The Servile Wars: The History and Legacy of the Slave Uprisings against Rome, Charles River Editors
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The Servile Wars: The History and Legacy of the Slave Uprisings against Rome

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Bill Caufield

Unabridged: 1 hr 59 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 07/11/2023

Genre: History - Ancient - Rome

Synopsis

Spartacus is the world’s most famous slave, and one of the most notorious figures of ancient Rome. A slave enamored of freedom and willing to fight and die for it, he became especially popular in the years following the Enlightenment, after which he was widely viewed as a poignant champion of liberty in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result, he became a symbol during struggles like the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the struggle for emancipation. To this day, his dual life as a gladiator and a “freedom fighter” fascinates audiences around the world. His tale, a blend of violent spectacle and civil rights, has been adapted for film (Stanley Kubrick’s memorable Spartacus), television (Starz’s popular television series), and in literature (appearing in everything from historical novels to comics). To this day, Spartacus is a popular first name in central and southern Italy, and his name has been adopted by sports teams like FC Spartak Moscow and FC Spartak Plovdiv. The Soviet Union’s internal version of the Olympics, the Spartakiad, also derived its name from Spartacus.

The reasons for Spartacus’s enduring appeal are obvious, but his uprising has overshadowed the fact that his was actually the third such uprising against the Roman Republic in a short span. Preceding this, the First and Second Servile Wars had already demonstrated that revolts against Rome and the whole institution of slavery could gain momentum, and these earlier uprisings provided a blueprint for the larger attempt by Spartacus to win freedom. All three of these revolts came about because of the Roman practice of enslavement, and as such, any analysis of the Servile Wars requires an understanding of what was involved in the institution of slavery within the Roman system. 

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