The movie Gladiator presents a tale of a succesful Roman General, known as Maximus that only desires to end his current capaigns in Germany and return to his family in Rome. But things are not to be that simple for Maximus. The Emperer of Rome sits on his dead bead and tells Maximus that he wishes for him to become the next emperer rather than his own son which he does not trust. Maximus at first refuses, but ultimately agrees to wield the power when the emperer dies.
The Emperer then tells his son Commodus about how he wishes his empire to be run, and by whom. The son states virtues he has of strength and ambition and then strangles his own father and then proclaims himself Emperer and orders Maximus the General killed as well as his family. Maximus kills the guards sent to kill him with ease but finds he is too late to prevent the death of his family.
Maximus is enslaved and trained to fight as a Gladiator. At first Maximus refuses but ultimately he learns that he must fight. The arenas and the crowds were the one thrill that gladiators can know. Maximus becomes known as "Spaniard" by the crowds and he fights his way to fame. The new Emperer Commodus even wishes to meet Spanaird and ultimately finds out just who he is.
The greatest champion of Rome is brought out of retirement in an attempt to kill Maximus. Tigers held in position with rope and a great fighter await Maximus in the great Colliseum of Rome. Maximus ultimately continues on his quest to fulfill the wishes the previous emperer has asked of him. The movie ends with Maximus taking a new name, "General." The Emperer Commodus then attempts to take Maximus out of the picture. The Emperer meets Maximus in the arena and meets him with sword himself. The future of Rome is determined.