We are Spartacus!!
“Spartacus … declared himself openly to be an enemy of Rome, and called upon all who were slaves or oppressed to rally round him, and to engage in the struggle for emancipation. Multitudes of slaves and dispossed, foreigners and Italians, responded to his appeal. Country people left their holdings, shepherds their sheep, slaves their masters, prisoners broke their bars, conscripted workers broke their chains – all flocked to him, the chastiser of Rome.” – Max Beer, Class Struggles in Antiquity.
Class Wargames is refighting the 71 BCE Battle of Silarus between Spartacus’ army of rebel slaves and Marcus Crassus’ Roman legions. Spartacus found his army trapped between the armies of Marcus Crassus to his front and Gnaeus Pompey, approaching from the rear. Crassus had started construction of his camp when a skirmish between the two armies escalated into a full battle. Crassus’s troops formed more quickly, and launched an effective attack before Spartacus could deploy all of his troops. Spartacus, seeing that his army was in jeopardy, killed his warhorse in front of the troops he had formed, a clear sign of defiance that could only mean one thing—he would fight to the death. As it became clear that his army was being defeated, Spartacus attempted to cut his way through the Roman troops to kill Crassus in one last desperate attempt to save the day. Spartacus was cut down by an arrow. In the end, thousands of men lay dead near the River Silarus, with Spartacus simply one body amongst many. Over 6,000 slave soldiers were captured, and Crassus had them all crucified along the Appian Way, from Capua to Rome. Crassus had defeated Spartacus, but Pompey managed to mop up a few thousand slave fugitives, and took credit for ending the rebellion.
Join us at Mayday Rooms to reverse this tragic outcome on the ludic battlefield when we play our Spartacus scenario of Commands & Colors Ancients!
Friday 8th December
88 Fleet Street