am forced to the conclusion that
perhaps there's something wrong,
Either with the lesson
or with the teacher.
A hundred times we have taught
those we have called barbarians
what it means to make war with Rome.
We've burned their villages,
we've crucified their leaders.
we've enslaved their young.
Fires go out, the dead are buried,
the slaves die, slowly.
But their hatred that we leave behind us
never dies!
Hatred means wars.
Wars mean tribute
torn from our provinces,
How costly that is!
How wasteful!
And yet the answer is simple.
We must have no war.
No war?
When your friends continually attack us.
This is treason!
These people have proved their aims
very clearly.
To destroy us
and to destroy
the whole Roman way of life.
And yet,
the answer is simple.
Let us transform my friends
from men of war
to men of peace.
Let us put them
on our abandoned farmland.
Not only will they produce food
for themselves,
but this I pledge you.
One day they will send food to Rome.
Yes, I agree!
Put them on those lands.
Let them produce for us
but as slaves.
That is the way it has always been!
Niger here used to have twenty thousand
slaves on his family estate.
Where are they now?
All sold or freed.
Because Niger is opposed to slavery?
No, because it is no longer
profitable to keep slaves.
Slaves do not produce
as much as free men.
Let us do what is profitable,
and right.
Let us share the greatest gift of all.
Let us give these men
the right of Roman freedom.
And they will spread the word
that Rome has accepted them
as equals, then
we will have our human frontiers.
The Roman peace
that Marcus Aurelius promised.
In the name of Caesar...
In the name of Caesar!
Caesar has asked me
when has Rome ever been
greater or stronger?
I say in answer to Caesar:
Never has Rome been
greater or stronger than now.
And what is it
that has kept our empire together?
Our strength!
Our might!
Who is it that uses these words
but Greeks,
and Jews, and slaves.
Behind him
and his people are the Vandals,
untold millions of them,
waiting for a moment of weakness,
ready to destroy us.
If we take these barbarians
in amongst us,
our enemies will say is it because
we are weak.
Then they will pour in
on us from everywhere.
It will be the end of the Roman Empire.
It will be the end of Rome.
The end of Rome?
How does an empire die?
Does it collapse in one terrible moment?
No. No!
But there comes a time when its people
no longer believe in it.
Then, then does an empire begin to die.
Fathers of Rome,
I have lived under four great emperors.
Marcus Aurelius.
And during all those years
our empire grew.
The law of life is grow or die.
And you, the senators,
Are the heart of Rome.
It is through you that the people speak.
Speak up! Let the world hear you!
Let the world know
that Rome will not die.
There are millions like them
waiting at our gates.
If we do not open these gates
they will break them down
and destroy us, but instead,
let us grow ever bigger,
ever greater.
Let us take them among us.
Let the heart of the empire grow with us.
Honorable fathers.
We have changed the world.
Can we not change ourselves?
It is time to change! An end of war.
End to war!
Oh, Livius.
You have won.
We have won.
We have won the Senate.
We have yet to win Rome.
Rome is with you.
The army's with you.
I'll be with you.
March against Commodus.
With you as Caesar
all Rome will change.
You've defeated me.
Haven't you?
Since it was for Rome
it cannot be your defeat.
It is all so very clear now...
why you came...
To destroy me.
I could kill you, both!
As for the Senate...
If you will try to oppose
the will of the Senate...
I will not oppose the will
of the Senate.
We'll allow your barbarians to settle,
But you...
You are no longer second
in command to Caesar.
You will return to
your northern frontiers,
and you will patrol them forever.
Until it is my pleasure
to change my mind.
No, no, no, sister...
I'm not giving you anymore chances
to plot against me.
You will go back to your husband
in Armenia,
and you will not see Rome
or Livius again.
A few days ago
you were ready to make peace with Rome.
Over these past years
we have made many peace treaties.
with many tribes.
Of the northern peoples
only you are left.
If you are afraid of the hordes
of Vandals on your frontiers,
Rome will protect you.
Why do you refuse?
Why? Speak out clearly,
Or be on your way.
All these years in this wilderness.
And what have we accomplished?
The first time in the history
of the Roman Empire,
most of the north is at peace.
A man can be alone for months, years,
and then a moment comes,
that one moment that is too much.
Would that moment have come,
if Lucilla were here with you?
A command from Caesar.
Your are to return to Rome.
Look! It's Livius!
All is well with us.
We prosper.
They have a home, like a Roman.
As you see there's
more than enough for ourselves.
We were right, Livius.
There's no limit to what can be done
with the human spirit, for good or evil.
Have you heard from Lucilla?
I haven't heard a word, not for a month.
I hear there's a famine I Rome.
People are dying in thousands of hunger
and pestilence.
I must get there before nightfall.
I'm glad you prosper.
Terrible days, Livius.
I'm afraid the gods are angry.
They are torturing Rome with this
Thousands have died. I am alone.
I have no one to...
turn to.
Except you.
I have not wanted to be away.
The entire East has rebelled:
Judea, Cappadocia, Syria,
- Syria and Egypt!
That is Marcellus and Virgilianus...
They were among the most loyal.
Yes, to my father.
Now they are raising armies against me.
Against Rome.
Even Sohamus has joined them.
He has forced Lucilla
to flee with him, Livius.
Where is the eastern army, Commodus?
They have sided with the rebels.
There's only the northern army
left to crush them.
And you,
you're the only one they will follow.
Take command.
Do not give me this power, Commodus.
The gods are with me.
They will always be with me.
Go to the East and crush this rebellion.
Do not give me this power.
I'm not afraid.
You asked for this meeting!
You are prepared to do battle against us,
even before you had spoken to us.
You have rebelled against Rome.
Marcus Aurelius spoke of an empire
of equal nations.
Rome will not tolerate rebellion!
We're old friends, Livius.
You are traitors!
You have caused two armies to mutiny!
You have threatened the empire!
We are not alone in this, Livius.
Livius. Oh, Livius.
The gods were kind to us.
They sent you, you, you.
You're a part of this, Lucilla?
I am a great part of this.
Part of rebellion?
We are breaking away from Rome.
We will make our own empire here in the East.
An eastern empire.
An eastern empire! You will make chaos!
What will hold you together?
What will you do but divide the empire?
But not if you'd join us, Livius.
We will have all of Rome greater than ever.
What have you done, Lucilla?
I am trying to prevent the disaster
my brother has set upon us.
They may be a great deal of wrong with
what Commodus has done,
but this is not the way to oppose him.
I cannot let you destroy the empire!
If you cannot then take your army
back to Rome.
Let us make our own destiny here.
And let rebellion go on unpunished?
I am part of this rebellion!
I am beginning to wonder
if you ever loved me.
It is out of love that I dared so much.
Run, Lucilla.
Hide somewhere now before it is too late.
Because as certain as death,
we will fall upon the
rebellious armies and crush them.
I do not run, Livius.
You have violated the truce!
We have done more than that, Lucilla.
We have joined with the Persians.
The Persians.
What can we do?
Join Livius?
How would Commodus repay us except
with torture and death.
It is Romans against Persians
while we stand by.
Set the fires behind us!
If I die, Livius, know this...
I have given orders
to have Lucilla killed at once.
The King is dead!
The king is dead!
I have lost! Let me die!
No, Lucilla. I want you to live.
I want you to live.
I want to die! I want to die!
Hail Livius!
Emperor of the Roman world salutes you
and proclaims that henceforth,
you will be known as
Gaius Martellus Livius Parthius,
Conqueror of Persia.
Caesar has asked me to say to you,
Livius, my friend, my brother,
I wish you to share the throne,
to become Caesar with me.
But first...
the following villages
to be destroyed.
From each rebel city of
Cappadocia, Syria, and Egypt,
five thousand persons
are to be taken and crucified,
five thousand persons
from each city to be burned alive.
We'll teach them to make revolution.
Stop the crucifixions!
Cease these men!
Romans! Romans!
Now can we say to our Senate,
to our empire,
to the whole world,
Here we meet in friendship,
the blond people from the north
and the dark people from the south.
What we have done here could be done
the whole world over.
Where is this gift from Gaius Livius?
It was Livius who did this to us!
Gaius Martellus Livius!
You told him I would share
the throne with him?
This was his answer.
Tell Caesar,
there will be a new Rome or a new Caesar.
Get me gold, Cleander.
Strip all the public monuments,
The temples,
the gods and goddessess.
Get me enough gold, Cleander,
to drown Livius
and his new Rome.
Destroy the Barbarians!
Men of Rome! Men of Rome!
Do not touch these people!
They've become your brothers!
Let them live in peace,
they are Romans now!
Do not harm them!
The whole northern people
will answer with death and fire!
Their hatred will live
for centuries to come.
Romans and Roman blood
will pay for this.
You will make nations of
killers out of them!
Put aside your weapons,
let us live together in peace!
No! No! No!
What happened, gentle Greek?
Did you try to tell them
there were three possibilities?
Did you not know that
there was a fourth possibility?
This is the way they answer reason.
And now even you must see
that this is the only way
to answer them.
Look at his face.
Tell me what I must do in his name.
March the army into Rome
and drench the city with blood!
He is dead.
He does not seem dead to me.
I can still feel his life.
And can hear his words.
He was my father's friend.
I will go alone into Rome.
If I do not return by sunset,
then let the army into Rome.
I've been made a god.
Did you know?
I have ordered 30 days of celebration
to mark the event.
Leave at once, Commodus!
I can still spare your life!
I've finally understood
why they have sent me this pestilence.
There was famine,
there were too many mouths,
so the gods
made less mouths.
Commodus, the army is
at the gates of the city.
If I do not return by sunset,
the legions will march on Rome!
I offered you everything
and yet you put yourself against me.
You could have become a god.
Take a sword, Commodus,
And I will show you.
I will show you
how much of a god you are.
I will appeal to the Senate.
There must some love
for the empire left among them.
I loved you, Livius.
Yet now you must die.
But that's the sort of joke
the gods love best.
You told me once you'd never heard
the gods laughing.
Listen, carefully.
Glorious Caesar!
Who has been named Lucius Aelius Aurelius
Commodus Augustus Pius Felix,
Pacifier of the whole earth, Invincible.
The Roman Hercules!
High priest! Emperor!
Father of his Country!
And now, Conqueror of Persia!
We are gathered here
to beg permission of our divine Caesar
that he authorizes us
to proclaim that from this day forth
our empire be called,
not the Roman empire,
but the empire of Commodus.
And that the city be called, not Rome,
but the city of Commodus.
You have my permission.
Gaius Livius is among us.
Gaius Livius wishes to speak.
Honorable fathers of Rome.
What have you done?
What have you become?
You are the Senate of the people of Rome.
The voice!
The conscience of the empire!
Stand up!
Rid yourselves of this man,
who has imperiled the life of the empire.
The northern army is at the gates of Rome.
The army will support you.
From Caesar!
From Caesar!
A change of command!
A change of command!
Gaius Livius
is no longer your leader!
Your new commander is
Caesar himself!
Gold! Gold!
Caesar has sent gold
for the soldiers of Rome!
Gold! Gold! Gold!
Gold! Gold!
Three thousand dinars for each man
in gold.
Three thousand dinars! Gold! Gold!
Three thousand dinars in gold
for each man.
There's not enough gold
in the whole world
to pay each man
three thousand dinars. Look! Look!
You see, Livius,
the day has run its course
and no army marches on Rome.
Our new god, Caesar,
demands human sacrifices.
and these others
will be the first.
There is your great Roman army.
Bought for a handful of gold.
What are we waiting for?
Let's take our share!
What about Livius?
What of the years you have given,
The blood you have shed.
The comrades who have died.
Will you throw all this away?
Our time has come.
Time! Time, oh, betrayal!
We are not deserters!
We obey our Caesar!
Your Caesar!
Your Caesar is buying you!
If you touch that gold, you are a traitor!
You are a traitor!
You call me traitor?
You are leading a rebellion!
Bolivius! Bolivius!
Run, Lucilla, save yourself!
It cannot be.
Not my father's army.
What's become of it?
There's nothing left. Darkness. Death.
Run quickly, Lucilla.
There's no use crying!
You don't understand all this, do you?
In the old days there was gold from
the wars for the legionaires.
But your father,
he was a great man,
but with this new Rome,
it has all changed.
Verilus, Verilus help me.
Help me.
Help me save the man I love.
I want you to kill my brother.
I'll give you money,
my jewels.
I'll give you everything I have.
There's nothing left for me,
only my love.
There is not enough money in the world
to pay a man to kill his own son.
Your son?
My mother?
My mother loved you?
Yes, she loved me.
And I loved her.
It's a lie!
It's a lie.
No, Commodus. It is true.
It's a lie.
- You should never have been Caesar.
You were not born for it.
It's a lie.
I'm his son. I'm an emperor.
Marcus Aurelius was my father.
You are not my father!
My son.
You are my son.
My son.
You are my Faustinus.
My son.
Gods of Rome.
Your empire has died!
The light of the world has gone out!
People of Rome!
People of Rome!
Quickly, run to your Livius.
Tell him
the night is full of thieves.
They have robbed us
of our most precious treasures,
of our pride,
of our glory,
of our wisdom, of our honor.
People of Rome!
Cry out!
Death is near!
They do not see.
They do not hear.
Only the jackals who are
waiting in darkness know.
Only the vultures who are
wheeling the black skies know.
Mourn! Mourn
our land that is no more!
Oh, Livius.
Give me your hand, Livius.
Out of all we have fought for,
Out of all our dreams,
we have each other.
We have each other.
Caesar commands:
Put her in chain.
- Livius.
Why did you come, Lucilla?
You could have lived.
I love you, Livius.
We are a part of each other.
I live only if you live.
When my father,
Marcus Aurelius, died,
you brought me a torch
and hailed me undoubted Caesar!
I swore I would not forget that,
so I'm paying my debt to you,
Gaius Martellus Livius.
I have fought many times in the arena,
but they've whispered that
no gladiator dare kill a Caesar,
a god.
Only you would dare.
If you fought me now,
the world would know
it was to death.
Kill me, and they are yours.
No matter which one comes out alive,
you have the power now.
You have the army.
Make me Caesar
and I will give you
one million dinars in gold.
One million five hundred thousand dinars.
If you listen...
very carefully,
you'll hear the gods...
Burn them!
Burn them!
Burn them!
Burn them!
Go get the gold!
Wotan! Save us!
Destroy Rome! Destroy Rome!
Hail Livius! Hail Caesar!
We are in command now, Livius.
Rome is ours.
Take the throne.
Be Caesar.
- Gaius Martellus Livius,
The people are asking for you.
The empire is yours,
You would not find me suitable.
Because my first official act would be
to have you all crucified.
Two million dinars
for the throne of Rome.
Two million dinars for the throne.
Two million five hundred thousand dinars.
Two million and seven hundred
fifty thousand dinars.
Two million...
Emperor of the greatest empire in history?
From Britain to Egypt?
Ruler of the world?
No! Much more!
Three million dinars
for the throne and the empire of Rome!
This was the beginning
of the fall of the Roman empire.
A great civilization
is not conquered from without,
until it has destroyed itself
from within.