Spartacus & Roman Gladiators

Spartacus, a Roman gladiator and slave, led a slave uprising against Rome in 73 B.C. Learn more about his dramatic history or explore the world of gladiators in these books at the library.

Spartacus | Gladiators | Books by Barry Strauss


The Spartacus War (nonfiction)
By Barry Strauss
From an esteemed historian of the ancient world and popular guest on The History Channel comes the true story of the gladiator Spartacus, who led a slave rebellion that rocked and nearly destroyed the Roman Republic.

Spartacus (feature film, 1960)
A gladiator slave leads a revolt in decadent Rome in this film directed by Stanley Kubrick that won four Academy Awards.


The Gladiators book jacket

The Gladiators: History's Most Deadly Sport (nonfiction)
By Fik Meijer
Superfit, muscled, and macho, gladiators were hero-worshipped for their skills and courage as they fought to the death, yet despised for their humble status. For over six cruel centuries, tens of thousands died in the blood soaked arenas of Rome and its colonies, watched by enthralled crowds screaming for violence. Professor Fik Meijer has pieced together their true stories from contemporary evidence, describing the gladiators' origins, daily life, training, and the odds of their survival pitted against their legions of fans' lust for blood and spectacle.

The Gladiator: The Secret History of Rome's Warrior Slaves (nonfiction)
By Alan Baker
This thrilling popular history of ancient Rome's gladiators charts the evolution of the games; introduces us to the legendary fighters, trainers, and emperors who participated in the violent sport; and re-creates in gripping detail a day at the bloody games. Alan Baker reveals the techniques of the training school, then sets us ringside to witness the torturous battles between bulls, lions, jaguars, and battle-hardened human beings.

The World of the Gladiator (nonfiction)
By Susanna Shadrake
The gladiatorial contest was the high point of the bloody sports witnessed in Rome's Colosseum and in other amphitheatres throughout the Roman Empire. This popular book explores all aspects of gladiatorial life--its beginnings under the Republic; the organization of the spectacle; the day-to-day-life of a gladiator; a typical show from start to finish; the equipment, weapons and armor used; the symbolic role of the gladiator in society; and the fascination of the gladiatorial spectacle within a 21st-century context.

Gladiator (feature film, 2000)
When general Maximus (Russell Crowe) is chosen by Emperor Aurelius (Richard Harris), a jealous Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) kills Maximus' family. Maximus is enslaved to fight in the gladiatorial arenas, while he plots his revenge against Commodus. Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Books by Barry Strauss

The Trojan War book jacket

The Trojan War: A New History
By Barry Strauss
Based on the latest archeological research and written by a leading expert on ancient military history, the true story of the most famous battle in history is every bit as compelling as Homer's epic account, and confirms many of its details.

The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece--and Western Civilization
By Barry Strauss
A scholar who has reexamined the original sources for this stirring narrative presents an exciting, perceptive work of military history and a shrewd analysis of the cultural differences between and within the contending Persian and Greek factions.

Rowing Against the Current: On Learning to Scull at Forty
By Barry Strauss
In the midst of the standard dreary midlife crisis--complete with wine-tasting courses, yoga classes, and a failed attempt at a first novel--a 40-year-old Strauss falls unexpectedly and passionately in love with rowing.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.