Spartacus (Polyg9on Lewis Grassic Gibbon)

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9781904598565: Spartacus (Polyg9on Lewis Grassic Gibbon)
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The uprising of the slaves against the Romans in 73 BC, led by the gladiator Spartacus, has been an inspiration to generations of people who have stood up against oppression. By the time he was captured by Marcus Licinius Crassus in 71 BC and executed by crucifixion, his army of around 90 000 slaves and dispossessed had defeated several Roman armies and devastated much of the southern part of the Italian peninsula. For Karl Marx, Spartacus was 'the most splendid fellow that all ancient history has to show; great general, noble character, real representative of the ancient proletariat'. For Grassic Gibbon, a lifelong Marxist International and successful historian of early civilisations, Spartacus allowed him to focus on his fiercely held beliefs in the nature of society, the freedom of the individual, and the inevitable collapse of 'civilisation'.

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About the Author:

Lewis Grassic Gibbon (the pen name of James Leslie Mitchell) was one of the finest writers of the twentieth century. He was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, essays, and science fiction and his writing reflecs his wide interest in religion, archaeology, history, politics and science. The Mearns trilogy, A Scots Quair, is his most renowned work, and has become a landmark in Scottish literature.

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“Spartacus is told with Gibbon’s characteristic verve and economy. As everywhere in Gibbon’s work, the reader is drawn without preamble into the fully active plot. On balance, the style works triumphantly. Narrow, brutal, shaped by forces beyond its control, continuously threatened by sudden death or agonizing retribution by a ruthless army of Masters, the slave experience forming the totality of this narrative is caught with unpleasant but accurate forces. It was a desperate time―and Gibbon realistically recreates that desperation.”―Ian Campbell, from the Introduction

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