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The Spartacus War - Barry Strauss - Google Books

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The Spartacus War

Barry Strauss Simon and Schuster, Mar 17, 2009 - History - 288 pages 10 Reviews The Spartacus War is the extraordinary story of the most famous slave rebellion in the ancient world, the fascinating true story behind a legend that has been the inspiration for novelists, filmmakers, and revolutionaries for 2,000 years. Starting with only seventy-four men, a gladiator named Spartacus incited a rebellion that threatened Rome itself. With his fellow gladiators, Spartacus built an army of 60,000 soldiers and controlled the southern Italian countryside. A charismatic leader, he used religion to win support. An ex-soldier in the Roman army, Spartacus excelled in combat. He defeated nine Roman armies and kept Rome at bay for two years before he was defeated. After his final battle, 6,000 of his followers were captured and crucified along Rome's main southern highway.

The Spartacus War is the dramatic and factual account of one of history's great rebellions. Spartacus was beaten by a Roman general, Crassus, who had learned how to defeat an insurgency. But the rebels were partly to blame for their failure. Their army was large and often undisciplined; the many ethnic groups within it frequently quarreled over leadership. No single leader, not even Spartacus, could keep them all in line. And when faced with a choice between escaping to freedom and looting, the rebels chose wealth over liberty, risking an eventual confrontation with Rome's most powerful forces.

The result of years of research, The Spartacus War is based not only on written documents but also on archaeological evidence, historical reconstruction, and the author's extensive travels in the Italian countryside that Spartacus once conquered. Preview this book »

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User Review  - bakabaka84 -

Interesting read, a lot of it is speculation due to the lack of the primary sources that have come down to use about the war as well as differing accounts from the one we do have. So motives of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This fairly short work effectively covers what we know about the course of the most famous slave uprising in history and the man who inspired and led it with a fair degree of success for two years ... Read full review

Selected pages

Page xiv
Page xiii
Page xv
Page 11
Page 13


The Gladiator 13 The Thracian Lady 29 The Praetors 51 The Pathfinders 71 The Stoic 91 The Decimator 115 The Pirate 131 The Fisherman 143 The Celtic Women 159 Spartacus 171 The Victors 189 Conclusion 201 Glossary of Key Names 213 Acknowledgments 247 Copyright

Other editions - View all

The Spartacus War
Barry Strauss
No preview available - 2009
The Spartacus War
Barry S. Strauss
No preview available - 2010
The Spartacus War
Barry Strauss
No preview available - 2009
View all »

Common terms and phrases

Alps ancient sources Annia Appian arms Arrius attack battle Bruttium Caesar camp Campania Cantenna Capua Cato cavalry Celtic Celts Cicero Civil Wars commander consuls Cossinius countryside Crassus Crassus’s Crixus Crixus’s cross crucified crucifixion death defeat Dionysus enemy enemy’s fight Florus force fought Gaul Gellius Germans Glaber gladiatorial gladiators Greek hills Histories frg honor insurgents Italian Italy Italy’s killed legionaries legions Lentulus loot Lucania Lucius Lucullus ludus marched Marcus Marius Melìa Ridge miles military Mithridates modern mountains Paestum perhaps Picentini pirates plain Plutarch Pompey praetor prisoners probably Publius raids rebellion rebels recruits road Roman army Roman citizen Roman Republic Roman writer Rome Rome’s Sallust Senate Sertorius Sicilian Slave Sicily Silarus slave revolt slavery soldiers sources say southern Italy Sparta Spartacus Spartacus’s Spartacus’s army Spartacus’s revolt strait Sulla’s survive thousand Thrace Thracian thraex Thurii took triumph troops turned Varinius Vatia Verres Vesuvius Via Annia victory weapons women

About the author (2009)

Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, is a leading expert on ancient military history. He has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, The Spartacus War, Masters of Command, The Death of Caesar, and Ten Caesars. Visit

Bibliographic information

Title The Spartacus War Author Barry Strauss Edition illustrated Publisher Simon and Schuster, 2009 ISBN 1439158398, 9781439158395 Length 288 pages Subjects History  › Ancient  › Rome

History / Ancient / Greece
History / Ancient / Rome
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