Custom «Romans and the Slaves» Essay Paper Sample

Romans and the Slaves

The Roman Republic in the first century before the Common Era regarded slaves as tools for use to meet their needs. The gladiatorial games were indeed one of the most common forms of entertainment. By way of supplying gladiators for contests, several schools of training were established across Italy. The schools hosted war prisoners and condemned criminals who regarded as slaves. Therefore, the Roman basically perceived slaves as criminals and thus were deprived off their rights. They were taught skills needed to fight even unto death in gladiatorial games. The Romans used the slaves for their benefit in matters of economic growth and development. They were mainly used as sources of labor to propel the country's economy and establishment. In fact, slaves were viewed as household property and that the Romans owned them like any other material thing (Strauss 23-56).

The inhumanity done to the slaves could not be entertained any longer by people like Spartacus. Strauss credits Spartacus's success to three things: the risks he took; his ability to fight inside out and the fact that he was a great salesman. He was able to sale his ideas to the slaves and later emerged with a group of 70,000 slaves and held the Roman army for about four years. His first victories which were too daring owing to his competence in fighting drew many recruits to his team. His military know-how and experience was a great source of the success achieved as at then. What further multiplied his appeal in the fight was celebrity; being a gladiator and charisma because he had the shroud of religious prophecy. Spartacus was therefore able to sell his plan to the many people mounted support and led to such great achievement which stands in all periods of history (Strauss 11-89).

Later on Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome and Pompey led to the ultimate defeat of the slave insurrection. Spartacus tried in vain t o attain an agreement with the senate delegate led by Crassus. After Crassus refused any consensus with Spartacus, division in the slave insurrection weakened the team. A part of the forces led by Spartacus fled in the direction of the mountains to Petelia west while legions of Crassus pursued them. The legions succeeded to catch up with the portion of the rebels which separated from Spartacus army. Discipline broke in the Spartacus army which led to the demise of the rebellion. Small groups of the Spartacus army were attacking the oncoming legions independently and thus their effort could not suffice to counteract to the forces led by Crassus. Spartacus later turned his men around and in the end brought his whole strength to attack the legions in the fnal stand where the slaves were completely routed. Many of the slaves were killed on the field. Even Spartacus himself did not survive the attack.

The racial/ethnic beliefs and assumption played a very significant role in the slave uprising. Strauss has what some people would term as wild ideas about the influence Spartacus wife had. Strauss states that Spartacus had a religiously inspired wife and the mantle of prophecy propelled him to greater achievements in the war. This is thought to have given the entire group a lot of courage as backed up by this spiritual and religious belief. Moreover, the assumptions made by the senate gave time for the war to developed strong grounds which made it last for an expected four years. The senate looked down upon the danger of the slaves insurrection led by Spartacus and initially sent non-competent armies led by second-rated generals to counteract to the forces of the slaves. The Roman Empire was deemed strong and unshakable according to the dictates of culture and origin. It was an imaginable thing that caught up with Italy during this time that in 73BC where Spartacus led a group of untrained slaves in fighting against the Roman army (Strauss 121-7).

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Women in both camps were also not left out in the rebellion process. Both women in the Roman society and in the Spartacus's slave rebellion played some role in the slave insurrection. Spartacus uprising included women among men in fighting against Crassus and the legions. They actively take part in the uprising led by Spartacus. Women slaves were all at the leniency of the predatory masters. The women however protested a great deal while the men fought in Spartacus camp. The roman women though on the senate's side did not have direct power of politics save for those who came from wealthy or strong families like Crassus where they could influence in private negotiations in the war. There was however one major national role which was reserved purely for women. This was in the sphere of religion. Spartacus wife as described by Strauss is one such example. However, there was a special group called the Vestals on the Roman side who were freed of any duty to marry or even have children and were instead devoted to study as well as correct ritual observance which were though important for the survival and security of the Roman army but which the male priests colleagues could not perform.

Like Rome's Craftiest General, Scipio Africanus, Spartacus learned the art of war in the most difficult and bloodiest of all kinds and forums. They have both charged superior forces in their different settings. Their efforts in fighting wars seem to follow simmilar trends. In the midst of dead hopes and dark moments, they have found their way to victory in unbelievable situations. Scipio's moves to exact oaths to a group of young roman patricians which was planning to desert the empire can be compared to Spartacus daring move to challenge the senate (Lacey par. 1-2). They are both men of war who apparently do not have any limits. They have given their whole selves to the point of death but ensure that they get what they are after. Both have demonstrated uncanny abilities; abilities which have lifted them above their age mates. They have both formed an important part of history in war.

The Roman military response to Spartacus and to the Goth threat at Adrianople in 378 has similarities in some way. The initial attack employed by the Roman military was weak. In Spartacus case, incompetent soldiers led by second rate generals was sent to fight back were they lost massively to the slaves' insurrection. Similarly, the Roman military moved from its classical infantry-based organization into small armed troops known as "limitanei" and other large troops referred to as the "comitatenses". This later led to neglect in military training and thus incompetence grew amongst the soldiers before they met the Goths at Adrianople in 378. Therefore, the Roman military response was still flawed in the quality and experience of staff involved. Such weakness as realized in the troops was similar in both occasions. The border was easily penetrated owing to the weakness and the Goths prevailed (MacDowall 43-77). Similarly, the same made Spartacus and his forces to triumph over the Roman army for such a long duration of time before they were defeated.

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Spartacus' slave uprising continues to fascinate the public imagination over two thousands years after its brief success because of the effects realized after the war. Spartacus was a heroic slave and his actions and move live along the history. It is a war that laid a foundation for freedom, a war of all times that posed a great threat to the economy and government of Rome. Led by only a single person who gathered support from fellow slaves, this is considered a striking event that will live long amongst the minds of people. There were great dynamics in social change and development that struck the whole world with a lot of awe and even lives to this day. The true class grounds of ethics that as led by the ruling class of the Romans were greatly challenged by the Spartacan code. It was a massive achievement and an insurrection that paralyzed Roman systems to some extent. The events of the uprising are unfathomable. It is a revolt that ravaged an empire.

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