For two glorious years, the leader of the rebellious gladiators led his army of slaves to victories against roman legions, threatening the prestige and status of the Roman Empire itself. Spartacus life can be seen in the light of a just revenge against the Romans for their love for the cruel and bloody sport of duels in the arena of ancient Rome.
The rise of a legend
Spartacus was not born in slavery. He was a free man from Thrace, probably a deserter from the roman army, who was captured, sold as a slave, and thrown into the death arena. Of course, the revolution of the slaves that were trapped in the Roman Empire could not have succeeded. The name of Spartacus however, survived through the centuries as a timeless symbol of the man who is not subjected to any yoke, despite how terrifying and unbeatable it is.
He was born in 109 BC in Thrace, he was of aristocratic descent and served as a volunteer mercenary the Roman army. Due to his desertion, he was sentenced to slavery. He was trained as a gladiator at one of the schools that then flourished in ancient Rome. He soon managed to escape and began to form an army of rebellious gladiators who were mainly slaves. Over time, and due to the many lootings that had been achieved in the roman camps, the army of Spartacus began to grow and reached a huge number, but it also grew in its organization, having at his disposal more munitions. He was now a compelling opponent for the Roman Empire.
Against a whole Empire
He achieved great victories against the Romans, growing his army to about 100,000 men. Thus, the revolutionary army had acquired other leaders and was necessarily divided because Spartacus wanted to move north from the roman territory fearing a Roman counterattack while the other leaders preferred to remain in the Roman territories continuing their advance. The army under the leadership of other men was crushed by the legions that chased Spartacus in northern Italy. Here, Spartacus, by making decisive battles, defeated the Romans again and reached the border of the Roman Empire.
Photo by – mirfaces.com
Photo by mirfaces.com
This time he decides to move to Sicily with the aim of liberating the thousands slaves of the island. Surprised Rome, from these embarrassing defeats, urges General Crassus to stop Spartacus definitively by giving him six legions and increased military powers. Once again, however, the slave’s army, drunk by his victories, broke into giving Crassus the chance to crush his part. The Thracian leader, seeing his apparent defeat, tried to come to an agreement with the Romans to stop the hostilities. His terms were rejected by his opponents but also by a significant portion of his army who wanted to continue the war in any way and forced him by threatening him with his own life to continue the battle. He was hopelessly alone and helpless.
The sunset of a hero
The final battle took place in southern Italy, in Lucania, at the spring of 71 BC, where, about 35,000 rebels faced in the open field the organized roman legions. The slaves were defeated, Spartacus was killed in the battle, and 6,000 of his army were led in captivity and finally they were crucified across Appia Street (from Brindisi to Rome), “worshiping” conformity for many years. According to historical sources, Spartacus, until the last moment, was looking to face Crassus by himself but failed to find him. His death marked the end of the rebellion that greatly shattered the Roman Empire and made him a legend in the centuries.
Feature Image – Hans Splinter