For almost 500 years, the Roman Republic had replaced the monarchy. But after an easy conquest of Italy and of the countries all around the Mediterranean, Rome dreamed to become an Empire. The people conquered became dependents or slaves. A Thracian, SPARTACUS, became a slave and a gladiator, when Rome plunged into civil war. It was then a good time to “disobey” and become free again. Spartacus convinced gladiators to escape. More than 100,000 men, young and old, joined this escape through Italy. They were not only slaves, but also peasants and shepherds. Exceptional strategist and tactician, for two years Spartacus defeated a dozen Roman legions. Rome had to mobilize a dozen other legions to end this slave war. How did Spartacus proceed to achieve such a popular mobilization against Rome huge power ? Until today, Spartacus remains a champion and a symbol of the liberation of peoples, a defender of the oppressed.
© Alice Labrèque & Jean Routier, 2019