- Quiet, ominous music is playing as the film opens. The title—Gladiator—appears superimposed on a dark amber, foggy background
- The title disappears and we get a historical blurb about the Roman Empire—it stretched from Africa to England.
- 180 A.D.—Marcus Aurelius' campaign against the barbarians of Germania is nearing its conclusion.
- There's one stronghold left, and then, voila: there will be peace throughout the Empire.