Spartacus and the Slave Wars
Slavery is a powerful word. To be a slave and to be owned by a person or household is something I'm very fortunate that I never had to experience. Unfortunately throughout civilization this was exactly how things were. The rich got richer and the poorer, poorer. The rich needed people to work for them so they purchased slaves to do all their daily chores and make their life a luxury. Once you were a slave, you were bound to your owner and had to do everything they asked of you. It was a no questions asked policy. Spartacus was a slave that had something else in mind. He decided he had enough of it and started a revolution to be a free man. Many other slaves in Italy had the same vision and joined him on his mission.
Spartacus was born in Thrace (1) and became a very skilled solider there. He was eventually captured by the Romans and sold as a slave. The Romans had a thriving slave economy because of all their conquests of other armies and territories. Most slaves worked on the latifundia as either field workers or herdsmen. Some slaves were purchased as gladiators to entertain the Romans. Slaves were stripped bare and put up for sale. By seeing the slaves naked, people could judge by their body type what they would be good for. Spartacus had the ideal body structure for a gladiator and was purchased by Lentulus Batiates to be just that. Lentulus Batiates was a teacher at a ludus, which was a school for gladiators. (2) He was already a great warrior and was a natural and being a gladiator.
The ludus was in Capua and was about twenty miles from Mt. Vesuvius. Soon after Spartacus became a gladiator, he started a revolt at the school and tried to break out. He and about 200 other gladiators grabbed a bunch of kitchen tools and escaped the ludus. When they got out into the streets the found a wagon of gladiator weapons and stole them. When the met up with city guards and officials, they used their weapons...
Bibliography: 1. Unknown Author, "Spartacus - Thracian Gladiator," http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/people_n2/ppersons2_n2/spartacus.html
2. Gill, N.S., The Slave Revolt of Spartacus the Gladiator, 2005 http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/slavesandslavery/a/spartacus.htm
3. Shaw, Brent D., Spartacus and the Slave Wars (New York: Bedford/St. Marten 's, 2001)
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