How Historically Accurate is the TV Series Spartacus

The Spartacus TV series imbues so much emotion on overly portrayed scenes so that engulfed viewers would not want to miss an episode.  There are many versions to Spartacus’ life story. Roman historians had left out details about Spartacus and they definitely did not want to admit that slave rebellion defeated legions of trained and heavily armed soldiers.  Some history books say that Spartacus was an accomplished high ranking solider in the Roman times turned gladiator.   He was accused of deserting his troop and became a robber so he could feed himself.  His crimes did not escape the Roman soldiers for which he was put to prison.  Spartacus was condemned to slavery and then sold to become a gladiator.

Some historians say that Spartacus was an apprentice gladiator and was housed in training school from a young age.  He was one of those who plotted a successful massive escape that started the fight against the Romans.  Once escaped, Spartacus, along with Crixus and Oenamaus were chosen by the rebels as their commanders.  The unstoppable rebellion then defeated a number of Roman troops which made a legend of Spartacus. It was Marcus Crassus who amplified forces to corner Spartacus’ group.  When the Roman legion caught up with the Spartans, the rebels faced the soldiers head on knowing that it was to be their last battle.  Historians say that Spartacus died in the battle but his body was never found at the battle site.

Since there is no confirmed information about Spartacus, writers feel they can add bits of imagination, logic and some exaggeration to the hero’s story.  A common gladiator sparkler is when they have an affair with a highborn woman. There wasn’t anything said about Spartacus or Crixus having a love affair with any of the noble women in Rome.  There were no records of Spartan gladiators engaging in group fornication although it must have assumed by the TV series writers since Romans are known for their orgies.

Batiatus seem to get his way all the time in the story since he’s already killed many times and never got as much as a reprimand.  There was also no evidence that Spartacus killed Batiatus in historic accounts.  Well, the hero always kills the antagonist, after he ragingly says “He is mine!” to engross the viewers. Also, gladiator winners were thought to be treated better than other slaves, and some would even rise from their position to become soldiers.  How Spartacus remained as a slave and yet won the stage battles many times is mind-boggling.

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