Spartacus, the rebel leader who fought against the Romans with an army of fellow escaped slaves, is one of the most famous figures in ancient Roman history. Spartacus led his men against their Roman oppressors and managed to defeat the Roman army in several battles. Eventually Spartacus and his army were defeated and put to death. To this day, Spartacus fascinates both historians and the general public. Several aspects about his story have made him a particularly appealing hero.
First, Spartacus’ original goal in his conflict against Rome is one everyone can empathize with—he wanted to return home. Spartacus and his men had been taken by the Romans from faraway lands. In fighting the Romans, Spartacus and his men initially sought to return to the homelands from which they had been uprooted. Spartacus and his men’s desire to return home is one we can all appreciate.
Second, Spartacus’ initial success in fighting against the powerful Roman army has earned him the admiration people feel when someone who is overmatched triumphs through sheer skill. Spartacus and his men formed a relatively small, ill-equipped army; the Roman army, in contrast, was large, well-financed, and highly trained. Spartacus’ ability to seriously trouble the Romans on the battlefield testifies to his military brilliance, making him a hero in most people’s eyes.
Third, in fighting against Rome, Spartacus sought to liberate all Roman slaves and thus commanded respect as an early human rights advocate. Before his final battle with the Romans, Spartacus was sent an offer by a Roman general: if Spartacus would stop fighting, he would be made a Roman senator, a member of Rome’s powerful elite, and his men would be freed. However, Spartacus rejected this offer because it would have left the institution of slavery in place.
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the specific points made in the reading passage.