The Spartacus Road: A Personal Journey Through Ancient Italy

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9781590205785: The Spartacus Road: A Personal Journey Through Ancient Italy

The name of Spartacus resounds through history. In the final century of the first Roman Republic an army of slaves led by Spartacus rose up in Italy.

Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the world's finest military forces between 73and 71 BC, bringing both fears and hopes that have never wholly left the modern mind.

Sweepingly erudite and strikingly personal, The Spartacus Road is a book like none other--at once a journalist's notebook, a reflection on life's fragility, including the author's own fight against cancer; and a classicist's celebration. As he travels along the Spartacus Road and into the classical Italian landscape, Stothard breathes new life into a singular war in antiquity, recounting one of the greatest stories of the ages.

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About the Author:

Peter Stothard is the editor of the Times Literary Supplement and author of Alexandria and The Spartacus Road. From 1992 to 2002 he was the Editor of The Times. In 2012 he was chairman of the judges for the Man Booker Prize.

From Booklist:

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

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