The tomb of an Ancient Roman aristocrat believed to have inspired the hit film Gladiator has been found, Rome cultural authorities said Wednesday.
Parts of the tomb have been recovered but most of it is thought to have fallen into the Tiber, they said.
They named the ancient patrician as Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a proconsul who achieved major victories for Marcus Aurelius, emperor from 161 AD to his death in 180 AD.
Macrinus, a favourite of the emperor, is thought to have prompted the writers of the Ridley Scott film to imagine their ''general who became a slave, slave who became a gladiator, gladiator who defied an emperor,'' as the tag line to the 2000 epic said.
Russell Crowe won an Oscar in the title role.
Three more important finds which also ''enrich the history of Rome'' have been uncovered, the Rome archaeological superintendency said.
They will be presented at a press conference Thursday.
I'm assuming there will be more to come, but just so y'all know I'm on the case ...