This is a very well-written and informative book about the slave revolt led by Spartacus, bearing in mind the small amount of contemporary evidence available. Because of this, Spartacus himself is just a name. The author is able to give us a reasonable picture of what went on at the time, and quite a few of the main actors can be fleshed out, but there is a lot of interpretation and probability flying about. However, the use of snippets of contemporary evidence allows the author to build a readable and plausible narrative of events. The only thing missing is the motivation of Spartacus. The author tries to show us the mind-set of the various ‘barbarian’ tribesmen involved in the revolt, but those of us who have read Terry Jones' Barbarians know that the term is ‘prejudicial’ at best. That’s not to say the author is wrong, of course, but his is just an interpretation of what happened, albeit a readable and plausible view.