Antonio Flores
Spartacus

Intro

Spartacus was a Thracia gladiator who led a slave revolt with an army numbering in the tens of
thousands. In his past Spartacus was a slave, "Vatia" this man ownedspartacys.jpg
a gladiator school in Capua, about 120 miles southeast of Rome. While at the
school, Spartacus helped organize a breakout that had more than 70 gladiators
escaping armed with knives, cleavers and other makeshift weapons they got from
the kitchen. While Spartacus's uprising was ultimately crushed his memory lives
on, more so than the Romans who fought against, or other wised opposed him.
"Who, today, remembers Crassus? Pompey? Even cricero is not so well remembered."
Writes Strauss. On the other hand "everybody has heard of Spartacus."

Personal Background

Spartacus was from Thrace, an area in Southeast Europe that the Romans were often trying to control during the first century
B.C (Jarus). "Vatia" had purchased Spartacus as a slave after he was captured and brought to Rome. Plutarch states that
Spartacus's wife, a prophetess of the the Maedi tribe, was enslaved with him. He was sold in 73 B.C. were he spent some
time at a location for gladiators in Capua, by Campania not too far from Mt. Vesuvius into the service of Lentulus Betiatus.
Later in the year of 73 B.C. seventy eight gladiators managed to escape from the fighting school of Batiatus. "At the Isthmus
of Bruttium, Crassus built a wall to block Spartacus's escape. When the slaves tried to break through, the Romans fought
back, killing about 12,000 of the slaves, while only losing seven of their own" (Gill). Unfortunately the Italian population gave
no support towards Spartacus's actions, so the Italians stayed loyal to Rome. "After defeating two Roman forces in succession,
the rebels overran most of southern Italy and his army grew up to 90,000" (Forsythe). In 72 B.C. he defeated three more
Roman armies reaching Cisalpine. In Cisalpine Gaul Spartacus's plan was to let his army men free and send them their seperate
ways, but it did not go as planned. Forsythe then explains that Crassus then searched for Spartacus in Lucania, where the rebel
army was destroyed and Spartacus was killed in battle. His army was defeated and Spartacus's body was never found.

Personal Traits

Spartacus was one of the bravest leaders in history. Spartacus was also very heroic, leading many men to war and being a leader of the massive slave uprising known as the Third Servile War. Alan Woods states that under his leadership, a tiny band of rebel gladiators grew into a huge revolutionary army, numbering about 100,000. Having the knowledge and the courage to break away from the life of being a slave was a huge step to becoming the great man that he was. Somehow he was able to manipulate his fellow gladiators to join his revolt, were they followed his determination for months. He was always aware that his army was untrained and was most likely to not going to be able to beat the best in the world, but Spartacus and his army went for victory anyway. Spartacus and his courageous followers defeated Roman forces over a half a dozen times around the Italian Peninsula, with the help of his rebellious leaders Crixus and Oenomaus. For one man to convince gladiators to escape with him must have known what he wanted and showed no fear. While Spartacus and his army were on the road, Czech claims that the slave leader drew his sword, stabbed an animal to show his men that there would be no further retreat-only victory or death. He definitely showed much confidence in his men and had nothing but good intentions for his rebel army. All in all his loyal army was luck to have the reckless Spartacus on their side to lead them on their short but remembered journey.

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Obstacles

When Spartacus had finally broke out of slavery his life was based on trying to survive. “Vatia” this man owned a gladiator school in Capua, about 120 miles southeast of Rome. While at school, Spartacus helped organize a breakout that lead to more than seventy gladiators escaping armed with knives, cleavers, and other makeshift weapons they found in the kitchen (Jarus). Once Spartacus escaped and had a small army of gladiators by his side, he had to avoid being captured. Also before the battle journey begun he also had his wife by his side as well, a Thracian women who he also escaped slavery with. Spartacus being fearless led his men to Mt. Versuvius where he was joined by a large number of escaped slaves. As his men grew in numbers his leadership would be tested. Spartacus very much succeeded as Forsythe claims as the leader of the historic insurrection of Roman slaves known as the Third Servile War, at gladiators war he defeated two Roman armies. Continuing his journey and having confidence in his army, Spartacus defeated three more armies in 72 B.C. Later reaching Cisalpine Gaul and hoped to let his followers go home from there. Since the breakout, there was always someone trying to bring him down. As he planned to let his loyal army go, Crassus pursued Spartacus to Lucania were him and his army took down Spartacus’s men and murdered him leaving no trace of his body.

Historical Significance

revolt.jpgSpartacus’s life after breaking out of slavery did not last very long, but in those years he will make a name for himself that will be known by many for hundreds of years to come. It is claimed that his intelligence and fighting skills came from his once slave owner “Vatia”. Others say that Spartacus could have so much success because he had once fought in the Roman auxiliaries (Lendering). His success in breaking out of slavery will prove to his fellow gladiators that he can be a trusted leader. Czech described him as one “who, from a Thracian mercenary, had become a Roman soldier, that had deserted and became enslaved, and afterward, from consideration of his strength, a gladiator.” When the slave rebellion finally broke out, Roman response was slow. After defeating local forces Spartacus established winter quarters in Lucania, were his forces grew up to 70,000 men. ”As word of the insurrection spread, Spartacus led his force up to the slopes of the dormant volcano Versuvius. In minutes, the gladiators were slashing their way through the slumbering Roman camp, routing the militia and seizing valuable stocks of military arms and armor” (Czech). Continuing south, Spartacus’s army was growing. His success though will not last very long, Spartacus eventually planned to lead to Sicily and escape on pirate ships. Unfortunately the ships had already sailed. The Spartacus rebellion will be the last major slave insurrection that will occur in Rome. Since the 18th century Spartacus has been idolized by revolutionaries. In fact when German socialist tried to form a proletarian revolution after World War 1 they called themselves “Spartacists” from 1916 to 1919. Spartacus continued to ambush and defeat Roman forces in the country side also while freeing slaves and gathering supplies. The final battle took place in April 71 B.C. Strauss says that we cannot be sure where it was fought but it is likely somewhere in the upper Silarus valley. “Spartacus is said to have hacked down two Centurions in his final attempt, however it was in vein. There are various accounts about Spartacus’s death but they all end with him being surrounded and killed” (Jarus). After that his body was never found. The slaves who survived the journey were divided into groups of 10 then drew lots, then unfortunately the unlucky one, was murdered. Spartacus was one of the leaders who "stood up to Rome, defiantly and with initial success, and therefore won for himself a prominent place in the annals of Roman history in the Republican period" (Gill).



czech,kenneth. "Ancient History: Spartacus and the Slave Rebellion."historynet.July 31, 2006web.Oct. 2, 2014.

Forsythe,Gary."Spartacus."World History Center.web.Dec.10,2014

Gill,N.S."The slave revolt of spartacus the gladiator."abouteducation.web.Nov.17,2014

Jarus,Owen."Spartacus:History of gladiator revolt leader."Livescience.Sept.17,2013.

Lendering,Jona."Spartacus."Livius.web.15sept.2014

"Spartacus."Encyclopedia of world biography.2014.Encyclopedia.com.15 oct.2014