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Spartacus and the Slave War 73-71 BC: A gladiator rebels against Rome (Campaign) Paperback – July 21, 2009


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Spartacus and the Slave War 73-71 BC: A gladiator rebels against Rome (Campaign) + Philippi 42 BC: The death of the Roman Republic (Campaign) + Actium 31 BC: Downfall of Antony and Cleopatra (Campaign)
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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 206)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846033535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846033537
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School at Athens, Greece, and then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Nic is now a freelance author and researcher based in south-west France.

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Customer Reviews

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Fields' work should be considered as the final work on Spartacus.
Madro Bandaries
This looked a bit like if the author just could not decide where to put it in the book and finally added it to this section because it had to go somewhere.
JPS
The Roman consular army clearly had to approach the rebel camp by means of a narrow mountain trail - why did the rebels not attempt an ambush?
R. A Forczyk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on August 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Writing about ancient military campaigns is very difficult due to the paucity of sources and no matter how interesting the subject, historians cannot work around this fundamental problem. Nevertheless, some historians will try to push on, using speculation and filler material to cover gaps, hoping that readers will focus on the ends, rather than the means. Nic Fields' volume 206 in Osprey's campaign series, Spartacus and the Slave War 73-71 BC, follows this basic format. Even though the author admits that there are less than 4,000 worlds all told in ancient literary sources about Spartacus, he sets about to write a 25,000-word history of the famous gladiator-turned-rebel. There's no doubt that the legend of Spartacus still captures the modern mind, but there is just not enough here to write a viable military history and this volume is actually filled to the brim mostly with filler material and very few facts. To make matters worse, the author chooses to indulge in long-winded discussions about the legend of Spartacus, dragging in modern folks ranging from Voltaire, to Marx, Lenin, to Rosa Luxembourg and Che Guevara. Yes, there's even a photo of Kirk Douglas in Stanley Kubrick's film. Yikes!

The volume begins sensibly enough with a 5-page introduction about earlier slave uprisings in Sicily in 135-132 BC and 104-100 BC. Both witnessed slave rebellions that temporarily defeated local Roman militias but which were eventually crushed once the Roman Republic became sufficiently annoyed to send a two-legion consular army to deal with the rebels. Other than pointing out that dynamic, the introduction doesn't relate terribly well to the Spartacus uprising which did not take place in Sicily or under the same conditions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roberta Klimovich on November 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good beginning point for the study of Spartacus and the Gladiator Revolt against Rome. It gives the basics of what happened, how, and why and also includes a very good bibliography for further research if the reader is so inclined. I would highly recommend this book even for those who already have knowledge because of its bare bones approach to this historical incident.
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Format: Paperback
There are a couple of very good reviews already published regarding this book. One of those is quite critical (but to the point) stating the lack of interpretation by the author and the excessive use of social commentary, the other more amenable and friendly but also with good remarks related to the structure of the book.

For the lack of interpretation, we must consider this book non-adventurous. The author sticks to the sources and I don't find that particularly damning to this piece. Other authors like Barry Strauss, used intelligence and informed suppositions to fill in the blanks and also got numerous critics, calling him speculative, etc. I find both types of historical work useful in their own ways. But the reader must bear into consideration that Fields plays close to the sources.

For the structure of the book I have mixed feelings. The introduction of the "Guide to primary sources" is great, concisely displaying the most important information we can remove from each written source and brief analyses of the authors; also an applause must be given for the very interesting "Roman social order" which in an easy way exposes quickly the reasons, the types of forces the slave army could muster and the social system of the time. But there is also an excessive use of social commentary, of influences of this war to future social theorists, writers, movie directors or politicians. If we would follow the same structure on other campaign series titles, a battle in which Caesar had participated would have at least 60 pages of "influences"; so I don't find particularly useful the chapter "The legacy of Spartacus".
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By m ziemann on April 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book . It was easy to read without straying from the facts. The entire slave rebellion of this time should have served as a wake up call to Rome, but it did not seem so do the job. I think the series Spartacus shown on TV is probably closer to what life was during this time period.
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