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Mr. Goldsworthy’s books on the ancient world include “Caesar” (2006), “How Rome Fell” (2009) and “Antony and Cleopatra” (2010). Now he published “Spartacus”.

What do we actually know about the most famous gladiator in the history?

Spartacus (Greek: Σπάρτακος, Spártakos; Latin: Spartacus) (c. 109–71 BC) was a Thracian gladiator, who along with the Gauls Crixus and Oenomaus, a Roman Castus, and a Celt Gannicus, was one of the slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Spartacus is the most famous gladiator—and probably the most famous slave—in history, and yet in many ways we really know very little about him. From 73 to 71 B.C. he led a slave revolt in Italy, shaking the Roman Republic by trouncing army after army until he was finally defeated and killed. The fear he inspired was reflected by the spectacular cruelty of the punishment that followed: 6,000 survivors of the rebel army (which had numbered in the tens of thousands) were crucified along the Appian Way from Rome to Capua, some 130 miles away. This ghastly reprisal was one of the reasons that the Romans never again faced a serious slave rebellion.

Spartacus fought for liberty and ultimately lost, but his story remains intensely romantic and continues to provide inspiration for fictional versions. Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory and may not always be reliable. All sources agree that he was a former gladiator and an accomplished military leader.

Read more: He Was Spartacus – What do we actually know about the most famous gladiator in history?

Book review by ADRIAN GOLDSWORTHY

Literature (according wikipedia)

Read also Amalia Angellinni’s Vengeance & Remission. It is a fictional story about a Roman soldier, Marcus Lucius, son of the great warrior Maximus, who protects his friends (Appius, Octavian) and falls in love in Julia Fabia, while he is on the way to revenge his killed wife, Decima. It’s a story with many risky actions, intrigues and it’s about friendship, loyalty and of course love. It’s set in the times of the emperor Hadrian.

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