⁃ Was one of millions of slave taken from the territories conquered by Rome to work the mines, till the fields, or fight for the crowds entertainment

⁃ Served in the Roman army but was imprisoned for desertion

⁃ Brought to Capua by a trainer of gladiators

⁃ Gladiator schools were unforgiving — new recruits were forced to swear an oath, “to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword, and to obey their master’s will without question.”

⁃ In 73 BCE, Spartacus led 73 other slaves to sieze knives and skewers from the kitchen and fight their way out

⁃ The slaves were done fighting for others and wanted to fight for their freedom

⁃ When news reached Rome, the senate was too busy with wars in Spain and the Pontic Empire

⁃ Praetor, Claudius Glaber took an army of 3000 men to the rebel’s refuge at Mt. Vesuvius and blocked off the only passage up the mountain (or so they thought)

⁃ In the dead of the night, the rebels lowered themselves down the cliffside on ropes made from vines and flanked Glaber’s unguarded camp

⁃ As news of the rebellion spread, it’s ranks swelled with escaped slaves, deserting soldiers and hungry peasants

⁃ Many of the escapees were untrained but Spartacus’ tactics transformed them into a guerilla force

⁃ A second Roman expedition led by praetor, Varinius was ambushed while the officer bathed

⁃ To elude the remaining Roman forces, the rebels used their enemy’s corpses as decoy guards, stealing Varinius’s own horse to aid their escape

⁃ Spartacus continued to gain followers and gained control over villages where new weapons could be forged

⁃ The Romans soon realised they were no longer facing ragtag fugutives and in the spring of 72 BCE, the Senate retaliated with the full force of two legions

⁃ The rebels were victorious but many lives were lost including Spartacus’s lieutenant Crixus

⁃ To honor Crixus, the rebels held funeral games forcing his Roman prisoners to play the role his fellow rebels had once endured

⁃ By the end of 72 BCE, Spartacus’s army was a massive force of roughly 120,000 members

⁃ With the path to the Alps clear, Spartacus wanted to march beyond Rome’s borders

⁃ The army was divided — many wanted to continue pillaging while others dreamed of marching on Rome

⁃ In the end, the army turned South forgoing what would be their last chance at freedom

⁃ Meanwhile, Marcus Lucinius Crassus had assumed control of the war

⁃ As Rome’s wealthiest citizen, he pursued Spartacus with 8 new legions eventually trapping the rebels in the toe of Italy

⁃ In 71 BCE, they made their last stand — Spartacus nearly managed to reach Crassus before being cut down by centurions

⁃ The army was destroyed with 6000 captives crucified along the Appian Way

⁃ Crassus won the war but thousands of years later, it is Spartacus’s name that became associated with freedom