The Spartacus Road: A Personal Journey Through Ancient Italy

The Spartacus Road: A Personal Journey Through Ancient Italy

by Peter Stothard
     
 

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The name of Spartacus resounds through history. In the final century of the first Roman Republic an army of slaves led by Spartacus rose up in Italy.
Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the world's finest military forces between 73and 71 BC, bringing both fears and hopes that… See more details below

Overview

The name of Spartacus resounds through history. In the final century of the first Roman Republic an army of slaves led by Spartacus rose up in Italy.
Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the world's finest military forces between 73and 71 BC, bringing both fears and hopes that have never wholly left the modern mind.
Sweepingly erudite and strikingly personal, The Spartacus Road is a book like none other--at once a journalist's notebook, a reflection on life's fragility, including the author's own fight against cancer; and a classicist's celebration. As he travels along the Spartacus Road and into the classical Italian landscape, Stothard breathes new life into a singular war in antiquity, recounting one of the greatest stories of the ages.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Mr. Stothard's engaging book reminds us that, for all the secrets the story of Spartacus refuses to give up, it still leads us back to the heart of things." — Wall Street Journal
Barry Strauss
Plutarch offers more detail. But Plutarch lived two centuries later and, as Mr. Stothard writes, he was a Greek "with a passion to interpret the not so distant past." To take the Romans down a peg, Plutarch magnified the achievements of men like Spartacus. (Plutarch called him "rather Greek," though Spartacus was from Thrace, north of Greece.) Another ancient writer, Publius Annius Florus, may have been a hack, says Mr. Stothard, but he was "a good hack." His account of the slave rebellion highlights how humiliating a successful slave revolt was to the Romans. Appian of Alexandria, another important Spartacus chronicler, knew what it was like to be pursued by rebels, since he had to run for his life during the Jewish Revolt in Egypt in the early second century.

Ancient history often comes to us in this form—as a kind of mosaic that we must piece together for ourselves, as Mr. Stothard has done so well here. And it still arouses modern passions. Mr. Stothard's engaging book reminds us that, for all the secrets the story of Spartacus refuses to give up, it still leads us back to the heart of things.
The Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590205785
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
04/03/2012
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,350,464
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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