Spartacus Essay, Research Paper
The story traces the rise and fall of the leader of the revolt, Spartacus, played by Kirk Douglas. He is rescued from working in a brutally run Libyan mine to be trained as a gladiator by Lentulus Batiatus. The gladiator school is tough but fair – the men are taught to fight, but in the interests of morale as well as profit they are not allowed to kill. As a reward for their hard work, they are sometimes even allowed access to a woman. This is how Spartacus meets Varinia. He treats her kindly; later in the film she becomes his wife.
The routine of the school is upset when the very rich and powerful Roman Senator, Marcus Licinius Crassus, decides to break his journey there. He brings with him two ladies who demand that four of the trainee gladiators fight to the death for their amusement. Spartacus is among those chosen, but although he is defeated in the fight, his opponent refuses to kill him. Instead is opponent attempts an attack on Crassus and is himself killed. This is enough to spark an uprising, and the gladiators break out. As the escapees sweep through the southern part of Italy, looting villas and freeing slaves, Spartacus is chosen as their natural leader. His mission is to turn the rabble into a respectable fighting force. He hopes that they will be able to escape to freedom, and to be able to return home.
Rome is in an uproar because the slaves on the loose are killing, robbing or maiming their citizens. A small force of six cohorts from the City Garrison is dispatched to deal with them. They are under the command of young Glabrus, a political understudy of Crassus.
Spartacus has his force in respectable shape as the Romans approach. Spartacus also negotiated an escape from Italy with the cooperation of the Mediterranean pirates. The Romans quite obviously do not take the ‘Slave Army’ seriously. Spartacus learns that they have encamped nearby without the normal fortifications. They raid the camp that night. The Roman force is wiped out and the camp destroyed. Glabrus is taken prisoner and returned to Rome in disgrace. Glabrus is banished 400 miles from Rome and is denied of food, shelter, aid, and fire. Varinia tell Spartacus that she is pregnant while they are marching through the countryside.
The senate discusses weather or not to let Spartacus leave Italy. Crassus proposes two legions should be sent to intercept and destroy Spartacus’