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Spartacus and the Slave War 73-71 BC: A gladiator rebels against Rome

Overview

This Osprey Campaign title brings to life the story of Rome's most famous revolt, the Slave War (73-71 BC), and the ex-gladiator who led it. In the year 73 BC, the Thracian Spartacus broke out of the gladiatorial training school at Capua in Campainia. A charismatic leader, Spartacus formed an army of runaway slaves and people with little to lose, and defeated the Roman troops under the praetor C. Claudius Glaber. With this minor victory, Spartacus' army swelled to 70,000 and rampaged throughout Campania...

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Overview

This Osprey Campaign title brings to life the story of Rome's most famous revolt, the Slave War (73-71 BC), and the ex-gladiator who led it. In the year 73 BC, the Thracian Spartacus broke out of the gladiatorial training school at Capua in Campainia. A charismatic leader, Spartacus formed an army of runaway slaves and people with little to lose, and defeated the Roman troops under the praetor C. Claudius Glaber. With this minor victory, Spartacus' army swelled to 70,000 and rampaged throughout Campania assaulting a number of cities and defeating two consular armies.

Terrified lest the revolt spread across the republic, the government assigned M. Licinius Crassus the task of crushing the revolt. Crassus' first attempt to capture Spartacus failed, and the Roman senate called upon Pompey to help him. Together, they cornered Spartacus and brought him to battle near the source of the river Silarus. During the battle, Spartacus was killed and his army defeated. Crassus crucified 6,000 prisoners as an example to others who might think of revolt.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846033537
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/21/2009
  • Series: Campaign Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,190,901
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School at Athens, Greece, and then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Nic is now a freelance author and researcher based in south-west France.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 5

The origins of the revolt

The First Slave War (135-132 BC)

The Second Slave War (104-100 BC)

Chronology of Major Events 146-60 BC 11

Roman Social Order 14

The slave system

Piracy and the slave trade

Gladiators - men of the sword

Oscan speakers

Opposing Commanders 27

Spartacus the Thracian

Marcus Licinius Crassus

Opposing Armies 34

The slave army

The Roman army

Opposing Plans 47

The Spartacan plan

The Roman plan

The Campaign 52

Defeat of the praetorian armies, 73 BC

Defeat of the consular armies, 72 BC

The war with Crassus, 71 BC

The trap closes: River Silarus, 71 BC

Aftermath 79

Crucifixion

The return to order

The Legacy of Spartacus 83

A Guide to Primary Sources 88

Appian (b. AD 95)

Plutarch (c. AD 46-120)

Sallust (86-c. 35 BC)

Bibliography 93

Glossary and Abbreviations 94

Index 95

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