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I've recently started watching the Spartacus (just finished Blood and Sand and Gods of the Arena, currently watching Vengeance) and the events described seemed rather exaggerated.

While it doesn't bother me one bit and I enjoy the series because it is what it is, it conflicts a little with what I had already known about the romans.

For starters, even if the gladiators were slaved, I lived under the impression that the most famous ones, the champions, were treated much better, something that doesn't seem to be the case with Spartacus and Crixus.

The amount of sex seems also too much. The roman orgies are very famous, but the characters in the series have no shame towards the slaves and indulge themselves in all sort of strange practices.

And last but not least, it seemed fairly easy to kill someone and get away with it back then, as Batiatus demonstrated not just once.

Of course, considering the nature of the show, things are bound to be inflated, to make the series more entertaining and it's definitely working but still... just how much of the show is true and how much is fiction? I would to point out that my question it's not about the historical figure Spartacus and his story, but the roman society and his habits as it was presented in the show.

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done your P.S,but i'm not sure whether the moderators accept the franchise tag or separate name for every series :( –  Vijin Paulraj Jun 17 '12 at 18:33
thank you for your help. The franchise tag is more appropriate, I think, since this covers the whole series –  BBog Jun 17 '12 at 18:54
Don’t forget that it airs on the cable network STARZ, so it is allowed to have nudity, swearing, violence, drugs, etc. Like most shows on STARZ (and HBO and Showtime), because it is allowed to have them, it goes overboard and packs them in to the point of totally overshadowing the actual story and/or being unrealistic. (Boardwalk Empire was surprisingly decent, and I like Game of Thrones and Dexter because they have characters and stories that are good and keep the DLSV gimmicks to minimum-The Ricky Gervaise Show is great, but doesn’t count here.) –  Synetech Jun 17 '12 at 22:08
the common language was latin, which most people learned much like modern english. –  user4501 Apr 2 '13 at 5:49

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think the Spartans were way more brutal than it was depicted in the show. Because, the majority of the things depicted are true i,e the characters personalities and all of the battles and stuff, as I can believe, but it's not historically accurate as far as i know.

Because it is focused on the lives of merchants and slaves, and low level magistrates and praetors in a gladiator school in Capua, rather than the lives of consuls as you get with most depictions of Roman life.

  • The arena combat is highly unrealistic and stylized for the sake of entertainment rather than as an accurate depiction of the way gladiators truly fought.

  • The most historically innacurate area is probably the langauge and dialogue. The slaves were taken from all over the Roman empire and would have had little to no education in most cases. They would have no common language and what little communication they were capable of wouldn't have contained the verbose level of word usage the show is so fond of.

In other words the show clearly tries to maintain a level of historical accuracy while not losing sight of the fact that it's entertainment and not a documentary.

Check out this article which has more detail about the historical evidence of ancient Rome culture.

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+1 and accepted! Very useful links and the post is also helpful! Thank you –  BBog Jun 17 '12 at 20:12
You guys do realize that the first article (from something awful.com) is comedic in nature and makes fun of the historical inaccuracies of the show, right? –  System Down Jun 18 '12 at 16:23
yes, but that is useful. By making fun of the historical inaccuracies it actually reveals more about the accuracy per total –  BBog Jun 22 '12 at 8:55
The link in the main post is broken. –  Annan Mar 2 '13 at 21:40

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