The Third Servile War
Throughout history, from ancient civilizations to today's society, the animosity of the repressed towards the powerful has fueled some of the greatest and most influential uprisings of all time. In ancient Rome, within a sixty three year period ranging from 134-71 B.C., there had been three separate occasions where an uprising of slaves had advanced to the point of war, forcing Rome to put forth major military efforts.Ã¯Â¿Â½ These wars were known as the three Servile Wars. The last of these three wars, which is commonly referred to as the Gladiator War, spanned from 73-71 B.C. and is best known for the rebel leader Spartacus. In the years to follow, the historians Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus (Plutarch) and Appian of Alexandrea composed two detailed accounts of the events that shaped the war.
The Roman economy heavily depended on slaves, which were acquired for the Roman workforce by means such as purchase from foreign merchants, and by the enslavement of foreign populations through military conquest.
Therefore, because of Rome's steady involvement in wars during the second and first centuries B.C., tens if not hundreds of thousands of slaves were imported into the Roman economy from various European and Mediterranean acquisitions.Ã¯Â¿Â½ In most cases, slaves were treated harshly and oppressively during the time of the republic. In the Roman Republic of the first century, gladiatorial games were one of the more popular forms of entertainment. In order to supply gladiators for the contests, prisoners of war, condemned criminals, and slaves were sent to several training schools, or ludi, established all throughout Italy.Ã¯Â¿Â½ These schools gave the gladiators the skills required to fight to the death in gladiatorial games.
This is where Plutarch and Appian begin. According to both historical translations, In 73 B.C. in the ludus near...