Spartacus  

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I'm Spartacus!


"As a relaxation in the evenings I have been reading Appian on the Roman Civil Wars, in the original Greek text. A very valuable book. The chap is an Egyptian by birth. Schlosser says he has "no soul," probably because he goes to the roots of the material basis for these civil wars. Spartacus is revealed as the most splendid fellow in the whole of ancient history. Great general (no Garibaldi), noble character, real representative of the ancient proletariat."--Marx-Engels Correspondence 1861, Letter from Marx to Engels, In Manchester[1]

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Spartacus (c. 109 BC-71 BC), according to Roman historians, was a slave who became the leader (or possibly one of several leaders) in the unsuccessful slave uprising against the Roman Republic known as the Third Servile War. Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and the surviving historical accounts are inaccurate and often contradictory. Spartacus's struggle, often seen as the fight for an oppressed people fighting for their freedom against a slave-owning aristocracy, has found new meaning for modern writers since the 19th century. The figure of Spartacus and his rebellion has become an inspiration to many modern literary and political writers, who have made the character of Spartacus an ancient/modern folk hero.

1960 Film

Most famously, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Howard Fast's novel, as Spartacus, in 1960. The catchphrase "I'm Spartacus!" from this film has been referenced in a number of other films, television programs, and commercials.

In communism

In modern times, Spartacus became an icon for communists and socialists. Karl Marx listed Spartacus as one of his heroes and described him as "the most splendid fellow in the whole of ancient history" and a "great general, noble character, real representative of the ancient proletariat". Spartacus has been a great inspiration to left-wing revolutionaries, most notably the German Spartacus League (1915–18), a forerunner of the Communist Party of Germany. A January 1919 uprising by communists in Germany was called the Spartacist uprising. Spartacus Books, one of the longest running collectively-run leftist book stores in North America, is also named in his honour.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spartacus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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