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Spartacus Season 1: Blood and Sand

Spartacus Season 1: Blood and Sand is an American television series produced in New Zealand that premiered on Starz on January 22, 2010, and concluded on April 12, 2013. The series was inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BCE led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic departing from Capua. Executive producers Steven S. DeKnight and Robert Tapert focused on structuring the events of Spartacus’ obscure early life leading up to the beginning of historical records.

Synopsis Spartacus Season 1

The story begins with an unnamed Thracian’s involvement in a unit of Roman auxiliary in a campaign against the Getae (Thracian tribes that occupied the regions of the Lower Danube, in what today is Bulgaria and Romania, ancestors of Romanians) under the command of the legatus, Claudius Glaber. In 72-71 BCE, Roman general Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus, proconsul of the Roman province of Macedonia, marched against the Getae, who were allies of Rome’s enemy, Mithridates VI of Pontus.

The Getae frequently raid the Thracians’ lands, so the Thracians are persuaded by Glaber to enlist in the Romans’ service as auxiliaries. Glaber is persuaded by his wife Ilithyia to seek greater glory, decides to break off attacking the Getae and directly confront the forces of Mithridates in Asia Minor. The Thracian, feeling betrayed, leads a mutiny against Glaber, and returns to find his village destroyed.

The Thracian and his wife Sura are captured by Glaber the next day; the Thracian is condemned to die in the gladiator arena for his crime, while Sura is taken away, condemned to slavery. The Thracian is shipped to Capua in Italy, a center of gladiator training. Against all odds in the arena he slays the four gladiators appointed to execute him and becomes an instant sensation with the crowd.

Senator Albinius commutes the punishment from death to slavery. The prisoner’s true name unknown, Lentulus Batiatus, the owner of a ludus in Capua, suggests to name him “Spartacus”, because he fought like the ferocious Thracian king of that name.

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