In its war on the Greek peninsula, the Romans convince the Thracians to join them in defeating the Getae, who have been raiding Thracian villages for generations. The Thracians are fierce warriors and prove to be valiant in battle. They are deceived by the Roman commander, Claudius Glaber, who orders them to fight against the Greeks, something they had not counted on. One of them in particular refuses to fight and rebels against the Romans only to lose the fight and is enslaved along with his wife Sura. The Thracian is transported to Capua where Senator Albinius is sponsoring gladiatorial games. In the arena, the enslaved Thracian manages to defeat four opponents and in allowing the Thracian to live, Senator Albinius decides to name him after a Thracian king from the past: Spartacus.
Did You Know?
Historically speaking, The Province of Thrace put up the longest and most formidable resistance to the rapidly growing Roman republic before being overtaken. The events of Spartacus occur years later, which is supported by Glaber's opening statement, "Thrace and the Republic have not always been as brothers... ." See more
At the very end when Senator Albinius signals to spare the newly named Spartacus' life he gives the modern thumbs up sign. In ancient Rome the thumbs up sign was to signify the sword being thrust into the heart and therefore death. The closed fist with the thumb against the index finger signified spare the gladiators life. If Senator Albinius had given the thumbs up sign then the gladiator would have been put to death but Spartacus' life was to be spared so the sign was incorrect for the desired result. See more
Glaber is the most dangerous kind of fool. One with a title.