[Maximus enters Marcus’s darkened tent]

Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?

Maximus: For the glory of the Empire, sire. Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe that they fought and died for nothing.

Marcus Aurelius: And what would you believe?

Maximus: They fought for you and for Rome.

Marcus Aurelius: And what is Rome, Maximus?

Maximus: I’ve seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and cruel and dark, Rome is the light.

Marcus Aurelius: Yet you have never been there. You have not seen what it has become. I am dying, Maximus. When a man sees his end… he wants to know there was some purpose to his life. How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher? The warrior? The tyrant? Or will I be the emperor who gave Rome back her true self? There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish… it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter. Maximus, let us whisper now, together you and I. You have a son?

[Maximus nods his head]

Marcus Aurelius: Tell me about your home.