Marcus Aurelius – Fall of the Roman Empire

Hand painted up-cycled functional art

I decided to write this to give a little background on what inspired me to render this Marcus Aurelius piece. With that being said let’s get to the good stuff!

Gladiator, a movie starring Russell Crowe and Directed by Ridley Scott. Ridley Scott’s behind many great films like American Gangster, Hannibal, & G.I. Jane! Well G.I. Jane wasn’t great but you get the picture. Russell Crowe, he’s an amazing actor known for his anger!

I absolutely loved the film but never thought twice about it’s historical accuracy. Not until one night I was Netflix-ing and chilling, did I just say that? Any who I just happened to scroll through and stumbled upon Roman Empire : Reign of Blood and I am so glad I did!

I liken Ancient Rome to The United States often referring to our Republic as a mere modern day Rome. 

Reign of Blood offers access to fact based history, which is always a treasure, correlations between the ancient and modern world are often prevalent. While it’s petrifying having a front row seat as history repeats itself, It’s amazing to see how ancient and modern civilizations mirror each other.

Ok so the Netflix original isn’t like a normal series. It’s more like Dave Chappelle’s Rick James episode but since they couldn’t include the actual Emporer for obvious reasons, historians substantiate the accounts with facts which is amazing! Also it’s not a comedy. 

So, it captures the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. It begins with Marcus Aurelius, much like the movie portrays, Aurelius was a Roman Emperor, a practicing philosopher, and had an extremely flawed son, Commodus. Commodus showed absolutely no interest in the throne and clear signs of immaturity but Aurelius wanted nothing more than the heir, his only son, to be a well prepared leader.

Long story short, Marcus Aurelius dies. So here’s where the movie gets slightly fictional. Maximus(Russell Crowe) is really Narcissus. Not to be confused with the son of the river god that fell in love with his own reflection and killed himself.

Skipping ahead a bit………..

According to historians Commodus compiled a list of people he planned to execute in the new year; the names of his mistress, Marcia, and Aemilius Laetus(senator), and Narcissus were on it. Watch the episodes to find out why.

Much like the movie Commodus was assasinated by the hands of Narcissus. The irony is that Narcissus, Laetus, and Marcia would all be executed in the near future anyways, though not by Commodus.

I definitely didn’t want to give away all of the juicy details the series had to offer but after watching it I had to create this, if you’re interested in this sort of thing it’s definitely a must watch! Let me know if you like the show or my work or both!

Happy creating & thanks for stopping by!


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