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The Spartacus War | [Barry Strauss]

The Spartacus War

The Spartacus War is the extraordinary story of the most famous slave rebellion in the ancient world, the fascinating true story behind a legend that has been the inspiration for novelists, filmmakers, and revolutionaries for 2,000 years. Starting with only 74 men, a gladiator named Spartacus incited a rebellion that threatened Rome itself.
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Publisher's Summary

The Spartacus War is the extraordinary story of the most famous slave rebellion in the ancient world, the fascinating true story behind a legend that has been the inspiration for novelists, filmmakers, and revolutionaries for 2,000 years.

Starting with only 74 men, a gladiator named Spartacus incited a rebellion that threatened Rome itself. With his fellow gladiators, Spartacus built an army of 60,000 soldiers and controlled the southern Italian countryside. A charismatic leader, he used religion to win support. An ex-soldier in the Roman army, Spartacus excelled in combat. He defeated nine Roman armies and kept Rome at bay for two years before he was defeated. After his final battle, 6,000 of his followers were captured and crucified along Rome's main southern highway.

The Spartacus War is the dramatic and factual account of one of history's great rebellions. Spartacus was beaten by a Roman general, Crassus, who had learned how to defeat an insurgency. But the rebels were partly to blame for their failure. Their army was large and often undisciplined; the many ethnic groups within it frequently quarreled over leadership. No single leader, not even Spartacus, could keep them all in line. And when faced with a choice between escaping to freedom and looting, the rebels chose wealth over liberty, risking an eventual confrontation with Rome's most powerful forces. The result of years of research, The Spartacus War is based not only on written documents but also on archaeological evidence, historical reconstruction, and the author's extensive travels in the Italian countryside that Spartacus once conquered.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Barry Strauss; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Strauss admits the lack of reliable primary sources has forced him to engage in some tricky conjectures regarding the character and motivation of Spartacus. Still, many of his assertions are credible, and his efforts to portray the political and social milieu of Italy during the late Republic are superbly done. Strauss sees Spartacus as a brave and charismatic leader who was limited by some personal shortcomings." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (83 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-25-13

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "A Concise Overview"

    For those who want the in-depth story, this is probably as good as it gets as details on Spartacus aren't exactly forthcoming from the jaws of history. On the whole, this telling is rather insightful, all things considered, and the narrative is extremely engaging for even those not familiar with the topic.

    I would say the narrator is really good for this, except there are certain pronounciation issues I have. Most notably, the word "Celtic" is a frequent offender. Rather than describing the warriors of western Europe, many of whom fought with Spartacus, the narrator uses the soft "C," which makes me cringe as I think about basketball players taking on the Roman legions. If that's true, no wonder the rebellion failed! In all seriousness, though, if you can get past that, the narrator is a lively speaker and well-suited for this sort of work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Tucson, AZ, United States 03-05-10
    George Tucson, AZ, United States 03-05-10 Member Since 2003
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    "Not for Historians"

    I started out enjoying this book, the author's style and the narrator are enjoyable. However by the last chapter i was purely cringing. The author makes constant use of "it is possible" or "he might of" to build large parts of the narrative. The historian job is to interpret the facts and present them in a digestible manner, using smart interpolation when necessary. Is possible that Augustus though of Spartacus on his death bed? Yes, does evidence support this even remotely? NO! This is just plain out bad history.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 04-11-12
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 04-11-12 Member Since 2012

    I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible

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    "AS TRUE AS IT CAN BE TOLD."
    What did you like best about The Spartacus War? What did you like least?

    TELLS ALOT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WAS WITH SPARTACUS,I LIKED IT ALL.


    Would you recommend The Spartacus War to your friends? Why or why not?

    NO,THEY HATE HISTORY.


    What aspect of Ray Grover’s performance would you have changed?

    HIS VOICE.


    Could you see The Spartacus War being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    YES IT SHOULD BE ON STARZ.. ANDY WITFIELD WOULD BE GOOD.


    Any additional comments?

    GIVE IT A TRY.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
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  • Dave
    stevenage, United Kingdom
    10/27/10
    Overall
    "Will the real Spartacus please stand..."

    This book freely admits that the evidence for the Spartacus war is thin on the ground and often contradictory, so if you only wanted to stick to known facts than you could barely fill a pamphlet. As it turns out 6+ hours is a pretty good length as the author does much to flesh out the facts with a good background of the period and a number of suppositions which may or may not be true but help to keep the story going. I can't vouch for the authenticity, but the book does well in telling the story and describing the world in which it occurred.

    I found the American accent of the narrator jarring at first, but he reads well enough. The repeated insertion of modern names for ancient places is quite annoying, particularly when they are little different, but anyone interested in the Republican Roman world will enjoy this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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