For many today Spartacus is Kirk Douglas. The influence of Kubrick's film has been enormous, but Spartacus was famous before 1960. For hundreds of years he has been a byword for resistance, revolution and the fight for freedom. He has given his name to a revolutionary party in Germany and a political group in the USA; he is the subject of several novels and films, and even a ballet. Though only a slave, he is as famous as Julius Caesar. Not much information, and much of it negative, survives about him from the ancient world, yet his reputation has survived this character assassination and he is still famous as a popular hero two thousand years after his death. Theresa Urbainczyk explores the man and the myth in this fascinating short treatment of an icon of revolution.
Theresa Urbainczyk is Lecturer in Classics at University Dublin and the author of Socrates of Constantinople (1997) and Theodoret of Cyrrhus (2002).