March 6th, 2014
Episode 361 of 515 episodes
Spartacus was the famous gladiator who led a major slave rebellion against the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC. An accomplished military leader, he was celebrated by some ancient historians and reviled by others. Later, in the 19th century, he became a hero to revolutionaries in Europe. Modern perceptions of his character have been influenced by Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film, but ancient sources give a more complex picture of Spartacus and the aims of his rebellion. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge; Maria Wyke, Professor of Latin at University College, London and Theresa Urbainczyk, Associate Professor of Classics at University College, Dublin.