Facts About Legendary Gladiator Spartacus

Born in 111 BC, Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator who became one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War. After escaping captivity, he went on to establish a massive slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Although not much is known about his life outside of the war, it is agreed that he was a former gladiator turned successful military leader. Today, he is viewed as a symbol for the oppressed fighting against the powers that controlled them, although his intentions remain unclear. So, take a look back to see how one man went from an enslaved gladiator to one of the most revered war heroes in ancient history.

He Was In The Roman Army

Drawing of Roman soldier
The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images
The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

Initially, Spartacus was a member of the Roman army. Yet, he didn’t particularly like being ordered what to do or risking his life for something he didn’t care about. So he fled the army to live on his own terms.

In addition, some historians even argue that Spartacus was a Roman auxiliary officer, meaning he would have volunteered to enlist. After illegally leaving the army, he was eventually captured and sold into slavery as punishment for deserting. His days as a gladiator were about to begin.