Spartacus....

Apr 2011
3,075
New Jersey
#71
We have no idea if he was an army deserter. Its just as likely he was pressed into the auxillary and fled which would hardly be considered desertion in the modern context.

Also calling him a bandit is silly. The Romans consider a slave rebelling or escaping a criminal offense when in modern eyes it would be seen as a virtue. Would you consider Harriet Tubman or Nat Turner bandits. Of course not.

We also have no idea what Spartacus intended to do or what his motivations were. It is surmised that he wanted to continue raiding Italy because he didnt cross the alps when he had the chance, it is equally possible that he found the alps too imposing and his lands to far away to make an attempt

Not to mention is army was probably 90% italian and greek (Spartacus being more Greek than "barbarian" as well) shepards who would prefer to stay in their homeland rather than risk a trek into barbarian territory.
I agree with the general point of your critique, but modern views on what makes a bandit or whether one is right to be a bandit should not matter much here.
 
Jul 2016
8,661
USA
#72
I agree with the general point of your critique, but modern views on what makes a bandit or whether one is right to be a bandit should not matter much here.
A bandit preys on the countryside through stealing. That's how Spartacus's slaves and disgruntled Italians survived after they revolted. They marauded the Roman countryside taking whatever they wanted while everyone hunkered down inside city walls with whatever possessions they could carry with them.
 
Apr 2011
3,075
New Jersey
#73
A bandit preys on the countryside through stealing. That's how Spartacus's slaves and disgruntled Italians survived after they revolted. They marauded the Roman countryside taking whatever they wanted while everyone hunkered down inside city walls with whatever possessions they could carry with them.
It feels a though Spartacus X was taking it from a hero or villain perspective. That's what I'm getting at. Cal is speaking more absolutely than I remember the sources being.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,192
#74
We have no idea if he was an army deserter. Its just as likely he was pressed into the auxillary and fled which would hardly be considered desertion in the modern context.
He is specifically mentioned in one source as being a deserter from the auxiliaries. Okay, there's probably an element of doubt given both major accounts do not agree 100%, but there was no reason to add that detail without due cause. It also agrees with his perceived behaviour. Spartacus (not his real name, which remains unknown) was no coward, but neither was he compliant. At every stage he fails to conform and tries to back out - this behaviour may even have been the cause of his arguments with the two gallic leaders - we don't know what they argued about.

Also calling him a bandit is silly. The Romans consider a slave rebelling or escaping a criminal offense when in modern eyes it would be seen as a virtue. Would you consider Harriet Tubman or Nat Turner bandits. Of course not.
On escaping from Capua he camped on Vesuvius and began his new career as a bandit - the sources do say that. His revolt was not intentional - it was a situation that developed beyond his control. Further, I would also point out that prior to being sold as a slave to Lentulus Batiatus, he was caught operating as a bandit after deserting. Again, the sources do mention that. He seems to have had no real objective other than survival and theft. Face it. He was a bandit - albeit one that fate marked out as more impressive than most even if he was only at large for two years before his death.

Not to mention is army was probably 90% italian and greek (Spartacus being more Greek than "barbarian" as well) shepards who would prefer to stay in their homeland rather than risk a trek into barbarian territory.
Army? That rabble of discontents? He did well to survive as long as he did, and bearing in mind how many were escaped or absentee slaves seeking freedom under Spartacus' aegis, your statistics cannot be considered correct.
 
Oct 2012
565
#78
A bandit preys on the countryside through stealing. That's how Spartacus's slaves and disgruntled Italians survived after they revolted. They marauded the Roman countryside taking whatever they wanted while everyone hunkered down inside city walls with whatever possessions they could carry with them.
Yes they did, then again, not so many opportunities for runnaway slaves.
 

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