From the Back Cover
Arthur Koestler's first novel, set in the late Roman Republic, tells the story of the revolt of Spartacus and man's search for Utopia. The first of three novels concerned with the 'ethics of revolution', it addresses the age-old debate of whether the end justifies the means, an argument continued in his classic novels Darkness at Noon and Arrival and Departure.
'The Gladiators is a philosophical novel dealing with the nature of revolution; a melancholy commentary on the failure of politics to respond to men's inner needs...Koestler is revealing to us the dialectic of history, with a moral, if we choose to take it, for our own times. But he is never didactic and his story...is as vivid in action as in argument' Sunday Times
'Arthur Koestler is one of the very few novelists who attacks the most difficult and troubling issues of private and political morality and who, having raised serious questions, never tries to satisfy us with ready-made answers or evasions' Saul Bellow
'In The Gladiators this episode in Roman history is lifted out of the textbooks by a novelist of unusual sympathy and understanding. In a brooding, ominous, impressive style he extracts the human story from the record, and re-creates, finely, with a modern's appreciation of motives and symptoms, the social life which evoked this extraordinary revolt' Sean O'Faolain