Italian archeologists have discovered the tomb of the ancient Roman hero Mrcus Nonius Macrinus, who was said to have inspired the character played by Russell Crowe in the movie “Gladiator”.
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Daniela Rossi, a Rome archeologist, has stated the discovery of this monumental marble tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, includes a large inscription bearing his name, was “an exceptional find”. Rossi said it was “the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for twenty or thirty years”.
Marcus Nonius Macrinus’ tomb is on the banks of the Tiber near the via Flaminia, north of Rome. Cristiano Ranieri, who headed up the team at the site, said the tomb had long ago collapsed into the mud but its columns, roof and decorations were still intact. Parts of the tomb had gone down into the river, but had been recovered.
Marcus Nonius Macrinus, born in northern Italy, was a general and consul who led the military for Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD. Macrinus became part of the Emperor’s inner circle.
In the movie, “Gladiator”, Russell Crowe played Maximus Decimus Meridius, also a general and close to Marcus Aurelius but with a little different storyline where… after the murder of the emperor by his ambitious son Commodus (which was not based on history, just fictional), Maximus ends up falling from grace and in exile in North Africa. Of course he returns as a tough gladiator to take revenge forthe murder ofhis afamily and of Marcus Aurelius. Actor Russell Crowe won an oscar for his role in “Gladiator”.
They plan to reconstruct the tomb as the main piece of a ‘Via Flaminia Archeological Park’, which would also include the House of Empress Livia, the wife of Emperor Augustus, at Prima Porta nearby.
What an awesome find!