SpartacusBook - 2013
The slave and gladiator Spartacus has been the subject of myth-making in his own time and of movie-making in ours. Aldo Schiavone brings him squarely into the arena of serious history. Spartacus emerges here as the commander of an army, whose aim was to incite Italy to revolt against Rome and to strike at the very heart of the imperial system.
Spartacus (109?–71 bce), the slave who rebelled against Rome, has been a source of endless fascination, the subject of myth-making in his own time, and of movie-making in ours. Hard facts about the man have always yielded to romanticized tales and mystifications. In this riveting, compact account, Aldo Schiavone rescues Spartacus from the murky regions of legend and brings him squarely into the arena of serious history.
Schiavone transports us to Italy of the first century bce, where the pervasive institution of slavery dominates all aspects of Roman life. In this historic landscape, carefully reconstructed by the author, we encounter Spartacus, who is enslaved after deserting from the Roman army to avoid fighting against his native Thrace. Imprisoned in Capua and trained as a gladiator, he leads an uprising that will shake the empire to its foundations.
While the grandeur of the Spartacus story has always been apparent, its political significance has been less clear. What were his ambitions? Often depicted as the leader of a class rebellion that was fierce in intent but ragtag in makeup and organization, Spartacus emerges here in a very different light: the commander of an army whose aim was to incite Italy to revolt against Rome and to strike at the very heart of the imperial system. Surprising, persuasive, and highly original,Spartacus challenges the lore and illuminates the reality of a figure whose achievements, and whose ultimate defeat, are more extraordinary and moving than the fictions we make from them.
Baker & Taylor
Presents the life of Spartacus, the former gladiator who led a slave revolt against the Romans, describing the historical background and the political significance of a rebellion that threatened the Roman way of life.
Like everyone who fought against the Roman Empire, says Schiavone (Roman law, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane), Roman slave-revolt leader Spartacus is known only from the reports of his enemies. Working with the sources he has, he presents a biography of Spartacus, and characterizes the first-century BC revolt not just as a class war as it is usually depicted, but as an incitement to the whole of Italy to revolt against the iron rule of Rome. The Italian Sparaco was published by Giulion Einaudi Editore SpA, Torino in 2011. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)