Spartacus's struggle, often interpreted as an example of oppressed people fighting for their freedom against a slave-owning oligarchy, has found new meaning since the 19th century. The story of Spartacus has also proven inspirational to many modern authors of literature, history, political commentary, film, and television.
Balkan tribes, including the Maedi
The ancient sources agree that Spartacus was a Thracian. Plutarch describes him as "a Thracian of Nomadic stock". Appian says he was "a Thracian by birth, who had once served as a soldier with the Romans, but had since been a prisoner and sold for a Gladiator". Florus (2.8.8) described him as one "who from Thracian mercenary, had become a Roman soldier, of a soldier a deserter and robber, and afterward, from consideration of his strength, a gladiator". Some authors refer to the Thracian tribe of the Maedi, which in historic times occupied the area on the southwestern fringes of Thrace (present day south-western Bulgaria). Plutarch also writes that Spartacus's wife, a prophetess of the Maedi tribe, was enslaved with him.
The name Spartacus is otherwise attested in the Black Sea region: kings of the Thracian dynasty of the Cimmerian Bosporus and Pontus are known to have borne it, and a Thracian "Sparta" "Spardacus" or "Sparadokos", father of Seuthes I of the Odrysae, is also known.
Enslavement and escape
The Roman Republic at 100 BCE
According to the differing sources and their interpretation,... [continua]
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