Orfeas Katsoulis | Sep 30, 2022

Table of Content


Spartacus (died April 71 BC at the Silari River, Puglia) - leader of the slave and gladiator revolt in Italy in 73-71 BC. He was Thracian, became a slave under unclear circumstances, and later a gladiator. In 73 B.C., together with 70 other gladiators he escaped from gladiatorial school in Capua, took refuge on Vesuvius and defeated the detachment sent against him. Later he was able to create a strong and relatively disciplined army of slaves and the Italian poor and inflicted a number of serious defeats on the Romans. In 72 BC he defeated the two consuls, his army has grown, according to various sources, up to 70 or even 120 thousand people. With the fighting Spartacus reached the northern borders of Italy, apparently intending to cross the Alps, but then turned back.

The Roman Senate appointed Marcus Licinius Crassus as commander of the war, who was able to increase the combat efficiency of the government army. Spartacus retreated to Bruttius, from where he planned to cross into Sicily, but was unable to cross the Straits of Messina. Crassus cut him off from the rest of Italy with a moat and fortifications; the rebels were able to break through and win another battle. Finally, in April 71 B.C., when resources were exhausted and two more Roman armies appeared in Italy, Spartacus engaged in a final battle on the Silar River. He died in the battle, and the rebels were slaughtered.

The personality of Spartacus since the XIX century is very popular: the leader of the rebellion is the main character in a number of famous books, feature films and other works of art. Karl Marx gave high marks to Spartacus, and later this evaluation was disseminated in Marxist historiography. Spartacus became a symbol of the communist movement. Many researchers have noted the connection of the uprising as a spontaneous struggle against slavery, and with the civil wars that unfolded in Rome in the I century BC.

The information about the life of Spartacus up to the moment when he led the revolt in Italy is extremely scarce and dates back, presumably, to Sallustius and Titus Livius who call Spartacus a Thracian; The name Spartacus (Spartakos or Spartacus), which means "glorious with his spear" and is localized by scholars in Western Thrace, supports this view: the original text should have been medikon, that is, referring to the tribe of the Medes, who lived on the middle reaches of the Strimon River. Ziegler's opinion has become generally accepted.

Alexander Mishulin connects the name Spartacus with the Thracian place names Spartol and Spartakos, as well as with the characters of Hellenic mythology Spartos; they are giants who grew from the teeth of the dragon slain by Cadmus and became the progenitors of the Theban aristocracy. Theodore Mommsen considered a possible connection with the kings of Bosporus from the Spartokid dynasty, which ruled in 438-109 BC, and saw in this proof that Spartacus belonged to a noble family. Other scholars find similar names in the ruling dynasty of the Odryssians. In favor of high status of Spartacus in his homeland can also speak the message of sources that he already in Italy "by intelligence and mildness of character stood above his position and in general was more like a Hellenist, than could be expected from a man of his tribe".

It is certain that Spartacus was free-born, but later became first a slave and then a gladiator; there is no exact information on when and how this happened in the sources. There are two main versions. Appian writes that Spartacus "fought with the Romans, was captured and sold into gladiators"; Lucius Annaeus Florus - that he became "from a Thracian stipendiary a soldier, from a soldier a deserter, then a brigand, and then through physical strength a gladiator". A number of scholars accept Appian's version and hypothesize about exactly when Spartacus was taken into Roman captivity. It could have been in 85 BC, when Lucius Cornelius Sulla fought the Medes; in 83 BC, at the beginning of the Second Mithridates War; in 76 BC, when the proconsul of Macedonia Appius Claudius Pulchrus defeated the Thracians. There is an opinion that we should be talking about the 80s rather than the 70s, since Spartacus must have had plenty of time before the rebellion to have been a slave and gladiator and to have gained prominence among his forced "peers".

Theodore Mommsen adhered to Florus' version. He writes that Spartacus "served in the auxiliary Thracian units of the Roman army, deserted, plundered in the mountains, was captured again and had to become a gladiator. Emilio Gabba suggested that this might refer to service in Sulla's army when that proconsul landed in Italy to start another civil war against the Marian party (83 BC). In this case Spartacus served in auxiliary mounted units: the Thracians had a reputation for excellent cavalrymen, and the leader of the rebellion was known to have fought on horseback in his last battle. He may have held some kind of command position. The experience Spartacus gained in the Roman army might have helped him to quickly create a disciplined army of gladiators and slaves.

If Florus' version is correct, Spartacus defected from the Roman army at some point, perhaps because of a quarrel with his commanders (Tacitus' analogy between Spartacus and Tacpharinatus, the "deserter and robber" may confirm this). This could have happened during one of the Thracian wars of Rome, and then Spartacus' "robbery" must have consisted in his going over to the side of his tribesmen and further actions against the Romans. If Gabba is right and Spartacus defected from Sulla's army in Italy, he should have gone over to the side of the Marians and could have led a mounted unit that waged a "small war" against the Sullans. It was at this point in his life that he could have studied the Italian theater of war well. In any case, the Thracian was captured, for some unknown reason he was not crucified or given to the beasts in the circus arena (this was usually the way defectors and brigands were treated), but he was enslaved.

Spartacus was sold at least three times, and it is known that the first sale took place in Rome. Diodorus of Sicily mentions "a certain man" from whom Spartacus received a "favor"; it may have been his first master who did him a favor, such as allowing him to be in a privileged position. Later, the Thracian was bought by a man who treated him cruelly by selling him as a gladiator. Mishulin suggested that the latter sale was due to a series of unsuccessful attempts by Spartacus to escape. Vladimir Nikishin, disagreeing with this, draws attention to the words of Plutarch that injustice was done to Spartacus, and to the report of Marcus Terentius Varron about the sale to gladiators "without guilt". Mary Sergheenko notes, however, that the lord had every right to send his slave to the gladiators without any justification; according to Florus, Spartacus was forced to perform in the arena because of his physical strength.

Vladimir Goroncharovsky suggested that Spartacus became a gladiator at the age of about thirty, i.e. quite late; however, the record holder fought in the arena until he was forty-five. Early in his career Spartacus could act as a myrmillon - a warrior armed with a short sword (gladius), protected by a large rectangular shield (scutum), wrist armor on the right forearm (manica) and the Boeotian helmet. Myrmillons fought naked to the waist. Presumably over time Spartacus, distinguished by both strength and "outstanding courage," became one of the best gladiators in the school of Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus at Capua. Evidence that he was in a privileged position can be seen in the fact that he had a wife, which means he was given a separate room or rooms. The wife, according to Plutarch, was initiated into the mysteries of Dionysus and had the gift of prophecy. When she once saw a serpent coiled around her sleeping husband's face, she "declared that it was a sign of great and formidable power destined for him, which would lead him to an ill-fated end." Perhaps this or a similar incident did take place and played a role in enhancing Spartacus' authority in the eyes of his comrades.

The sources are silent as to whether Spartacus became a rudiarist, that is, whether he received a wooden sword as a symbol of resignation. However, even in this case he would have remained a slave. It is true that Sergei Utchenko writes that Spartacus "for his bravery ... received freedom," but, according to Nikishin, here the Soviet researcher was under the impression of Raffaello Giovagnoli's novel.

There are also alternative hypotheses on the subject of the origin of Spartacus, including those not related to historical science. So, the Australian writer Colleen McCullough, who wrote a series of novels about ancient Rome, in her book "Fortune's Favorites" portrayed Spartacus as an Italian. His father, a prosperous native of Campania, was granted Roman citizenship in 90 or 89 B.C., and his son began his military career in low command positions, but was accused of sedition and chose gladiatorial craft over exile. He adopted the fictitious name Spartacus and fought in the arena in Thracian style, and therefore his audience considered him a Thracian. According to the Ukrainian fiction writer and candidate of historical sciences Andrei Valentinov, Spartacus could have been a Roman around whom former Marian officers had rallied, making it their goal to overthrow the Sullan regime.

The problem of chronology

The date of the beginning of Spartacus' rebellion is mentioned only by two ancient authors - Flavius Eutropius in The Breviary of Roman History and Paulus Orosius in History Against the Gentiles. It is 678 years from the foundation of Rome respectively, i. e. according to the classical chronology, 76 and 75 B.C. But Orosius mentions the names of consuls - "Lucullus and Cassius" (Marcus Terentius Varron Lucullus and Gaius Cassius Longinus), and Eutropius reports that in that year "Marcus Licinius Lucullus obtained the Macedonian province". Thus, the researchers noted the chronological confusion of the two authors and for a long time unanimously believed that the uprising of Spartacus began in 73 BC. In 1872, the German scholar Otfried Schambach came to the conclusion that in fact it was 74 BC: in his opinion, Eutropius confused Varron Lucullus with Lucius Licinius Lucullus, who was consul a year earlier, and Orosius simply neglected the first year of the rebellion. Later, the Soviet antiquarian Alexander Mishulin also cited the year 74, referring to the fact that according to Eutropius the rebellion was suppressed in 681 from the foundation of Rome, "at the end of the third year," and in the third year, according to Appian, Marcus Licinius Crassus, who fought for about five months, was given the command.

Mishulin's opponent A. Motus published an article entirely devoted to the problem in 1957. Her theses are as follows: Mishulin mistranslated Eutropius, who wrote not "at the end of the third year" but "in the third year"; Orosius could not have neglected the first year of the rebellion, since Spartacus' army was growing very fast; the Breviary of Roman History has a "break in years," so that Eutropius' year 678 and Orosius' year 679 are the same year; when speaking of the appointment of Crassus, Appianus was referring to the one-year intervals between the elections, which took place in the summer, while the revolt began in the spring; finally, the epitomator Livy mentions the proconsul Licinius Lucullus in connection with the first year of the revolt. All this, according to Motus, should point to 73 B.C.

Later works date the beginning of the Spartacus War to 73 B.C. There are opinions in favor of the end of winter.

The beginning of the uprising

Sources report that gladiators of the school of Lentulus Batiatus conspired (presumably in 73 BC) to escape. The impetus for this was the news of the approaching regular games at which, according to Synesius of Cyrenaica, the gladiators were to become "purification victims for the Roman people". In all, about two hundred men took part in the conspiracy. The master learned of their plans and took action in time, but some of the gladiators were able to arm themselves with kitchen spits and knives, overpower the guards and break free from Capua. According to various accounts, the rebels were thirty, "about seventy" or seventy-eight.

This small group made their way to Vesuvius, and on the way there seized several wagons with gladiatorial weapons, which were immediately put to use. Then the rebels repulsed the attack of a detachment sent against them from Capua and took possession of a sufficient quantity of military equipment. They settled in the crater of Vesuvius (long extinguished at the time) and began to raid the villas in the vicinity, seizing food from there. It is known that at this stage the rebels had three leaders - Spartacus and two Gauls, Oenomaus and Crixus; but Appianus reports that Spartacus divided the seized booty equally among all, and this suggests the presence of one-man rule and strict discipline. According to Sallustius, Spartacus was "chief of the gladiators" from the beginning, and some scholars suggest that Crixus and Oenomaus were chosen as his "assistants." Mishulin has even suggested that it was Spartacus who came up with the idea of escaping from Batiatus' school.

The revolt quickly swelled with slaves and farmhands who had escaped from the surrounding haciendas. The authorities in Capua, alarmed by this development, appealed to Rome for help, and Rome had to send a detachment of three thousand soldiers led by a praetor, whose name is variously given by sources: Clodius, Claudius Glabrus. The fighting ability of this detachment was low: it was more of a militia than a regular army. Nevertheless, the praetor was able to drive the rebels to Vesuvius and block them there. His plan was to force the fugitives to surrender under threat of death by hunger and thirst. But the rebels wove ladders of wild grape vines and climbed down the steep cliffs at night where they were not expected (according to Florus, the descent took place "through the mouth of a hollow mountain"). Then they attacked the Romans and defeated them by surprise. Sextus Julius Frontinus writes that "several cohorts were defeated by seventy-four gladiators," but he clearly underestimates the number of victors.

The Battle of Vesuvius was the turning point at which the routine struggle of Roman military units against a gang of runaway gladiators and slaves turned into a full-scale conflict, the Spartacus War. Having defeated the praetor, the rebels settled in his camp, where fugitive slaves, day laborers, and shepherds began to flock en masse - in the words of Plutarch, "a people all strong and nimble." Researchers suggest that many Italians, who had fought against Rome in the 80s BC, joined Spartacus. Campania, Samnius, and Lucania suffered most from Roman arms in the Allied War; it was only nine years after Lucius Cornelius Sulla had brutally massacred the Samnites, so the territories adjacent to Vesuvius must have been home to many people who hated Rome. As a result Spartacus quickly formed an entire army, which he tried to make an organized military force. Presumably, he divided his warriors along Roman lines into legions of about five thousand soldiers each, which in turn were divided into cohorts; these units may have been formed along ethnic lines. The rebels also had cavalry, which included shepherds with horses stolen from their masters. The new recruits were trained, presumably also under the Roman system, well known to Spartacus himself and many of his comrades-in-arms.

At first the rebels were desperately short of weapons; presumably it is to this period that the reports of Sallustius ("...spears were cast on fire, with which, besides their appearance necessary for war, one could harm the enemy no worse than with iron") and Frontinus ("Spartacus and his army had shields of twigs covered with bark"). The rebels covered their makeshift shields with the skin of freshly slaughtered cattle, forged the chains of slaves who had escaped from the Ergastuli into weapons, and all the iron found in the camp below Vesuvius and in the surrounding area.

Against Varinius

The Roman senate now paid more attention to the events in Campania and sent two legions against Spartacus. However, the combat efficiency of this army left much to be desired: Rome was then engaged in two heavy wars, with Quintus Sertorius of Mariana in Spain and King Mithridates VI of Pontus in Asia Minor, and in these conflicts the best troops and the best commanders were employed. To subdue the slaves went, according to Appianus, "all kinds of random men, recruited hastily and in passing. They were led by Publius Varinius, a praetor, who in the end was not a very capable commander.

It is known that Varinius was careless to divide his troops, and Spartacus began to crush them piecemeal. First he defeated the three-thousandth legatus of Furius; then he attacked the legatus of Cossinius, and the attack was so sudden that the enemy commander was almost captured during the bath. Later, the rebels stormed Cossinius' camp, and the legate himself was killed. As a result, Varinius was left with only four thousand soldiers, who in addition suffered because of the beginning of winter and were ready to desert. The accounts of the sources on the ensuing events are particularly scarce and do not allow us to reconstruct the full picture: perhaps Varinius received some reinforcements and was thus able to besiege Spartacus' camp; the rebels began to experience difficulties due to lack of food, but Spartacus managed to stealthily withdraw the army from the camp at night, leaving burning fires and dead bodies instead of sentries. Presumably after this Varinius withdrew his army to Cumae to re-form, and later attacked the rebel camp again. Sallustius writes of the resulting discord: "Crixus and his fellow tribesmen, the Gauls and Germans, were anxious to go ahead to begin the battle themselves, while Spartacus dissuaded them from attacking. In any case, the battle was fought and won by the rebels; Varinius himself lost a horse and was almost taken prisoner. After the battle the rebels gave their leader the seized fascias and, according to Florus, "he did not reject them".

After this victory Spartacus moved to Lucania to replenish his army at the expense of the numerous shepherds in that region. It is known that thanks to good guides the rebels were able to suddenly reach and occupy the cities of Lucania Nara and Forum Annia. On their way they plundered and burned everything, raped women, killed slave owners; "the wrath and arbitrariness of the barbarians knew nothing sacred or forbidden." Spartacus understood that such behavior of his soldiers could harm the revolt by setting the whole of Italy against it, and tried to deal with it. Orosius reports that the leader of the rebellion ordered the burial with honors of a noble matron who had committed suicide after being raped, and gladiatorial fights were organized over her grave with four hundred prisoners.

At this stage of the revolt another group of Romans under the command of Gaius Toranius, quaestor of Varinius, was defeated. No one else attempted to confront Spartacus in southern Italy; the rebels took and sacked Nuceria and Nola in Campania, Furia, Consentia and Metapontus in Lucania. Presumably they already had siege machinery, although the sources do not speak directly about this. By that time the rebels had grown considerably in number: Orosius states that under the command of Crixus there were then 10 thousand soldiers, and under the command of Spartacus - three times more; Appianus speaks of 70 thousand men, but this writer often treats the figures very freely. The rebels halted for the winter in a vast plain, probably near Metapontus. There they hoarded food and forged weapons in preparation for continued fighting.

Against the Consuls

By early 72 BC Spartacus' army had become, according to Plutarch, "a great and formidable force," so that the Senate had to send both consuls, Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus and Lucius Gellius Publicola, to fight him. Each of them had two legions, and in total, taking into account the auxiliary troops, the Roman army must have numbered at least 30 thousand soldiers; it is known that among them was the young noble Marcus Porcius Cato, who in connection with later events began to be called Uticus.

The Romans had no unified command. Historians suggest that the consuls acted in concert and wanted to attack Spartacus from two sides near the Gargana Peninsula. To this end, Publicola moved through Campania and Apulia, and Lentulus Clodianus moved directly across the Apennines along the Tiburtina road. To avoid being caught between two fires, Spartacus led his army to the northwest. During this campaign Crixus separated from him, under which, according to Livy, there were 20 thousand men. The sources tell us nothing of Crixus' motives. The historiography has two opinions: the rebels may have been divided because of different ideas about the goals of the war, or Crixus was supposed to have taken a strong position on the slope of Mount Gargan to threaten the flank and rear of Lucius Gellius.

Spartacus moved towards Lentulus Claudianus and attacked his army while crossing the Apennines. The attack apparently surprised the enemy, and the rebels inflicted serious losses on the Romans, but could not win a complete victory: Lentulus had taken up defenses on one of the hills. Spartacus moved to Mount Gargan, but before he got there Lucius Gellius managed to defeat Crixus. The latter died in the battle along with two thirds of his men. This was a serious blow to the rebels; nevertheless, in a new battle Spartacus defeated Publicola. He forced three hundred Roman prisoners to fight at Crixus' funeral pyre.

Then Spartacus moved north along the Adriatic coast. From Ariminus he followed the Aemilian road to Mutina, a strategically important fortress that closed the exit to the Pad River valley. Here he encountered the army of Gaius Cassius Longinus, proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul; in the battle the latter "was beaten to the ground, suffered great loss of men and barely escaped himself". Presumably after this victory Spartacus crossed the Pad and defeated Praetor Gnaeus Manlius, thus establishing control over the entire province. The Alps were ahead; the rebels could choose one of two routes - either through the mountain passes, where Hannibal had passed a century and a half before, or along the Aurelian road, which connected Liguria with Narbonne Gaul. The second route was much easier, but the enemy could block it even with a small detachment.

Eventually Spartacus turned his army around and marched back into Italy. There is no consensus in historiography as to why the rebels abandoned the road to freedom. It has been hypothesized that they were afraid of the difficult road across the Alps; that they were convinced of Rome's weakness and now wanted to destroy it permanently; that they did not want to leave Italy, since a substantial part of them were not slaves and gladiators, but local free-born citizens. It has been suggested that Spartacus went north to join forces with Sertorius, but after the battle of Mutina he learned of the death of his hypothetical ally.

There were no more than 25,000 men under Spartacus at the time of his appearance in the Pada valley: his army must have thinned considerably in the battles with the consuls. In Cisalpine Gaul the number of rebels again increased considerably, including at the expense of the free inhabitants of Transpania, who had not yet obtained Roman citizenship. According to Appianus, there were 120,000 men under Spartacus' command at that time. All these forces were detained for a time in the valley of the Pada, where the recruits received the necessary training. In the fall of 72 B.C. Spartacus moved south again.

Upon learning of this, the Romans, according to Orosius, "were seized with no less fear than when they trembled, shouting that Hannibal was at the gates. Spartacus, however, did not march on Rome: he preferred to march southeast along the familiar route along the Adriatic coast. To go as quickly as possible, he ordered all prisoners to be killed, pack cattle to be slaughtered, excess wagons to be burned, and no defectors to be accepted. The consuls still managed to block his way at Pitzen, but the rebels won another victory.

Against Crassus

Seeing the commanding incompetence of both consuls, the Roman senate dismissed them from command and gave the extraordinary pro-consular empire to the influential and very wealthy Nobilus Marcus Licinius Crassus. There are no exact dates, but the appointment was to take place before November 1, 72 B.C. Crassus gathered under his command up to 60,000 soldiers, and it is believed that these were "the last resources of the republic." To improve discipline, he took extraordinary measures - he began to apply decimation, that is, he executed every tenth of those who fled from the battlefield.

The new Roman army blocked Spartacus' way on the southern border of Picene. One of the rebel units was defeated in the first battle, losing six thousand men dead and nine hundred prisoners. But soon two legions from Crassus' army, commanded by the legate Marcus Mummius, attacked the rebels in defiance of orders and found themselves under attack by their main forces; as a result Spartacus won a convincing victory. The Roman commander then engaged in retraining his troops, leaving Spartacus to himself for the time being; he took advantage of this to withdraw to southern Italy and establish himself on the border of Lucania and Bruttium, near the city of Furia.

Later the fighting resumed. Crassus managed to inflict serious losses on the rebels, and after that Spartacus moved to the very south of Italy, to the Straits of Messania. He planned to cross over to Sicily and make it a new base of rebellion: the island had a huge number of slaves, who had rebelled against Rome twice before (in 135-132 and 104-101 B.C.). According to Plutarch, "all it took was a spark for the rebellion to break out with renewed vigor. The rebels faced insurmountable difficulties, for they had no fleet; Spartacus made a treaty to cross with the Cilician pirates, but they, after taking money, disappeared. The reasons are unknown. Researchers believe that bad weather may have been to blame, or that the pirates' ally Mithridates of Pontus did not want the rebels to leave Italy.

At its narrowest point, the Strait of Messan is 3.1 kilometers wide. Spartacus' warriors attempted to reach the opposite shore on rafts so close, but failed. Marcus Tullius Cicero in one of his speeches says that only "the valor and wisdom of the bravest man Marcus Crassus did not allow fugitive slaves to cross the strait"; hence historians conclude that the proconsul was able to organize some naval forces. In addition, it was already late autumn, and the storms typical of the time must also have hindered the rebels. Convinced that crossing was impossible, Spartacus decided to go deep into Italy, but by that time Crassus had blocked his way with a 30-kilometer ditch across the Regius Peninsula, from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea. The ditch was four and a half meters deep, with a rampart and a wall above it.

The rebels were trapped in a small area and soon began to suffer from food shortages. They attempted to break through the Roman system of fortifications, but were driven back. Appian states that they lost six thousand men killed in the morning attack and an equal number in the evening, while the Romans had three dead and seven wounded; historians consider this an obvious exaggeration. After the failure, the rebels changed tactics, turning to constant small-scale attacks in different areas. Spartacus tried to provoke the enemy into a major battle: on one occasion, in particular, he ordered one of his prisoners to be shamefully executed by crucifixion on a neutral strip. According to some sources, he tried to start negotiations with Crassus (it is not known on what terms), but he did not comply.

Already in the late winter of 72-71 BC the rebels made a breakthrough. Having waited for a particularly heavy snowstorm, they covered part of the moat with branches and corpses during the night and overcame the Roman fortifications; a third of Spartacus' entire army (apparently, they were select units) broke out into the strategic space, so that Crassus had to abandon his positions and move in pursuit. The rebels headed for Brundisium: presumably they wanted to capture that city along with the ships in the harbor and then cross over to the Balkans. From there they could have gone either to the north, to lands not controlled by Rome, or to the east, to join Mithridates. However, the attack on Brundusium never took place. Appianus writes that the reason for this was the news of Lucullus' landing in that city; scholars have suggested that Brundisium was too well fortified and that Spartacus realized this well in advance through intelligence. From this point on the main aim of the rebels was the defeat of Crassus.

Sources attribute to the proconsul a desire to end the rebellion as quickly as possible because of the imminent return to Italy of Gnaeus Pompey the Great, who could get the laurels of the winner of the war. According to some reports, the senate appointed Pompey as second-in-chief on its own initiative; according to others, Crassus himself asked the senate to summon Pompey from Spain and Marcus Terentius Barron Lucullus from Thrace to his aid (the timing of this letter is a matter of academic debate). Now, according to Plutarch, Crassus, convinced of the weakness of the rebels, "regretted his step and hastened to end the war before these commanders arrived, for he foresaw that all success would be attributed not to him, Crassus, but to one of them who would come to his aid.

Among the leadership of the rebels discord began; as a result, part of the army led by Gaius Cannicius and Castus (according to Livy, it was 35 thousand Gauls and Germans) separated from Spartacus and settled in a fortified camp near Lake Lucana. Crassus soon attacked this detachment and turned it to flight, but at the decisive moment the army of Spartacus appeared on the battlefield and forced the Romans to retreat. Then Crassus resorted to cunning: part of his troops diverted the main forces of the rebels, while the rest lured the detachment of Cannicius and Castus into an ambush and destroyed it. Plutarch called this battle "the bloodiest in the whole war.

After this defeat Spartacus began to retreat southeastward to the Petelius Mountains. His pursuit was led by the legate Quintus Arrius and the quaestor Gnaeus Tremellius Scrofa, who got too carried away and got involved in a big battle. The rebels were victorious; presumably it was then that they captured three thousand prisoners, later freed by Crassus. This success proved fatal for the rebellion, for it made Spartacus' warriors believe in their invincibility. They "now would not hear of retreat and not only refused to obey their leaders, but, having surrounded them on the way, forced them with arms in their hands to lead the army back through Lucania towards the Romans." Spartacus camped at the source of the Sylar River, on the border of Campania and Lucania. Here was his last battle.

Defeat and doom

On the eve of the final battle, Spartacus held a strong position on the high ground, leaving the mountains in the rear. According to Velius Paterculus, there were 49,000 soldiers under his command, but these figures may be exaggerated. Crassus, arriving at the headwaters of Silar after a day's march, did not dare to attack at once and began building field fortifications; the rebels began attacking the Romans in separate sections. Finally, Spartacus moved his army to the plain and lined up for the decisive battle (presumably it was already in the afternoon).

Plutarch tells that before the battle Spartacus "was given a horse, but he drew his sword and killed it, saying that in case of victory he would get many good horses from his enemies, and in case of defeat he would not need his own. Since it is known from other sources that the leader of the rebels fought on horseback, researchers assume that here we are talking about the traditional sacrifice on the eve of the battle, the meaning of which the Greek writer misunderstood. The Greek writer misunderstood the meaning of this sacrifice, and it is assumed that Spartacus led a select cavalry unit on one of the flanks of the front line.

In the battle on the plain, the rebel infantry apparently could not withstand the Roman onslaught and began to retreat. Then Spartacus led a cavalry attack into the rear of the enemy to kill Crassus and thus turn the tide of the battle (V. Goroncharovsky draws parallels with the behavior of Gnaeus Pompey in one of the battles of 83 BC). "Neither enemy weapons nor wounds could stop him, and yet he did not make his way to Crassus and only killed the two centurions who confronted him." Perhaps the Roman commander had left part of his troops in ambush, which at the decisive moment struck Spartacus' detachment and cut it off from the main rebel forces. The leader of the rebellion was killed in the fight. The details are known thanks to Appianus, who writes: "Spartacus was wounded in the thigh by a dart: kneeling down and putting his shield forward, he fought off his attackers until he fell with a large number who surrounded him."

Presumably, it was the last battle of Spartacus that was recounted in a fresco, a fragment of which was found in Pompeii in 1927. The image adorned the wall of the house of the priest Amanda, built around 70 B.C. The surviving part of the fresco depicts two scenes. The first is a fight between two horsemen; one catches up with the other and plunges a spear into his thigh. Above the pursuer was an inscription, presumably deciphered as "Felix of Pompeii." Above the wounded rider was the inscription "Spartax." The second part of the fresco depicts two foot soldiers, one of whom, judging by his unnatural posture, may be wounded in the leg.

A total of 60,000 rebels were killed in this battle, according to the epitomator Livy, but historiography considers this number to be exaggerated. The Romans, on the other hand, lost a thousand men dead.

Results and Consequences of the Uprising

The rebels who had survived the Battle of Silara retreated into the mountains. There they were soon overtaken by Crassus and slaughtered; the Romans crucified six thousand prisoners along the Appian Way. Another large detachment of five thousand warriors was destroyed by Gnaeus Pompey in Etruria. In this connection Pompey declared in a letter to the senate that it was he who had the main credit: "In open combat the fugitive slaves were defeated by Crassus, but I destroyed the very root of the war. Such assessments may have been widespread in Roman society, and this seriously complicated relations between the two commanders. Nevertheless, Crassus was honored with a standing ovation; sources report that Crassus made a serious effort to be allowed to wear the more honorable laurel wreath instead of myrtle during the ovation, and succeeded.

In southern Italy small bands of rebels were still in hiding for a long time. A new outbreak of war in Bruttia in 70 B.C. is reported by Cicero in one of his speeches; in 62 the rebels were able to occupy the city of Furia, but were soon overwhelmed by Gaius Octavius, father of Octavian Augustus.

The Spartacus War had a serious negative impact on the Italian economy: a considerable part of the country was devastated by the rebel armies and many cities were sacked. It is believed that these events were one of the most important causes of the agricultural crisis, from which Rome was never able to recover until the fall of the Republic. Under the influence of the revolt, the slave economy weakened: wealthy people now preferred not to use the services of bought slaves, but those born to them; they more often let slaves go free and gave them land to rent. The supervision of slaves from this time was not only a private problem, but also a public one. Accordingly, slaves began to change from private property to partly state property.

In 70 B.C., only a year after the defeat of Spartacus, the censors placed on the lists of Roman citizens all Italics who had obtained the theoretical rights to that status during the Allied War. Presumably this was one of the consequences of the rebellion: the Romans tried to improve the situation of the Italics in order to deter them from further revolts.

Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The name of Spartacus began to be used in political propaganda shortly after his death. For example, Marcus Tullius Cicero clearly drew an analogy with Spartacus when he called Lucius Sergius Catilina "that gladiator" in his denunciation speech (63 BC). Cicero depicted the hypothetical victory of the conspirators led by Catilina as a victory of slaves: "If they were made consuls, dictators, kings, they would still inevitably have to give it all up to some runaway slave or gladiator." In 44 B.C. Mark Antony likened young Gaius Octavius (future Augustus, who had arbitrarily recruited an army of his supporters) to Spartacus, and Cicero likened Mark Antony himself. Beginning in the first century A.D., Spartacus is referred to as one of Rome's chief enemies, along with Hannibal. His spectacular victories over consular armies were recalled by such remote poets as Claudius Claudianus and Sidonius Apollinarius (fifth century A.D.):

In another of his poems, Claudius Claudianus mentions Spartacus along with the mythological villains Sinidus, Scironus, Bucyrris, Diomedes, the bloodthirsty tyrant of Acragantus Falaris, and Sulla and Lucius Cornelius Cinna.

The few accounts of Spartacus in ancient historical texts go back to two sources - Gaius Sallustius Crispus' History, written in the 1940s B.C., and Titus Livy's History of Rome from the Foundation of the City, written under Augustus. From the former only a set of fragments remained, and from the corresponding books of the latter, periochs, a brief retelling of the content. Hence secondary texts, Apian of Alexandria's Roman History, Lucius Annaeus Florus's Epitomes of Roman History, Plutarch's biography of Crassus, and Paul Orosius's History of Rome against the Gentiles, became the primary sources. All of these works portray the slave revolt in a negative light, but the personality of Spartacus is given a more sophisticated assessment. The ancient authors note his fairness in dividing the spoils, his desire to keep his subordinates from senseless destruction, the heroism shown in the last battle, and his outstanding abilities as a commander and organizer.

The leader of the rebellion, Sallustius, was obviously sympathetic to Spartacus, who recognized his high human and military qualities. Plutarch emphasized that Spartacus was more like a Hellenist than a Thracian, which was an unconditional praise for him (while Crassus received a less flattering assessment from the Greek writer). Florus, who sharply condemned the rebels, acknowledged that their leader had fallen with dignity, "as an emperor". The later Roman historian Eutropius confined himself to stating that Spartacus and his companions "started a war no easier than the one waged by Hannibal.

Antique authors had certain difficulties when trying to classify the Spartacus rebellion as one or another type of military conflict. The scholars note that the sources do not classify these events as "slave wars," unlike the two Sicilian uprisings. Plutarch writes that the gladiatorial uprising "is known by the name of the Spartacus War." Florus confesses, "I do not know what name to give to the war fought under Spartacus, for together with the free, the slaves fought and the gladiators ruled"; he places this section between "The Slave War" (referring to the uprisings in Sicily) and "The Civil War of Mary". Titus Livy may also have encountered such difficulties, but the Periochians give too little information on this problem. Presumably Orosius speaks of the same thing when he asks the rhetorical question, "...These wars, so close to external, so far removed from civil, how indeed should we call them, if not allied, when the Romans themselves nowhere called the civil wars of Sertorius or Perpenna or Crixus or Spartacus?"

The medieval writers had no interest in Spartacus. For about a thousand years, the information available to readers about the slave revolt was drawn from Orosius and Blessed Augustine, with the latter not mentioning Spartacus at all. Here is what Augustine the Blessed wrote of Spartacus' rebellious fighters: "Let them tell me, what god helped them from being a small and despised band of robbers to pass into a state, which the Romans with so many of their armies and fortresses had to fear? Won't they tell me that they didn't have help from above?" Thus Augustine regarded the crucifixion of Spartacus' warriors as a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Christ, and the rebels as the forerunners of Christ and Christian martyrs. Similarly, Jerome of Stridon, in his Chronicle, speaks of the "gladiatorial war in Campania" (bellum gladiatorum in Campania), without specifying who was in command

New Time

In the Renaissance, Spartacus remained a little-known character, partly because Plutarch's biography of Crassus was not as popular with readers as the other parts of the Comparative Biographies. Nevertheless, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries this entire work by Plutarch was translated into a number of major European languages, and in the eighteenth century, during the Enlightenment, the theme of slave rebellions gained relevance. From then on, Spartacus became a symbol of the struggle against oppression and for the transformation of society; his name was used to justify the right of the people to armed resistance to unjust oppression. Thus, Denis Diderot in his Encyclopedia portrayed Spartacus as one of the first fighters for natural human rights (Voltaire in one of his letters to Soren called the revolt of gladiators and slaves "a just war, indeed the only just war in history" (1769). Spartacus became the subject of special interest of scholars in the late eighteenth century. Before that, he had only been mentioned in historical works: thus, Bossuet, in his "Discourse on Universal History" (1681) wrote that Spartacus rebelled because he craved power. In 1793, the first monograph on the Spartacus rebellion, written by August Gottlieb Meisner, appeared. Its author was not a professional scholar, but was able to critically examine sources on the subject. Bartold Niebuhr, the historian, spoke of the slave revolts in his individual works, and was clearly sympathetic to the struggle for liberation; in his view, the institution of slavery was one of the factors that destroyed the Roman Republic.

Since the late 1840s, two different approaches have emerged in the study of the Spartacus rebellion in particular and slave revolts in general: the first was inspired by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; the second was developed by Theodor Mommsen. The concept of the latter dominated historiography until the end of World War I. Mommsen believed that since the era of the Gracchaeans there had been a protracted revolution in Rome (he called that part of his Roman History, the action of which begins after the capture of Carthage, "Revolution"). The scholar was convinced of the perniciousness of the institution of slavery, but saw it primarily as a political rather than socio-economic phenomenon; likewise, for him, the "Roman Revolution" was limited to the political sphere. Slave revolts, including the Spartacus War, were for Mommsen vivid symptoms of a general crisis, but had no independent significance. The slave rebellion seemed to him "an outlaw rebellion" whose defeat was predetermined by the "indiscipline of the Celto-Germans" and the lack of clear goals. However, Mommsen recognizes Spartacus as a "remarkable man," who demonstrated talents as a military leader and organizer and "stood above his party. In the end, the rebels "forced their leader, who wanted to be a general, to remain an outlaw and wander aimlessly through Italy, plundering and pillaging. This predetermined the defeat and death of Spartacus; however, he died "as a free man and an honest soldier.

Marx and Engels were not experts on antiquity and rarely commented on slave revolts; but already in their Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) it was stated that all of human history is a class struggle, defining both the political, socio-economic, and spiritual spheres. Marx wrote to Engels on February 27, 1861, under the impression of Appian's Roman History, that Spartacus was "the true representative of the ancient proletariat" and "the most magnificent fellow in all ancient history. The Marxist response to Mommsen was most fully articulated in Johann Most's work on the social movements of antiquity. In it, the author actually identifies his position with that of the rebels and regrets the impossibility of a general uprising of slaves for the antique era (there was nothing like this even later in Soviet historiography). According to Most, national differences, which Mommsen wrote about, in the conditions of a strict class division of society were losing their importance, and this made possible the "international struggle of the slaves. The historian expresses his admiration for the talents and courage of Spartacus, but also has a low opinion of his entourage. In particular, he regards Crixus and Oenomaus as "agents of Rome" because their departure from Spartacus with part of the "revolutionary army" helped the government troops to victory.

Marxist historians were "corrected" by Max Weber in his book Economy and Society. He concluded that ancient slaves could not constitute a "class" in the Marxist sense of the word because of too much internal differentiation. For this reason slave revolts could not grow into a revolution and end in victory, and the goal of the rebels could only be to gain personal freedom, but by no means to destroy the institution of slavery as such. A different view was held by Robert von Pöhlmann, who suggested that Spartacus' goal, as well as that of Eunus, was to create a "kingdom of justice.

Within the party of German followers of Marx, the SPDG, an opposition group, the International, formed in 1914 and began publishing a newspaper, the Spartacus Letters, in 1916; this group was renamed the Spartacus Union in 1918 and soon was instrumental in establishing the Communist Party of Germany. From that moment on, the name of Spartacus was firmly associated with the concept of "communism.

Twentieth and twenty-first centuries

A new period in the study of the problem began after 1917-1918, when the Communists came to power in Russia and declared themselves as a contender for power in Germany. The subject of the Spartacus uprising turned out to be extremely politicized: the Soviet authorities saw in this movement the first "international revolution of the workers," a distant prototype of the October Revolution. The state of affairs in Soviet historical science was significantly influenced by one of Joseph Stalin's speeches in 1933: then it was said that the slave revolution "liquidated the slaveholders and abolished the slave-owning form of exploitation of workers. Corresponding statements also appeared in works on anti-slavery, and the revolution stretched over five centuries and the alliance of slaves with the poor peasantry. In particular, Alexander Mishulin, the author of the book Slave Revolutions and the Fall of the Roman Republic (1936), wrote about it. According to this researcher, Spartacus fought for the destruction of slavery and his "revolution" caused "Caesar's counterrevolution," that is, the transition from Republic to Empire.

Sergey Kovalev, in his History of Rome (1948), placed an account of the Spartacus War in the section "The Last Rise of the Revolutionary Movement. In his opinion, the rebels still did not receive support from the free poor and were doomed both for this reason and because the slave-owning formation was then in its heyday. Accordingly, in the second to first centuries B.C., from Kovalev's point of view, there was not a revolution, but only a revolutionary movement, which ended in defeat with the death of Spartacus. The revolution began later and won due to the alliance of the "oppressed classes" with the barbarians. The scholar writes: "The tragedy of Spartacus, like many other figures in history, was that he was several centuries ahead of his time.

After the beginning of the thaw, Soviet scientists' views changed. Sergey Utchenko stated in 1965 that anti-slavery scholars had long been "under the hypnosis" of the Stalinist formula and, as a result, had exaggerated the role of slaves in Roman history, ignoring simple facts. He firmly rejected the theses about the "slave revolution" and the connection between the revolt and the transition to monarchy. At the same time, for Utchenko, the Spartacus War remained a revolutionary revolt, the consequence of which was a certain "consolidation of the ruling class.

The positions of scholars from other countries and other intellectual currents of the 20th century have also in some cases been interpreted by later scholars as unjustifiably modernizing and subject to the influence of various ideologies. The British Trotskyist Francis Ridley called the Spartacus Rebellion "one of the greatest revolutions in history" and its leader "the Trotsky of slaves" or "Lenin of the pre-capitalist social formation. According to Ridley, in the ancient era slaves opposed all the free, the goal of the revolt was the destruction of slavery, and the consequence of the defeat was the victory of "fascism," that is, the establishment of Caesar's personal power. The German Ulrich Karstedt, who polemicized with Marxists and sympathized with Nazism, identified the slave uprisings with the Bolshevik movement and saw in the Spartacus War a part of the "onslaught on Rome from the East.

However, there have always been scholars who have engaged in academic research on certain aspects of the slave revolts and have not resorted to large-scale analogies. In general, the level of ideologization after World War II gradually decreased, and the specific weight of scientific works on Spartacus in the general flow of anticollectic literature grew. The Italian Antonio Guarino (1979) in his monograph Spartacus suggested that there was no "slave war": since in addition to slaves and gladiators, shepherds and peasants also joined Spartacus, it was rather a rebellion of rural Italy against urban, poor Italy against rich Italy. A similar opinion is held by Yuri Zaborowski, who believes that the rebels would not have been able to stay in Italy for so long, get food and conduct successful reconnaissance without the active help of the local population. According to the Russian anticologist A. Egorov, the hypothesis of "two Italias" is most completely formulated in fiction - by Giovagnoli and Howard Fast.

From the point of view of some scholars, the participation in the rebellion of a number of Italian tribes, which had not received Roman citizenship by the 70s, makes these events a "second edition" of the Allied War. There are also hypotheses about the close connection between the rebellion and the Roman civil wars: for example, V. Nikishin believes that, moving towards the Alps in 72 B.C., Spartacus went to join Quintus Sertorius, who was acting in Spain, and even picks up A. Valentinov's assumption that the main driving force behind these events were representatives of the Marian "party".

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Spartacus appears in works of European art since the 18th century. Thus, in 1726 in Vienna, the Italian composer Giuseppe Porsile's opera Spartacus premiered, which depicts the main character in negative colors and glorifies the victory of the Romans. In 1760 the French playwright Bernard Joseph Soren wrote a tragedy of the same title; in it Spartacus is a positive character. This play enjoyed great success with French audiences until the beginning of the XIX century. In the second half of the 18th century the name of Spartacus began to be heard in intellectual circles in Germany. Under the impression of Soren's play, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing planned to write a tragedy by the same name, and with an anti-Tyrani focus; however, only a fragment was created (1770). Professor Adam Weishaupt, who founded in 1776 in Ingolstadt a society of Bavarian Illuminati, whose members were all supposed to have ancient names, took the name Spartacus. Franz Grilparzer in 1811 wrote a fragment of a drama with this name. During the Napoleonic Wars, Spartacus became a symbol of the liberation struggle against France.

Whereas within French culture Spartacus was perceived primarily in the context of struggles between social classes, German writers more often used this image in the genre space of "bourgeois tragedy," so that the love line (for example, the love of the protagonist for Crassus' daughter) came to the fore in plays about the slave uprising. This rule is characteristic of the dramas called Spartacus, written by one T. de Seschel (for Richard Fos's The Patrician (1881) and Ernst Eckstein's Prussia (1883). In general, the theme of rebellion was developed by German writers very cautiously. The turning point in thinking about the subject occurred only after 1908, when Georg Heimes' Expressionist text was published.

For the French, the name of Spartacus remained associated with revolutionary ideas throughout the nineteenth century. In one of the French colonies, Haiti, there was a slave uprising that ended in victory for the first time in history; the leader of the rebels, François Dominique Toussaint Louverture, was called "the black Spartacus" by one of his contemporaries. Sculptor Denis Foitier was inspired by the July Revolution of 1830 to create a statue of Spartacus near the Tuileries Palace. Another sculptural depiction of the leader of the gladiatorial uprising was made in 1847 by the Republican Vincenzo Vela (Swiss by birth), who used the subject to promote his views.

In neighboring Italy, which in the XIX century was experiencing a time of national upheaval and the struggle for the unification of the country, Spartacus began to be likened to prominent participants in this struggle. Thus, Raffaello Giovagnoli in his novel Spartacus (1874), portraying the title character, partly had Giuseppe Garibaldi in mind. The latter wrote to Giovagnoli, "You ... have sculpted the image of Spartacus - this Christ the Redeemer of the slaves - with Michelangelo's carving knife...". The hero of the novel unites all "poor Italy" in the struggle against the oppressors; surrounded by a romantic halo, he negotiates an alliance with Gaius Julius Caesar and Lucius Sergius Catilina, and Spartacus' lover is Valeria, the last wife of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Giovagnoli's novel was a great success in many countries, and its first readers perceived Spartacus as a revolutionary. The book was translated into Russian by Sergei Stepniak-Kravchinsky, a popularist and supporter of "propaganda by action.

In the United States the name of Spartacus became famous thanks to the 1831 production of Robert Montgomery Byrd's play Gladiator. Initially the slave rebellion was seen as a distant analogue of the War of Independence; at the same time Spartacus became an iconic figure for the abolitionists who launched their struggle against slavery in the Southern states. He was compared to John Brown, who in 1859 attempted a rebellion to bring about the abolition of slavery, but was defeated and executed.

Twentieth and twenty-first centuries

The leader of the slave uprising became especially popular in Soviet Russia. In 1918 under Lenin's plan of monumental propaganda it was planned to erect a monument to Spartacus. On July 30, 1918 on the session of SNK (Soviet People's Commissariat) it was considered "The list of persons whom it is supposed to erect the monuments in Moscow and other cities of Russia" prepared under the guidance of A. V. Lunacharsky. Sots. Soviet Republic". On August 2, the final list signed by Lenin was published in Izvestia VTSIK. The list was divided into 6 parts and contained 66 names. In the first section, "Revolutionaries and Public Figures," Spartacus was listed as number one (apart from him, the list included Gracchus and Brutus, representatives of ancient history).

Since the early 20s, a mythologized image of a fighter for social justice has been actively implanted into the mass consciousness from above. As a result, Spartacus or Spartak streets and squares still exist in a number of Russian cities; the name Spartacus became quite fashionable for a while (the famous bearer is the actor Spartak Mishulin) and is still used in Russia and Ukraine today. Since 1921, in Soviet Russia the Spartakiades were held - sports competitions, which originally were supposed to replace the Olympic Games, and in 1935 the sports society "Spartak" was created, which gave rise to a number of clubs and teams of the same name in various sports from different cities of the USSR. The most famous were the two Moscow "Spartacus" - soccer and hockey. Among the Moscow "Spartak" fans there is a group that calls itself "gladiators" and uses a gladiator helmet as a symbol. Following the model of the USSR, teams with the name "Spartak" later appeared in Eastern European countries, some still exist (in Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia).

The Soviet writer Vasily Yang created the novel Spartacus as part of a peculiar polemic with Giovagnoli (1932) for the 2000th anniversary of the uprising. He opposed the romanticization of the image, writing in one of his articles that in the Italian novel

Spartacus is not the stern, mighty Thracian... As Appian, Plutarch, Florus and other Roman historians describe him, he is the "Christ of slaves", who, like a romantic knight, blushes and pales and weeps, and simultaneously with the great cause of liberating slaves is engaged in love feelings for Valeria - a "divine beauty", an aristocrat, a rich and noble patrician, the wife of the dictator Sulla (! ), for whose sake he leaves his camp (!!!) and rushes to a touching date with her (!!!)... The novel is full of other historical inaccuracies, fabrications and contrivances.

Jan's tale, which portrayed Spartacus as a man of great idea, "exceptional strength," inspired by a "passion for the liberation of slaves and hatred of tyrants," proved unsuccessful from an artistic point of view. Literary works on this subject written in Russian also include a novel by Valentin Leskov (1987, series "Lives of Wonderful People"), a poem by Mikhail Kazovsky "The Legend of Perperikon" (2008), a children's story by Nadezhda Bromley and Natalia Ostromentskaya "Adventures of a Boy with a Dog" (1959). In other countries of the socialist camp were published novels by the Polish Galina Rudnitskaya "Children of Spartacus", the Czech Jarmila Loukotkova "Spartacus", the Bulgarian Todor Harmandjiev "Spartacus - a Thracian from the tribe of the Medes".

In the West, interest in the figure of Spartacus increased in the 1930s thanks to a novel by the British Lewis Crassic Gibbon (1933). In 1939, former Communist Arthur Köstler published his novel Gladiators, in which he tried to depict the Soviet "Great Terror" in a veiled form. His peculiar antagonist was the American Communist writer Howard Fast, who wrote the novel Spartacus in prison, where he was imprisoned for his political beliefs (1951). This novel became a bestseller and was translated into many languages, and in 1954 was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize. In 1960 a big-budget Hollywood movie was made based on it; it was directed by Stanley Kubrick and starred Kirk Douglas. In both the book and the film, Spartacus does not die in the final battle, but is among the 6,000 rebels crucified along the Appian Way.

Kubrick's film is only one of many cinematic works about Spartacus. Films began to be made on the subject no later than 1913. Among them are at least three screen adaptations of Giovagnoli's novel: Italian 1913 (directed by Giovanni Enrico Vidali), Soviet 1926 (directed by Muhsin-Bei Ertugrul, starring Nikolai Deinar as Spartacus), Italian 1953 (directed by Riccardo Freda, Massimo Girotti as Spartacus). Also came out "Spartacus and the Ten Gladiators" (Italy-Spain-France, 1964, directed by Nick Nostro, starring Alfredo Varelli), "Spartacus" (GDR, 1976, directed by Werner Peter, with Goiko Mitich as Spartacus), the mini-series "Spartacus" (USA, 2004, directed by Robert Dornhelm, starring Goran Vishnich). Kubrick's film was the most successful, and it was on its basis that the canonical image of Spartacus for Western culture was formed.

In 2010-2013, the American TV series Spartacus (directed by Michael Hurst, Rick Jacobson, Jesse Warn, starring Andy Whitfield, later Liam McIntyre) appeared on television. Its plot has little connection with historical sources, but the action is replete with violent scenes. Experts see this as a manifestation of a common trend for films about antiquity, which manifested itself in recent years - away from the historical prototypes to non-historical, but the sharp material. The theme of slave revolts and gladiators is particularly promising in this trend, because it allows us to justify the brutality of the characters with their desire for revenge.

Spartacus has also become the hero of a number of musical works. In particular, this is a ballet to the music of Aram Khachaturian (1956), musicals by Jeff Wayne (1992) and Eli Shuraki (2004).


  1. Spartacus
  2. Спартак
  3. Мотус, 1957, с. 161.
  4. Никишин, 2009, с. 98.
  5. ^ Plutarco, Crasso.
  6. ^ Spesso molti gladiatori riproducevano infatti personaggi storici nella propria caratterizzazione.
  7. Ou encore « Thrace de race numide », version difficilement compréhensible.
  8. Le nombre du groupe initial varie d'un auteur à l'autre, mais l'aspect principal est qu'il s'agit d'un petit groupe qui s'échappe.
  9. Publié dans Die Rote Fahne du 14 décembre 1918.
  10. En latín, Spartacus; En griego clásico, Σπάρταϰος.

Please Disable Ddblocker

We are sorry, but it looks like you have an dblocker enabled.

Our only way to maintain this website is by serving a minimum ammount of ads

Please disable your adblocker in order to continue.

Dafato needs your help!

Dafato is a non-profit website that aims to record and present historical events without bias.

The continuous and uninterrupted operation of the site relies on donations from generous readers like you.

Your donation, no matter the size will help to continue providing articles to readers like you.

Will you consider making a donation today?