Gladiator Easter Egg - The Lone Ranger & Roy Rogers Were Gladiators?

When Maximus has first arrived at the Coliseum and is talking to Lucius (Commodus' nephew), Lucius asks him if they have good horses in Spain. He answers "Some of the best" and tells him the names of the horses on his breastplate - Argento and Scarto, Latin for Silver and Trigger.

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Contributed By: Kevin on 01-30-2001
Reviewed By: Webmaster
Special Requirements: DVD, Video, Cinema (if its still showing)
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Comments

Berylium writes:
It's no coincidence the horses were named Trigger and Silver, it says so in the directors commentary.
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A fan writes:
For the folks looking up the name of Trigger (Scarto)in Latin, the name is actually SCATO (no "R"). Hope that helps your Latin Search.
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Kevin writes:
OK, talie has what would normally be a very valid point, but for the purposes of this egg it DOES matter what the names mean. Argento doesn't sound like silver, agreed. However, it is Latin (a language, or derivative, of what was spoken in the time frame of the movie) for silver (we'll ignore scarto for this part as I haven't been able to find it in any Latin texts either since I started looking). The whole point was that the names of the horses were a kind of in-joke for Russell and Ridley. They put it in wondering if people noticed. It may be bad Latin (as scarto doesn't look as if it exists - the only Latin equivalent for trigger I've found is actuator) but the intent was there - the horses names are, in the minds of the film makers, Silver and Trigger - they just used a different language. Bit longer than I intended, but I hope I've got my point across :)
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Roadie writes:
I happen to be Maltese and also one of the crew who filmed behind the scenes of Gladiator. Russell was really nice and fun. As for Silver and Trigger you are forgetting that Romans were Italians. Scato could be the word Scatto which means Trigger in Italian. Why Russell didnt say Scatto but Scato is reasonable. Ever heard and Englishman trying to speak Italian? Try it yourself.. sat Scatto loud and it will probably sound Scato.
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Mikky writes:
OK, the names Argento and Scarto actually translate as Silver and SCOUT, which are references to the horses of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. hope this clears things up a bit.
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I'm sorry Talie but it does matter what the names mean. It's cool inside information like an inside joke. Learning things like this about a movie add a new element of depth to the movie that makes it more personal to the fans. They put things like this in the movie for the perceptive movie watchers to get more out of the movie. It's like the reference to Wolverine's yellow outfit in the X-Men movie, only people that watched the cartoon or read the comic book would get the joke. Making you feel like you are more a part of the movie. It's just neat information, but it is definitely not a coincidence and it definitely does matter.
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Teircen writes:
I was an ancient studies major and took several years of Latin in High School and College and received High Marks in it. I don't recall ever coming across a Latin word for trigger, however, it could easily have been in the vocabulary. Whatever you call the release mechanism for a catapult or balista would, essentially, be a trigger. A brief search of some online Latin dictionaries didn't turn up either "trigger" or "scarto" but a search of Italian turned up the word scarto as "board". I can make some mental leaps that might relate board and trigger, but I can't see any as being seen as easily compared. In any event, Silver and Board seems a less likely set of names for horses and I'm inclined to believe it is a reference to Silver and Trigger. If it is, then I'm quite amused by it. :) For what its worth, someone did do a lot of research to produce Gladiator. I was highly impressed. -Teircen
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Mikky writes:
To be honest, I don't do Latin and I hardly know any. My source is actually the www.imdb.com, the internet movie database, under the trivia section for Gladiator. I quote: Maximus tells Lucius that his horses are called Argento and Scarto. Argento and Scarto are Latin for "Silver" and "Scout," the horses of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. So I was just going by what that said, which seemed to make a whole lot more sense that Scarto meant Scout rather than Trigger. But I don't have any proof or anything, so I'm probably wrong. Well if you really don't think that Scarto does mean Scout, then you could always take it up with the IMDB......?
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livia writes:
Scarto in Italian means "swerve", and Argento is an Italian word. Ridley Scott has an "italian vision" of the house of Maximus (located in Tuscany, Val d'Orcia), of the son (the kid speaks in italian "Papa - i soldati!", and of the horses (Silver and Swerve).. Regards! Minervia
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Kevin writes:
OK, it was a lame idea for a title. But Silver and Trigger were put in by Russell Crowe as a joke - they were struggling for a name for his horses in this scene and Crowe suggested it to Ridley Scott. Their thoughts were "What if people notice?", "Well, it'll be pretty cool if they do". As the Romans had a pretty wide range of fairly spectacular ballistic weaponry (catapults, trebuchets and other wonderful siege weapons) I'd imagine they would have had a word for trigger, or an equivalent term - it may all be in the context.
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Matrix 17 writes:
On what Talie said: Okay, some Chinese dude could call his horse 'Stupid' and not know what it means. But this is a MOVIE. You know what a MOVIE is? ANYthing can happen in the movies, and many people put little references and things in whatever they're doing just for the heck of it. It's just something cool to do. Let's say you make a huge program for the computer. You work for hundreds of hours on it, and you want to put a reference to your wife in it. Why not? It might only take another hour, and since you've already spent all this time, there's no reason that another hour is going to hurt you. This isn't a 'coincidence'. Suffice it to say, this egg is pretty cool.
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gBar writes:
I personally think that it's a good egg. Not to get on anyone's nerves or get anyone mad, but talie, you gotta lighten up, 'cause it's just a movie, nuttin' to take offense to :-). Oh, and another thing, about the Latin words not sounding like the English translations- lots of words in Latin or Spanish or Italian don't sound like English. (i.e. vrai is french for "true". I don't see the similarity at all, but they both mean "true".) So, I just think everyone should sit back, relax, and enjoy a good web site. Good egg. Onward and upward. :-)
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Melandry writes:
Just to add some facts to the discussion, here are the words that Perseus' on-line Lewis & Short dictionary says have English meanings of 'scout' (nouns and verbs): Total of 12 words whose English definitions contain "scout": 1. cognosco 2. curiosus 3. emissarius 4. excursator 5. excursor 6. explorator 7. exploratorius 8. praecursor 9. proculcator 10. speculator 11. speculatorius 12. visor So either scarto is a late or rare word, as I mentioned earlier, or it does not mean scout. I think a strong possibility is that scarto means scout or trigger in a language other than Latin.
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HaTeZaNzA writes:
Just a few things... Argento = Silver. Scarto = Side-Step, swerve. Argento and Scarto are italian translations for Silver & Side-step. Maybe someone in the movie crew knows a bit of Italian? I'm Italian.. I watched both the US and IT versions. Same names in both of them. Marco
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um, "talie", you are crazy. I agree with your point within the context of the movie: obviously, no one in Ancient Rome would get the joke, nor are they supposed to. But if you'd open your mind a little, you'd realize that it actually is one of the better Easter Eggs out there. The viewer really needs to delve relatively deep to find it. That's the whole point of easter eggs, after all.
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fudrom writes:
Rune Dragon, Nonononono, it's HI YO SILVER, not HI HO! Columnist Dave Barry has gone to great lengths to prove this. LOL!
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Melandry writes:
1) Whoever says scarto/scato means scout, I would like to see your source on that. It certainly doesn't mean that in Latin, and I'm using the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which is very complete and scholarly. There's no noun/adjective it could be derived from, and the only possibility is the VERB scato/scateo, which means to gush or bubble. Scarto is not a possibility in Latin at all. So, what language does scato/scarto mean scout in? One possibility, especially if we want to believe scarto/scato means trigger, is that if the word is late or medieval in origin, it wouldn't be in the OLD. So we'd need to use a dictionary of medieval Latin to check out the possibilities there. 2) For whoever thinks this movie was well researched. I would go to http://omega.cohums.ohio-state.edu/hyper-lists/classics-l/00-06-01/0926.html to see the comments of the classicist who consulted for the film concerning how embarassed and outraged she is at the lack of authenticity and well-researched details. High Marks(TM) in Latin do not a well-rounded classical historian make. This woman teaches at Harvard, and she _did_ research for Gladiator, which they disregarded. 3) Russell Crowe knows Latin? Ridley Scott knows Latin? They very well might, I suppose, but I'd like to see evidence for that, especially on Russell Crowe, who does not strike me as the 'dead languages' type. I can buy the Argento thing- if you know any romance language, you can get a word for silver that is cognate to the Latin word (argentum). But why would Russell Crowe know the Latin word for trigger, which none of us have been able to find in any dictionary? Did Russell Crowe suggest to Ridley Scott that they have someone who knew Latin translate silver and trigger into Latin?
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Furball writes:
Hey Hey ...... the names may have been meant to be those of Maximus' horses, BUT - not on that breast-plate! It was owned by Proximo, who GAVE it to Maximus.
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Wow. All I can say is that I send my condolences to the lady whose research was rejected, but really I think it's time to let it go man. Whether the word means board or scout or trigger, what's the difference? They all can be linked to The Lone Ranger, all it takes is a little time and thought and you can link that to almost anything. I could link the words 'silver' and 'trigger' to any Werewolf movie in history, just because of the Silver Bullet method of killing a Werewolf. My point is that as good of an egg this might be there's a thousand other ways to take it as well, and everyone just needs to chill out.
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canismajoris writes:
There's a perfectly reasonable explanation. It's not "scarto" OR "scato." It's "scatto," the Italian word meaning "release." But it's a word that also also, quite conveniently, is used to describe firearms.
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It does matter what the names mean - especially in light of the director's commentary. Even if the name "Scarto" is a stretch (as mentioned in a previous comment, the Romans DID have ballistic weapons that required a triggering mechanism to fire - {but not trebuchets}), it's a neat insider reference.
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jakey writes:
The whole point to this site is to find the HIDDEN meanings in things. I think that this is an excellent egg. Lighten up Talie
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pickle_cat writes:
Would the Romans have had a word for "trigger"??
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rob writes:
Talie, I think the point that you're missing is that the people that made the movie spoke english, thought of the names in english first, then used their Latin translations in the movie. Using your analogy, if your parents were making a movie about Italy, and for whatever reason "Christmas" would make a funny analogy to your character, they might name it "Natalie" or more exactly "Natale" which is actually Christmas in italian.
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Melandry writes:
I was just wondering if you had found a word in a language other than Latin that meant scout. I guess I came off as pretty hostile. I will definitely look at the imdb.
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Ferrum writes:
Hey hey hey guys, what about this... SCARTO is only a name, just as Marcus and Cornelia; those names do either have a long explanation, a translation into english.... I don't think this name is chosen for a certain purpose. Too bad fellaz....
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Sam P. writes:
Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary © 2006 Oxford University Press: ˡscarto noun, masculine scrap; (in carte) discard; (deviazione) swerve; (distacco) gap Here is the definition of the spelling used in the movies (English and Italian) subtitles from the Italian dictionary so there is no way you can get selver trigger. I bet though that scatro is an Italian slang for trigger currently, but it could not have been the case during the time period of the movie. If agento means silver and scarto means discard maybe it was the directors way of showing that even though the gladiator was discarded that he was still aware of his true value. A general is a genrnal and so too silver is silver.
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shinigami109 writes:
@ Kevin: just as a little side note to your point, while Argento does not sound like Silver via the English language, it is incredibly similar to the french word Argent and the Spanish word Argentino, both of which mean Silver. This is because French and Spanish are both Latin based languages, where as English is a Germanic based language that simply borrows a number of words from the Latin based tongues. that's why people who speak french or Spanish can understand one another given a few moments. the words are so similar that we need simply pick out the ones we recognize.
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Giyan writes:
(Na)talie, you're stupid! The meaning of a name is a major part of how people give names.
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Nickole writes:
Too much for a coincidence, don't you think?
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RuneDragon writes:
HIGH HO SILVER!
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thats really cool
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Right, that's very interesting. How can you care?
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