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Stothard is a classicist and the editor of the Times Literary Supplement. A decade ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; after a grueling regimen of surgery and chemotherapy, he managed to survive, and that struggle is interspersed with the struggle of the Thracian slave Spartacus and his followers to gain their freedom from Roman oppression in the first century BCE. This is a quirky, sometimes confusing work, part travelogue, part historical account, and part personal memoir. Stothard takes us across Italy, following in the footsteps of the slave army while recounting their triumphs and eventual destruction. He digresses to describe his personal struggle against a pernicious and formidable enemy. Stothard offers fine descriptions of the battles as Roman armies and the forces of Spartacus move across large areas of southern and central Italy. Spartacus himself remains an understandably murky charater, since accurate source material is sparse, but Stothard provides valuable insights into the nature of Roman society and culture in which as much as a third of the population may have endured various forms of slavery. --Jay Freeman
Mr. Stothard's engaging book reminds us that, for all the secrets the story of Spartacus refuses to give up, it still leads us back to the heart of things." — Wall Street JournalSee all Editorial Reviews
I read this book the first time whilst on holiday in Italy, and traced the route that Spartacus travelled in his two years of the Slave War on a map. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bill Phelps
An excerpt from the review at StrategyPage.Com:
"Stothard is a journalist and editor of The Times Literary Supplement, the author of Thirty Days: An Inside Account of... Read more
I did not buy this, but borrow it from the library. It's so horrible, I regret making the 10 minute walk to pick it up. Read morePublished on August 23, 2011 by Cris