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The location

The first spot we visited was also the closest: the hill from which Marcus Aurelius watches the battle unfold. Moving through some ferns to our left, we arrived at the place. What was immediately obvious was that there had been no cheating of angles in the film - this position genuinely affords a clear view of the entire area. It is also safely behind the Roman lines, as will be shown later.

The emperor atop the command hill

The emperor, flanked by his Praetorian Guard, observes the battle from the command hill.

The hill today

A wider view of the hill from approximately the same angle.

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