The book "Spartacus and the Slave Wars" is a brief history with many documents from various sources. The book talks about the Roman Empire existing around 135-70 B.C. All sources in this book are based on the facts from the Roman Empire era on how they used slaves for various purposes such as in the military, as farmers, peasants, artisans and laborers. Although slavery existed on vast scale in those times, "Spartacus and the Slave Wars" based on historical documents differed from one based on popular modern day fictional accounts. The story of Spartacus according to the documents varies from the one we watched on the film.
The story of Spartacus begins with rebellious slaves escaping from a gladiatorial training school in Capua. In the film, Spartacus says that he was a slave from birth and that his father before him was also a slave. However, this is contradicted by accounts of Spartacus' life. The book mentions "he had been sent to Italy as a prisoner to be sold as a slave" (2). .
The next contradiction is when, in the film, Spartacus leads the slaves to cross the Alps where they would disperse and go to their homes. However, Plutarch claims that the slaves had not agreed with Spartacus' plan. "His men however, would not listen to him. They were strong in numbers and full of confidence, and they went about Italy ravaging everything in their way" (133). .
One of the most incorrectly portrayed events in the film is when Spartacus dies. In the film, Spartacus is crucified after being forced to have a gladiatorial fight with his close friend. However, it is documented that Spartacus actually died in battle, when he ran at Crassus: "he [Spartacus] was finally killed, not easily or unvanged ." (149).
In the film, Spartacus falls in love with a kitchen slave who he takes with him and who eventually has his child. However, none of this is documented in the historical sources and was probably added in to have the seemingly mandatory love interest that is in Hollywood movies.