Cato the Younger
A noted orator, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity, as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period. Cato was born in 95 BC in Rome, the son of Marcus Porcius Cato, drusus was murdered when Cato was 4 years old. Catos stubbornness began in his early years, his teacher, reports a very obedient and questioning child, although slow in being persuaded of things and sometimes very difficult to retrain. In a playful mood, he asked the support for his cause. All of them nodded and smiled except Cato, who stared at the guest suspiciously, silo demanded an answer from him and, seeing no response, took Cato and hung him by the feet out of the window. Even then, Cato would not say anything, Plutarch recounts a few other stories as well. One night, as children were playing a game in a side room of a house during a social event, they were having a mock trial with judges. One of the children, supposedly a good-natured and pleasant child, was convicted by the accusers and was being carried out of the room when he cried out desperately for Cato.
Cato became very angry at the children and, saying nothing, grabbed the child away from the guards. When Sulla asked them whom they would have, they all cried Cato, Sullas daughter Cornelia Sulla was married to the boys uncle Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livianus. Sarpedons answer was thus, They fear him, my child, Cato replied to this, Give me a sword, that I might free my country from slavery. After this, Sarpedon was careful not to leave the boy unattended around the capital, after receiving his inheritance, Cato moved from his uncles house and began to study Stoic philosophy and politics. He began to live in a very modest way, as his great-grandfather Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder had famously done, Cato subjected himself to violent exercise, and learned to endure cold and rain with a minimum of clothes. He ate only what was necessary and drank the cheapest wine on the market and this was entirely for philosophical reasons, his inheritance would have permitted him to live comfortably. He remained in private life for a time, rarely seen in public.
But when he did appear in the forum, his speeches, Cato was first engaged to Aemilia Lepida, a patrician woman, but she was married instead to Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, to whom she had been betrothed. Incensed, Cato threatened to sue for her hand, but his friends mollified him, Cato was married to a woman called Atilia. By her, he had a son, Marcus Porcius Cato, and a daughter, Cato divorced Atilia for unseemly behavior
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and at first ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, the reign of Philip II saw the rise of Macedonia, during which the kingdom rose to control the entire Greek world. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, Philip II defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the decisive Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Sparta was kept isolated and was occupied a century by Antigonus III Doson. Alexander led a roughly decade-long campaign of conquest against the Achaemenid Empire, in the ensuing wars of Alexander the Great, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered a territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his Macedonian empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy and science were spread throughout much of the ancient world.
Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, who had been imported as tutor to Alexander, important cities such as Pella and Amphipolis were involved in power struggles for control of the territory. New cities were founded, such as Thessalonica by the usurper Cassander, Macedonias decline began with the Macedonian Wars and the rise of Rome as the leading Mediterranean power. At the end of the Second Macedonian War in 168 BC, a short-lived revival of the monarchy during the Third Macedonian War in 150–148 BC ended with the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia. The name Macedonia comes from the ethnonym Μακεδόνες, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός, meaning tall and it shares the same root as the noun μάκρος, meaning length in both ancient and modern Greek. The name is believed to have meant either highlanders, the tall ones. Robert S. P. Beekes supports that both terms are of Pre-Greek substrate origin and cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European morphology.
Contradictory legends state that either Perdiccas I of Macedon or Caranus of Macedon were the founders of the Argead dynasty, the kingdom of Macedonia was situated along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers in Lower Macedonia, north of Mount Olympus. Historian Malcolm Errington posits the theory one of the earliest Argead kings must have established Aigai as their capital in the mid-7th century BC. Prior to the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region corresponding to the western. Achaemenid Persian hegemony over Macedonia was briefly interrupted by the Ionian Revolt, although Macedonia enjoyed a large degree of autonomy and was never made a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, it was expected to provide troops for the Achaemenid army. Following the Greek victory at Salamis in 480 BC, Alexander I was employed as an Achaemenid diplomat to strike a treaty and alliance with Athens. Soon afterwards the Achaemenid forces were forced to withdraw from mainland Europe, although initially a Persian vassal, Alexander I of Macedon fostered friendly diplomatic relations with his former Greek enemies, the Athenian and Spartan-led coalition of Greek city-states.
Two separate wars were fought against Athens between 433 and 431 BC, spurred by an Athenian alliance with a brother and cousin of Perdiccas II who had rebelled against him
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus. He was elected Tribune of the Plebs in 49 B. C and he opposed Caesar, and he commanded a fleet against him during Caesars Civil War, after Caesar defeated Pompey in the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar overtook Cassius and forced him to surrender. After Caesars death, Cassius fled to the East, where he amassed an army of twelve legions and he was supported and made Governor by the Senate. Though he and Brutus marched west against the allies of the Second Triumvirate, Cassius was defeated at the Battle of Phillippi and he followed the teachings of the philosopher Epicurus, although scholars debate whether or not these beliefs affected his political life. Cassius is a character in Shakespeares play Julius Caesar that depicts the assassination of Caesar. He is shown in the lowest circle of Hell in Dantes The Inferno as punishment for killing Caesar. Little is known of Gaius Cassius early life, apart from a story that he showed his dislike of despots while still at school and he studied philosophy at Rhodes under Archelaus and became fluent in Greek.
He was married to Junia Tertia, who was the daughter of Servilia and they had one son, who was born in about 60 BC. In 53 BC he took part in the Battle of Carrhae lost by Marcus Licinius Crassus against the Parthians, Cassius returned to Rome in 50 BC, when civil war was about to break out between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Cassius was elected tribune of the Plebs for 49 BC, and threw in his lot with the Optimates, Cassius left Italy shortly after Caesar crossed the Rubicon. He met Pompey in Greece, and was appointed to command part of his fleet, in 48 BC, Cassius sailed his ships to Sicily, where he attacked and burned a large part of Caesars navy. He proceeded to harass ships off the Italian coast, news of Pompeys defeat at the Battle of Pharsalus caused Cassius to head for the Hellespont, with hopes of allying with the king of Pontus, Pharnaces II. Cassius was overtaken by Caesar en route, and was forced to surrender unconditionally, Caesar made Cassius a legate, employing him in the Alexandrian War against the very same Pharnaces whom Cassius had hoped to join after Pompeys defeat at Pharsalus.
However, Cassius refused to join in the fight against Cato and Scipio in Africa, Cassius spent the next two years in office, and apparently tightened his friendship with Cicero. In 44 BC, he became praetor peregrinus with the promise of the Syrian province for the ensuing year, the appointment of his junior and brother-in-law, Marcus Brutus, as praetor urbanus deeply offended him. Although Cassius was the spirit in the plot against Caesar, winning over the chief assassins to the cause of tyrannicide. On the Ides of March,44 BC, Cassius urged on his fellow liberators, though they succeeded in assassinating Caesar, the celebration was short-lived, as Mark Antony seized power and turned the public against them. In letters written during 44 BC, Cicero frequently complains that Rome was still subjected to tyranny, according to some accounts, Cassius had wanted to kill Antony at the same time as Caesar, but Brutus dissuaded him
The Gods of War
The Gods of War is the fourth novel in the Emperor series, written by British author Conn Iggulden. The series is historical fiction following the life of Julius Caesar, during the journey, his army encounters mild resistance, the legions are no match for veterans of Gaul, and Caesar forces the surrender without a single man being killed. He pardons the legion - the first of many acts of propaganda in the coming war, the speed of his journey south catches Pompey by surprise, who consequently flees to Greece along with the majority of the Roman Senate. This leaves Rome free for Caesar to enter and he installs Mark Anthony as governor of Rome - much to the disgust of Caesars lifelong friend Marcus Brutus. Brutus anger forces him to betray his friend and defect to Pompey, Caesar eventually takes his army to Greece to face an increasingly ill Pompey, who has a much larger force with reinforced supply lines and defended towns. As Pompeys illness takes hold, he begins to make mistakes - including missing the chance to rout Caesars forces following a failed night-raid on a fort, eventually the armies meet at the Battle of Pharsalus, with Caesar emerging victor from the jaws of defeat.
Caesar finds the injured Brutus and forgives his friend for his betrayal - much to the anger of his general. Pompey flees the field, forcing Caesar to chase him, first to Asia Minor and it is here that Caesar is presented with the head of Pompey by representatives of boy-king Ptolemy XIII, much to his anger. While in Egypt, Caesar is introduced to Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and she asks him for help in returning her to the throne after Ptolemys advisors had her banished. Caesar raids the royal palace and captures the king, returning him to a defended house and he engages in a romance with his ally Cleopatra. They make a number of demands in return for the release of her brother, when Ptolemy is released he immediately unleashes his army on the house, besieging Caesars army. Caesar breaks the siege, by starting a fire in Alexandria port as a distraction and Caesar have a son together, Ptolemy Caesarion. Caesar takes them back to Rome, and begins to announce his plans to create an Empire and this does not sit well with the Roman public, who were promised a reintroduction of the Roman Republic after the years of dictatorship following Cornelius Sulla and Pompey.
Most unhappy with this change in heart is Brutus, who joins a plot to have the Rex killed, crassus had died whilst commanding a legion Caesar and Pompey had trained for him. On the Ides of March Caesar is led to the Theatre of Pompey, the date had been prophesized as his death by his companion Cabera in The Field of Swords shortly before he died. As with other books in the series, Iggulden strays from historical fact for storyline purposes and he includes a Historical Note to explain his reasons. This is obviously a novel and work of not a history textbook
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
A novel is any relatively long piece of written narrative fiction, normally in prose, and typically published as a book. The genre has described as possessing, a continuous. This view sees the novels origins in Classical Greece and Rome, early modern romance, the latter, an Italian word used to describe short stories, supplied the present generic English term in the 18th century. The romance is a closely related long prose narrative, Romance, as defined here, should not be confused with the genre fiction love romance or romance novel. Other European languages do not distinguish between romance and novel, a novel is le roman, der Roman, il romanzo, a novel is a long, fictional narrative which describes intimate human experiences. Most European languages use the word romance for extended narratives, fictionality is most commonly cited as distinguishing novels from historiography. However this can be a problematic criterion, historians would invent and compose speeches for didactic purposes. Novels can, on the hand, depict the social and personal realities of a place and period with clarity.
Even in the 19th century, fictional narratives in verse, such as Lord Byrons Don Juan, Alexander Pushkins Yevgeniy Onegin, vikram Seths The Golden Gate, composed of 590 Onegin stanzas, is a more recent example of the verse novel. Both in 12th-century Japan and 15th-century Europe, prose fiction created intimate reading situations, on the other hand, verse epics, including the Odyssey and Aeneid, had been recited to a select audiences, though this was a more intimate experience than the performance of plays in theaters. A new world of Individualistic fashion, personal views, intimate feelings, secret anxieties and gallantry spread with novels, the novel is today the longest genre of narrative prose fiction, followed by the novella, short story, and flash fiction. However, in the 17th century critics saw the romance as of epic length, the length of a novel can still be important because most literary awards use length as a criterion in the ranking system. Urbanization and the spread of printed books in Song Dynasty China led to the evolution of oral storytelling into consciously fictional novels by the Ming dynasty, parallel European developments did not occur for centuries, and awaited the time when the availability of paper allowed for similar opportunities.
By contrast, Ibn Tufails Hayy ibn Yaqdhan and Ibn al-Nafis Theologus Autodidactus are works of didactic philosophy, in this sense, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan would be considered an early example of a philosophical novel, while Theologus Autodidactus would be considered an early theological novel. Epic poetry exhibits some similarities with the novel, and the Western tradition of the novel back into the field of verse epics. Then at the beginning of the 18th century, French prose translations brought Homers works to a wider public, longus is the author of the famous Greek novel and Chloe. Romance or chivalric romance is a type of narrative in prose or verse popular in the circles of High Medieval. In romances, particularly those of French origin, there is a tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love
Gaius Marius was a Roman general and statesman. He held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his career, Marius defeated the invading Germanic tribes, for which he was called the third founder of Rome. His life and career were significant in Romes transformation from Republic to Empire, Marius was born in 157 BC in the town of Arpinum in southern Latium. The town had been conquered by the Romans in the late 4th century BC and was given Roman citizenship without voting rights, only in 188 BC did the town receive full citizenship. The problems he faced in his career in Rome show the difficulties that faced a new man. Since eagles were considered sacred animals of Jupiter, the god of the Romans. Later, as consul, he decreed that the eagle would be the symbol of the Senate, in 134 BC, he was serving with the army at Numantia and his good services brought him to the attention of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. Whether he arrived with Scipio Aemilianus or was already serving in the army that Scipio Aemilianus took over at Numantia is not clear.
According to Plutarch, during a conversation after dinner, when the conversation turned to generals, Aemilianus gently tapped on Marius shoulder, Perhaps this is the man. It would seem that even at this stage in his army career. He ran for election as one of the special military tribunes of the first four legions who were elected. Sallust tells us that he was unknown by sight to the electors but was returned by all the tribes on the basis of his accomplishments, next, he ran for the quaestorship after losing an election for local office in Arpinum. The military tribunate shows that he was interested in Roman politics before the quaestorship. Perhaps he simply ran for office as a means of gaining support back home. Nothing is known of his actions while quaestor, in 120 BC, Marius was returned as plebeian tribune for the following year. He won with the support of Quintus Caecilius Metellus, who was an inherited patronus, the Metelli, though neither ancient nor patrician, were one of the most powerful families in Rome at this time.
During his tribunate, Marius pursued a populares line and he passed a law that restricted the interference of the wealthy in elections. In the 130s voting by ballot had been introduced in elections for choosing magistrates, passing laws and deciding legal cases, in the passage of this law, Marius alienated the Metelli, who opposed it
Servilia (mother of Brutus)
Servilia was the mistress of Julius Caesar, mother of one of Caesars assassins, mother-in-law of another assassin and half-sister of Cato the Younger. Little is known of Servilias early life and she was a patrician who could trace her line back to Gaius Servilius Ahala, and was the eldest child of Livia Drusa and Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger. Her parents had two children, a younger Servilia and a younger Quintus Servilius Caepio. They divorced when she was young and her mother married Marcus Porcius Cato Following her parents divorce both her mother and stepfather died and her younger siblings were brought up in the house of their maternal uncle, Marcus Livius Drusus, who was the tribune. He too, died when she was 16, prior to 85 BC, she was married to Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder, who became tribune of the plebs in 83 BC, and was founder of the colony in Capua. They had only one child, Marcus Junius Brutus, born around 85 BC. Following the death of Sulla, who had been dictator in 79 BC but had resigned a year later, the elder Brutus was killed by Pompey after the surrender of Mutina, where he had fought him in 77 BC.
Servilias second marriage was with Decimus Junius Silanus, with whom she had three daughters, Junia Prima, Junia Secunda, and Junia Tertia, before 64 BC she became the mistress of Julius Caesar, and remained so until the dictators death in 44 BC. Caesar was very fond of her and, years later, when he returned to a chaotic Rome after the Gallic Wars and it is said that she offered him her youngest daughter Junia Tertia once his interests began to wane. Cicero wittily referenced this in remarking of a real deal, Its a better bargain than you think. There was gossip that Junia Tertia was Caesars daughter, after Pompeys defeat in the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar gave orders to his officers not to harm Brutus if they saw him in battle, probably out of respect for Servilia. As well as this she was jealous of the affection that Brutus had for Porcia, the marriage resulted in a rift between mother and son. After the assassination of Caesar by her son Brutus and her son-in-law Cassius, apart from Servilia the only other women in attendance were Porcia and Junia Tertia.
Despite this, she escaped the purges of the second triumvirate unscathed. After Brutus death, she lived out the remainder of her life in relative comfort and her sons ashes were sent to her from Philippi and she died naturally, like Junia Tertia. An even more fictionalised Servilia makes an appearance in the 2005 six-part mini series Empire, played by Trudie Styler. A very fictionalized, Servilia appears in The Gates of Rome, by Conn Iggulden, who for reasons unknown has portrayed her as a courtesan, Servilia appears in Colleen McCulloughs Masters of Rome Series
Lucius Cornelius Cinna
Lucius Cornelius Cinna was a four-time consul of the Roman Republic, serving four consecutive terms from 87 to 84 BC, and a member of the ancient Roman Cinna family of the Cornelii gens. Cinnas influence in Rome exacerbated the tensions which existed between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, after the death of Marius, he became the leading power in Rome until his own death. His main impact upon Roman politics was his ability to veil his tyranny and his policies impinged on Julius Caesar, who married his daughter. Not much is known about Cinna before his bid for the consulship of 87 BC and he had praetorian rank in the Social War, and had most likely been praetor previous to this time. Cinna was elected as Roman consul in 87 BC, but historians disagree about who supported his election and what his own political goals. All seem to agree on a chain of events, however. The people had intentionally elected candidates who were not supported by Sulla, Sulla had a little more control over the election for consul, or at least, had enough power to be certain no one who supported his rival, could be elected.
Sulla seems to have supported Cinna as a candidate, but clearly did not trust him. Somehow then, Cinna had enough support to be elected, various theories on who supported him and why are postulated based on what he did while in office, but all agree that Sulla was correct in his distrust. Gnaeus Octavius was elected as Cinnas colleague under relatively similar circumstances, one of Cinnas first decisions as consul was not to let his oath to Sulla influence his decisions as consul. Cinna argued that the oath should not prevent him helping the people of Rome. Soon after this, Cinna sought to remove Sulla from the city and he brought some sort of charge against Sulla soon after coming to power. Sulla, rather than facing the charge, escaped with his army and this left only Octavius and the Senate to defend the causes of Sulla in Rome. Cinna eventually supported many causes, which leads to debate concerning his original goals. Two causes predominated, that of the exiles and that of the Italians and his supporters, as well as many prominent supporters of Publius Sulpicius Rufus, had been exiled from Rome under Sullas rule, but were still very popular amongst the people.
It is clear there were connections between Cinna and this group, but it is not clear at what point he took up this cause. The other cause, to which Cinna can be more connected, is that of the “novus homo” or “new citizen”. These were members of Italian tribes who had been promised citizenship as a condition of peace in the Social War, technically they had been given citizenship, but in such a way that they had no real power
Augustus was the founder of the Roman Principate and considered the first Roman emperor, controlling the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in AD14. He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia and his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesars will as his adopted son and heir, known as Octavianus. He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar, following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvate was eventually torn apart by the ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, in reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule.
He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis, the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of peace known as the Pax Romana. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, expanding into Germania, beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. Augustus died in AD14 at the age of 75 and he probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son Tiberius, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life, At birth, he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius between his birth in 63 until his adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC, upon his adoption, he took Caesars name and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards.
He quickly dropped Octavianus from his name, and his contemporaries referred to him as Caesar during this period, historians. In 27 BC, following his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and it is the events of 27 BC from which he obtained his traditional name of Augustus, which historians use in reference to him from 27 BC until his death in AD14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri, approximately 40 kilometres from Rome and he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his fathers victory at Thurii over a band of slaves. Due to the nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his fathers home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius only mentions his fathers equestrian family briefly in his memoirs and his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War
Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory and may not always be reliable. However, all agree that he was a former gladiator. Although this interpretation is not specifically contradicted by historians, no historical account mentions that the goal was to end slavery in the Republic. The Greek essayist Plutarch describes Spartacus as a Thracian of Nomadic stock, Appian says he was a Thracian by birth, who had once served as a soldier with the Romans, but had since been a prisoner and sold for a gladiator. Florus described him as one who, from a Thracian mercenary, had become a Roman soldier, that had deserted and became enslaved, and afterward, from consideration of his strength, a gladiator. Plutarch writes that Spartacus wife, a prophetess of the Maedi tribe, was enslaved with him, the name Spartacus is otherwise manifested in the Black Sea region. Kings of the Thracian dynasty of the Cimmerian Bosporus and Pontus are known to have borne it, according to the differing sources and their interpretation, Spartacus was a captive taken by the legions.
Spartacus was trained at the school near Capua belonging to Lentulus Batiatus. He was a gladiator called a murmillo. These fighters carried a big oblong shield, and used a sword with a broad, straight blade, in 73 BC, Spartacus was among a group of gladiators plotting an escape. About 70 slaves were part of the plot, though few in number, they seized kitchen utensils, fought their way free from the school, and seized several wagons of gladiatorial weapons and armor. Once free, the escaped gladiators chose Spartacus and two Gallic slaves—Crixus and Oenomaus—as their leaders, the positions of Crixus and Oenomaus—and later and Castus—can be clearly determined from the sources. The response of the Romans was hampered by the absence of the Roman legions, which were engaged in fighting a revolt in Spain. Furthermore, the Romans considered the more of a policing matter than a war. Rome dispatched militia under the command of praetor Gaius Claudius Glaber and they were surprised when Spartacus, who had made ropes from vines, climbed down the cliff side of the volcano with his men and attacked the unfortified Roman camp in the rear, killing most of them.
The rebels defeated an expedition, nearly capturing the praetor commander, killing his lieutenants. With these successes and more slaves flocked to the Spartacan forces, as did many of the herdsmen and shepherds of the region, in these altercations Spartacus proved to be an excellent tactician, suggesting that he may have had previous military experience. Though the rebels lacked military training, they displayed a skillful use of local materials