In 2008, on the Via Flaminia in the northern part of contemporary Rome, archaeologists uncovered a monumental marble mausoleum, among other noteworthy tombs, alongside a well-preserved section of the ancient Roman road. The press was quick to dub the mausoleum the “Tomb of the Gladiator,” since the tomb itself was comissioned by and for Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a prominent general under Marcus Aurelius. Macrinus’ life was paralleled in the Oscar-winning film Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott), with the general-then-gladiator character Maximus magnificently played by Russell Crowe.
The enormous site - 13,000 square meters in area, almost three American football fields - lies 45 feet below the modern surface. The Archaeological Superintendency’s recent decision to rebury the site to preserve it is laudable, but its historical importance merits further attention and excavation, as well as a concerted plan to make it accessible to the public. Please sign and share AIRC's iPetition now.