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Maximus Decimus Meridius born free man rises to ranks of general, leads soldiers of the Roman army to a decisive victory, ending a long war on the Roman frontier and earning the esteem of the elderly Emperor, the emperor wishes to grant temporary leadership to Maximus with a desire to eventually return power to the Roman Senate. Commodus the emperors son, secretly murders his father in a fit of rage and then claims the throne.

Maximus is betrayed by his friend, General Quintus, who, albeit reluctantly, instructs the Praetorian guards to carry out Commodus' order to execute Maximus. Soldiers are also sent to murder Maximus's wife and son. Maximus is found unconscious by slave traders and taken to Zucchabar. There, he is forced to fight for his life as a gladiator in arena tournaments.

Sound familiar!

Set in a totalitarian society. Ben Richards born a free man rises through the ranks of the police forc. He is blamed for a massacre which wasn't his fault. He escapes from prison with the help of two other inmates, but his getaway is thwarted when a woman whom he dragged into his plan turns him over to the authorities. Damon Killian, who is the host of THE RUNNING MAN a game show wherein convicted felons are given the chance to run to freedom but have to elude the stalkers; men who hunt them down and kill them in gruesome manners. When he learns that Richards has been caught, he wants him to be the show's next contestant.

A reflection of our society?

We are all born free, are we not? rising through the ranks of our various professions, vying for status, wealth or recognition. But just like maximus & Ben Richards we are at the mercy of the political ambitions of others. Registered at birth as wards of the state, our parents are no more than our registered keepers. This becomes evident as we pass into adulthood and assume responsibilty for ourselves, that first letter with your name on it.

Capitis Diminutio Maxima - meaning a maximum loss of status through the use of capitalization, e.g. JOHN DOE or DOE JOHN

it refers to the capitalization of one's name on their brith certificate, license, bank account, etc. as a result of one's Social Security Number which locks one into a lifetime of debt (slavery).

Welcome to the games!!!

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