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What glory is there in dying for someone’s amusement?
Capua, 75-73 B.C.
Captured and sold off as a slave, Spartacus is now at Lentulus Vatia’s training school in Capua, preparing for a gladiator’s harsh and brutal life. The trainers tell him of glory in combat and the chance to earn freedom. They speak of redemption through bravery and adulation through exemplary performance. The men live in perpetual hope built on a house of false promises.
But the winds of gladiatorial sports are shifting, and the signs are ominous. The people demand more, and the powers are only too glad to oblige. The games are now more than a tribute or a show—they are a means to power—and becoming the principal form of cruel and vicious entertainment. And in this relentless evolution, the fighters are just the living dead to be bled on the sands of the arena, and their corpses dragged away.
Even as he masters the sport and survives the bloody fights, Spartacus must find ways to convince his fellow men that there is no honor in dying for someone else’s amusement. But his actions are about to pit him against the twisted mind of a vicious master who plots to condemn Spartacus and his wife to a terrible end.