Pima Community College|
We know very little of Spartacus before he joined the Roman Army. We do know that Spartacus was born a free man around 100 B.C. He was born in ancient Thrace an unstable territory on the fringes of Rome’s empire, which is what we know as Bulgaria. This is where historians have picked up on Spartacus, when he joined the Roman Army. Some believe that he joined the army because it was an opportunity to not be poor anymore. Spartacus soon fled the army when he was asked to fight against his own people. Any deserter would be tracked down by the Roman army and face their punishment. The punishment for desertion was enslavement. Spartacus and his wife were both sold into slavery in a town sixty miles south of Rome, called Cupua. Spartacus was sold as a gladiator, trained to fight and kill for entertainment.
Spartacus and the other gladiators formulate a plan to escape. They use improvised kitchen utensils as weapons. Since they train daily in hand to hand combat, the guards are no match for the gladiators. They kill their way out of the compound and steal the weapons of the guards they kill. Before reinforcements can be called seventy-four gladiators kill everyone in the compound and escape into the countryside. Knowing they would be killed if captured, the now fugitives need structure and a leader. They elect Spartacus; he is a natural leader and has good charisma with the men. They travel through Italy, stealing weapons, food and clothing as they go. They need to set up camp somewhere they will have the advantage when the Romans come for them. They head to the scarcely populated dormant volcano, Vesuvius. There the men can prepare a defense for when the Romans attack.
The senate of Rome doesn’t think much of the news that seventy-four slaves escaped. They send a small platoon of new recruits and a rookie commander, Glavia, to take care of them. A Glavia set up camp at the bottom of the Vesuvius, on what he thinks is the only path down from the volcano. Spartacus and his men use vines to repel down from the steep mountain at night and do a stealth attack. Only a few guards are awake, the rest of the camp is asleep. Spartacus and his men easily defeat the small platoon and take over the camp and everything in it.
Slaves from all over hear about what Spartacus and his men are doing. Many slaves run away from their masters just to be commanded by Spartacus, most of them are just normal slaves that work in the fields. They only want to be free and Spartacus gives them that opportunity. The slaves come from different backgrounds and many speak different languages. They are captives taken from where ever Rome’s armies have fought. They attack when the Romans don’t expect it and they fight dirty/guerilla type warfare. It is said that when it appeared that Spartacus’s men were cornered, that Spartacus would have corpses hung by stakes in the ground. From a distance they looked like guards and Spartacus would sneak his men out with the cover of night.
Spartacus has been a part of the Roman Army; he knows its strengths and its weaknesses. He knows the weapons and shields and body armor they use and trains his men to attack certain areas to be more lethal, more deadly to the soldier. He’s going to know how to use all of that knowledge against them to defeat them. For almost a year, Spartacus and his men defeat or evade every Roman force sent to face them. There were even rumors that women and children were a part of the army. Free peasants were rumored to have joined his army to help fight the Roman Empire. His army grew from seventy-four to 100,000 people in a year, all dreaming of freedom.
The next goal for Spartacus and his army is to travel north along the Italian peninsula and cross the Alps and to finally be home in Thrace. Spartacus wants to train his men to be drilled discipline soldiers. He trains the original seventy-four the...