In the colder time of year of 180 AD, the Roman head Marcus Aurelius battles to hold Germanic clans back from attacking his northern regions on the Danube boondocks. His representatives are the Greek ex-slave Timonides and the harsh and fair broad Gaius Livius. Livius has close associations with the majestic family, being infatuated with Aurelius’ girl Lucilla (Sophia Loren) and a companion of her sibling Commodus.
He is astounded to hear from the debilitated Aurelius that he needs to make Livius his successor. The head has libertarian goals, longing for a day when Rome awards equivalent freedoms to men, everything being equal. He realizes that he won’t live to accomplish this end, and trusts Livius to do as such more than his severe child. The revelation that his dad has adequately excluded him harms Commodus tremendously and harms the practically kindly relationship he had appreciated with Livius.
Before Aurelius can report his arrangement, he is harmed by Commodus’ comrades, who desire to get their own political future by putting their companion on the lofty position. Feeling that a plebeian, for example, himself could never be acknowledged as head without Aurelius’ express sponsorship, Livius allows his close buddy to take the situation all things considered.
Commodus, who was not piece of the homicide plot, devotes himself to fixing Aurelius’ approaches as a whole; this includes bias towards Rome and the Roman territories in Italy, which are to be enhanced by fierce tax collection from the regions that used to be their equivalents.
In the interim, Livius’ military scores a significant triumph on the outskirts, catching the German clan leader Ballomar and his associates. Timonides wins the Germans’ trust by effectively going through a difficulty, having his hand push held to a wearing light without shouting out. With his assistance, Livius chooses to place Aurelius’ strategy into impact notwithstanding dissatisfaction from Commodus. Lucilla persuades Livius to challenge the sovereign, since she adored her dad however much Commodus despised him. A discourse by Timonides convinces the Roman Senate to allow the German hostages to become tranquil ranchers on Italian land, along these lines empowering their kindred brutes to help out Rome as opposed to battling it. Ruined, Commodus sends Livius back toward the northern wilderness and Lucilla to Armenia, with whose ruler, Sohaemus, she shares a cold political marriage.
Lucilla joins a revolt in Rome’s eastern territories, where a starvation has been exacerbated by the new duties. Commodus sends his northern armed force against the revolutionaries, realizing that Livius will set to the side individual sentiments and battle to safeguard the solidarity of the Empire. As the contradicting Roman militaries meet for the fight to come, Sohaemus shows up and assaults Livius with both the Armenian armed force and troops acquired from Rome’s most despised foe, the Persians. The radicals devotedly choose to battle Persia rather than Rome, getting together with Livius and assisting him with vanquishing Sohaemus. As an award Commodus pronounces Livius his co-sovereign, however just on condition that the northern armed force incurs cruel disciplines for the defiant regions.
Dismissing this piece of mercilessness, Livius and Lucilla take their military to Rome, expecting to make Commodus abandon. The ruler reacts by paying off away the warriors’ faithfulness and slaughtering Timonides and the number of inhabitants in the German province. The groveling Senate announces Commodus a divine being and Livius and Lucilla are condemned to be singed alive as human penances to the new god as the Roman residents unsteadily celebrate.
This triumph for Commodus is joined by the private disclosure that he isn’t of imperial blood, yet rather the result of an undertaking between his mom and the fighter Verulus, whom he kills. Presently Commodus moves Livius to a duel for the privileged position and the two battle with lances in the Roman Forum, where Livius in the end runs Commodus through. The Senate hurriedly offers to make Livius sovereign, however he likes to get away with Lucilla, passing on Commodus’ old guides to offer for who will assume the ruler’s position.
A voice-over epilog expresses that however the Roman Empire didn’t fall promptly, inside defilement prompted its possible breakdown.