By Tess Thomson, Cameron Monroe, and Rob Paulissen

Historical Context Edit

Spartacus statue by Denis Foyatier


Born: 109 BC

Died: 71 BC

Spartacus was Thracian who became a gladiator after he was captured and sold into slavery. Spartacus was one of the leaders of the slave revolt that began the Third Servile War.

Third Servile War Edit

Began: 73 BC

Ended: 71 BC

The Third Servile War began with a group of slave revolts which directly effected Italy. The slave groups were thought to be compromised of two different groups because of the distance between them. Spartacus was one of the leaders of the slave rebellions, and the other leader being Crixus. The escaped slaves threatened the Roman people because of their growing success against the Roman armies. Through several battles within the Third Servile War, Spartacus and more than 5,000 rebels were finally defeated in 71 BC against the final fight with Crassus. Although the war had ended, the effects on Roman politics would continue for years.

Critical Battles: Edit

Battle of Mount Vesuvius:

This was the first battle which took place within the Third Servile War. This battle pitted the rebels against a military force in which Rome had specifically dispatched in order to deal with the rebellion. The military forces were led by Claudius Glaber, who failed to capture the escaped slaves. The rebels fled down the opposite side of the Vesuvius Mountain, and defeated the Roman forces.

Battle of Cantenna:

One of the last battles in the Third Servile Wars. This battle was significant because the rebel leaders Castus and Gannicus were both killed by the legions of Crassus. Around 12,000 rebel casualties compared to only a few thousand of the Roman army.

Battle of the Siler River 71 BC:

This was the final battle between Crassus’ and Spartacus’ army. Crassus won this battle by building a 40 mile trap conducted of ditches and walls. The rebel deaths ranged around the 30,000 mark with Crassus’ army having only reported 1,000 casualties. This was the end of the Servile Wars.

Spartacus within "Blood and Sand" Edit

Appearance: Edit

The appearance of "Spartacus" was that of a normal Sword and Sandal male protagonist. His height was between 5' 11" to 6' 2"; He had the build of an athlete and the look of a classic "Roman" gladiator.


Personality: Edit

His personality was stoic in demeanor. He had the look of a man who wanted vengeance on his captors most of the time. The look in his eyes was that of a man who longed for freedom by any means.

Relationships: Edit

Within "Blood and Sand" his relations with Sura, his wife, end in tragedy, as she is murdered at the order of Batiatus. But his relationship with Crixus, his friend and rival, end in their freedom in season 1 episode 13 "Kill Them All."

Motive: Edit

There are two motives for most of his actions; Either freedom, or survival. Freedom is the main motivator because , as with most slaves, he longs for it. However, in order to attain freedom, he has to survive as long as he can. In order to do so, he needs to do certain things (kill other gladiators/enemies of the state) to get to that point in episode 13.

Comparison between Historical Context and "Blood and Sand": TV series Edit

The show is a mostly fictionalized telling of Spartacus' story. The battles such as Mount Vesuvius, Cantenna, and Silver River did occur in the series, however their strategies were not historically accurate. This is due in part to production budgets. These battles in history were huge, each side would lose tens of thousands of men in each of the battles, and it would be extremely expensive to recreate such battles. They were also changed in order to make the battles more appealing to viewers.

References Edit