A Slave, Gladiator, Leader, Friend And A Husband Essay

A Slave, Gladiator, Leader, Friend And A Husband Essay

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A Slave, gladiator, leader, friend and a husband; Spartacus was all of these as portrayed in Howard Fast’s Spartacus. Spartacus is a man who was born into slavery, and through slavery he persevered through countless grueling hardships. Born a slave he only had but one thing to call his own, his life. Through his trials he realizes how much he truly cherishes his single possession. Spartacus eventually is sold to a Lanista by the name of Lintulus Batiatus, whom introduces him to something much more powerful than the will to live; love. Once Spartacus realizes he has something worth fighting for, he does, and it sent shockwaves throughout the Roman Empire.
As a Kuruu, a third generation slave, Spartacus knew nothing but the knowledge passed down to him by slaves “My father was a slave and he taught me the only virtue. The only virtue of a slave is to live” (117, Faust). This ideal is what would carry him through his most physically demanding trial, the Nubian gold mines. Hunt shows us one example of the brutality of Roman slavery as described by Apuleius: “Through the holes in their ragged clothes you could see all over their bodies the scars from whippings. Some wore only loincloths. Letters had been branded on their foreheads and irons manacled their ankles.” (178, Hunt). Faust depicted the gold mines in an even crueler setting, a “black ribbon of hell” (Faust, 71). Spartacus’ will to live would allow him to persevere through labor so intense, persecution so brutal and living conditions so wretched that most adults would not survive a single year. The odds were not in his favor, however he survived and through this trial was a man born with a will forged of iron.
Batiatus knew exactly where to find the kind of men that make outst...


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...ther they fell; outwitted by Spartacus. “Spartacus had terrorized southern Italy for two years and defeated consuls with his army of 100,000 escaped slaves.” (Hunt, 161). The Cohorts had failed and Spartacus continued to grow his army of slaves, amassing a group large enough to oppose the Roman Legions. Spartacus went into battle with only one regret "I will never see the child, friend and old comrade. That 's the one thing I regret. I regret nothing else, nothing else." (Fast, 288). They fought well with the legions of Rome but the might of Rome proved to be too strong and Spartacus and his armies fell. Spartacus could not attain his goal of suppressing Rome and replacing it with a community structured after the old ways.

Spartacus may have lost the war, but he would be immortalized through Romans and slaves alike as they told the story of Spartacus, a free slave.

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