Then he made straight for Crassus himself, charging forward through the press of weapons and wounded men, and, though he did not reach Crassus, he cut down two centurions who fell on him together. In order to do so effectively, keeping his men safe while retaining strength in numbers, he split his army into two groups. Kirk Douglas's characte… Some parts are exaggerated but apart from that it is a true story. According to the surviving sources, Spartacus was from Thrace, an area in southeast Europe that the Romans were often trying to subjugate during the first century B.C.. Spartacus then switched gears and marched his men toward Sicily. The legend of Spartacus has inspired so many fanciful retellings, it's easy to lose track of what actually happened back in 73 BC. The writers could be more concerned about what Spartacus and the revolt revealed about Rome than in telling the ‘truth’ about the gladiator himself. Spartacus was indeed a slave who led the Spartacus Revolt, which began in 73 BC. With Rome alarmed at the success Spartacus was having in battle, the Senate sent Gen. Marcus Licinius Crassus to deal with the rising threat. Spartacus was apparently both competent and humane, although the revolt he led inspired terror throughout Italy. Is Ben-Hur a true story, or perhaps based on the Bible? According to Plutarch: “[Spartacus] marched his army toward the Alps, intending, when he had passed them, that every man should go to his home, so Thrace, some to Gaul. 1867. It is due to this … 1881. For starters, in the film, Spartacus was born into slavery, when by all accounts he was actually born free and later sold into slavery. According to Plutarch, the slave rebellion that became the Third Servile War began with 78 people and a few dozen kitchen knives. The recent Starz series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand> also takes some liberties with the main character’s biography. Others disagree, and see him as an inspirational figure who led thousands of commoners against the oppressive Roman Empire and its subjugations. Although much of the evidence for Spartacus’ existence is anecdotal, there are some coherent themes that emerge. So when the show creators … Mummius was ordered not to engage in battle, but merely redirect the enemy and force them north. Julius Caesar, for instance, introduced a series of laws to prevent such uprisings once he became dictator. Half of the army, comprised of Gauls and Germans, followed the ex-gladiator Crixus, Spartacus’s right-hand man. ‘Spartacus’ was based on a slave who headed a revolt against the Romans in the 1st century BC. Or, is it simply historical fiction? Around here is where the two main authorities on Spartacus — Appian and Plutarch — diverge in their storytelling. The rebellion, and the arduous attempt to travel back home, had come to an end. So, Rome instead would lie, and say Spartacus has a number advantage, and Rome was the superior force due to skill rather than numbers. Wikimedia CommonsA statue of Spartacus at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In the end, both the film and the series have their qualities but serve more as historical documents of how the film and television industries portray heroes, rather than a biography of Spartacus’s actual life. If we look deeper, we can see that all the people involved in the creation of this fictional and fabricated movie are from the same *group. They then stormed the Roman camp, overwhelming them and in the process picking up military-grade equipment. Understanding the true history behind the movie without nitpicking the tiny details can help us appreciate the roots of the film even more. There were several instances where the director should have stuck to the real historical accounts. Yes and no. Spartacus is an American television series produced in New Zealand that premiered on Starz on January 22, 2010, and concluded on April 12, 2013. When Crassus’s army walled Spartacus in, the rebel slave didn’t mind at first. Spartacus (Greek: Σπάρτακος Spártakos; Latin: Spartacus; c. 111–71 BC) was a Thracian gladiator who, along with Crixus, Gannicus, Castus, and Oenomaus, was one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. * reply; ThinkAboutIt wrote on 20 … But then, when he grew short on supplies, he managed to get a third of his army over the earthen walls. Though his plan was to get back home to Thrace as quickly as possible, many of his men had different plans. Spartacus and his troops were fending off the Roman army as best they could, but it was all for naught. Wikimedia CommonsThe amphitheater in Capua, where gladiators like Spartacus were forced to train and fight. When his offer was refused, he made a risky move, charging toward Brundisium with Crassus in pursuit. Spartacus not only led a slave revolt with tens of thousands of soldiers in the first century B.C. The beginning of the series centers around the rivalry between Spartacus and Claudius Glaber. By the 1st century BC, Rome had gathered supreme control of the Mediterranean in a series of bloody wars. Whether he realistically threatened Rome is debatable, but he certainly won a number of sensational victories and was thus written into the history books. But we know this … This was a remarkable achievement, even given that he had a massive force at his disposal. 1867. This meant that the 5,000 men were split into 50 groups of 10, and essentially drew straws. Any non-Greek or non-Roman who had done something special “was said to be more intelligent than other barbarians.”). His tribe was probably conquered by the Roman army -history's a little unclear on this- because he became a Roman soldier. A new online only channel for history lovers, 5 Key Roman Temples Before the Christian Era. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'historyhit_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',193,'0','0']));Indeed, slave rebellions were not uncommon. Charting the journey of a man finding passionate love, his mission and his freedom, the ballet showcases our male dancers at their spirited and athletic best as the slaves who rise against the tyranny of their rulers. The Roman Empire as of 100 B.C., around the time when Spartacus was born. In fact, the slave revolt which created the modern country of Haiti was based upon the stories of Spartacus. Finally, after his companions had taken to flight, he stood alone, surrounded by his foes, and was still defending himself when he was cut down.”. The True Story Of Spartacus, The Gladiator Who Led Ancient History’s Biggest Slave Revolt Spartacus led the biggest slave rebellion Rome had ever seen — but his motivations may not have been so noble. In reality, his forces had sneaked off and were able to orchestrate an ambush..eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'historyhit_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_5',144,'0','0'])); Spartacus was eventually defeated by a much larger, 8-legion army under the leadership of Crassus. 14 of the Best Movies Based on True Stories. TwitterA movie poster for Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 epic Spartacus. Votes: 11,436 … Since we no nothing of Spartacus prior to his escape, the story written by Howard Fast is entirely fictional. Spartacus's struggle has been inspirational to revolutionaries, politicians and writers since the 19th century. Crassus ordered their decimation. However, all sources agree that he was a former gladiator and an accomplished military leader. So he stationed his men on the peninsula of Rhegium, in southern Italy, to plot his next move. Without Glaber and his men noticing, they all made it down safely, ran around to the other side of the Romans, and defeated them in a surprise attack. A story about Serbian football team that decides to follow a dream that takes them on a journey to the First World Football Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930. Nearly everything that we know about the life of Spartacus comes from Roman histories. Still, his motivations remain up for debate. He appears to have served in a Roman auxiliary unit for a time, deserted and became either a bandit or insurgent against the Romans. They’d struck gold: the wagons were filled with weapons. Hamlet is based on a Norse legend composed by Saxo Grammaticus in Latin around 1200 AD. Wikimedia CommonsWhen Spartacus and his men were defeated, 6,000 of his followers were crucified and lined up between Capua and Rome as a deterrent to potential rebels. What began as a mere quest to become free men suddenly turned into a gathering of volunteer soldiers. In Capua, Spartacus was forced under the torturous tutelage of Lentulus Batiatus, who kept his gladiators jam-packed in close quarters until they had to fight in the ring. They camped on … “We’ll free every slave in every town and village!” he screams in the early stages of his revolt. In 75 A.D., nearly 150 years after Spartacus’s death, the Roman historian Plutarch wrote that Spartacus stood out long before his slave rebellion: They say that when he was first taken to Rome to be sold, a snake was seen coiled round his head while he was asleep and his wife, who came from the same tribe and was a prophetess subject to possession by the frenzy of [the god of ecstasy] Dionysus, declared that this sign meant that he would have a great and terrible power which would end in misfortune. After graduating from Emory University, top student and … And it’s through their ancient writings that Spartacus’s slave rebellion lives on. With his remaining men, Spartacus “made sudden and repeated sorties” against the Romans. Read about Based on a True Story by Spartacus and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. More than 6,000 rebels captured after the defeat were crucified. He only changed his plans after the Roman army blocked his way north. They then went on to defeat another praetor, Publius Varinius, and his army of 2,000. The biggest difference being that Spartacus, instead of being a slave from birth sold into gladiator school, was in fact an ex-soldier (more precisely, an auxiliary, which was a non-citizen soldier in the Roman army) who was sent to a gladiator school as a punishment for … Wikimedia Commons“The Death Of Caesar” by Jean-Léon Gérôme. And, of course, as with any major Hollywood film produced in the old studio system, a love triangle was wedged into the plot. The emperors. When he discovered another Roman army was blocking his path, he and his men did all they could do: turn around and battle Crassus head-on. On the other hand, the film’s broader strokes are more on point. 8 years ago. The men seized both arms and transport and headed to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, plundering villages, splitting the spoils, and amassing more men along the way. He didn’t want the other generals to get all the credit. In reality, according to Appian and Plutarch, he initially aimed to journey by land up to the Alps, and then hike to Thrace from there. This was a well-established source for slaves, and Spartacus was just one of the many who made the trek into Italy. First of all, the death of Marcus Aurelius has nothing to do with murder. Spartacus was presumably killed — though his body was never found. Spartacus originated from Thrace (largely modern day Bulgaria). The rebels were surrounded by “sheer precipitous cliffs,” according to Plutarch. The film — as with most modern retellings of the Spartacus story — also assumes that Spartacus’s motivation was completely noble. Slaves and free folk they encountered, from shepherds to herdsmen, joined Spartacus and his men to defend themselves against any tyrannical entity desperate for subjects. The Romans camped at the bottom of the mountain, trying to starve out the rebels. From Catch Me If You Can to Hustlers, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. He hoped to take over the island, where slaves had revolted in two different wars in the last 70 years. Marco Margaritoff is a Staff Writer at All That's Interesting. Was he a rebel hero — as modern legend holds — a reckless rabble-rouser, or both? “The Death Of Caesar” by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Then he deserted the army, was captured, was brought to Rome, and then was sold into slavery. In the movie, Kirk Douglas character is also a Thracian. When the slaves turned on the Romans with great success, they were filled with over-confidence. Contribution to … Fearing Pompey, who was a celebrated military strategist, Spartacus first tried to negotiate with Crassus. But there’s no documented evidence that Varinia existed; no ancient historian mentions anyone with that name while describing Spartacus’s life. He was sold as a gladiator to be trained at the school in Capua. Then, read about the Roman Empire at its height. The Boy Scouts Of America Have A 'Pedophile Epidemic' As 350 Predators Are Identified, Paula Hitler: The Surprisingly Quiet Life Of Adolf's Little Sister, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. Lv 5. It is possible that they needed to stay on the move to sustain resources, or to corral more support.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'historyhit_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',161,'0','0'])); In his 2 years of revolt, Spartacus won at least 9 major victories against Roman forces. According to ancient historians, he was born in Thrace, which encompassed parts of modern-day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Plutarch may have been using Spartacus … LL/Roger Viollet/Getty Images Dennis Foyatier’s marble statue of Spartacus at the Louvre Museum in Paris. According to Appian, Crassus and the Romans walled the slaves in with ditches and dirt. Pompey’s army intercepted and killed many slaves who were escaping northward, and 6,000 prisoners were crucified by Crassus along the Appian Way. Yes, it was based on a true story. With around 3,000 Romans in pursuit, the escapees headed for Mount Vesuvius, where heavy forest provided cover. While both of them were elected as consuls in 70 B.C. Improve this question . At some point he was captured, brought to Rome and sold as a slave to a man referred to at times as “Vatia.” This man owned a gladiator school in Capua, about 120 miles (193 kilome… Their victories rallied slaves and others from across the region. In the show, Glaber is the one who initially captures Spartacus and sells him into slavery as a gladiator. According to Plutarch, “they refused any longer to avoid battle and would not even obey their officers.” But “this was precisely what Crassus most wanted them to do.” As the Romans dug a trench, the slaves jumped into it and engaged in bloody battle. asked Jun 16 '12 at 21:21. Spartacus not only led a slave revolt with tens of thousands of soldiers in the first century B.C., but repeatedly defeated Rome in battle. Spartacus, based on a true story, focuses on a gladiator who led a slaves’ rebellion against the Roman empire. Thus, he resigned himself to one goal: getting home. However, in a moment of extraordinary ingenuity, the rebels abseiled down the mountain with ropes created from vines. Yes, I do say knowledge: it is based on a real story, the one of an evil emperor and his beloved father. … In the end, Spartacus led the biggest slave revolt in ancient Rome — one that we remember to this day. Wikimedia CommonsThe Roman Empire as of 100 B.C., around the time when Spartacus was born. In the end they stayed, and roamed up and down Italy. Unsettled by the turn of events and hoping to avoid an embarrassing defeat, Rome sent the general Pompey to help Crassus. He even crucified a Roman prisoner, setting a terrifying example to his men of the fate in store for them if they were to lose. Throughout Spartacus was facing a dilemma – escape home over the alps or continue attacking the Romans. When Spartacus and his men were defeated, 6,000 of his followers were crucified and lined up between Capua and Rome as a deterrent to potential rebels. Still, his motivations remain up for debate. The legend of Spartacus is so popular that it has been adapted into several forms of media over the years, including the 1960 film by Stanley Kubrick. Little is known about him beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory. After the Third Macedonian War in the second century B.C., many Thracians were taken to Italy and sold into slavery. Director: Dragan Bjelogrlic | Stars: Milos Bikovic, Petar Strugar, Nina Jankovic, Danina Jeftic. LL/Roger Viollet/Getty ImagesDennis Foyatier’s marble statue of Spartacus at the Louvre Museum in Paris. 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The fiction does however, appear to be inspired by actual historical events, as will be shown in the appropriate sections below. Spartacus’s troops defeated them so badly that when Mummius’s men returned to their commander, punishment awaited. The novel Freedom Road is based on a true story and was made into a miniseries of the same name starring Muhammad Ali, who, in a rare acting role, played Gideon Jackson, an ex-slave in 1870s South Carolina who is elected to the U.S. House and battles the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations to keep the land that they had tended all their lives. The movie raises some big questions. By Valentina Valentini. The rest, mainly Thracians, followed Spartacus. Surprisingly enough, however, much of the TV series holds true to the historical time frame. The Spartacist League was a revolutionary socialist group, formed in … Another non-Italian. He traveled to Picenum, a region on the Adriatic coast where he knew Spartacus was stationed, with 10 legions. In this sense, the film is … According to the Roman historian Appian, Spartacus was a Thracian, a war-like group of people that lived in the Balkans. 15k 23 23 gold badges 82 82 silver badges 140 140 bronze badges. For a better sense of Spartacus the man, Appian and Plutarch are the best things we’ve got. A statue of Spartacus at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He planned to escape to Sicily on a fleet of pirate ships, but the pirates sailed off with his gifts in tow before the rebels boarded the boats. In a common practice to deter citizens from rebellion, their crucified bodies were positioned along the Appian Way, stretching from Capua to Rome. Plutarch described the man’s final moments: “First, when his horse was brought to him, he drew his sword and killed it, saying that the enemy had plenty of good horses which would be his if he won, and, if he lost, he would not need a horse at all. Was the Roman Army Actually a Cause for Instability? .box-4-multi{display:block !important;float:none;line-height:0px;margin-bottom:15px !important;margin-left:0px !important;margin-right:0px !important;margin-top:15px !important;min-height:400px;min-width:580px;text-align:center !important;}eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'historyhit_com-box-4','ezslot_8',160,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'historyhit_com-box-4','ezslot_9',160,'0','1'])); Spartacus’s rebel army swelled as it became a magnet for the disaffected. But there’s no indication that Spartacus ever planned on a social revolution with an altruistic foundation; he didn’t necessarily want to free all the slaves in Rome or end the institution of slavery, he merely accepted anyone willing to fight for him to join and wanted to get home safely. Spartacus took his own men up into the mountains, all the while being pursued by Crassus’s officers. You see, at the end of the real Third Servile War history tells us that Spartacus more than likely died, as he does at the end of the series. The real Spartacus was a tribal warrior from the ancient region of Thrace, which is now part of Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. He continues to embody class struggle in a very clear and resonant way. Spartacus was just one of the many who made the trek into Italy Its economy was reliant on slave labour, and its diffuse political structure (which didn’t yet have a single leader) was profoundly unstable. In 1960, before Full Metal Jacket and The Shining, legendary Hollywood director Stanley Kubrick helmed Spartacus. Follow edited Jun 17 '12 at 22:53. magnattic. He and his men aimed to hike north through Italy’s Apennine Mountains, cross the Alps, and head back to their native lands in Thrace and Gaul. Read about Based on a True Story by Spartacus and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. History Hit brings you the stories that shaped the world through our award winning podcast network and an online history channel. A dream that allows them to become true stars and living legends. Everything we know about Spartacus comes from second- or even third-hand sources, ancient historians who were born decades after his death in 71 B.C. They sent a praetor, Gaius Claudius Glaber, to the Bay of Naples to deal with the affair, and didn’t even give him a proper legion of soldiers. By actual historical events, meanwhile, presents things a bit differently his,! 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