Why Spartacus is One of the Earliest Forms of a Hero?

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Spartacus is one of the earliest forms of a hero. Spartacus is considered a hero for numerous reasons due to his leadership, determination, and perseverance. Although Spartacus was captured and sold as a slave to a gladiatorial training school in Capua, he exemplified heroic feats. He broke out of the school along with 70 other gladiators and led them to freedom. He was determined to build a bigger army to free other slaves. He persevered through hardships and defeated Rome to achieve his goals.

One of the main reasons Spartacus was considered a hero was because of his ability to inspire and lead his men into battle. Spartacus was a natural-born leader. Not much is known about Spartacus's early years, but he is believed to have been born in Thrace. He was in the Roman army but deserted and was captured as a slave. Due to his strength, he was then sold to a gladiatorial school in Capua, north of Naples. Spartacus was a murmillo, also known as a heavyweight gladiator. Spartacus was not there for long.

He and about 70 other slaves plotted to escape. Although they did not have many men, Spartacus and the other slaves seized kitchen utensils. The knives and other utensils from the kitchen helped them escape. They were able to fight their way out of the school successfully. Soon after they escaped Spartacus, the gladiators seized several wagons of gladiator weapons and armor, completely looting them.

These weapons only aided the soldiers even more. If these were just regular slaves with swords, shields, etc., they would be defeated easily, but they were more than just regular slaves. Each man was a gladiator, someone capable of defeating many soldiers. They were selected for the gladiatorial school because of their strength and fighting abilities, and they only learned to fight and kill better because of their harsh and vigorous training. These men were prepared to fight. Spartacus led the gladiators to victory over every soldier sent after them, and they looted the region around Capua for other resources and materials.On their way to Mount Vesuvius, Spartacus recruited many other slaves into his small army's ranks.

Once they reached Mount Vesuvius, the escaped slaves chose a leader. The slaves chose Spartacus due to his great leadership. The Romans didn't take Spartacus and his men seriously and only sent out a militia to surround Spartacus and his men on Mount Vesuvius. The Romans' goal was to force Spartacus and his men to starve, which would eventually lead to their surrender. Spartacus was too smart to fall for their plans, and he devised one of his own. He surprised the Roman militia by climbing down the cliff side of the mountain with ropes made from vines. He and his men attacked the unprepared militia and killed most of the men.

From there, Spartacus and his men defeated a second militia. They nearly captured the praetor commander and managed to kill his lieutenants and siege their military equipment. After Spartacus successfully defeated these two Roman militias, he inspired more slaves to join his forces. Spartacus's heroic feats not only inspired slaves to join but also many herdsmen and shepherds who were nearby to join. Eventually Spartacus was able to build a 90,000-strong army. Having all of these men did not phase Spartacus. He was more than capable of leading an army of this size. He was able to lead these men because he was an excellent tactician, leader, fighter, warrior, and general. What also allowed Spartacus to lead these slaves, gladiators, shepherds, and herdsmen was that he was able to relate to them. The men being led by Roman generals were being led by generals who were wealthy and most likely didn’t face the hardships some of their soldiers did. On the other hand, Spartacus was just as poor as the poorest man in his army and just as willing as the next man. He faced just as many hardships as everyone else, and this is why he is able to lead all of these men. The men feel inspired to fight for Spartacus because they all have the same goal in mind: freedom.

Spartacus's determination was another one of his heroic traits. Spartacus was determined to lead his army to freedom. He was focused on that goal and did everything possible to achieve it. With the men he acquired, Spartacus fought small Roman armies. Spartacus and his men defeated the few armies they faced, but they realized something was holding them back. The men were inexperienced fighters and lacked the proper weapons. The experienced men defeated the armies they faced before with local materials and unusual tactics.

With this knowledge, Spartacus accessed the situation and came up with a solution, like any good leader would. He decided he would train the men and spent the winter of 73–72 BC training them. Then he armed the men and new recruits with proper weapons and supplies. Spartacus then expands his raiding territory to include the towns of Nola, Nuceria, Thurii, and Metapontum. Spartacus' army raided the towns, which was divided and led by Spartacus and his right-hand man Crixus. Although raiding towns may not sound so heroic.

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Why Spartacus is One of the Earliest Forms of a Hero?. (2023, Mar 09). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from
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