Diets were carefully observed, and a strict exercise regimen was maintained.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. He also revived a practice called “decimation” where units that ran away from the enemy would draw lots and have a random number of soldiers killed by being clubbed or stoned to death. N.S. While Spartacus escaped Crassus’s trap he faced serious consequences. Crassus was livid with anger. Castus and Gannicus were defeated by Crassus, likely sometime before April, at the Battle of Cantenna. Related Content At such schools, gladiators received training in a variety of weapons, though they usually specialized in one. This left Spartacus with no choice but to take his force north to face a Roman leader more ruthless than any he had encountered before.

The pirates, however, had other plans. He is remembered for his rebellion against the oligarchical Roman reign during 73-72 BC. Spartacus undoubtedly realized that his ragtag force had been lucky so far. When word reached him that Lucullus had landed at Brundisium and was marching inland, Crassus knew he had the Thracian at his mercy.

Notoriously tough and highly skilled, the gladiators surging toward Rome had little to lose.
Based in the United Kingdom, Spartacus Educational was established as a book publisher in 1984 by former history teacher John Simkin and Judith Harris. Crassus inherited the remnants of the legions of Publius Varinius that had fled the battlefield in their earlier disastrous engagement with the gladiators, in addition to several newly raised legions.

The Spartacus rebellion was the last of the major slave insurrections that Rome would experience.

A Thracian by birth, Spartacus served in the Roman army, perhaps deserted, led bandit raids, and was caught and sold as a slave. Spartacus: The Gladiatorial Slave Leads A Revolt According to Plutarch, the slave rebellion that became the Third Servile War began with 78 people and a few dozen kitchen knives. The Roman victory was complete. The Romans, still in camp, never saw them coming.

Although Crassus was accorded the victory, his own decimated legions were unable to track down all the fugitives. 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 kilometers) southeast of Rome. Spartacus eventually managed to break through Crassus’s trap by filling in one his trenches (allegedly with human bodies) and using his cavalry to punch through. Almost the entire gladiator army was annihilated, its remnants scattering to the nearby hills. He turned to a group of “Cilician pirates” (as Plutarch called them) who frequented the area and, who Strauss notes, were equipped with speedy boats and navigational knowledge, things Spartacus needed to make the crossing successfully. By the spring of 72 B.C., Spartacus may have had 40,000 troops, some of which stayed in south Italy with his co-leader Crixus while the remainder advanced towards the Alps under the command of Spartacus. He appears to have served in a Roman auxiliary unit for a time, deserted and became either a bandit or insurgent against the Romans. As with most civilizations - Assyrian, Greek and even American - slaves in ancient Rome were not considered citizens, but property, providing labor, both skilled and unskilled, to the rest of society.

A favorite character in popular fiction, he was not crucified, and there was no “I’m Spartacus!” moment as seen in the famous 1960 Stanley Kubrick film. One of his co-commanders, Crixus, wanted to attack Rome itself, where large numbers of slaves would likely swell their ranks even more.
He was the one who, along with Crixus, Gannicus, Castus, and Oenomaus, escaped the gladiator school and led one of the most famous uprisings in Roman history.
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