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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter II - Rule of the Sullan Restoration


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Page 70

Outbreak of the Gladiatorial War in Italy - Spartacus

The gladiatorial games, which now held the first rank among the popular amusements in Italy, had led to the institution of numerous establishments, more especially in and around Capua, designed partly for the custody, partly for the training of those slaves who were destined to kill or be killed for the amusement of the sovereign multitude. These were naturally in great part brave men captured in war, who had not forgotten that they had once faced the Romans in the field.

A number of these desperadoes broke out of one of the Capuan gladiatorial schools (681), and sought refuge on Mount Vesuvius. At their head were two Celts, who were designated by their slave-names Crixus and Oenomaus, and the Thracian Spartacus. The latter, perhaps a scion of the noble family of the Spartocids which attained even to royal honours in its Thracian home and in Panticapaeum, had served among the Thracian auxiliaries in the Roman army, had deserted and gone as a brigand to the mountains, and had been there recaptured and destined for the gladiatorial games.

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