Spartacus had been born as a freeman in Thrace (Greece). He later received training in a
Roman army but deserted. For this he was imprisoned and became a slave. He was sold,
in 73 B.C., into the service of a man who taught at a school for gladiators in Capua,
twenty miles from Vesuvius. That same year Spartacus and two other gladiator slaves led
a riot at the school. Of about two hundred gladiator slaves less than eighty escaped using
kitchen tools as weapons.
In the streets they found wagons of gladiatorial weapons and confiscated them.
When soldiers tried to stop the band of escaped slaves, the band used their accustomed
gladiatorial weapons, easily defeating the soldiers. Then they took the better, military
weapons and set out on their way south to Mt. Vesuvius. Along their route, they picked
up rural slaves. The slave army eventually grew to about 70,000 people! His training
camp was on Mount Vesuvius where slaves who escaped joined him.
The slaves fought with the Roman Army for almost three years before being
defeated. No one knows how Spartacus died. Many of the slaves that were captured were
crucified on the Appian Way, the main street leading into Rome. They were left there for
all to see so other slaves would be warned what happened to rebellious slaves.